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Meet the Mama Q&A with Amanda
Mama to Sophie, George, Alice and Maggie

Hi Everyone! Happy Monday. 

I apologise in advance as I haven't published a #meetthemama in over 4 weeks, however today is the day we continue our weekly Mama chats!

Today we are chatting with Manda from @thisloveandchaos. 
Manda has a beautiful feed on Instagram where she shares her life as a Mama to 4 cherubs.

Thank you for joining us today Manda! Firstly can you let us know a little more about yourself and your little family?
I’m Manda, a mum of four little people under 7 - Sophie, George, Alice and Maggie. I live in Canberra, drink a lot of tea and coffee, love taking photos and share the chaos and love that is my current motherhood journey through my instagram squares and stories.

Your photos are absolutely stunning, seeing your little cherubs beautiful smiles is a real highlight on my feed!
Are you a SAHM or juggling work and home life?
I’m currently on maternity leave from my job while Maggie is still so new, so I’m mostly juggling the kids and home life as a stay at home mum! That said, I dabble in a bit of product photography work from home, and some work through instagram sometimes too.

Little Maggie is so adorable, well all your little cherubs are!
What were your must haves for your hospital bag? What did you wish you’d packed and what didn’t you need?
Need - comfy baggy clothes and one nice dress to leave the hospital, a long charger cord for your phone, dry shampoo, a camera, lots of snacks, your own pillow, a knit blanket for baby and a few tiny outfits for bub. You don’t need much more than that!

So true, I've mentioned a few times that I definitely overpacked for our hospital stay and had clothes in 00000, 0000 and 000. I look back and it makes me giggle so much, when Charli ended up wearing the hospital gown for our whole stay!
What has been the most exciting milestone your baby/babies has reached?
I love it when babies can reach for you and put their arms around your neck for a cuddle, and when toddlers say ‘I love you’ for the first time!

I so look forward to that, just today Charli rested her head on my shoulder and snuggled in. She has only done that once and she's nearly 9 months - I can't wait for more snuggles!
What is your best hack for everyday life with your little cherubs?
You need a pre-packed bag in the car at all times with a spare change of clothes, nappies and wipes and a jumper or blanket. Keep spare things for the older kids in the car - plus some snacks and a reusable coffee cup. We often make last minute plans when we’re on the road and if I have all of this, then we can make a detour to the park or shops or a cafe and don’t have to go home first!

Oh that's a good one. I must admit, the clothes in Charli's nappy bag are from when she was a newborn as with all the lockdowns we haven't been able to go anywhere!
Describe your little cherubs in a single sentence.
All 4 of my kids are mischievous little ratbags, full of life and love but totally and utterly exhausting. Except Maggie, she’s just joyful!

Ha! I love that, the absolute truth right there!
Ever been mum-shamed?
Yep! I’ve been told off because baby didn’t have a blanket in the pram, told my baby was using me as a dummy, shamed because my baby wasn’t sleeping through the night, criticised for starting solids 'too early'. I’m sure there’s more! A few babies in I felt more confident in myself as a mum, so things like this don’t bother me now, but as a first time mum they definitely stung! It’s hard, but the sooner you realise that what other people think genuinely doesn’t matter, the better!

It's very similar to those early restless nights, eventually you do learn that what people say really doesn't matter - as a Mama, you know exactly what is right for you are your little cherubs.
Finally Manda, what is the best advice you could give someone about to become a new mum?
Be kind to yourself, lower your expectations and accept offers for help. Trust your instincts and take your time to adjust to your new life - don’t be pressured to take baby out, have people over or maintain your old life in those early weeks! And soak in that baby - the early days are hard but they pass so quickly.

I saw a quote similar to this, "the days are long but the years are short" and it is so true. It is something I tell myself when I can't get Charli to settle at 2am in the morning and it is just us having a cuddle. The tough times do pass.

I thank you so much for your time Manda, I know time is precious but I know our community appreciates these little chats so much!

Pop over to Manda's instagram, @thisloveandchaos to connect and view her beautiful images and words.

Have a Mama you would like to see featured? Drop me a line, I am always looking for Mama's to chat with!

Have a beautiful week friends!

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