Inspiring Women

May 02, 2019 18 min read

Mum photos

AMAZING. Inspiring. MOTHER. Woman.

We all know one.

In fact, each and every one of you – you are one!

This Mother’s Day, we have felt inspired by many. Just like you. And we want you to feel it too.

Oobi Sally – our Sales and Marketing Manager, is mum to three young boys and juggles both home life and the world of Oobi on the daily! She is the creative design behind our current campaigns, and recently, she got together with a few amazing mothers to be able to share a little snippet of their journey through motherhood and achievements with you.

Jess

Jess – MAMA Disrupt Magazine

mamadisrupt.com

A magazine of badass mama sass, Mama Disrupt® offers EMPOWERMENT to the modern mother. Published quarterly, Mama Disrupt® is full to the brim of swoon-worthy content including interiors, fashion, style, beauty, features and travel, offering the very best curation of lifestyle trends for a fearless motherhood.

Leading Mama Disrupt® on its journey of disruption in the mama space is founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jessica Jane Sammut, a former leading journalist for British/Australian national media and global brands, and a mama to two little balls of fire, seven-year-old Finn and ten-year-old Zac (plus Salty the dog and Sky the cat). A Londoner by birth, Jessica is now living her dream amongst the palms in Noosa, inspiring an army of modern mothers through Mama Disrupt®.

Wow Jess! Mama to two boys, three fur babies and founder and Editor-in-Chief of the always inspiring MAMA Disrupt Magazine - how do you do it?! We would love to hear one or two tips on how to survive the day to day juggle?

My day is always a bit of a race against time, but I LOVE it! I get up early and go for a walk along the beach as the sun rises and this is my soul recharge, and holds me in good stead for the day. The rest of the morning is a mad juggle of kid wrangling (Zac, 10 and Finn, 7) and school drop and then I hit the MD® office. My hubby and I share all household tasks and kid organising between us so this makes each of our commitments to our jobs possible. The day then progresses with photo shoots, emails, client chats, team discussions, issue planning, website updates, social media convos, meetings and... school pick up! After I have collected the kids, we often grab an ice cream and go to the beach. And then it's back for homework and dinner. It is easier now both the kids are at school as I have the school hours to work, but I often work at night too as the school day is so short. The juggle is real, and can be exhausting at times, especially when it is school holidays, but I am so lucky to be able to do what I do and work anywhere. All I need is my laptop and wifi! Having left law in search of a better life that fulfilled me, it's a reality I have worked hard to create.

Mama Disrupt offers empowerment to the modern mother. Can you tell us about a time where you felt empowered?

I have never felt more empowered since becoming a mother. It has totally changed me. This didn't happen immediately, but gradually, and was certainly a journey of becoming. Motherhood cracked me open, and when I came back together, I was stronger, harder, faster, fiercer and wilder than ever before! Once you have grown and birthed another human, you can do ANYTHING! Women are amazing!

Your magazine offers the very best curation of lifestyle trends including interiors, fashion, travel and beauty. Can you share a mama friendly beauty tip we simply NEED to know?

My greatest beauty tip would be don't sweat it mama! Chill and have fun with your babes. Life is not meant to be taken seriously. It is a game! Do this and your skin will glow, your face will shine, your energy will radiate, your heart will swell, your eyes will light up and you won't be able to stop smiling. Best beauty makeover ever!

Moving forward - tell us about your hopes and dreams for the year ahead?

My hope and dreams for the year ahead are to continue to building on the amazing Mama Disrupt® community we have created at instagram.com/mamadisrupt and mamadisrupt.com.

I am so proud of our amazing sisterhood - we are all truly disrupting the notion of traditional motherhood and supporting mamas in living their best lives. The messages we receive are so beautiful from mums who have discovered us, and it makes us feel that all our hard work is worth it. We have become so much more than just a magazine now, but a philosophy for motherhood too - a way of living - so I want to continue reaching more and more mamas with this message that it's time to ditch the mama guilt and SET YOURSELF FREE! We've got yo' mama.

 

Sarita

Sarita – KING + Holland

kingandholland.com

Sarita Stella-Holland and Danielle King are best friends with much in common.

King + Holland is the documentation of their loves, lives and what inspires them. 

Mum of three – who are all the same age for two months of the year! Read on to find out more.

Can you tell us a little bit about what a typical day of the week is like for you?

