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Reflections on Motherhood

Reflections on Motherhood
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To honour Mother’s Day, we asked three women to reflect on what motherhood means to them. In this intimate portrait series, they share their unique perspectives and experiences, the lessons they have learned, and the transformations that have shaped their lives.

Yahna wears the Ella Knit in Sand with the High Waist Rigid Jean in Vintage White.
Sunday wears the Kids Emery Knit and Pant in Sand.

Yahna Fookes is the founder of Radiant Birth and mother to Sunday, who is two-and-a-half.

A.L. What was meeting Sunday for the first time like? 

My labour was long, so I think meeting her was a relief more than euphoric. Pushing her out was the most powerful thing and my biggest accomplishment. 

A.L. In becoming a mother, did you find a greater understanding of your birth mother?

I am adopted from South Korea into an Australian family, so having my own daughter (my only blood lineage) was healing generationally and culturally. Adoption is so complex… After giving birth and holding Sunday, I can only imagine how haunting this would have been for her [birth mother]. My ‘real mum’ - that’s what I call her as she raised me and did all the work - is awesome and though she did not give birth to me it makes her no less of a mother. I think all mothers should be honoured not just on Mother’s Day - motherhood looks and feels so different to us all.

A.L. What’s one thing motherhood has taught you about yourself?

I am far more capable than I give myself credit for.

A.L. What about being a mum did you learn from your own mother figure?

My mum is a Capricorn, so very grounded and practical. She taught me how to be an intuitive cook, how to respect food and how food brings us all together. To be on time. To keep trying no matter how dire the situation. 

A.L. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve gained since becoming a mother?

Matrescence has cracked me open creatively. I have worked in dancing, choreography, copywriting and teaching yoga, but this felt like a different surge of creative flow. Motherhood and creativity are synonymous - I launched my business Radiant Birth before Sunday turned one. Motherhood is about letting go, fully surrendering to your kids. In those early months, you are forced to slow down and through those endless hours of feeding, rocking and napping, I felt like my senses were ultra-sensitive. I moved from doing to being. I was able to listen to myself deeply, take risks and allow ideas to blossom.

Sunday wears the Kids Emery Knit and Pant in Sand.
Yahna wears the Ella Knit in Sand with the High Waist Rigid Jean in Vintage White.

A.L. What have been your proudest accomplishments, or moments, as a mother?

Y: Radiant Birth approaches its fourth cycle. I have supported 30 women (and their partners) entering motherhood genuinely more informed, educated and acutely aware of birth and postpartum and more connected to themselves.

A.L. You nurture and support Sunday every day. Who, or what, supports you?

Y: We [my husband Michael and I] raise our daughter in a co-parenting environment, where we share an equal load. There are no gender-specific roles. We are both small business owners and work really hard, so we divide and conquer the household. In this way, my husband supports me most, so I can do yoga, find time, have space, get a massage and go for dinner with friends. I also have a beautiful group of mum friends who lift me up and fill my cup.

A.L. Do you see any of your own unique traits in your daughter?

Sunday is a natural mover and naturally musical. For many years I was a professional dancer and my husband runs his own label and DJs, so music is very much a part of our life. Sunday loves singing, dancing, twirling and spinning so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 

A.L. And what traits would you most like to pass on to her?

I hope she is her own person. I really mean that. 

A.L. What’s your favourite thing to do with Sunday at the moment?

Morning ‘copi’ [coffee] runs, beach play, ballet class and just before bedtime, because she routinely tells me “I love you mummy, you’re my best friend ebah”. 

“Motherhood and creativity are synonymous… I was able to listen to myself deeply, take risks and allow ideas to blossom.”

A.L. Let’s talk gifts… what’s the best gift Sunday has given you?

Not sure if Sunday is earning much money (haha!) but she and her father did get me a bespoke locket with her name engraved. And Michael always makes a beautiful card each Mother’s Day with a photo of the two of us on the front. 

A.L. With the gift of hindsight, what’s something you would tell your younger self about pregnancy, childbirth, or motherhood? 

For birth, I think my biggest wisdom would be to unpack all your emotional stuff now so you have less weight to expel during birth.  

A.L. For everyone wondering what to buy their mum… what do mothers really want for Mother’s Day? 

Space to breathe, to reclaim their body, to take a shower uninterrupted, to chew their breakfast with a coffee that hasn’t gone cold, to feel seen and loved but know they are only needed later that day!

 

Lauren Trend is the founder of Self Practice and mother to Mila, who is six months old.

A.L. What was meeting Mila for the first time like?

It was one of, if not the most incredible moment of my life. She was born with her wide eyes open and her mother and I fell in love with her instantaneously.

A.L. What’s one surprising lesson you’ve learned about motherhood so far? 

The love. Everyone’s so quick to warn you about the sleepless nights, and that life as you knew it will be over, and perhaps people tried to tell me that it would be a love like no other - but honestly nothing or nobody could have prepared me for the depths of love I feel for this little person. My heart outside my body. It’s just surreal. 

A.L. What about being a mum did you learn from your own mother?

