Samantha shares her tips and advice for balancing motherhood, work and self-care.
As the mother of a four-year-old daughter, Samantha Brett is all too familiar with the now iconic Frozen ballad “Let it Go”. For the television journalist and successful author, the idea of letting go has become somewhat of a personal motto. “As a parent, we all worry so much about so many things,” Brett says. “I think the challenge for me is letting go and just adhering to the mantra of letting kids be kids.”
With her roles as a 7 News reporter, beauty entrepreneur (she recently launched SPF beauty range, Naked Sundays), author and mother, the Sydneysider says finding balance is a tricky endeavour at times.
Having interviewed some of Australia’s most well-known mothers such as Sally Obermeder, Megan Gale and Teresa Palmer about the triumphs and challenges of parenting for her first book, The Juggle, Brett knows she’s not alone when it comes to having many metaphorical balls in the air.
“Parents have so much going on, and there’s so many distractions, it’s hard to be able to balance being a mum, work, side-hustle, social media, whatever it is – and look after yourself at the same time,” she explains. “I work at odd hours due to being part of morning television show Sunrise, and also the 6pm news, plus running after a toddler during the day, it’s a never-ending cycle of work, mum-life, work.”
As a way to bring balance into her life, Brett tries to include an element of work, self-care and one-on-one connecting with her daughter, Harper into each day. “Even if it’s just a green juice or 15 minutes of exercise, then an hour of play time with my daughter, a couple of hours of work, and oh yes – sleep!”
When it comes to future-focused parenting, Brett believes including more traditional activities and limiting digital use is an important way to connect as a family. “I think old school games and attention is something I strive for, but it certainly is a challenge,” she concedes. “I am extremely worried about our kids – or at least my child! Having to compete with a mobile phone for attention. What will that mean for their future?”
She’s also passionate about practicing gratitude, something she hopes to instill in Harper.
“The most important life advice I hope to impart to Harper is to love what you have and not always want what other people have,” she says. “Appreciation for what you own and how you look is something I really try hard to teach my daughter.”
Brett is also teaching her daughter about the importance of sun safety, and recently launched her first children’s book, called The Magic Sunscreen, to encourage other parents to do the same. “My parent’s generation had no idea about the dangers (of the sun) and so now I am highly at risk of one of my many moles turning into skin cancer” Brett explains. “I’m obsessed with sunscreen and getting kids to love putting on sunscreen, so I wrote The Magic Sunscreen and my daughter just took to it immediately.
“Now she loves putting sunscreen on. But she keeps asking me why her sunscreen doesn’t have eyes, so that’s my next hurdle – creating a kid-friendly sunscreen!”
Having profiled some of the world’s most influential working mums including Elle Macpherson and Gwyneth Paltrow for her Game Changers book series, Brett knows mum guilt is a universal emotion felt by so many mothers, but it’s really a waste of precious time.
“Be as present as you can when you are with your child, but get rid of parent-guilt as best as possible. Mum-guilt does no-one any good.”
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