We sat down with the beautiful Charli Robinson (you may remember her from High 5! days), to discuss all things motherhood, sleep and what it's like to have a baby during a global pandemic.
Charli is a breath of fresh air; we simply adore her being part of the eP fam.
You can follow Charli and her beautiful girls on Instagram here.
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. Let's jump right into it, what a wild year it has been.
1. What was your pregnancy like during the lockdown?
To be very honest, it was perfect timing! With my first baby girl Kensington, I was still filming Getaway, so I was aware of covering my belly and travelling with Liam's racing, my cankles were growing by the day. Hosting carols by candlelight on stage jumping around at 8months pregnant etc. etc.
With Theadora, all I had to do was get fat in the backyard! Plus with restrictions on hospitals for visitors, it was lovely that just Liam my partner, and my parents could visit, I could spend the day bonding with my newborn rather than passing her to lots of visitors, the nurses told me many women felt the same.
But I feel so much for those in Victoria that had stricter restrictions, it's heartbreaking to not be with all those you love while giving birth, we need our tribe more than ever, but I know they all proved incredible strength they didn't even know they were capable of. Super mums of 2020 we are!
2. Tell us what it's like going from one to two babes during a pandemic?
We moved house at the start of the pandemic, so there was another element thrown in, but the only hard part was the boarder closing as my parents left to return to NSW. Not knowing when I could see them, and my sister not meeting Theadora till she was three months. In saying that, I know girls with their family overseas, which is even more challenging.
It's hard not knowing 'when', that's what makes emotions higher. Talking of emotions, that was the hard part too. We already ride this roller coaster of newborn emotions, but the underlying pandemic worry was added on top. In saying all that, my babies were a light in a dark year. Babies born are real miracles, a blessing, and I was so thrilled in our newborn bubble.
3. Juicy question, how is miss T sleeping?
We started so well I thought wow I'd got the textbook sleeper! My first Kensington, was up many times through the night until 12months, then she slept 13-14 hours a night (don't groan we deserve that after a rough year!) but Theadora now 5months is waking to feed every 2-3 hours each night. Just little breastfeeding cuddles, and you know what, I don't mind! I know she's my last baby so I'm cherishing every moment with this beautiful newborn of mine.
Extra cuddles at 2am are cuddles other women would give anything for. I'm so aware of the blessing she is, and yes I'm tired, but it won't last forever. The nights are long the years are fast, I'm holding her extra tight before one day she's a teenager running away from cuddles, I'm sure!
4. What do you love about motherhood?
Can I be really honest...seeing my parents with their grandchildren. Now I see how lucky my sister and I are to have them as our parents. They are so patient, so loving and giving towards them. If I can be half the parent they were to us, they will be fortunate girls.
5. What's one thing you can't live without?
Liam! If I didn't have him to tag team, to parent with I don't know how I'd do it. Being away from my family is hard, so I have such new respect for single mums, they deserve a trophy! Incredible strong women!
6. Tell us a bit about your nighttime routine with the girls, what eP product are they wearing?
ergoPouch is a massive part of our routine. Once dinner, bath and book are done, it's 'time to put on your Sleep Suit Bag Kensington' that's her cue, and she runs to the light to go off. She knows the 0.3 TOG Sleep Suit Bag is for her day nap and warmer 1.0 TOG Sleep Suit Bag is for the night. I swear by it! No risk with blankets, you know their warmth and they are so pretty too! We have a baby version (Doll Sleeping Bag) for her sleep bunny too, which she loves to dress before bedtime.
7. How do you balance work and the girls?
I'm again praising Liam here; I wouldn't be able to work without his support. Getaway has been fantastic allowing me to travel with the babies while I was breastfeeding, and my parents adore being babysitters when we travel for work or racing, but that's a lot of extra flying to them, but it's worth it. I pump a lot for Theadora too, as any breastfeeding mum knows that's a job in itself. I miss them terribly every moment, but I hope when they're older, they are proud of their mum and the work I did whilst raising them.
8. Finish this sentence…. Right now, I feel……
So in love with my babies, it hurts. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I can be exhausted beyond comprehension, but I'll still watch Theadora sleeping before closing my eyes. There's a lot of wisdom I've learnt through being a new mum to Kensington, one of those is I now know how quickly time passes and all those sleepless nights will pass. We are all they need. Every baby is born with only love for their parents; it's real; this is your miracle to hold.
9. What's the best advice you can give to new mamas?
Don't read all the books. Or read them, then throw them out. Don't compare sleep with over babies. Don't worry that you're not enough - you are. Don't worry if you're in PJs all day for that first month or two. It's the 4th trimester. Breathe. And when you're overwhelmed, cry. Because I promise you the smiles will outweigh your tears. After birth, you'll be very emotional, tell your partner to allow you to be irrational at times. You will be sleep deprived. But above all, remind yourself it's YOUR baby. You do know what's best, millions have gone before you, you can do this.
10. And finally, what's your fave eP product for the girls?
The Sleep Suit Bag with legs zip, Kensington loves it as she's become a toddler. The Cocoon Swaddle Bag and Long Sleeve Layer for Theadora. The Bodywear is a must, especially for daytime adventures. And mamas - the Robe, I live in it, and it's perfect for late-night feeds. Honestly all the products, I couldn't do without them for sleep time, they travel everywhere with us.