10 reader questions – By Sophie Cachia

“What does a typical day for you look like? I’m a mum to a 2-year-old who has returned to running my own business but also torn between having another baby or not?”

 – Anon

 I have two types of ‘typical’ days.  One is Mum Sophie and the other is Working Sophie.

An average ‘Mum’ day for me is rare because I work 3-5 days a week (every week is different between mine and my husband’s work).  I embrace it by just doing the really simple things in life. I like to be as tech-free as possible and it sounds crazy, I know, but I love going to the supermarket with both of my kids because I rarely get to do that often. I love to cook and Bobby is starting to show a real interest in it too. A grocery shop with Bobby helping me pick ingredients is something I find really fun on a Mum day.

Because I have documented my life so much and for so many years, that when I don’t post, people assume something is up. I’ve had people suggest I don’t spend enough time with my kids because I am not posting about it. However, my view is that when I am with my kids, I don’t want or need to be on my phone the whole time. Some people think “if I didn’t post about it, it must not have happened” which is ridiculous but equally funny at the same time.

Back to Mum Sophie. I start a being a little laxy and lying in bed with my two bubs under my arms watching TV. It’s always a battle between Power Rangers and Wiggles (the Christmas special to be exact). It’s then time to get up and for all of us to enjoy a big bowl of porridge. A cup of tea a must for me before I grab Bobby’s scooter and our beloved dog Ronald Weasley and head out for a big walk to the park. Mum day is my time to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. I am a workaholic so I do find it difficult NOT to do something work related, but it’s something I’m working on to ensure I am present and engaged during these special times.

Work Sophie is chaotic in the best way possible. It’s get up and go and straight into full work mode from the get-go. Emails from bed, social media check, get the kids ready for childcare amongst a phone call or two first thing. It can be dropping them at childcare or to their nanna’s before heading over the Bolte Bridge to my office at Port Melbourne (which is the head office of my CACHIA and Fairy Magic brands). This is my hub where I work from regardless of whether it’s to do with my separate businesses or personal.

I used to work from home a lot but have found I get SO much more done when I’m out of the house and away from any distractions. Isn’t it funny that when I’m Mum Sophie, Work Sophie still tries to creep in. Yet when I’m Work Sophie at home, Mum Sophie can’t help herself?

Other work days could involve me flying to Sydney for example for a shoot day, speaking engagement, MC gig or client meetings. I also work at night whereby I can be Mum Sophie all day and then get ready at 4pm for a night time gig. Cliché I know but no day is ever the same. It’s very in the moment, on the run and go go go type work.

I think you can see that being a Mum/Working woman is chaotic but beautiful all in the same sentence. You need to be prepared for the unknown and learn to juggle which, if I am honest, I am still learning. We often get made to believe that motherhood should completely and undoubtable fulfil us but I think it’s ok to say it doesn’t. Our kids are out WORLD we know that, but they don’t define our entire interests. If you have a passion for something outside of motherhood such as your business, then absolutely go for it!

“10 years ago – where did you think / hoped you’d be?”

-Ashleigh C.

I recently saw Rachael Finch posting about her latest gig for Channel 7 covering the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympics and my envy levels were boiling. You see, I studied a Sports Journalism degree and worked in the field quite a bit before falling pregnant with Bobby. I was specialising in broadcasting, so covering an Olympic Games on a major network was definitely one of my bucket list items. When I watch someone like Rachael, I can see myself standing there next to her.

This dream and passion for sports started as a little girl that was obsessed with all sports. I would sit at my Dad’s press conferences (he was an AFL coach) mesmerised and I knew then this was what I wanted to do. There is a part of me that still does because I know I have the talent in this field. So in terms of ‘think I’d be’ or ‘hoped I’d be’ the answer is no. I am nowhere near where I thought or hoped I’d be and I think this is what fuels my ambition and drive. In saying that, my children are unquestionable my greatest achievement, so there is definitely no regrets with that aspect of my life. I am planning on returning to university and have put some mini-goals in place this year to get me back on track towards my dream career.

“Do you fold or scrunch?”

Samantha M.

100% scrunch

“My questions to you is how do you find that work life balance? As a mum who is working on building their own business and still trying to be there for my kids, not being left completely exhausted with nothing left to give. Not to mention the guilt. Guilt about not putting enough into business and then the guilt about not having enough to the kids… and myself!”

Jess. S

I wish I could give you a straight answer here but that’s super difficult. I’d like to say I live a very ‘spontenous life’ but if I’m to be honest, that’s more my cover up rather than admitting how disorganised I can be.

I find that a lot of people ask me these types of questions when I meet them or do talks and I feel like they want me to have the magic answer on how to get an A+ in every section of your life. The truth is it is impossible. I used to think that you could have everything. Well, you can but something will lack. This whole ‘mum guilt’ thing is something I live with every single day and an issue I’m currently battling in my own life. What type of mum do I want to be? Do I want to continue working hard and doing well which means I miss things here and there with my kids? Or do I want to give up everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve to stay home with my kids? They are only little for so long and I don’t want to look back and regret anything I did or didn’t do. I go back and forth, back and forth. I can’t really say I’ve found the balance or know the perfect formula that we are all forever seeking. All I can say is that you’re definitely not alone in feeling like this, nor am I.

