Feel inspired and motivated by our down to earth and super relatable SABC Inspirational Woman for August – Heidi O’Brien
This week I had the pleasure of catching up with Heidi and her beautiful family in there home. We spoke about all things motherhood, the changes from 1-2 children and making time for herself.
Enjoy our Q & A with the lovely Heidi below.
Tell us a little about yourself. Your family, lifestyle, Job and life being a Mum of two under 3.
“I am a 28 year old mama of 2 beautiful daughters Rumi (2.5yrs) and Nora (3months) and a wife to my darling Husband Lochie. We have spent the last 8 years travelling to more than 16 countries around the world and renovating our dream family home. I am a 9 year experienced wedding and family professional photographer, I've shot over 150+ weddings and hundreds of families throughout my career. I absolutely love my job! There is so much joy and happiness that comes with photographing people in love and everyday I am out in the field shooting I never have a bad day. Imagine going into work everyday knowing that your clients are about to experience the best day of their lives, their wedding day!
I also developed and own my own baby & toddler apparel clothing brand that is linked in with my children's foundation where I support and guide infants and their families that have been diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia in Warrnambool and in the South West community. This is something I am super passionate about because my oldest daughter Rumi was diagnosed herself at the age of 6 weeks old and had to be full body harness for the first 3 months of her life. My passion to help others allows me to provide ongoing support, run and curate fundraisers and gift families with important information and sleepwear for their little ones to ease the financial and emotional burden that comes with Hip Dysplasia.
Whats your outlook of Health, Fitness and Wellbeing? Tell us about your own health and fitness challenges.
After having my second daughter I have come to realise many important things about my health. My health is so important, children are so oblivious to our adult life stresses but they can pick up and create their own habits purely based on what they see their parents do. It's so important for me to set the best example I can for my girls, to pave the way to their own successful and happiness as much as my own. I feel like once you become a parent, you instantly start to worry about your own health and worry that you might not be around long enough to watch your children grow up.
My anxiety levels this time round post partum were 10x worse than my first time with Rumi and I felt my mental health declining day after day after having Nora. My own self development is so important especially for my mental health. So I decide to take my life into my own hands and fight for what I wanted my ideal life to look like. I needed to bridge the gap between where I was and where I wanted to be. First up, I started writing down my goals with the smallest expectation knowing that I was going to take it easy and at my own pace. I wrote goals that I hoped to achieve over the next 6 months and some long terms goals for 1 year from now.
These goals for me were based on finding a way to clear my mind, reset and try to find who I was again in order to be present in all aspects of my life. I now take daily vitamins to boost my immune system and have included a lot more fruits and vegetables in my diet. I aim to drink 2.5-3L of purified water daily and let's be honest.... I'm a full-time breast-feeding mother so yes, snacks snacks and more snacks. I will sit down and eat a bag of Doritos once a week and I enjoy a row of chocolate every night and one Pepsi max per day. It's all about balance.
For physical movement I walk 3km a day and enjoy going to Pilates once a week and swimming laps at the local pool when I have spare time in between my busy schedule. I still struggle with my pubis symphysis that I've had issues with since giving birth to Nora however working closely with my physiotherapist has helps. Late night feeds and long nights can still put me into fatigue trans and the days I feel overwhelmed and over tied I will restrict myself from doing anything that I don’t need to do for the day and really care for myself and rest. These small changes to my daily routine have made the most significant growth to my mindset and I overall can feel myself enjoying life that little bit more.You are a mum of a 2 year old and new born… How do you juggle family life, business life and find the time for you? It can be a juggle. Whats your suggestion to other women juggling especially mums with young kids?
I am not going to lie, it is hard work! Whoever says going from 1-2 kids is easier than 0-1 is a complete idiot! lol It's double the work, double the crazy BUT its double the love. Amongst all the work and commitments that I have in my life I know that I can't get to where I want to be without putting in the work. I work so bloody hard and I never stop, It's how I am and always have been. My advice to other mummas out there would be "You can't drive your car to your destination without any fuel."
Its about giving yourself 1 hour a day for "me time" to allow yourself to recharged, rest, take in all your senses.... take 5 minutes to ground yourself, and notice your surroundings of what you see, what you hear, what you smell and what you feel. You will feel so much better when your cup is full, trust me, its a game changer especially with multiple children in tow. I do this everyday usually on my morning beach walks and if I can’t get out the house for any reason, I sit in my backyard in the fresh air.Tell us about journaling and what you get out of doing it?
Journaling is actually something I have only been practising since having Nora. I got myself a health journal and everyday I will write my goals, how I'm feeling and even my meal preps and dinner menus for the week. Not only does this make my feel more organised but it puts my worries and thoughts directly from my brain on the paper. This is where I can then take a look at the bigger picture as its all laid out infront of me and I can choose which things I want to take on board and things that can be left on the paper for another day. This also includes keeping a weekly diary. I often find that my "baby brain" brain fog, forgets a lot of things and no matter how much I think I WILL remember it, I never do, so writing it down and relieving that burden of trying to remember it really takes the pressure of my shoulders.Tell us about manifesting. How long have you been practicing it? Do you have any great stories of where it’s really helped you and come true?
I haven’t been manifesting for long but I remember when I was pregnant and we were living in our shed for 10 months. I could picture my life in our new house, I dreamt about it most night and would sit and think about all aspects of our family space. We have been moved in now for about 2 months now and it's exactly how envisioned it.When are you your happiest?
I am my happiest when I am with my family and I see my daughters smile and laugh! I also love receiving fantastic feedback from clients who have just received their wedding photos back and are in disbelief of how much they love them, it makes me so so happy that I can give couples the gift of memoires that they will cherish for a lifetime.What do you see in the future for you and your fitness/health goals?
Long term goals for my fitness is to join a gym and do some high intensity workout sweat sessions. I know I am a long way off and I am super happy with fitness at the moment but the ultimate goal would be to be able to participate in a half marathon in about 1 years time.Why do you think exercise is so important for women?
I feel like it is a lot harder for women to lose weight, especially mothers. The never-ending baby weight can create a lot low self-esteem and I think that keeping up with your fitness is a great way to clear your mind and boost your energy. Moving your body at least 30mins a day for myself gives me more energy throughout the day than days that I don’t move at all. Regular exercise it so good for your brain health and as we all know brain fog after having children is a real thing and keeping your blood pumping and circulating throughout your body is the best thing you can do for your health and wellbeing.How do you feel about being a role model not only for your girls but so many other mums with young kids. So many women would look up to you!
Honestly, I love sharing my life on social media and I think a lot of women resonate with me because I keep it authentic and real as any regular person would. I show the bad and the good days because no one wants to see a perfectly curated life. It's physically impossible to have a stress free, perfect life, this isn't Barbie's World. Being a "relatable" mum and woman is something that other women look up to because they know that they are not the only one! Us women need to stick together, uplift each other and be role models for our next little generations.