There is a time in our world in which women get lost.
It’s that sacred and special place between giving birth and returning to society as we know it: work, social life, independence, freedom. In other words, early motherhood.
From the moment a new baby is placed on its mother’s chest, and she takes her first breath of new life along with her child, she is changed. All that she knew about herself dissolves, and all that she is about to become must be incorporated in an instant.
But who is she to become?
Who are we, as modern women, if not defined by our careers, our busy-ness, our outward achievements?
How do we navigate mamahood with all the noise of social media, parenting experts and inner critics, while juggling all that the world throws at us?
There is a slow, but seismic shift happening with mamas around the world. We are awakening to the knowledge that this is not a time in our lives to press pause, to put ourselves on hold, or to give up our dreams – BUT it is also not a time for us to push forward with the crazed ambition of our younger years. We’ve seen what ‘having it all’ looks like, and we’ve rejected that idea of balance, thank you very much.
Instead, we’re heeding a different call. A slowing down, a re-evaluating, an acceptance (even if it’s scary as hell) that perhaps this time in our life is the greatest blessing of all. Why? Because it’s giving us the chance to reassess all that we thought was important, and allowing us to set new goals. Goals that we have chosen for ourselves this time.
Happy Mama Magazine is where these conversations live.
Through three simple focuses – creativity, simplicity and connection – we can shed the old beliefs that have kept us pushing ourselves to burn-out, adrenal fatigue, and frustration, and explore the wisdom that being a mama, and a divine woman, really brings.
Our mission is simple: To tell real stories with real women. And to uplift, inspire and connect mamas around the world to live a life of creativity, simplicity and connection whilst raising their families.
MEET THE TEAM
Amy Taylor-Kabbaz – Editor and Creator of Happy Mama Magazine, Author and Mama of Three
Amy started her ‘traditional’ career as a journalist at the ABC in 2001, working her way up from producer and news reader in regional South Australia to senior producer at ABC Sydney. During those 15 years, she covered everything from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to federal elections and natural disasters, and interviewed world leaders and best-selling authors and celebrities, she thought her dream of becoming the Tokyo Correspondent was in her sights.
And then, along came babies.
For the first few years, she found herself simply pushing harder to chase those old beliefs of success. Juggling two children, a full-time role producing the leading breakfast program (and a 3.30am wake up call) while starting a blog about her own journey of mamahood, Amy’s attempts at ‘having it all’ came crumbling down when, at 28 weeks pregnant with their ‘surprise’ third child, she found herself in early labour and at risk of bringing a very small and premature baby into this world.
Her addiction to busy-ness had finally caught up with her.
Over the next ten weeks, Amy spent day in and day out lying on the couch, reading everything she could on meditation, mindfulness and energy healing. She studied chakras, got herself a life coach, and committed to changing the old beliefs that had put her unborn baby at risk. Realising that it was her inability to slow down and just be ‘ok’ with a different pace, she has since been on a mission to unlearn all that she believed about success.
Since the birth of her healthy baby boy at 38 weeks, Amy has slowly stepped back from her ABC career, and in 2015 made the decision to focus 100% on building her work with mamas. In 2016, her first book – ‘Happy Mama: the guide to finding yourself again’ (Affirm Press) – was published, and spent six months on the best-sellers list for Family and Health on Booktopia. She has coached over 500 women, both one-on-one and in her very successful online group ‘Reconnect’ program, and is now dedicated to changing the conversation about motherhood and womanhood around the world.
Heather Robbins – Art Director, Photographer and Mama of two
Heather is known for her big laugh, smile and overall happy persona. But don’t be deceived by this, she isn’t afraid to dream big.
Since completing a Fine Art Degree in 2003 she has followed her passion in photography. After university, and during a time when film was still used prestigiously and photographers didn’t have the benefits of social media, Heather was mentored by a select few and harnessed her abilities in commercial photography. Never afraid to put herself “out there”, Heather approached CEO’s by the dozen and ended up working for companies such as Witchery Clothing, Rio Tinto, Brookfield Multiplex and Panasonic, to name just a few. As she likes to say, she has “vomited from fear of failure, to screaming with delight over success!”
And then in 2012 Heather became a mama for the first time. Her attitude “strive, achieve, strive some more” no longer served her. Heather quickly learnt that, yes she could achieve anything she wanted to but at a cost. Sadly that cost was her own body. Heather was diagnosed with a bowel disease not even 3 months after the birth of her second child, and decided then and there to take on a new approach to life: Be Authentic. Once on this path, she quickly realised she wasn’t being entirely honest to herself, which resulted in a disabling meltdown.
Over the coming months, Heather managed to pull back from work, took the children out of daycare and tuned in. She started REALLY listening to her inner self (well, as much as you can amongst the craziness of young children) which is when she stumbled upon Amy’s podcast, bought her book and realised she wasn’t alone! Who are we after children?!
