Mama Muse • Holly Garber

Mother to Violet and August - Sydney, Australia
My name is Holly and my husband Huw and I have two daughters, Violet (7) and August (5). We live near the beach in Sydney and we are currently in a real sweet spot with the girl's ages in that a lot of our interests align so spending time together is fun for all. Our weekends are generally full of time at the beach or park, and we just had a super enjoyable holiday on the Sunshine Coast taking day trips to waterfalls and cute towns!

My background is in brand and communications as the owner of Golightly PR. Right now I'm doing consulting in a brand and business development facility for female entrepreneurs and loving it.

What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?

By the time I had Violet I was so ready and happy to be a mother. I only had three months out of the office so for most of it I sat holding Violet on the couch, looking out the window (or on work calls), while she slept or fed. That's my main memory of that time and it's such a happy one.

What did you find challenging about being a new mother?

Violet was breech throughout my pregnancy and I over prepared for the birth and underprepared for the reality of bringing a baby home. It took me quite a while to relax into my instincts and I don't think I ever really did so with Violet when she was a baby, that happened more the second time around with August.

How were you supported during your postpartum period and what would you change if you could go back in time?

I'm lucky enough to live near three sets of grandparents: my mum, my dad and step-mum and my mother-in-law and her partner so there were a lot of people happy to help. My husband did all the cleaning and the cooking - which often extended to feeding me while I held Violet! If I could change anything it would have been the second time around with August. I delivered her at 1am and went home at 9am the same day. I wish I had stayed a few days in hospital to recover and bond with her without interruption.

List your top 3 essentials for a new mother.

  1. Pre-prepared food in the fridge or freezer. I've never been hungrier in my life!
  2. A king-size bed. We didn't have one then, but it would have made three in the bed a whole lot easier.
  3. Baby carrier. I used mine at home just as much as I did out and about.

Are there any rituals or practices during your 4th trimester you'd like to share?

One of the most helpful things I had was a cousin overseas who had her second baby at the same time I had my first. It meant we were on Whatsapp 24 hours a day, checking in, and supporting one another. Having the support of other mothers who've done it before but are still very close to the experience is so helpful and calming.

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