Motherhood and self-care are not often considered synonymous with one another. After all, motherhood often demands complete selflessness and surrendering to another’s needs to be put above your own – particularly in those early months.
We spoke to two inspiring women as they strive to create space as businesswomen, creatives, partners, as well as meeting the demands of being a mother and mother-to-be.
We asked them what self-care and motherhood means to them, and how the two can not only co-exist but how they can complement each other.
General Manager of Zulu & Zephyr
Images by Mel Colman
Mel Colman is the General Manager of renowned Australian fashion label Zulu & Zephyr.
After working for 10 years in various senior leadership and management roles in both real estate and high-end fashion boutiques, Mel began her journey at Zulu & Zephyr as an Executive Assistant.
This role, while was transformative, was short-lived as she was impressively made General Manager just 6 months later, a role that Mel holds today, contributing to the success of the brand, domestically and internationally.
Zulu & Zephyr Flagship Store Byron Bay. Image Zulu & Zephyr
What does pregnancy, motherhood-to-be and self-care look like to you?
“I am a huge beauty junkie and I love to indulge in beautiful products – I think it’s so important to have ‘you’ time, so I try to prioritise this at least once a week.”
“Since starting my motherhood journey I’ve had to consciously consider my skincare routine — I’ve always used active, cosmeceutical grade skincare and retinol — so stripping my products back to a more pure form has been a beautiful way to simplify my routine, which I am sure my future self will also thank me for later.”
Have you begun any rituals during the pregnancy that you didn’t do before and are there any rituals you will priorities once bub arrives to ensure your self-care is met?
“I’ve started walking most mornings and afternoons — To be honest, I’m really slack when it comes to routine exercise and finding something I enjoy doing on the daily.”
“This is definitely something I’d like to continue to work on not only for myself but also as a mother, I really want to instil the importance of self-care in the many forms for my family’s future.”
We couldn’t agree more Mel – we believe that the greatest gift you can give the special Mums in your life this Mother’s Day (and every day), is the gift of self-care, and space to ritualise it.
Editor of The Polo Project
Images by Natalie Decorte
Natalie Decorte is a former ballerina and model, brand manager of Polo In The City, editor-in-chief of The Polo Project magazine and mother of four.
Natalie was offered a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London and lived there at 15 years of age by herself for six years, returning home to join the Australian Ballet, retiring in 2006.
Natalie and her husband, polo player Janek Gazecki, are partners in life and business, working together on Polo In The City and the Polo Project – a publication founded on the exploration of the polo lifestyle, the social traditions and passion that spill over to fashion, art and travel.
What does motherhood and self-care look like to you?
“Now more than ever mothers are struggling to prevent burn out as a result of having everyone at home ALL of the time and don’t even mention the word homeschool. If there is one important skill, I have tried to hone in on as a mother it’s to not sweat the small stuff.”
“Even though the small things can seem not so small at the time, they always end up being so in hindsight. It’s a huge challenge and one that I have in no way mastered but taking a step back when you feel overwhelmed often puts things in perspective.”
“If this self-isolation and social distancing have taught me anything, is that less is more when it comes to after school hobbies. We have been guilty of filling the weeks with classes such as soccer/chess/netball/ballet/ drama/art. Every afternoon was rushed with staggered mealtimes, squeezing in homework and then the kids struggle to wind down properly for bedtime.
That free play that we all had so much of growing up is so important for them. We will be scaling back what the kids participate in after school once all this Covid-19 is over to enjoy more mealtimes together, backyard hangs and Playdates during the week.”
“The day you have your first child is the end of ever putting your needs first, but a bit of pampering makes for a happy mum and that is so much better for your kids. Technically then, you are still putting your children first. My eldest Indigo (9) has been dying to give me a pampering session so I look forward to letting her loose on me with the organicspa gift pack this Mother’s Day!”
We cannot wait to hear how this mini spa session goes!
We know your Mother’s Day celebrations will look very different this year, with many of us unable to be with our families as we normally would. Despite this, we hope you are able to relish in the opportunity to spoil, or to be spoilt and embrace the quieter pace we find ourselves in.
Even when ‘normal’ life resumes, consistent with the advice from these two beautiful ladies, we urge you (Mother or not) to remember to make time for you. Carve out space for some all important (organic) self-care.