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Meet the Mama Q&A with Carmen
Mama to Lucca, Sonny and Kelly

A big, happy good morning to you all!

Today's #meetthemama is with Carmen and it is a beautiful read!

What is exciting is not only are we chatting with a Mama about her journey and motherhood, we are also celebrating this Mama's new business - and I love celebrating women in small business!

I love LOVE celebrating all Mama's, and I think it is simply wonderful that this Mama has created something beautiful for the mama journey - clean, all natural, non toxic skincare.

Launched just a few nights back, this beautiful brand Mama & Bird Skincare is absolutely divine - and a little secret, we are looking forward to stocking it soon!
You can find out more about this beautiful new brand, Mama & Bird Skincare by clicking HERE, and stay tuned for updates on our instagram also as we can't wait to share more with you!

Thank you for joining us Carmen, I bet it has been a very busy and exciting time for you, with the launch of Mama & Bird Skincare - which I must share, I am absolutely in love with - everything looks so beautiful!
Let's start with a little about you and your family!
We are a family of 5; my Husband, myself and our three boys Lucca, Sonny and Kelly.

I am from a family of all girls, so having three boys was definitely a change of pace, but I love it and wouldn't have it any other way. They are a great little band of brothers all so unique but with similar traits. It has been really heart-warming watching our older boys having a baby brother, they are at a fantastic age to be really involved and hands on with him. He just started standing and charging around the house with a walker this week, so it won't be long now until they are all running around together.

Currently we are discussing who will share a room with Kelly when he is out of a cot, so it’s really nice to see them bicker over that as they both want the honour (one of the only times it's nice to hear them bicker).



Haha, too cute. Charli has recently started charging around on her walker too - won't be long till they are running marathons ha!
I mentioned above, your new business Mama & Bird Skincare can you share a little more about juggling business and raising your three cherubs?
I actually have two businesses, a marketing business and Mama & Bird Skincare, so I am an eternal juggler trying to navigate small children and work, and of course Covid lockdowns these last couple years, home schooling is not my strong suit I have learned.

I have always worked after having children, for me personally I enjoy the mental challenge and adult conversation that comes with it. It isn’t always the easiest route, but we make it work.  I also have three boys, so I want to lead by example and show them that women are equals in the work force and should be treated as such. 

When my oldest son was in kindergarten his teacher helped him fill in a card for Christmas. In the section where he had to write what his parents did for a living he wrote "My dad is a builder and my mum watches TV and goes shopping."  
Whilst it was hilarious, I was a little bit devastated. I had worked all throughout his childhood but because I didn't go to an office like his father, his interpretation of what I did for a career was completely different. 

From then on I made a point of involving the boys in my businesses here and there. They have since visited my clients offices and warehouses, which is exciting for them visit environments very foreign to the normal day life. They earn pocket money for folding boxes or packing shelves, and I actively get their feedback on new designs or ideas so they experience different processes we go through in the business.  Just this morning my middle son asked what a union was, because Daddy said he needed to ensure he was being paid fairly for his box folding. So ,we've come a long way from TV and shopping. 



How cool is that, I smile at the thought of the boys learning such powerful skills, that no doubt will benefit them as they grow older - I especially love the comment about the union haha!
What is the best advice you've been given about becoming a mum?
The best advice I was given was from a friend of mine Julie, she shared with me that becoming a new mum is a transition and that it takes time to find your feet in your new life with a little one.  For me personally I found this very true to my experience. I had been very career focused before having Lucca, so navigating being at home full time, working remotely, being the primary carer for our baby and the sleepless nights, it was a lot at first. 

Thankfully from this prior conversation with my friend, I knew to give myself time to adjust and work out a new daily routine that worked with our change in life.  It wasn’t always seamless, there were many days of overwhelm, exhaustion and longing for a little more "me time", but I got there in the end and found my footing.
 
Great advice, I think it is so common for us to think we are just going to transform overnight - which is probably why a lot of Mama's and Papa's may grieve for their "old" lives.
What was the hardest thing you found about being pregnant?
My first pregnancy was the hardest from a hormonal perspective, I am the first to admit that I was a little bit crazy at times throughout those nine months. Navigating the roller coaster of emotions was quite difficult when the feeling is so foreign to you. But by our second and third pregnancy I was more prepared for those ups and downs, so was able to navigate them better and be kinder on myself. 

My third pregnancy was the hardest emotionally, as it was during Melbourne covid lockdowns and we had several medical concerns throughout our journey, which thankfully all ended well.  Attending appointments alone, especially when serious conversations where being had was difficult.  I really feel for women going through pregnancy during the pandemic, especially first-time mothers.  I think it’s just extremely important to keep communication open with your health care providers to ensure you are feeling properly cared for and that they are aware of your emotional state of being so that they can properly support you.  



