Ever found it really hard to multitask? Well Ani Tuna is one expert multitasker - juggling being a mum, wife and running her business: MumLife Australia, which helps mums all around Australia make educated decisions when it comes to children’s health and parenting. She relishes both her work-job and her mummy-job and has realized this balance is what makes her and her family happy.
Name: Ani Tuna
Website: MumLife Australia
Tell us a bit about yourself and your child/children….
I live in Melbourne with my almost-high-school-sweetheart husband and our two young girls. Delilah, my eldest, is nearly-three and Frankie has just turned one. They’re both really sweet and kind natured, but my gosh, they’re also incredibly strong-willed. I've heard it said that strong-willed children become adults who change the world - I just hope we all survive living together until then.
What is the name of your business and what does your work entail?
I launched MumLife Australia in October 2015, following my own struggles as an overwhelmed and anxious first time mum. We are Australia’s first and uniquely parent-led resource and we pride ourselves on helping mums find the joy in parenthood.
As a mum myself, I understand the challenges we face as new parents in the modern world. Over the last 12 months I've curated a team of Australia's leading experts in children's health and parenting to provide reliable and consistent expert advice to help mums make informed decisions.
We’ve also just announced the launch of Beyond Birth. This unique event combines expert advice with real and practical insight from actual parents to help expectant parents embrace parenthood with confidence.
What made you decide to be both a mum and a career woman?
To be honest, I just can’t imagine my life any other way. Of course I love being a mum (most days at least) but I also really love my career. I don’t think I could ever give that up and the best part is, I don’t have to.
What challenges do you face balancing both roles and how do you overcome them?
In the early days, my biggest challenge was the mummy guilt. My chest would tighten every time I drove past a mum pushing her baby in a pram or I'd hear an older mother say 'but they grow up so quickly'. It was really difficult at first.
But it didn't take long for me to see how happy we all were and that certainly helped me ditch the mummy guilt. Being a mum with a career just works for my family - it might not work for every family, but it works for mine and, really, that's all that matters right?
These days, my biggest challenge is time. And I'm certainly no superwoman. I'm the first to admit that some days we have no food in the fridge and there's mountains of dirty clothes piling up in the laundry.
One thing that really works for us is sharing a family calendar. We schedule everything months in advance - including work commitments and travel, housework, kid's activities and family days out. My husband and I even pencil in our own 'me-time’ or else we’d just never make it happen. Knowing who is doing what and where just makes it so much easier to allocate and share the parenting responsibility. And I won't lie - we get a LOT of help. You know that saying 'it takes a village to raise a child'? It couldn't be any truer of our family.
The reality is that whether you're a working mum, or a stay at home mum, we all only have 24 hours in the day!
What is one tip you have for unwinding after a stressful day?
For me it's pretty simple - just breathe. It's crazy but most days I have to remind myself to just breathe (and if I forget, my husband or a girlfriend will usually remind me). The reality is that tomorrow is a brand new day and losing what very little sleep we get as mums over today's problems, is just not worth it! And wine. Wine definitely helps!
What is one fun weekend activity that your family enjoys together?
The one thing my husband and I do most weekends is take the girls to our local cafe for babycinos. It's an opportunity for us to reconnect as a family, enjoy a treat and celebrate our wins for the week. Don't get me wrong - it's always messy, it's always loud, and it's always rushed. But it's also always the highlight of my week.
What is one time-saving parenting tip you can recommend?
We just wouldn't survive without our freezer stash of kid’s lunches and dinners. Mealtimes are so much less stressful knowing that there's always something in the freezer for the kids to eat. Sure, it does take a bit of extra time and effort to double or sometimes triple a family favourite recipe. But that's nothing compared to the chaos of cooking dinner from scratch with two tired and cranky kids at my feet!
What benefits do you think there are to being a career mum?
Both of my girls have been in childcare since they were about six or seven months old. Of course it hasn't always been easy (cue the mummy guilt and judgement), but the independence and social confidence they’ve developed while in childcare has been nothing short of incredible.
But honestly, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re a working mum or a stay at home mum. What kids really need is a happy mum. And this is what makes me happy, which in turn makes my family happy.
Lastly, what do you do to ensure you maintain a strong bond with your child/children, despite having numerous responsibilities?
My philosophy with parenting is quality over quantity. It’s true - I don’t spend as much time with my children as most other mums. But during that time we do spend together, they have my 100% undivided attention. I don’t do any housework, I avoid running errands and I let them take the lead. It’s equal parts chaos and fun!
So carve out that time to give your little ones undivided attention, so that even if you can’t give them attention all the time they know you are there for them when it counts!