A lot has changed for me in the last year with me workwise. I’ve been a fit model for fashion brands for years (fit model is basically a live mannequin whose job is to remain a size 10, measurements to stay exact and to fit the brands clothing perfectly to your body) but in the last year I have really been active on instagram which has meant lots of fun events, working with lots of cool brands and new opportunities. Every day is jam packed with school drop off, shooting product or doing a photo shoot for a brand for my instagram, possibly an event to attend plus fit modelling. 25 plus hours a week, add after school football and basketball training plus all other mum duties and yeah I’m exhausted like most mums! I run off coffee and adrenalin!!

Mum to three kids - two of them are twins - wow! We would love to hear how this story unfolded?

Gosh crazy story! When my daughter Stevie was 2.5 months old I found out I was expecting!! Not one, but twins.

Identical twin boys - Kip and Bowie arrived 2.5 months early so… I had 3 babies in 10 months. This means that every year, all 3 kids are the same age for 2 months of the year.

It’s much easier now, but gosh those first 4 years were so difficult. I had to keep reminding myself how fortunate I was to be a mother to 3 healthy children when I was still getting up 12-15 times a night to the 3 babies.

You write an amazing blog talking about things you love, your life and what inspires you. If there is just one tip you could give to a new mum, it would be…

Honestly, follow your gut!!! Don’t read too many books giving out parenting advice, because sometimes the pressures of having such a perfect routine gets to you more than a baby who perhaps has to sleep on you for 3 hours at a time. It’s ok to do things differently to other mums. 

Moving forward, what are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I tend to say I’m the least ambitious person I know, but… perhaps that’s not the right word. I think I’m just really quite content in life so I probably don’t strive for too much more.

I just want my family to have fun adventures together, maybe travel a little more and just be happy! 

 

Merissa

Merissa – Pretty Foundation

prettyfoundation.org

OUR VISION - A world where girls are comfortable in their bodies and confident in themselves and conquering in their endeavours.

OUR MISSION - To empower girls with the perspective, skills and support to develop and nurture a positive body image for themselves and others.

OUR FOCUS - Research shows that the foundations for building a positive body image are laid in early childhood, so we focus our efforts on girls aged two to six years old.

We are talking about inspirational women, and you have created your own foundation striving to impact our world on becoming a place where girls feel comfortable in their own bodies - how awesome is that! Can you tell us a little bit about why you began work on the Foundation?

In 2012, I had an ‘aha’ moment in life, as Oprah likes to call it and I quit my corporate career to start a movement called ‘Makeup Free Me’. It was a campaign where women and girls were asked to go bare faced for a day and stop and reflect on where they found their true value.

We partnered with a body image charity and all the funds raised through the campaign went directly into their programs. The campaign was a great success with lots of women getting involved and much needed funds being raised for schools programs. After a few years of running this campaign however, I had to ask myself and my team whether we were truly making enough of a difference and the answer was no.

I spoke to lots of experts, read a lot of research and what I found was this. There were many body image programs for teenage girls and even some for primary school girls but there wasn't really anything in the early education space. Further to this, the research showed that the foundations for body image are laid in early childhood and here in Australia 38% of 4 year old girls are dissatisfied with their bodies! 

So, I decided it was time to start a charity that focused on early education and prevention. And that’s how the Pretty Foundation was born

 

What are some things mothers can say or do to build body confidence in their daughters today, tomorrow and into the future?

When it comes to body image I believe it all comes down to where we see our value. We need to start shifting our thinking from connecting any part of our appearance with our value as a woman. I’d encourage mums (and dads – just as important) to focus on 4 key areas for their girls:

 

  1. Our bodies are all unique,and we need to value the ways we are different to everyone else.

 

  1. Our bodies are a vehicle for life, and we need to value what they can do

 

  1. Our character is important, and we need to value our inner beauty.

 

  1. Self efficacy is key, and we need to value our abilities and be confident in them.

 

You’ve mentioned things we can focus on to directly build body confidence in our daughters but what about things we should avoid doing or saying?

We ran a campaign called Pretty Powerful. It was all around the power of words. Often as adults can say things either directly to girls or in front of them aren’t healthy for them to hear and through our campaign we wanted to make parents aware of this. We developed a language guide on our website at prettyfoundation.org that can be downloaded as well as children’s activity sheets but here are a couple of things to avoid saying:

Try to minimise the word dieting in your house. Try to make this a more positive message by saying ‘you are looking after your health by eating nutritious foods’ rather than focusing on weight loss.