It's such a different time a lot of Mama's went through, and continue to go through, navigating pregnancy and covid times. For us, we felt the rules to be fairly relaxed but missing out on little things like a baby shower really felt quite sad.
Did you have any crazy pregnancy cravings?
With my first two pregnancies it was Indian food, I couldn’t get enough of it. With my third I was obsessed with Spicey Jalapeno Hummus Dip, I was honestly eating it by the spoonful every day. After I gave birth, I went to have some as a snack and it absolutely blew my socks off, my mouth was on fire. Needless to say, my love affair with that dip is over. 

Haha! That's so sad - that dip sounds incredible. I've mentioned a few times, I craved Christmas ham so much however now I have some and I still am not sure why I was craving it so much.
What is your advice for a Mama who is about to have a little cherub?
Just do things on your own terms, the way you want. People will have advice and tips, but it your journey to go through and 100% your decision as to how you want to birth you baby, approach the newborn phase and raise your children.  I had a nurse who said to me once that no one except you and your partner are there at 3am in the morning when you can’t get the baby to stop crying, so take the advice that works for you and leave the rest.  

Also, ask for help when you need it, the saying "it takes a village" is so very true.



So true. I think its important to remember we can ask for help, but the advice we are given we don't need to follow it. It can be tweaked to suit your needs and that of your little cherubs.
What was on your list for your hospital bag?
Nipple Cream, this is my big must have. 

Anything you wish you had packed?
Button up pyjamas, they just make life easier when trying to feed at all hours. 

Name something you packed and didn't end up using?
Shampoo & Conditioner. Who was I kidding to think I'd be washing my hair.

Haha, don't laugh - I packed my hair straightener!
What have you found to be a great little hack for everyday life with little cherubs? 
Have little nappy stations throughout your house. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, just some wipes, nappies and a terry towelling towel to change on, in places convenient to your main areas you spend time in.  I have a change table in the nursery but then a little change station stash in my bedroom, car and pram. It just makes life easier when you are exhausted. 

Not a hack but a tip:  If you are having a day when they just WILL NOT sleep, get out and walk.  I used to spend hours trying to rock Lucca and Sonny to sleep and all it did was cause anxiety for me and likely them. Now, if Kelly is fussy or going through a disrupted sleep phase, we get the pram out and walk. Nine times out of ten he will fall asleep in 10 minutes and the fresh air recharges my batteries for the next sleep battle later in the day. 



I adore this tip about walking. It really is incredible how energised a little walk can make you feel. It doesn't even need to be a long walk. If I feel 
particularly rubbish, I will say "only walk for 20 minutes", then when I am out and about I think "what's another 20 minutes". It helps me to push on through, then after I feel great.
What has been the best item you purchased for your little cherubs?
Love To Dream sleeping bags, the little ones where their hands are inside. My children loved these. 

A product that wasn’t available in the market when I had my first two children is silicone bibs, I mean, what a game changer these are. Gone are the days of washing endless bibs that end up stained with pumpkin or tomatoes. You only need one bib, and you just wipe it down at the end of a feed and voila, all clean. Hands down my favourite products for feeding babies.

We are a big fan of them in this household too!
What's something you purchased that you have found you haven't needed?Because we had a size year gap between our second and third sons, we had given all our baby things away. So, when I repurchased items, I was really aware of things that I didn’t need or didn’t need many of. A few of my top items:
- Bottle steriliser: a pot on the stove does the job perfectly. 
- Numerous baby bottles: we have had 2 this third child and it has worked perfectly.
- Baby food purifier: a have a little Breville blender that was $35 and does the same thing. 



It's so easy to get carried away thinking you need to have one of everything, in the early days I did. Love the tip for the bottle steriliser!
How have you changed as a person since your little cherubs arrived?
I would say I am much calmer and more patient. When you have children, especially very small children that are learning new things for the first time, you have to practice allot of patience to allow them to learn at their own pace. But there is a simple joy in being in that moment with a little person as they discover something new, like stacking blocks for example, you might spend hours watching them try and fail, but the pure joy in their face when they master that little task, that’s priceless and worth the wait. 

I love this, and it's so true. Watching Charli trying to master a wave has been so cute, even if her hand is backwards she loves saying "bye" to us.

I want to say the biggest THANK YOU to you Carmen, for taking the time to join us. Such an insightful chat, and inspiring your passion for your family and managing your businesses.

As I mentioned above, we will be sharing more this week about Carmen's beautiful new skincare brand, Mama & Bird Skincare but you can also follow along the Mama & Bird Instagram page HERE and be inspired by some lovely images and words.

Wishing you all a beautiful week!

Renee
xxx
 

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