"Before I became a mama I was living with my fiancé in the city enjoying all city life had to offer. I liked sleeping in (a very foreign concept to me now!) and was working in recruitment in a very fast-paced, busy office. The days were long, challenging and hectic.
Now my days are even longer, more challenging and even more hectic than I could have imagined. My fiancé is now my husband and we have moved out to the suburbs (though some of my friends laugh at this as we are still very close to the city). We have two daughters, Ruby who is 2.5 years old, and Bella who is 6 months old.
Our days are filled with play dates, visits to the park, glorious domestic duties and squeezing in emails and working on the business when I get a chance. We aim for a 7pm bedtime for the girls and after that I work away.
Becoming a mama has been the most amazing, crazy thing that I have ever done. I am amazed how Ruby knows just how to push my buttons, what little sleep I can survive and function on, and that this sort of love is possible. But I have surprised myself with the mama guilt I sometimes feel; becoming a mum has also brought out all my insecurities.
I love seeing my girls grow and develop. Ruby pushes me to my limit most days but I am also secretly proud and amazed by her. I love how her little brain works and watching her assert her independence and develop her own identity. I also adore kisses and cuddles, the look Bella gives me when she wakes up after a good sleep and hearing Ruby say, 'I love you'. I love seeing my husband as a father, and how our girls are absolutely besotted by him.
What helps me parent well are my husband, sharing with my supportive friends and trusting my gut instinct. My husband is very grounded and always gets me back on track. Watching my girls grow also makes me very proud. I trust myself that I am being the best mama that I can be. My parenting may not be perfect, but it is right for me and my lovely little family.
The best advice I have been given is nothing groundbreaking at all. My 94 year-old grandmother just told me to, 'go with the flow and trust in yourself'. I read very little before we had Ruby and I was very open and flexible for the girls' births.
The advice that I would impart to new mamas is to remember that, 'this too shall pass'. I always tell myself this when I cannot believe that I have had so many bad nights in a row or the girls behaviour is driving me insane. Things do change, they may come back to rear their ugly heads but they will go again. I would also advise against getting too hung up on milestones -- it can do your head in worrying that your child should be doing X by age X. They will do it all in their own time.
Enjoy the ride of motherhood, it will test you, bring out the worst in you but also make you feel so proud of the amazing woman and mother you can be."
Kate runs the Australian and New Zealand online gift store, Antipodean Love. You can also stay updated about Antipodean Love on the Facebook page.