 

  1. Try to minimise making critical comments about your own weight or appearance because this may encourage you’re daughter to develop the belief that the certain body types are unacceptable. Be aware that you are a role model.

 

  1. Try to minimise talking about exercising for weight loss or muscularity. Instead, communicate a positive message by saying ‘exercising for health, feeling good and having energy’.

 

  1. Try to minimise labelling foods as “bad”, “junk” or “foods that will make you fat”. Explain to your daughter the difference between “sometimes foods” and “everyday foods”.

 

Where to from here? Your message is truly inspirational and we would love to know more about what the future holds for both you and your Foundation?

We have really big plans for the future of Pretty Foundation. Our dream is to see it go global and make an impact of millions of girls’ lives. I hope that I can continue to be a part of Pretty Foundation in leading the organisation to this brighter future.

But if you want something really specific that’s happening in the near future – well stay tuned as we are releasing a 3rd Charlie’s Tale (body image) book at the end of August and we are collaborating with an incredible sporting organisation. I can’t say anymore!

 

Jade - Mum With Wings

Jade – Mum With Wings

mumwithwings.com.au 

Mum With Wings is the curated platform written by mother of two Jade, who works as an International Flight Attendant.

Filled with family travel advice and adventures, holiday destinations and home life on the Mornington Peninsula, Jade shares her stories from around the globe.

A Travel Blogger and International Flight Attendant - you MUST tell us your top travel tip on jet setting with kids in tow?!

My children Lottie and Sol are nine and six years old now and there have been different challenges at every stage while travelling. If you are flying with a new baby, I think the most important thing is for mum to stay hydrated and relaxed, especially if you are breast-feeding. Your baby will need extra feeds in the air to keep them hydrated and comforted. Feeding on take off and landing is a great way of relieving pain in ears that is experienced from changes in air pressure.

Moving on to the toddler stage, I would say the most important thing is entertainment. You definitely want their favourite shows on the iPad. This is no time for judgement, Do what you have to do to get through, especially if you are travelling long hall. Small books and games and your own snacks can all help keep toddlers happy on board. 

As your kids get older and understand more, I think explaining the airport process and reassuring them about safety is really important. To help sore ears on take off and landing my kids suck on lolly-pops. My daughter Lottie also suffers from motion sickness and I’ve found essential oils have helped her. Bringing some comfort items from home like a favourite teddy really help settle children in. 

Can you share one of your favourite family friendly travel destinations with us all?  

Earlier this year my husband Ben and I took Lottie and Sol to London and it was awesome. Now they are at an age to really take in the history and museums and palaces. My son loved riding up the top of a double decker bus and my daughter loved visiting Hamleys Toy Store on Regent Street. We also visited the National Science Museum, which is free and so educational. The British Museum, Changing of the guards and Borough Market were other places we all enjoyed as a family. 

When will you next take to the sky with your own family in tow? We would love to hear more about what you have in store for 2019?

To be honest, London was a pretty big trip for us, and late last year we were in Sri Lanka ,and also Bali just before that. So currently we are enjoying time at home on the Mornington Peninsula. It’s great for families down here. We love to go for beach walks with our dog Nellie and visit local wineries, mazes and art galleries. I go overseas every other week for work and I’ve done that for 14 years, So, its nice to enjoy home at the moment. I keep speaking to people who have recently visited Vietnam; I would love to go there and to Cambodia and the Philippines. All places I have never been. This week I am flying to Singapore for work. I love visiting the local hawkers markets whenever I get to Singapore. The chilli stingray is my favourite dish! My kids will tell you it’s all about the satay though! 

Jules - Julieanne Perara Photography

Jules – Julieanne Perara Photography

julieanneperaraphotography.com.au

Julieanne is the very talented mumma behind the camera of all of our current Oobi Campaigns. Jules has produced some amazing photography in both the lifestyle and fashion industries. She generously gives her time to Heartfelt, an organization we discuss in more detail below.

Mum to a 13 year old son and 11 year old daughter.

How do you juggle the working mum/kids balance?

