Mama Muse • Sheryl Thai

 Mother to Mila - Melbourne, Australia 

I started my career as an IT consultant but left to follow my passion to bake cupcakes for a living, built Cupcake Central over 10 years and decided to exit in 2019.

During my early years being an entrepreneur, I met 3 other amazing women that became my co-founders to League of Extraordinary Women, which is a community that brings together women business owners and leaders through events and online platforms. I’m currently working about 2 days a week.

What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?

The remarkable feeling that I was able to bring life into this world. It’s just so, so special and there’s nothing quite like it when you look into your newborn’s eyes and they look back at you. Still to this day, I’m still in awe that my partner and I have created a beautiful baby!

What did you find challenging about being a new mother?

There’s a whole shift from your old life into your new motherhood life. Being a pretty independent person and someone that thrives when having alone time, there were definitely moments of sadness that I felt when I realized that I no longer can do things on a whim on my own.

Mum guilt is definitely real and as soon as I’d step out the door for an hour or two of self-care, I’d constantly be wondering if my baby would be ok even though I knew of course she would be!

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

I was fortunate enough to have my mum come visit me every day for the first month. She helped with the cooking, cleaning and errands as I adjusted to my role as a mother. It was wonderful as I felt I bonded with my own mother even more and it was a special time.

My partner was also very supportive and hands on. He would always take the morning feeds, so I could sleep in and that made such a big difference to me as I felt I recovered a lot faster because I got at least a solid 3-4 hours sleep.

If I could go back in time I would tell myself not to worry as much when I was learning something new—such as breastfeeding, baby sleep schedules, baby led weaning. I’d tell myself to go with the flow and I don’t need to know all the answers now. It’s all a learning process and it can be fun!

List your top 3 essentials for a new mother.

  1. A water bottle with a built-in straw and a pop open lid. You’ll need to keep hydrated when in labour, nursing and being a new mum so being able to drink water one handed is a lifesaver.
  2. A baby change table that is above hip height. There’s a lot of diaper changes and if you don’t need to bend over all the time, that helps your back out - a lot.
  3. A speaker to play white noise on Spotify or YouTube when your baby sleeps. I tried not to buy every baby gadget and make do with what we had. I found playing baby white noise on Spotify works.

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

When I felt physically ready, I went outside for walks with the newborn almost every day to catch the sun rays and breathe in fresh air. Even if it was for 5 minutes it really lifted my mood and made me feel slightly human again, especially during the sleep deprived nights.

See our Instagram post here.

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