With her mega-watt smile and cheerful nature, Magdalena Roze is the quintessential Australian golden girl. The meteorologist, award winning weather presenter and author has a long list of professional accolades to her name. However, personally her journey into motherhood hasn’t been all sunshine. Now expecting her second child, the glowing Magdalena opens up to The Delivery about how she approaches motherhood, life, career and weathering the dark seasons after losing a baby.
You are radiant, how has this pregnancy been compared to your experience with your son Archie?
Thank you so much! This pregnancy has been very similar to Archie’s in that I feel great and fortunately haven’t experienced any morning sickness. The main difference is that I was able to indulge in the first pregnancy more because I wasn’t wrangling a toddler! Just lifting him into his car seat makes me break into a sweat!
Can you share a little of Archie’s birth story?
While I had an amazing pregnancy, my labour with Archie was very intense. It went on for 24 hours and ended up in an emergency caesar which left me extremely depleted in every way. I think this really set me back on my motherhood journey as my recovery took a lot longer and my milk supply took months to establish to a point where it was comfortable. This was quite stressful and emotionally taxing in the beginning as I was so determined to do it and trying everything under the sun from fenugreek to pumping to acupuncture to get it going. Those times pumping in the middle of the night were so grim! But it was worth it as I ended up breastfeeding Archie until he was almost two and it got us through so many of the challenges associated with travel, sickness, teething, sleep etc. It was my secret weapon!
You recently revealed you suffered a miscarriage in 2015, why did you feel it was so important to speak publicly about it?
Losing a baby at any stage is such painful experience, but it’s also incredibly lonely as it’s still something we don’t really talk about about. In my case, I had no idea what was going on and navigating it alone made it even worse. I was surprised to learn that one in three pregnancies end in miscarriage so there a lot of people suffering in silence. I feel that when we used to live in tribes and more connected communities, we would have experienced the high and lows of motherhood together, we would have watched other women birth, labour, feed and go through losses which would have normalised a lot of this and taught us so much. So much of this support and wisdom has been lost in our modern societies as we’re largely doing it on our own. I hope that by reading our story other parents could take comfort in knowing that they’re not alone.
“Some days there’s nothing I can do but just cry, make a cup of tea and ring a girlfriend. It’s ok, normal and healthy not to have it together all the time. And it’s through our vulnerability that we bond and grow.”
How did you work through the heartbreak and do you have any advice for other women who may be going through the same pain?
Darren and I went to a special place in the Byron Bay hinterland to have some alone time, grieve and process what happened. I felt so empty afterwards and it actually made me realise that when it comets the fertility side of things, I knew very little about my body so I went and got acupuncture just to “reset” my periods and energy, and channel energy in that direction. I wasn’t planning to fall pregnant soon after, but I really wanted to nurture my feminine side and it ended up being life changing. I swear by acupuncture for wellbeing, fertility and energy.
What’s the greatest lesson motherhood has taught you?
There are so many, every day. But one that really sticks is patience. I watch Archie walk along the street and stop to observe an ant carrying a tiny piece of food or pick a flower that I never would have noticed. It’s so tempting to rush and hurry them through errands or jobs or getting into the car seat while they dawdle. But I often ask myself “what am I hurrying for?”, and while occasionally there’s a legitimate reason, most of the time there’s no need to. We’re born being totally connected and present, and as life goes on it’s gradually shaken out of us and then we spend most of our adult life trying to get it back by doing everything from meditation to yoga! Nurturing Archie’s natural childlike, present state has forced me to nurture my own, to really smell those roses, be grateful and prioritise what’s really important.
What’s been your biggest challenge in motherhood?
While it seems like such a long time ago now, getting my milk supply going was a marathon! And what every mother experiences to some extent, which is trying to be everything to everyone, and making time for ourselves. We’re inevitably always last on the list!
Describe your parenting style …
Fuelled by coffee in the morning and red wine at night! (before preggo!), I’d say it’s conscious but relaxed. I try and create a calm environment in the home, focus on nourishing all of us with real food and nature, lean on my tribe of mothers for support and wisdom and back myself. It’s never going to be perfect so while I’d love to have a spotless house and food on the table that everyone will eat, sometimes it’s more important to just let it go. Keep it easy, let them make a mess, get take away, do cheese toasties for dinner, put your feet up and laugh at the chaos! They really do feed off our energy.
With the benefit of experience and hindsight, what will you do differently when your new baby is born?
I’ll spend the first few weeks hibernating a bit more which will be easier as this baby will be born around winter.
What does the first hour of your day look like?
Making and eating breakfast with Archie (he insists on doing everything “by myself!” at the moment) and walking up the street with Darren to our local to get a coffee and do the crossword. Not as easy these days with a two year old but it’s our nerdy ritual. On a good day, I wake up before him and go for a quick dip in the ocean.
Do you have an evening routine/ritual?
If it’s dinner at home, then we’ll do a family walk or swim on the beach around 5pm and then come for dinner around 6pm. Archie goes to sleep around 7pm so Darren or I will read him books and put him down. He’s very used to the night time routine. During summer, we’ll meet friends at the beach and do a BBQ dinner there.
