As Mother’s Day rolls around again it always gets me thinking about family and what it means to be a mum. I feel so incredibly grateful to be parenting Max and Lulu. Not only are they the most sweet, funny, lively and delicious little humans, they teach me so much every day, about life, and love.
For one, I’m beginning to learn that ‘balance’ is a flawed concept...
Whenever people ask me how the juggle is going, I tell them that I don’t juggle, I drop things. All the time! But I’m learning not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes I give Max Weet Bix for dinner. Sometimes Lulu goes to daycare without shoes.
And you know what? They're happy! Lulu would run around nude all day if I let her and Max would have Weet Bix for dinner every night. I pick my battles.
The best thing is seeing them together.
Max is so proud of Lulu, who he used to call "my chubby baby" but now mostly refers to as "Poo Poo" or "Boo Boo" when he's being nice. He sits in the back of the car pointing things out and teaching her the words, and he's positively chuffed when she repeats them back. My husband Damien and I just look at each other in wonder as they interact. How did these two small humans come about? And is one of them actually teaching the other one something!? Wonders never cease...
So yes. They’re constantly schooling me in life. But these are just three things I want to teach them about beauty... and, this time, it has nothing to do with lipstick.
1. Laughter makes you look better
We all know that the most attractive person in the room is the one who's having a good time and a sense of humour is often the number trait women list as ideal partner material. So, in our house, seeing the funny side of a situation is paramount and much encouraged. Luckily Damo is hilarious and often has me in stitches, so I’m hoping the kids inherit some of his comedy. I’m also a big music person – when we cook dinner at night I love to put some music on and have a little dance. Max pulls out some killer breakdancing moves while Lulu screams with delight. I want the kids to have memories of a home filled with laughter and music.
2. The most beautiful thing is a kind heart
We all know the world needs more kindness. Less judgement, less hatred, and SO much kindness. If I can do anything for my children it will be teaching them to value other people’s feelings first and to give love selflessly. Easy to say but hard to demonstrate. We've started on a small scale, like when they’re trying to kill each other, getting them to understand the implications of their anger ("Try not to tackle her with ALL your body weight, Max.") I’ve also started getting Max to donate toys and clothes each year (we have a one toy in one toy out policy) and when they’re old enough we are starting volunteer work in a soup kitchen in the holidays. There’s a great website called GoVolunteer.com.au where you can find volunteer work according to your location and specifications which is a great tool.
3. There is so much beauty in nature.
Most of the time we rush around, head spinning with shopping lists for dinner and emails we have to write, but when I walk Max to school I try and make it a little exercise in mindfulness. I talk to him about how beautiful the day is. We take care to notice a new flower we haven’t seen before, or the way the light shines soft and dappled through the trees. Sunsets are often a little moment of magic that, if you stop and actually look, can take your breath away.
It always makes you feel so grateful to be alive. And it makes you feel so much smaller. We are but specks in the vastness of nature - suddenly our worries seem trivial and everything makes sense in the grandest of schemes. Most of all, I want them to learn that Mother Nature is actually our greatest teacher.
CREDITS: Story by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography by Alice Mahran; Hair and Makeup by Yolanda Lukowski; Styling by Paige Murphy; Shot on location at La Piscine- available for hire by Contemporary Hotels.