We met Rachelle Rowlings at her house in Sydney’s south early on a Sunday morning. She greeted us in her trackies, fresh faced and with a warmth that instantly made you feel like you’re visiting an old friend. Her kids Roman, 4, and Rumer, 2, ran around with the dog, nibbling on fruit and croissants as Rachelle chatted and dressed. Sunday mornings in the Rowlings household are relaxed and refreshingly real.
Motherhood is … love & growth.
Please tell us a little about your journey into motherhood…
I always wanted kids! When I met Jimmy it only cemented that.
My pregnancy with Roman was relatively easy besides the usual sleepless nights, a bit of sciatica & a nasty bacterial infection in an awkward place! However, I was devastated when I couldn’t deliver him naturally as he was transverse.
The recovery was intense. I’d never had any surgery in my life. It was terrifying. Add learning to breastfeed & trying to comfort a screaming potato to that too!
It took me months before I accepted I was his mother! It took me months to love him! I mean, of course I loved him but to really be in that love bubble, it was a rough road. I saw him as a burden – my body and my mind were broken! And I was terrified I was messing it up! Rumer was exactly the same pregnancy & a caesarean also which this time was a much more pleasant experience!
How would you describe your parenting style?
A mountainous terrain! Ha! One day I am hippy earth loving mama and the next day I’m Mrs Trunchbowl. I am more relaxed with the dirty side of things – I don’t mind them rolling in mud and making sand pies! I don’t mind chaos!
“It took me months before I accepted I was his mother! It took me months to love him! I mean, of course I loved him but to really be in that love bubble, it was a rough road.”
But I get very overwhelmed when they’re both screaming and there’s the days when you just can’t please both! I feel myself failing. And then the next day I’ll be mother of the year. It’s a rough ride and you don’t always get it right but it’s so bloody worth it! And you work on it and yourself every day!
Woke up by Rumer at the side of my bed around 5.15. Carry her downstairs where she usually tantrums for 15 mins. We watch bad YouTube videos for 30 mins then we make daddy’s coffee together.
Do you have an evening routine/ritual?
We do. Dinner is 5pm. We all eat together (the only plus side of COVID is having daddy home for dinner). Bath time around 5:30. Then it’s TV off and books and cuddles and Rumer is in bed at 6.30 and Roman at 7.
“One day I am hippy earth loving mama and the next day I’m Mrs Trunchbowl.”
What are your self-care secrets?
For so long I had nothing. I didn’t do my hair or wear makeup! It was terrifying. But now I make sure I make that time. It’s so important for yourself.
I exercise in some way every day usually for an hour. It’s usually first thing after their breakfast before Jimmy starts work. On their day care days it’s a lot easier!. But I make sure I shower every morning and put at least a tinted moisturiser and some mascara on. On the good days I get deodorant on too!
When you feel overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood and life … what do you do?
Cry! Ha! I talk to Jimmy which helps. He puts it into perspective! I’m learning to take deep breaths and remind myself that they’re not tormenting me on purpose and that it’s me who needs to manage my own expectations.
Proudest moment as a mother?
I’m sincerely proud every day.
Greatest lesson motherhood has taught you?
That love conquers all.
A golden piece of advice you give other mamas?
Trust your instinct. You’re their Mum. You know better than anyone! Never ever let anyone tell you otherwise!
What would be your advice to your BC before child self?
An experience or conversation that changed your life?
Losing my Dad. It taught me resilience. It taught me strength. And it reminded me that this life is precious.
Beauty products and/or treatments you swear by?
Wardrobe must haves?
Basics! A good pair of jeans. A couple of plain T-shirts.
Drink of choice?
Water (I’m so boring) or kombucha.
The Happiness Hypotheses.
One day I hope my children will…be in love with themselves and their lives!
Photography: Airlie Walsh