Now two and half years later Heather has completely shifted the way she sees her life/work balance. The more she follows her intuition the more abundance seems to flow into her life. No kookiness about it!
“I normally dream very vivid dreams. And when I dreamt I was working with Amy on a book, it was one of those amazing dreams that you feel so sad when you wake because you just want to go back there! Back to that space of creativity, abundance, connection and friendship. I began to journal a lot. What did this mean? Work with Amy? But wouldn’t she think I am a weirdo if I emailed her? How would that look “Hi Amy, I had a dream and we were working together….” My mean mama voice was shouting “FORGET IT!” But in my gut felt it so right. So I did”.
And here she is, as the Art Director of Happy Mama Media.
Tina Noetzel – Composer, Teacher and Mama of two
Tina has always been immersed in music; learning a variety of instruments and writing her own songs from a young age. Her talent was recognised early on, writing her high school’s new school song and selected for a state-wide workshop where the Queensland Symphony Orchestra performed her composition. These experiences, and others like them, helped prepare Tina for her successful audition at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Composition. During this time, Tina also obtained an Associate Music Diploma of Australia and continued to work with her piano students. Twenty years as a piano teacher has seen Tina running two very successful music schools with her brother, as well as co-writing an early childhood music course, Jiggle Music, composing, arranging and recording 76 songs into 4 albums over the course of 2 years.
Tina married in 2011 and dove head first into parenting when each of their babies arrived (in a 24/7 kids-that-don’t-sleep kind of way), completely forgetting her own needs in the process. When she found Amy, Tina felt a strong connection and it was soon clear that Amy’s Reconnect and Next Level programs, along with the tribe of woman in them, would be the guiding light in helping her to resurface and get back on the radar. After years of sleep deprivation, exhaustion and neglect of her own self-care, she started to emerge again. Really stopping to breathe, meditating and connecting with her intuition, Tina now feels calmer, stronger and more ‘awake’ than she has in years. Following her inspiration to create a song about her journey of reconnection and share it with our tribe at the 2016 Next Level Weekend Workshop, Tina now composes music for Happy Mama’s mediation tracks and the Happy Mama Movement Podcast. She is shining her light again, giving herself permission to follow her true soul’s calling while raising her two young children.
OUR REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS
Isiah McKimmie – Couples Therapist, Sex Therapist, Sexologist and Coach
Isiah McKimmie has been helping women and couples discover intimacy and lasting desire for over a decade. Compassionate, understanding and absolutely non-judgemental, she’s built her reputation on getting results.
Isiah has supported thousands of people, taught workshops to hundreds and trained other therapists on how to support people with the vital topic of sex.
One of Australia’s most qualified Sex and Relationship Experts, she holds a Masters degree in Relational Psychotherapy, a Master degree in Science in Medicine (Sexual Counselling/Psychosexual Therapy), a Post-Graduate Diploma of Sexology and a Certificate from the prestigious Institute for the Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality.
Justine Peacock – Coach, Healer and Mama of two
As a Healer and Teacher Justine envisions living in a universe where people reclaim their innate intuitive and healing capabilities and aren’t afraid to use them!
When she is not undertaking one on one consultations or teaching workshops you can find her reading, developing and expanding her skill set or drinking Tulsi tea and wondering how to fit more yellow things into her world!
Realistically, a fair amount of time also goes into washing, cooking plus generally keeping up with lives of her husband and two young kids. She has also been known to search online for the perfect Rainbow Unicorn….
Justine Peacock is a qualified lawyer, psychotherapist and coach. She has a Certificate IV in Relationship Education and is a qualified Voice Dialogue therapist. She is also a Theta Healer Practitioner and Teacher, and certified in Regeneration Healing, Reiki and Matrix Energetics.
Cathryn Monro – Professional artist, writer, educator, facilitator and Mama of two
Cathryn rates mothering as by far the most challenging, creative, important and fulfilling of jobs. Her life, training and work combine her creative drive, a commitment to meaningful education, self-inquiry and group learning processes, and yoga and meditation practices.
With a BFA and MFA from the Elam School of Fine Arts, Cathryn has a 30+yr career as a professional artist. Alongside her studio practice, Cathryn began a teaching career in NZ’s premiere tertiary arts institutions. Her interest in education and inquiry-learning prompted 6 years training as a facilitator of active and interactive group process. This lead to work in a variety of settings including 11 years as scriptwriter for the charity Books In Homes, promoting a love of reading and book ownership to thousands of disadvantaged schoolchildren throughout New Zealand.
Since the birth of her first daughter in 2000, Cathryn has juggled her career and life as a work-at-home mum alongside her studio practice, writing, and facilitation. Over the last 10 years Cathryn has worked with tertiary students and professionals leading integrative, group-learning, practice-based inquiry processes, drawing on the experiences of group members to deepen learning, build collaborative relationships and enrich working cultures.