Meet Melbourne mum Sally
We recently had the absolute delight to chat to one of our lovely customers, Sally Branson Dalwood, who you may be familiar with. Sally is the former State Director of the Victorian National Party, and passionate advocate for the role of women in public life. Residing in inner Melbourne with her husband and two young children who are nineteen months apart, Sally understands the juggle. Like a lot of new mums, she reassessed her family priorities and decided to resign from her career, and now works as a public affairs specialist while focusing on her family.
Sally opened up to us about the joys and challenges of motherhood (warning: it might make you a little emotional, so go and give your kids a big hug!), and provides some wonderful tips for routines and travelling with children. We also love how she’s all about supporting and creating ties with her community – just like we are here at Tree Hut Village.
What does a typical day look like for you?
We are big fans of sleep routines, so our days revolve around naps at our place. Even when we are away, we make sure we’ve got sleep plans in place which means having the right equipment with us, even on holidays. We have two delicious boys, nineteen months apart, Magnus has just turned two. We try to do any jobs or socialising in the mornings. Play group, Mini Maestros, and play dates all happen before the big midday nap. Long may this nap last!
We shop small at our local grocer, butcher, and health food store. Not only because they’re all in walking distance and we love to support small businesses, but because I grew up in a tiny town and love knowing people’s names. I want my boys to have community, so this is one way of creating ties. We have a family business, so in the afternoon we all do what we can to support that if we need to – sometimes going in to the factory with the boys.
Otherwise it’s just play, play, play. We try to be outside as much as we can, gardening, and spreading sand over everything. Our night time routine is the same wherever we are – bath, story, a rundown of the day, and bed. After dinner is my husband’s time with his babies – he is in charge and I am just the support act.
What has changed for you since becoming a mum?
Everything! More than I could have ever realised. I wasn’t quite prepared for the seismic shift. The love, the anxiety, and for my heart to be living outside of me in two babies. I am always so excited for people becoming first time mums, it is such a journey. The firsts are amazing!
I was a really career-focused woman, and came to motherhood later in life. By the time Magnus was 1.5 months, I had already had at least one work conference done. When he was 8 months I resigned and did a total reassess of our priorities as a family. My massive ego was keeping me at work, but when that wasn’t working for my family or for my workplace, I decided to step down and focus on our family. I am still professionally engaged and do some mentoring and media work, but only when it works for us all.
What's the best thing about being a mum?
The love, the way our family has grown and evolved, the round hand dimples on babies, and seeing the world again through the eyes of a child. I always thought this was the most naff and overused phrase, but now I totally get it. We rounded a corner the other day and there was a construction site – from the back of the car I heard “oooooh WOW”. Isn’t it awesome to get that excited by a digger?
What's the most challenging aspect?
Funnily enough, a surprising challenge has been the regular pressure to put our kids in childcare, and to go back to work. I always thought I would do this, but it didn’t work for us. I have so many people questioning this on a daily basis! The most significant challenge has been dealing with the levels of anxiety that come with being a mother. The "what ifs"?
Tell us a little bit about your experience with Tree Hut Village? What did you enjoy and what would you improve?
I’ve loved dealing with Tree Hut Village – Eva is such a business woman. She really sets a high standard and makes sure her business meets it. It has all been super easy to work out and use. We had one tiny issue with a renter, and Eva sorted it out straight away.
What do you usually do with the money you earn from Tree Hut Village?
We put our pram rental money into buying a double pram, which should have its own postcode!
What's your favourite baby/toddler/kids product and would you have liked to try it out a few times before you bought it?
I think it is our Joolz pram, followed closely by the Baby Bjorn cot. We had to spend eight weeks travelling back and forth between Melbourne and the country when my mum was unwell, which means it lasts the distance for long comfortable stays, but is equally good when we are visiting somewhere at nap time. Both the pram and cot are so easy to fold, pack and take. The benefit of the Joolz bassinet is that it is safety rated for overnight sleeping so it does double duty.
What's your next holiday destination?
We are midway through researching that now. Fiji or Maldives. Let’s be frank, anywhere with a kids club!
We loved having a chat and finding out more about Sally! If you'd like to be featured as well, just let me know!
You can meet other Tree Hut Village parents here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mums2mumsbabyhire/