Oh I’m not sure I do!! Ha ha. It’s hard. I shoot a lot of commercial work and then often weddings on weekends. The mother guilt is real!! I’m doing my best to slow down the weekend work now my kids are 11 and 13. You know I don’t have that much longer that I’m not the centre of their world, so it’s so important I spend time with them when I can. 

You inspire us - tell us about someone who inspires you?

My Dad. At 83 years of age he is still working because he loves it that much. I changed my career from primary teaching to photography for that reason - to be able to do what I was passionate about and loved. He taught me that. Never to work for money, work because you love it. I mean, do you know many 83 year old men that had to go back to school to update their road worthy certificate?!!! 

We love your work on the Oobi shoots. What achievement makes you feel most proud?

In a photography sense, probably my volunteer work. I’m a volunteer photographer for an organization called Heartfelt. We take professional photos for families who have experienced stillbirth, premature births or children who have a serious or terminal illness. I can’t even put into words what it means to families. These are often the most only memories they have. 

 

 

Lucy - Baby Berry

Lucy - Baby Berry Collective

babyberrycollective.com

Baby Berry Collective is an online directory featuring boutique baby stores, kids stores & mama stores from across Australia and NZ. It’s a place where you will definitely find all the ‘hot’ spots to shop, as well as inspiration and ideas that help us in this journey of parenthood.

Mum to a 6 year old boy and a 4 year old daughter

We love what you do - tell us one of your achievements that makes you feel proud?

We moved to Australia from New Zealand 7 years ago. My husband is English and all his family are in the UK, whilst mine are in NZ.

I feel really proud that I’ve been able to create a business as my side hustle whilst raising 2 children (and not having any family near by to rely on for help.)

Somehow we managed to get through those baby and toddler years and now into these school years, without having anyone aside from just the 2 of us. 

It meant compromise and it meant working late at night (or at any time when the kids slept!) in order to get my business up and going. 

But it’s been a passion of mine to be able to help other parents find helpful products for themselves and their kids.

And somehow, in amongst all the chaos of being a mum, I’ve managed to set myself up with a business that I will eventually be able to on work full time.

Your blog is aimed at the modern day mumma - can you share your top tips on how to survive the everyday juggle?

I’d like to say ‘getting enough sleep.' But hey, I know that’s not always possible because, kids!

So I’m going to go with the good old classic organisation. 

And in the form of A FAMILY CALENDAR.

These are brilliant. A column for each member of the family and you can view the whole month at once. 

I get my husband to write down any days he’s away or working late. 

I then write in all the time slots for ballet, soccer, tennis, school or kinder excursions,

Throw in any weekends away, birthday parties or playdates and then it’s all there.

Then just pop it where you see it every day. 

Ours is on our pantry. 

It also means you can schedule ahead of time any date nights, or girls dinner nights too. 

It makes finding some down time a little easier as you can plan ahead of time and have something to look forward to.

Gotta have some ‘me time’ in there when you can!

Onwards and upwards - what are you hoping to tick off your Bucket List this year?

This is my last year with my 4 year old daughter at home. She’s with me 2 days a week and at kinder for 3. 

All I want to do this year is spend my non working days creating memories with her. 

Pure and simple. 

I did it with my son the year before he went to school and I want to do with my daughter as well. 

I know these days are limited and soon they’ll be too busy for mum.

I just want to soak up all this time while they’re little and have no regrets when I look back. 

If you could tell a new mum just one thing it would be…

Go with your gut. Everyone will have an opinion on everything parenting. 

Sure, ask questions, take on board everyone’s answers, it’s always interesting to hear other’s views.

But at the end of the day, just go with your own decision. 

What feels right for YOU and YOUR family. 

Sonja - Travel Princess

Sonja – Little Travel Princess

littletravelprincess.com

Little Travel Princess is a travel blog based on travel, luxury, experiences and children.

Sonja writes to inspire, provide ideas and share tips, in the hope that all can share an amazing experience when travelling with family.

Mum to two daughters, Sonja shares her stories of travelling whilst accommodating family needs.

You write an amazing travel blog. Tell us one place we simply MUST go with our kids?

A snow holiday is definitely a must for every families holiday bucket list.  There is nothing more magical than seeing snow and the opportunity to build a snowman or throw a snowball.  