Some of my earliest memories are of the outpouring of love that I felt from my mother. I was so well aware that I was her centre of gravity, and I can only hope that Mila will grow up to have similar memories of her own someday. 

A.L. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve gained since becoming a mother? 

An overflow of ideas. A completely reignited relationship with my creative practice and a whole new motivation at work, too!

A.L. What have been your proudest accomplishments, or moments, as a mother? 

Honestly, I’m proud that our family even exists. There are so many hurdles we as queer people have to overcome to even begin to think about starting a family: logistically, emotionally, legally and financially. So to have a dream that I’ve always had, of having a family and being a mother come to fruition, is one of the proudest accomplishments of my life.

A.L. You nurture and support Mila every day. Who, or what, supports you? 

My partner and Mila’s other mum, Lucy. She’s the anchor of our family and I couldn’t imagine anyone else traversing these waters alongside me.

A.L. Do you see any of your own unique traits in your daughter? 

I definitely see my fiery independence already!

A.L. And what traits would you most like to pass on to her? 

The pride and protectiveness that I have for our family.

“I’m really looking forward to experiencing pregnancy again someday, knowing more about the journey that’s ahead, and hopefully a little less anxious.” 

A.L. What’s your favourite thing to do with Mila at the moment? 

Watching her with Lucy. They are so besotted by each other and it sets my heart on fire. It’s a love like nothing else. 

A.L. Let’s talk gifts... what’s the best gift Mila has given you? 

As cliche as it is, the gift of being a mother.

A.L. With the gift of hindsight, what’s something you would tell your younger self about pregnancy, childbirth, or motherhood?

I’m so looking forward to being pregnant again one day. Mila being an IVF baby, throughout my entire pregnancy with her I was so concerned that something might go wrong, or that she could be taken away from me at any moment. Now that she’s here, I’m really looking forward to experiencing pregnancy again someday, knowing more about the journey that’s ahead, and hopefully a little less anxious about the potential for loss. So I’d tell myself to relax, trust in my body and enjoy the ride.

A.L. For everyone wondering what to buy their mum... what do mothers really want for Mother’s Day? 

I can only speak for myself, but all I truly want is to spend the day with my two girls, celebrating such a huge moment for us, our first Mother’s Day as a two-mum family!

Sophie wears the Ella Long Sleeve Dress in Black.
Sophie wears the Ella Long Sleeve Dress in Black with the Double Breasted Wool Coat in Oat Marle.

Sophie Matson is the founder and creative director of Købn, and mother to Miette, ten, and Arto, seven.

A.L. What’s one thing motherhood has taught you about yourself? 

That I am very organised, can multi-task to the max and can run on very little sleep. Kids this age have a hectic social life and dance/sports calendar so being organised and using every minute of the day is the only way I get through my never ending list. 

A.L. What about being a mum did you learn from your own mother? 

It has never been a thought that becoming a mum would mean giving up my own dreams or career aspirations. My mum has gone from running an interiors store when I was young, to a career in real estate, and later on studied art while managing a household of four kids. 

A.L. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve gained since becoming a mother? 

So much love! Everyday the love you receive and the love you give is the most rewarding thing about motherhood. 

A.L. What have been your proudest accomplishments as a mother? 

I started Købn in 2017 when the kids were six and two. I left a demanding career ultimately so that I could have the flexibility to be more available to them. Although challenging, the rewards have been endless. I’m so proud of how confident, kind, caring, entertaining and fun the kids are. 

A.L. You nurture and support Miette and Arto every day. Who supports you? 

I am so fortunate to have a very supportive husband who shares the load of the house and family duties. He is the cook, I am the cleaner, and we both juggle pick-ups and drop-offs and everything in between. I call my mum every morning when I’m getting ready and she is always my first port of call when I need advice or guidance. 

“I’ve always believed in following your intuition and this really kicks in when it comes to motherhood.”

A.L. Do you see any of your own unique traits in your children? 

Miette definitely has an eye for colour. From a young age she was descriptive when talking about colour and how it reads. She also has great attention to detail and a love of interiors and design. Arto has the same sense of humour, strong will and independence as me.  

A.L. And what traits would you most like to pass on to them? 

Ambition and drive, creative thinking and the ability to make the most of every situation. 

A.L. What’s your favourite thing to do with your children at the moment? 

We have just moved to a new neighbourhood and are loving exploring the surroundings and swimming in the nearby river. We love entertaining friends and sharing our new piece of paradise with them. 

A.L. Let’s talk gifts... what’s the best gift your kids have given you? 

I keep every special thing they have made for me over the years - cute bracelets, pasta necklaces, artwork, letters, sculptures. I love the gifts they choose and the stories behind them. 

A.L. With the gift of hindsight, what’s something you would tell your younger self about pregnancy, childbirth, or motherhood?

Hindsight is not my thing but I definitely was not prepared for how incredible and overwhelming the love for your children is once they arrive, which grows every day. I’ve always believed in following your intuition and this really kicks in when it comes to motherhood. 

A.L. For everyone wondering what to buy their mum... what do mothers really want for Mother’s Day?

Anything personal - a handmade card, a drawing or painting, a hand-picked bunch of flowers and lots of time spent together.