Georgie Abay is the founder of The Grace Tales, an online destination for the stylish, multitasking mother. Now a mother of two young girls, Sydney-based Abay has worked in magazines around the world for titles such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and was most recently the deputy editor/fashion features director at Vogue Australia. She’s also the co-founder of children’s knitwear line Atelier/Child.
“Motherhood is the greatest and the hardest thing.” I read this quote the other night, and it really struck a chord. It is the greatest thing. We all know that. But if you’re honest, it’s also the hardest thing. I think that’s the most surprising thing about motherhood. Call me naïve, but I never expected it to be so hard. When I read that quote, my youngest (Lottie, 3) had been in one of those moods. You know, when they’re so overtired and nothing seems to calm them down. Keep calm. Don’t snap. Be patient. It’s easier said than done when you have a tired toddler melting down in front of you. I always find my patience wears thin by the end of the day. I’m tired. They’re tired. It’s always a recipe for disaster.
Mother’s Day always makes me think about what motherhood has taught me. Of course, there’s no short answer to that. What hasn’t motherhood taught me? Ultimately, motherhood has given me perspective on what’s important in life. It has taught me to be grateful. It has taught me that even in the darkest of moments, there is always light. It has taught me that there will be ups and downs and to never dwell on the downs too much, because tomorrow is a new day—a good night’s sleep will fix everything. And, finally, that there is no such thing as the perfect mother (if you believe there is, you need to spend less time on Instagram).
"It is the greatest thing. We all know that. But if you're honest, it's also the hardest thing. I think that's the most surprising thing about motherhood."
I also know that after you have children, life will change more than you ever imagined. After I became a mother, I left Vogue magazine Australia to focus on The Grace Tales. I never looked back. My life had changed. My priorities had changed. I wanted to create a flexible working environment, and running my own business gives me greater flexibility than any corporate role can ever offer.
What has also been wonderful about working on The Grace Tales is meeting so many like-minded, open, and honest women. Almost all of the women I work with are working mothers. We’re all juggling. A lot of the time, we’re all struggling (#thestruggleisreal), dashing from shoots to the school gate. One thing I know is that being real is good for the soul. Having a bad day? Talk to a work colleague or friend. Having a terrible week? Go for a wine with a friend.
"There is no such thing as the perfect mother (if you believe there is, you need to spend less time on Instagram)."
A close girlfriend and I often do the Friday dinner-and-bath routine together. We pile the kids into the tub and have a bottle of champagne while we’re doing it. It’s one of my favorite times of the week. Remember how important it is to surround yourself with incredible, supportive, and kind women. This truly is one of the best things you can do.
So ahead of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some words of wisdom from some of the fabulous women I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing for The Grace Tales. Read on and click through the gallery below for what motherhood has taught these exceptional women.
“To be strong and independent. Always be there when it matters the most. I am always there; I am very, very present.” — Ambre Dahan, founder of SPRWM and Ambre Victoria Jewelry
“Letting go of expectations, living in the moment rather than planning a week or more ahead, being more patient, and being honest about feelings.” — Vanessa Breuer, model
“Most importantly, that your children are not an extension of you, nor is your role as a parent to mold them into your preconceived definition of what your child should be. They aren’t possessions that will be ‘just like you’ or ‘just how you want them to be.’ They are destined for their own path, and you are their guides—hopefully with enough wisdom to hold their hand along the way without pulling them behind you on your trail.” — Calgary Avensino, British Vogue contributor, author of Keep It Real