Whether it be Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the US, Canada or Europe, a winter wonderland holiday is SO much fun for everyone.  We loved our time at the Astra Lodge in Falls Creek.  Our days were filled with skiing, tobogganing, drinking hot chocolates and eating snonuts (hot cinnamon donuts eaten in the snow) and our evenings with board games, mulled wine, toasting marshmallows and recovering in the magnesium pool and spa.

http://littletravelprincess.com/the-best-winter-wonderland-awaits-you-at-this-australian-luxury-ski-chalet/

Can you give us a couple of survival tips when travelling with little people in tow?

1. Limit your to do list to a few child appropriate things a day.  

Many families over schedule holidays, leaving little time for little people to rest, go slow and play. 

Visiting big cities such as London, with hundreds of attractions to see, often compels us to set expectations of seeing everything within a few days.  

If you choose a few child friendly activities allowing for rest and play, you will find your holiday is less hectic, you are calmer and your children happier. 

Happy toddler = happy mummy.

2. Plan for long haul flights.

Air travel is not quite like it used to be.  With low cost carriers and competitive air ticket prices, a lot of the niceties you use to get on flights have been removed.

2.1 Access a lounge. Pre-flight I always check if my airline has a business lounge we can access for showering, eating and relaxing at the airport.  

Some Credit Cards such as AMEX offer complimentary lounge access whilst others such as Westpac offer you free Qantas Club passes annually (sometimes you have to call and request, they don’t automatically get sent out).   

Other options are to get a Priority Pass which offer business lounges at a number of international airports.  

Some airlines will offer you access to their business class lounge for a small fee if you travel economy such as Etihad.  

http://littletravelprincess.com/visit-luxurious-etihad-air-line-lounge-melbourne/

2.2 Pack a few small toys (diversions) to occupy your child during the flight including stickers, stamps, small puzzles, pencils, flip notebooks, scratch art, dice.  My girls love me to make up their own amenity pack (toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, eye shades, moisturiser).  I also pack my children their own headphones (volume controlled and so they fit and stay on their ears) and baby blanket.  Other ideas for older children include packing a travel journal with glue stick and pen so they can use plane time to write and record their trip.

2.3 Snacks. Bring some familiar snacks such as sultanas, berries, laughing cow cheese and crackers, muesli bars, two fruits etc in case the plane food is not too good.  For those who have ears which don’t clear well on descending, I get my girls to suck on a lollipop or chew on Hubba Bubba children’s bubble gum (available from Woolworths).

2.4 Calm balm.  I also try to have some eucalyptus rub in my bag to help calm and soothe for sleepy time as well as a packet or wet ones for any accidental spills.

2.5 Change of outfit.  For overnight flights,  I change my girls into their pyjamas and then refresh with a flannel wash and clean underwear and t-shirt to make them feel better for our arrival.

2.6 Lay flat. Try and secure seats together and in a row of at least three, so you can lift up the arm rest and have the kids lie down and sleep.

As a mum who travels with kids, whilst working, AND blogging about it all, we find you completely inspirational. Tell us about someone who inspires you?

On a recent trip to London I visited Kensington Palace and learnt about the life of Queen Victoria. 

Until this trip, I had only considered her a short, stout monarch who was deep in mourning after the passing of her late husband Albert.  Learning about her childhood, her appointment to Queen at aged 18, her love of Albert, her nine children, her early widowhood (aged 42) and her responsibilities made me inspire her and all she achieved as one of the longest reigning monarch of the British Empire.

http://littletravelprincess.com/london-in-4-days-day-2/ 

We look forward to following your journey. Where to next? 

At the moment I am just putting the final touches on a glamping blog post.  I have just returned from a few nights at the new Pinkies Beach Resort at Rottnest Island in Western Australia – an island famous for its celebrity Quokka selfies with Roger Federa, Chris Hemsworth, Matt Damon and Margot Robbie.

I am in the planning phase of a trip back to Europe to spend some time exploring the Cornish Coast (my girls love Doc Martin), an Anne Frank bicycle tour through the Netherlands and some time in Greece.

We would love to hear your hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

1. We all Take 3 for the Sea.  The message is simple - take 3 pieces of rubbish off the beach every time you leave.  You can share the message by snapping a photo, sharing and hashtagging #take3forthesea.  If we don’t act now there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.

2. It is a year of abundance.  Let 2019 be filled with good food, good health, good times and great opportunities for my family, friends and lovers of Oobi.


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