Your book “Happy & Whole” has been extremely popular, tell us a little more about your journey with it…
I started writing it when Archie was just 12 weeks so as well as 75 whole food recipes it also includes chapters on things like motherhood, wellbeing, natural skincare, food for babies and pregnancy, and nourishing the home. I absolutely love cooking, especially for my family, so I really enjoyed creating recipes that are delicious but achievable. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from our home in Byron Bay too as I’ve learned so much about food and wellness since moving here and really wanted to share this with others, especially other mums.
“I feel that when we used to live in tribes and more connected communities, we would have experienced the high and lows of motherhood together, we would have watched other women birth, labour, feed and go through losses which would have normalised a lot of this and taught us so much.”
Are you working towards any other personal or professional goals?
I’m really excited to launch the second season of my food podcast, The Pass, and have a number of really great partnerships I’m working on this year. I’m thinking of writing another cook book that’s more focused on quick, easy and nourishing family and children’s food. This time next year, I want to be surfing again and we still need to plan our wedding!
What does your average “day on a plate” look like?
I start with a cup of herbal tea and then we have muesli or porridge (or eggs on sourdough with avo if we go the Three Blue Ducks, Darren’s restaurant) with a latte. For lunch, I’ll often make a “Ploughman’s” for Archie and I with cheese, crackers, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, dips, kraut, eggs, whatever we have in the fridge! We really mix it up with dinners so it can range from a vegetable curry with brown rice to pasta to a roast chicken. I do most of the cooking in the house so it needs to be easy and something everyone will eat. I snack on things from my cook book like the protein balls, no-bake healthy cookies, fruit or cheese. It really depends on the day though. Sometimes a blueberry smoothie does the trick, other days it’s a fresh piece of crusty sourdough with lashings of butter. I never deprive myself and believe in enjoying good quality, real food.
Go-to healthy recipe when time poor?
It’s worth making a batch or home made pesto as it makes everything taste good! Spelt or buckwheat pasta with pesto, cherry tomatoes, basil and bocconcini is quick and easy or add it to a good old omelette!
If we opened your pantry/fridge, what are we guaranteed to find?
One of Archie’s random toys! Our pantry has lots of nuts, seeds, grains, flours, pasta and baking ingredients like vanilla, coconut oil, maple syrup, butters, gelatin powder. I like it to be well stocked so I can cook yummy treats without having to go shopping every time. Our fridge always has krauts, ghee, pesto, eggs, milk and cheese, plus whatever we’ve picked up from the farmer’s markets that week.
How has your style changed since becoming a mother?
It’s relaxed, comfortable, casual and very low maintenance. This also comes with living in Byron Bay. I live in linen and sandals and love being make up free.
I swear by home made bone broth for glowing skin, hair and nails, as well as oils taken both internally and topically for healthy skin. I change up my face products all the time but I like Dr Spiller, Mukti Organics and Sodashi. Church Farm General Store’s “Dream Cream” made by my friend’s Andrew and Amanda is perfect after a day at the beach as it’s so luscious. It’s boring but drinking water makes such a difference to my skin and makes it looks so much more fresh without make up. I use Weleda pregnancy oil to prevent stretch marks and coconut oil in my hair after a swim. I always fill in my brows and wear under eye concealer most days as I feel these make the biggest impact.
When you are feeling overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood and life … what do you do?
One of my favourite ways to de-stress is to do a beach or lighthouse walk followed by a beach swim. In the last few months I’ve made it a priority to do this twice a week (where possible) just to maintain some sanity. I love to cook while Archie is asleep and before I was pregnant, I’d have a glass of red wine at the end of the day. Some days there’s nothing I can do but just cry, make a cup of tea and ring a girlfriend. It’s ok, normal and healthy not to have it together all the time. And it’s through our vulnerability that we bond and grow.
How has your relationship with your body changed since having children?
I’m so much more in awe of the female form and what our bodies can do. That they can create, grow, nourish and feed a baby is simply extraordinary. Working in TV for so many years, there was quite a large focus on how you look physically and I don’t know whether there’s just no time for it now but I value my health and wellbeing more than I ever did before and feel much more connected to what’s going on inside my body. It may be the mama instinct or just getting older, but I listen to cues from body about what foods to eat or how I feel and that always sets me on he right track to feeling good. Motherhood is very humbling, you really can’t be precious when you smell like poo and there’s vomit on your clothes! It’s grounding and there’s a real beauty to that. I’m comfortable in my own skin. While motherhood definitely beings out the feminine nurturing side, I feel like it brings out our strength even more.
Time management tip for busy mothers?
I think we instantly become more efficient the moment were have babies because we have no choice! But some of my hacks would be cooking meals that everyone can eat (and generally in one pot) so there’s less washing up and doing shopping online.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamond. It is the most amazing book about sisterhood and motherhood, and the importance of tribe. A must read for every mama!
Ted Talk/Podcast recommendation?
If you love food and want to know where to eat, my podcast The Pass (@thepassau)
Photography by Rob Palmer. All images have been supplied from Happy & Whole by Magdalena Roze, published by Plum, RRP $39.95, available in all good bookstores now.