’Talking Motherhood’ with Huggies Mumbassador, Snezana Wood

The wearer of many hats, Snezana Wood is a Molecular geneticist, a former Bachelor winner, a wife and what she defines as her most important role, a Mother to three girls; Eve, Willow and Charlie. Here, Snezana (our Huggies Mumbassador) chats to us as about the truths of motherhood, the advice she values and shares most and her ‘can’t-live-without’ baby items

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1. Can you share the most pivotal/important lessons you have learnt as a mum that you would pass onto your daughters?

  1. As much as you want to hold their hands forever to protect them, you do them a greater service in the long run by loosening your grip and letting them find their own way. They’ll learn how to fail, try again and to stand back up if they fall. Resilience is everything and something we need to instil in our children from a young age.
  2. The greatest comfort I have gained as a mother is the knowledge my children are happy, healthy and thriving. As long as I ensure they feel protected, supported and safe, I know I am doing the best I can as a Mum. It’s less about the material items I can provide them, and more about nurturing them with love, affection and the very best care.
  3. Being a Mum is one of the hardest jobs – you do everything from cooking and cleaning to being drivers and booking agents for your very social kids, whose calendars runs rings around your own. Hence the need to be as organised as possible. With very little time to sit down and relax, it’s important to schedule in time for yourself. It’s so critical to make this time to recharge, so you can do all those jobs that go around the clock because let’s face it mums never clock off at 5pm…that’s when things really start to get exciting!

2. What are your top go-to hacks you have acquired/rely on that make your life easier as a Mum?

  • Preparation is key! I always try (when possible) to prep my girls’ lunches and snacks the night before or whilst the kids are eating breakfast. My girls love picnics, so I often make them rainbow bento boxes for lunch, which are a great way to incorporate something healthy and colourful from each food group. Having these pre-prepared eliminates the need to reach for the chip packet when they’re hangry or if one is having a tantrum and your hands are full. Keep the chips up your sleeve for when you really need a sneaky bribe – e.g. when your little one loses her mind in public after she realises she isn’t wearing her favourite socks!
  • In the early days, babies’ skin is 5 x thinner than adults and lacking its natural protective barrier, making it prone to irritation from a range of factors. I pay special attention to the products I use during this time, to ensure their delicate skin stays clean and protected. I only use Huggies nappies on my girls, as they are specifically formulated to help minimise the occurrence of nappy rash and irritation and they prevent leaks like nothing else I’ve tried. Knowing their skin is safe means there is one less thing for me to worry about.
  • Top tip – double up on your kids bedding to avoid having to completely remake the bed at 3am in the morning. I always make it twice, by layering a mattress protector with a fitted sheet on top and repeat. That way, if anyone should ever have a little accident during the night, you can change them in bed, roll them over and whip off the wet sheets and voila, fresh clean sheets in seconds! It also helps because the little ones don’t get any ideas about running out of the room and deciding it’s play time.
  • Always have your baby bag stocked up and stored in an easily accessible location, even if you’ve got nowhere to go. Have the essentials in sufficient supply, such as nappies and wipes (Huggies of course), spare clothes, long-life emergency snacks in air-tight containers and empty bottles etc. This way whenever you need to race out the door, (after the struggle that is getting the kids dressed) you just grab the bag and go.
  • If your formula feeding, get yourself a water thermos. They keep water at the perfect temperature all day and night, so all you need to do is pour it into the bottle and add formula.
  • Store a mini medicine kit in each child’s room (obviously well, WELL out of reach of the kids) – including essential pain relief and dispensers. During those nights when they wake up unwell and fevery, you will have everything you need right at your fingertips and won’t need to run throughout the house scrambling to find it. 

3. As a Mum of three, can you share how your experience being a mother changes from first time Mum to second time (and in your case third time) Mum?

Whilst you love and care for your second and third child just as much the first, you’re definitely more relaxed after your first time around the sun. I felt as a first time parent I was a little more meticulous about every minor detail – their sleep routine, first food milestones, when their teeth appeared, why weren’t they walking, what they wore (always well-coordinated of course) and ensuring they were changed the second they dirty their clothes. You’re trying to find your feet and worry you are doing everything wrong, so you tend to be a little bit more of a “textbook parent”, wrapping them up in cotton wool.

But by the third, their first introduction to solids might be something they found on the floor (compliments of your other two kids), you put them in an outfit that looks like you threw it together in the dark (because you probably did)and you’re a little more relaxed with sleep routines and everything else. The cotton wool isn’t wound so tightly, so if they fall, you’re more likely to look at them and say “eh you’re okay, up you get!”

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4. How do you manage /overcome the raft of judgement and opinions you face as a Mother?

It’s important to remember that everybody has their own approach to parenting and although some may differ to the way we choose to parent ourselves, they should be respected none the less. I try to remember that there is always a reason far from the surface that another parent has their views. Even though I may not know what they are, or agree, they are valid and important, just like my reasons are to me. We need to accept that we all parent differently, no one way is the right way, so I just choose to focus on what’s right for me and my family.

5. What are the top 5 ‘can’t-live-without’ items in your baby bag?

  1. Huggies Fragrance Free wipes – I have them everywhere throughout the house and use them on literally just about everything! Even spot cleaning makeup off clothes. I particularly love that they are available in big refill packs, so I can top up my Huggies pop-up tubs in the girl’s rooms and my Clutch ‘N’ Go pouch in my baby bag for when I am on the go.
  2. Spare Huggies Ultra Dry nappies; (and loads of them)
  3. A spare change of clothes (or multiple!)
  4. Emergency ‘keep the kid calm & quiet’ snacks 
  5. Emergency dummy & toys for distractions 

6. How have you managed ‘mum-life- in lockdown?

I’m just taking it one day at a time. I think lockdown has been a pretty rough and tough time for all mums and dads and we’ve all been pushed to our limit’s multiple times. Pre-lockdown we worked damn hard, and during this time we’ve only worked harder and longer than ever before. There has been little to no rest for us and I think the only way to get through it is by taking it one day at a time and trying to worry less about what we haven’t done/what needs to be done. We need to embrace this time with our little ones because once it’s done, we’ll wish we could have it back with them again.

7. How do you balance the age gap between your girls? How does this impact the day-to-day in your household?

Currently the age gap between my girls can prove to be a little tricky. With Eve being a teen and wanting her space, Willow wanting to be a big girl and do everything but give Eve her space, and little Charlie just trying to keep up with both big sisters, the days really do end up being a mad rush to keep the peace. Especially now that Eve is homeschooling and needs some sort of quiet place to learn without little sisters wanting to play.

However, on the flip side, when Eve isn’t busy doing her schoolwork or teen chatting on the phone, she’s a great support with the two younger girls and helps-out during dinner, bath and sleep time. Despite the constant chaos, it truly is the most beautiful thing witnessing the bond blossom between my girls. It’s a very rare and special gift.

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