Ep. 24 2018 - Amanda Stokes
In this episode of the Busy Mum podcast I speak with Amanda Stokes - founder of Mirror Mirror on my wall.
Tell me about yourself:
I am a 43-year-old mother to 3 children, Josh 9, Lily 7 and Charli 5.
I began teaching in 2002. In that time, I have worked in the Government and Private Systems, as well as spending 4 years as the teacher on the Paediatric Ward of a major hospital. In 2007 I worked part time as I completed my Master in Counselling qualification.
I got married in January of 2007 after a 5 year on and off again relationship, where my husband luckily stuck around through me telling him I was never going to love him. I eventually proposed in May of 2006.
In May of 2017, I came out that I’d suffered with Bulimia for 20 years. During recovery I reflected on where I had learnt everything about food and my body, and I’d learnt it all from my mum who dieted and battled with her body. When my low carb diet began impacting my then 6-year-old daughter, I knew I needed to create a change and put an end to the intergenerational pattern of food and body image issues in my family.
I made the decision to create the Mirror Movement, for mothers with food and/or body issues, who had daughters.
At the end of last year, I approached the private school I was working at to tell them that I would start blogging over the holidays, but I was told that wasn’t allowed (your opinions are not your own when you are employed in a private school), I resigned that afternoon.
In 2018 I’ve written a book, ‘Mirror Mirror On My Wall’, been to China to create prototypes of Positive Body Image dolls, started my journey as a presenter and worked a few days a week as a relief teacher.
Describe a day in the life of you:
I wake up at 5.33am and get to the gym at 5.45. I return home by 6.50am, and make coffee and head upstairs back to bed.
School lunches are all prepared the night before, and my kids get themselves ready, dressed, breakfast, teeth etc.
I work as a relief teacher (at my kid’s school 400m down the road), so some mornings I get a call at 7, in which case I jump in the shower at 7.30am, and we leave together at 8.30am.
If I’m working, my husband drops my youngest at day care, but if I’m not working, she stays home with me.
What is the best advice you ever received:
I think not to do anything for your kids that they can do themselves. I feel like we are breeding lazy, indulged, entitled children. My son refused to butter his toast, he said he couldn’t do it. I disagreed, as I felt he was being lazy and making excuses. We had a stand off for months. He would only eat it if I buttered it and I refused. Eventually he started doing it himself, my persistence paid off!
What books are you currently reading or tv?
I tend to be so tired at night that all I watch are things like Australian Story, Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent, Dateline, Insight etc. Even then I tend to fall asleep half way through!
If you cook, meal prep tips:
Basic, easy and always make enough to stretch 2 nights.
I make chicken nuggets that the kids love:
Diced chicken breast, dipped in flour, egg, seasoned bread crumbs. The kids love to help make these, it’s messy but the dustpan works a treat! We also do homemade chips with them.
We do quick stir fries, pasta, there’s always bolognaise sauce frozen in the fridge, and if things are really bad, dinner of cereal never killed anyone!
What one area of your life would you like to improve?
My finances!! After giving up a $100,000 a year job and spending money writing and publishing a book this year and setting up my website etc. I’d really love to see more money coming in!
Preparing all lunches the night before.
Allowing plenty of time, I hate rushing so I get up earlier than I have to and get stuff done stress free!
1. I don’t really read any of the emails I get
2. That being a mum is bloody hard and you won’t feel like you’re great at it but that’s ok.
3. Useful baby item: the Bumbo Most useless baby item: wipe warmer