Mama to two girls (Violet and Isla), Amanda Woodward-Brown is a city-meets-country kind of mother. The ambitious and fashion savvy Woodward-Brown is known for her style, work in the fashion industry and stunning Instagram that mixes Aussie beaches with London gems and idyllic weekends in the Suffolk countryside.
We chat to Amanda about the joys and challenges of motherhood, breakfasts in Sydney and taking the plunge to go freelance…
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY…
I am Australian, my husband is British and we have been together since we first met, when I was in England on a gap year. We lived in Sydney for nine years before we moved to London, and now live in Surrey with our two daughters, Violet who is five and Isla who is two-years-old. They adore each other but are completely different personalities.
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR LITTLE ONE’S NAMES?
I had a girls name that I had loved for years that I felt certain I would call my first daughter, but when Violet arrived, she was so sweet and little, we found the name we had chosen didn’t really fit, so she became Violet. Isla, I had always liked as a name, but when she was born in the birthing pool, still in her amniotic sac, (my waters never broke so she had what was called a mermaid birth – which is meant to be very lucky) we decided it had to be her name. It literally means surrounded by water.
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
The love and utter joy it brings – the girls make me laugh everyday. I could never have anticipated how simply seeing your children happy and healthy is completely fulfilling. It is also so enthralling to see their personalities develop and to play a role in helping to instil values such as kindness and compassion.
…AND HARDEST THING?
The lack of time to do anything properly. I always feel like I am rushing from one thing to the next without time to ever think anything through. The lack of sleep is also something I have found really challenging. A night when everyone sleeps through is very rare in our house so I feel perpetually tired and forgetful. I am often prone to typos nowadays, which as a writer I hate!
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
A strong espresso with milk. Since having children, coffee is essential most mornings.
TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU DO AS HEAD OF CONTENT FOR FOOTWEAR BRAND RUPERT SANDERSON…
After a whirlwind twelve months at Rupert Sanderson I have decided to take a sidestep and pursue freelancing. While I loved my job, I needed more flexibility in my working life, and ironically, although I felt more than ready to take the next step up the ladder in terms of my career, I felt that spending more time with my daughters was important right now. Commuting in and out of London takes so much time out of the day that often I wouldn’t see the girls except when they were asleep in the early morning or in the evening. While freelancing is still a juggle (sometimes more so at times) I am really looking forward to being able to drop Isla to nursery without being in a mad rush to get to the next train or to pick up Violet from school and help her with her homework. I am lucky that I have also started working with a few brands I love, which has made the switch to freelancing really exciting.
HOW TO YOU JUGGLE MOTHERHOOD & WORK?
One of my former bosses once described the juggle of work and motherhood as a swinging pendulum, which I’ve always thought is the perfect synonym. It’s impossible to ever achieve a perfect balance between work and being a parent. Sometimes work will take priority, other times your family. Also what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. You have to find what is best for you and your family and this constantly evolves as your children grow older or you change roles or companies.
I do try to separate work and family time, so that I can give each my complete focus, although as my career involves social media and deadlines, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes I feel like I am being pulled in all directions. However, I try to remember that working hard is something I want to instil in the girls and hopefully they will see that achieving your goals isn’t always easy. I love what I do for a career so that always helps! Also becoming a mother has given me a much better perspective at work – I am much more level-headed and have no time for procrastination!
FAVOURITE WAY TO SPEND THE DAY WITH YOUR CLAN…
In Sydney, a day at Balmoral or Palm Beach with lunch at The Boathouse. In London it is homemade blueberry pancakes in the morning followed by a visit to Kew Gardens then a pub lunch nearby, or a long walk through Richmond Park with cake and tea at Petersham Nurseries afterwards.
WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT SYDNEY?
So many things! The bright, sharp light, the searing sun, the clear water and ocean pools, the tang of salt on your skin from a day at the beach, the fresh seafood, the easy smiles, the warm familiarity of old friends and close family, the medicinal scent of eucalyptus, the noisy squawking of lorikeets, the smell of bushfire on the wind. It is impossible to choose just one element – sometimes it is a feeling or a person or a place. Oh and going out for breakfast! Nowhere does breakfast like Sydney.
WHAT ARE YOU LOVING MOST RIGHT NOW?
My girls laughter. Nothing makes me happier. On a more superficial level I am obsessed with hair accessories at the moment. The eighties child in me is thrilled at the prospect of wearing headbands again. I may have gone a little overboard with buying hair clips too.
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Inspiration/Image Credits: instagram.com/amandawoodwardbrown