As Mum’s, worrying is what we do best. It would be more concerning if we didn’t wouldn’t it? I guess the only teeny tiny insight into what I do that enables me to feel at ease is to block out a period where I 100% unequivocally dedicate it to my kids. It’s my ‘Mum” day.

Sure, there are other parts of my days that I spend with my kids, but this is an absolute MINIMUM of one ENITRE day I dedicate to quality time with the kids.

I also schedule in some ‘me’ time moments. Now my ‘me’ time it might be something as simple as a gym class or a chiro appointment (mmm) but that’s all I need to refresh and rejuvenate. ‘Me’ time won’t happen unless I physically book it in, which is sad yes, but a reality in life where I’m raising two kids and two businesses. I just realised that I began that paragraph telling how disorganisation is my biggest downfall and finished it by telling you to schedule in and plan ahead! Ttold you I haven’t figured it out ha!

 “What do you think you would have grown out of by now but haven’t?

And what personality trait do you value the most and which do you dislike?”

Sadie. M

I hate flying. I have severe flying anxiety and cannot fly with taking prescription medication that makes me high as a kite. This makes travelling on my own, or just myself or with the kids quite difficult at times. I have to take a tablet even if it’s only a 50 minute trip in order to even set foot on the plane. I never had this growing up. It only started for me when Bobby was about 8 months old. I’m still telling myself it’s just a phase and I will snap out of it. I also get sick on planes and I’m still waiting for the day I grow out of that too! Ever since I was little my mum would say to me, “You’ll grow out of it one day” and I’m still here like Mummmmm I’m still waiting yo!

I’m not sure if you meant which personality trait do I value/dislike in OTHER people or in MYSELF so I’ll answer both for you.

Integriety is a personality trait I value highly in others and in myself. It’s always something I’ve maintained. At times it gets me in trouble because some people don’t like nor can handle these type of personalities.

I like staying true to myself and knowing that you’re not going to be for everyone and being OK with that. That type of confidence and self-belief can intimidate people. I know I’m a good person and I treat people well.

Another trait of mine I value is my loyalty. I’m SO loyal to my loved ones. I’m a damn good friend and I know it. Which then leads to my dislike; I treat people TOO well despite how they may have treated me. I give second chances easily and when people say sorry I’m quick to move on because I believe in people. I can also acknowledge that this is a great trait to have, but sometimes it backfires on me. Good people get taken advantage of. I’ve been treated poorly by people I would have never treated like that. Sometimes I need to re-evaluate whether these people are deserving of me, my time and my friendship. Even writing that was hard for me because I’m too nice! I’m too forgiving and I’m too loving. I always find the good in people no matter how poorly they’ve acted. I think maybe I’m too empathetic (my hubby says I am all the time).

I dislike it when people alter their personality because they believe people will like them better. Let’s face it we see it happen a hell of a lot especially over social media. I think its weak people afraid to be themselves.

I realllllly dislike people that want the easy way out and who want to (or try to) take advantage of you. Again, that’s happened a lot. I can see through that stuff easily.

A trait I admire in a person is honesty. Someone who has the ability to communicate and discuss things through. I respect someone who is not afraid of their feelings and doesn’t hide behind a façade. I think that’s why I adore my husband so much. He’s so great at all those things. And loyalty! Loyalty goes a long way in my book.

 “What is your best cheap date night?”

Jenni

A picnic in the park. Roast chook, fresh rolls, bag of spinach and a cheeky bottle of Pinot Noir and voila! Doesn’t have to be fancy, just good quality time and good company. Having children has taught me to just sit back, relax and embrace the small things.

 “What parts of your parenting style have you learnt from your parents and what have you changed or started doing yourself?”

Hannah W.

 I know my parents love me, of course they do. In saying that though, the whole ‘I love you’ thing doesn’t really happen in our house and I can’t remember a time when it did. So I make sure I tell my kids about 10 times a day ‘I love you’ and they say it back to me every time. It’s the type of household I want for my kids going forward. One where affection is always encouraged and emotions can be put on the table if you want to. That affection is something I’ve taken from my husband’s family where he still kisses his brother/dad/uncles etc. hello and goodbye. I think it’s so respectful. The relationship Jaryd has with his Dad is truly beautiful so much so that I’d love Bobby and Jaryd to grow up having that same type of bond.

My mum had four kids so her life was very organised and routine. Dinner at 5.30pm, kids all in bed by 7pm etc.… I’m far more relaxed and it just works better for our family dynamic.

At the end of the day, Mum is Mum and she is all our best friend and all in unique ways. I don’t care when people say ‘You need to be a parent, not your children’s friend.’ I disagree. To build trust with your kids I think you need a beautiful friendship too. I want to be my kids best friend.

