Daydreams: Talking Creative Motherhood
Our Gold Dust Mama Collection is dedicated to all the mamas – the baby mamas, the fur baby mamas, the step mamas and the adoptive mamas.
To the mamas that have passed and the mamas who have lost and the mamas that can’t and the mamas that don’t.
In a happy coincidence, our Creative Director Abigael Whittaker returned from maternity leave just in time to pull together this gorgeous campaign shoot, featuring fellow first-time mama Helena Vestergaard and mum of three Amelia Fullarton.
Here, Abi chats with the talented women behind the shoot about all the magical and terrifying feels that come when your heart explodes into a tiny baby.
AW: Amelia! You are the expert Mum of three among us! Tell us, how do you manage the juggle between Mama and Maker?
AF: Oh dear, I’m certainly no expert! I would say I’m quite use to the juggle now though, I’ve worked through all my pregnancies and gone back to work very early on. I feel I’m always jamming things in here, there and everywhere, I’ll put the babies to bed and starting editing. Or stuffing a sandwich in my face, breastfeeding and writing emails at any hour. It isn’t glamorous but in many ways i’m lucky, I love what I do and working for yourself allows for much more flexibility which means I still get to be home with my babies most days.
AW: Helena, you’re a first time Mama like me, did you feel like your life as you knew it exploded into love, worry and tiny clothes? Tell us about those first few moments after you had River.
HV: Oh my gosh yes! I didn’t even know my heart could feel so much love without exploding. After River was born I was filled with so many emotions. Love, euphoria, fear, apprehension, joy, exhaustion.. but I think you get used to it and you find your new rhythm in life with a baby. It isn’t easy but its very worth it!
AW: I feel like my identity as I knew it changed. Like one day I was one of me and then after Marigold there are now two of Me. Amelia do you feel like there are four of you now!? I can’t imagine it.
AF: No, thankfully! haha. All my three girls are very different, to look at, their personalities, our house is full of noise and it’s hard to remember what it was like with one baby, who didn’t speak yet. Sometimes I look at or listen to me eldest and think, where the hell did you come from?!!
AW: All of us have returned to work with babies, how do we differentiate between time as Mama and time as maker? I’ve recently been reading The Divided Heart a book on motherhood and creativity. The title says it all really. My heart always feels divided! I love being creative and doing the job I love but nothing compares to that tiny face, and tight little grip around your finger! What makes you guys turn up to work each day?
HV: Its all about balance. I’m lucky enough to have my partner Nathan, who can work from home most of the time so we take turns in going to work and staying home with River. For me it is really important that I continue being creative, contributing a cash flow to our family and having my own time to feel productive. Obviously nothing compares to my time with River though. I know we both love our one on one time with her and look forward to it. Its just so special.
AF: For our family we really need my income to pay the bills, you know how it is. So, I’ve never really thought much about the choice between being a stay at home Mum or a working Mum, being a working Mum is just what it is for us. I do feel divided in the sense that creatively I can’t push myself as far as I would like to, I’m yet to have any exhibitions, I’ve got so many stories / people / places I would love to shoot but I don’t have the time or energy to focus on that, as my little girls are the most important thing to me right now. But, things will change as they get older and I can re-focus on the creative stuff more then.
AW: We all have baby girls! I just realised that now. In this current climate of girl power & women rising up but also body awareness, gender fluidity, heightened sexuality and the list goes on! Do you think it’s an easier or more difficult time than when we grew up? Better/worse or just different?
AF: Just different. I think it’s easy to say, back in our day it was better this way. But, the world is constantly changing, we’re always having to adapt to new ways of raising our young, surviving, staying balanced. For me, I just try to be the reflection for them. There is no point in me saying I’m going to have screen free, no-sugar eating children if I’m not going to live that way myself. Ultimately, I know it sounds cliche but I want them to know as women they’ll be one day that beauty comes from the inside, they’ll see me growing my wrinkles, loving each and every one of them and hopefully that does something, you know?
AW: I worry so much about raising a baby woman to be strong and fearless but also gentle and kind, who eats well, dresses how she wants to and isn’t effected by social media and this world where everybody’s opinion can be heard and seen and promoted even, even when it’s hurtful or untrue. How do you combat that? Help!
HV: Thats a hard one because there are pros and cons to this.. Definitely it’s a better time for women in the sense of sexism is becoming such a thing of the past but there are a whole bunch of new issues with women/girls in society these days. I think its just really important as parents to teach our children good morals, to love themselves, not compare to others, to respect themselves and others.. and hopefully not let them get lost in the overexposure of social media.
AW: Amelia you seem to do a million things, including your gorgeous kids label Millk.co which features in our campaign. We love Millk so much! Tell us more, why these clothes, why this label?
AF: I started Millk with a friend of mine, at the time we were struggling to find easy, comfortable uni-sex clothing for our babies. We wanted stuff they would actually wear, my kids are always dirty, covered in food and stains. Most days I’m struggling to get out the door dressed myself so I wanted clothing for my girls that you could literally throw on, but still cool! It’s grown and evolved from there.
AW: Helena, you have featured in lots of different amazing campaigns in your work as a model. We are so grateful to have you feature in this special campaign of ours. Thank you! I remember you saying during our shoot that you hoped River wouldn’t want to be a model as she grows older. Can you explain why and how your own experience as a woman guides you as a mama.
HV: Yes I did say that haha! You know to be honest I would support River in whatever she chooses to do but I guess I would try to encourage her to also pursue other things in this world that are not so based around appearance. I have had some amazing and lovely experiences in my profession (like working with beautiful women as you guys) but also some unfavourable experiences. I try to always learn from experiences in life and I feel like I have a pretty extensive scope of life lesson history I can now use to help guide River in positive directions and maybe some better decision making.
AW: The one thing that has been the greatest unexpected joy since having a baby (apart from Marigold herself of course) is hands down the other mama! It’s like an immediate bond you have with them. The sisterhood! Can you talk about your own experiences of other mamas since having babies?
HV: Oh yeah there is a universal bond that we are all connected to for sure. Its quite prodigious. I have made so many new friends since being a mother and I haven’t even been to a mothers group! We all just seem to clique i guess. There is an underlying understanding of one another and mutual respect.
AW: Thank you to both of you for making my first shoot back so special and so amazing. We had the best time and it has been such a wonderful experience to be able to work with other mamas alongside our babies on set. Last question…. what’s your go to mama style! Mine for sure is the Assan dress, a cosy Serape and some old worn leather boots with lots of jingly ethnic jewellery to entertain baby during shooting!
HV: Aw thank YOU it was such a pleasure and fun day! ahaha yep River loves playing with my necklaces and has even ripped earring right out of my ears! I always choose comfort over style.. If I’m not in my sweats rolling on the floor with River Im usually in loose fitted mum jeans and a T shirt with some sneakers or a nice flowy jumpsuit and boots! (usually splattered with baby food and all sorts)
AW: Happy Mother’s Day you two and Happy Mother’s Day to all you Gold Dust mamas out there xx