“I’ve just found out I’m going to be a mum at 22. Please tell me how the hell to organise myself because I’m in a panic!”
-anon

 No material items will ever prepare you enough for the shock you’re going to get when this baby enters the world. It is the most petrifying and equally as astounding experience you can ever imagine. I want to tell you that everything will be fine. I too was 22 when I found out I was pregnant and 23 when Bobby was born. I thought I knew it all. I thought the sleep deprivation was going to be the only hurdle I faced. I’m now 27 with a nearly four-year-old son and a one year old daughter and I’m still learning. I’m still battling. I’m still trying to organise!

What I can tell you though is that you will blossom. It’s what us mums do. We become better people. We learn what true love is. We understanding the meaning of life and all those things our parents said to us all those years will now make so much sense. Small things won’t faze you anymore, you will mature beyond your years and learn to appreciate the simple things in life. Your child will show you how beautiful life can be.

Ps: Say yes to help. Don’t ever feel like you need to prove yourself. Everyone finds it hard initially. You got this, Mumma. X

 “How many friends do you still keep in touch with from your schooling years. People are shocked to hear I still see about 8 friends from high school!”
-anon

 My closest group of girlfriends are the same friends I met in my first year of high school. That means we have been friends for 16 years now! One of them is Bobby’s Godmother, another is Florence’s. With a few additions along the way, there is now 9 of us in this group. While we are all busy in our adult lives we all still chat in a big gigantic (and sometimes extremely annoying haha) group text and we make sure that we never miss someone’s birthday. We are all so busy with relationships, houses, jobs etc but we make  sure that birthdays are really special.

I’m also good friends with quite a few guys from school still and luckily, I get to see them around the local footy competition that my husband plays in. I was always such a bloke at school hanging with the guys and kicking the footy on the oval. I adore my girlfriends above but when we do go out with our partners, you’ll always find me sitting at the ‘boys’ end of the table chatting about footy.

 “As a new mum, I’d love to hear your story on breastfeeding/bottle feeding journey with Bobby and Florence and the “mummy guilt” that’s so common for a lot of women.”
– anon

 Breastfeeding, breastfeeding, breastfeeding. This is something I found SO tricky. I had large boobs so battling the everyday hurdles we face i.e. sore cracked nipples, milk supply, mastitis, hormones etc. I also had to face the challenge of not suffocating my baby. No, that is not a joke and it’s one of the first things a midwife told me after birthing my son.

I’d had a large lump removed from my left breast 2 years prior to having Bobby and that remaining scar tissue caused me so much grief when I began my feeding journey. I mean SO much pain! I didn’t get milk for over 5 days as I was induced with Bobby, so there was lots of pump-pump-pumping going on to bring in my milk. I then made too much and boarded on mastitis. Thankfully I never got it because I’ve heard and seen how horrific it can be for a woman.

I took a tip from Bec Judd/Midwife Cath about giving a bottle of formula at night to give the mother a break and I introduced that pretty early on. After seeing how well Bobby responded to that, we kept it going. After a couple of months and after my breasts had settled, I introduced a morning formula bottle too. I would then breastfeed him throughout the day. Bobby, being the chilled dude he is, responded well to mixed feeding. If my boobs were really full in the morning, I would breast feed him instead. If we were out in the middle of the day, he’d take a bottle.

I thought I did this for about 4.5 months but then Jaryd tells me it was closer to 6 months… We were both in that first baby fog so neither of us can remember! All I remember is going to Noosa on a holiday when he turned 6 months and I just stopped feeding as my boobs were so big, so maybe there’s the answer.

Breastfeeding for me was hard but Bobby loved it so I did it. Then came Florence Cachia. Doesn’t this little chick like to do her own thing. I had planned to mix feed again. This time, introducing the bottle or two earlier as I was returning to work after 4 weeks off. She too, like her brother, loved the boob but boy did she love her bottle even more. She also slept through from birth for the first four months, so I was NOT changing any schedule I had with her haha. (When I say slept through, she would sometimes have a 2-4am bottle/boob feed and go straight back to sleep). She was having boob-bottle,-boob-bottle etc.… That’s how her routine would go.

This time around, and obviously due to the fact she was having more formula and I wasn’t pumping as much like I did with Bobby, my milk levels were lower. I tried my hardest to get it flowing but it took a hit and I couldn’t get it back to where I needed it to be. Florence picked up on this and fought the boob and started to only take her bottle at about the 8-week mark. I would sit there in tears trying to get her on my boob and she would also be in tears because she was stressed and hungry and I couldn’t give her what she needed anymore. It literally broke my heart and I still have so much regret over it today. I wanted to feed her much longer than that, like I did with Bobby, but I couldn’t. Do I feel like I failed? Of course! That’s the mum guilt coming through. Was she happy and totally content on formula? Of course she was. It’s not the whole ‘giving formula’ that made me sad. I’m all for #fedisbest and obviously I’m passionate about that by giving it to both of my babies from when they were newborn. I was sad because I wondered if Florence would be my last and I still wonder that every day. That means my last feed with her was her screaming on my chest and me crying to Jaryd as he tried to help her latch on. Was that my last breasfeed with my last baby? I still don’t know.

Two very different babies who I thought would be able to feed the exact same way. I was wrong!

Written by Sophie Cachia

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