Ep. 16 2019 - Gwen Sams Founder of Love Aunty Amy
In this episode of the busy mum podcast, I speak with Gwen of Love Aunty Amy. Gwen started her business in honour of her sister Amy (who was an awesome Aunty). She passed away at 25 from a stroke.
How do you define yourself and what you do in your business (if you have one) and your family life?
I am a mum of two boys, a 4 year old with a cheeky streak and a wrecking ball who just turned 3 who’s “Terrible 2’s” is showing. I used to live in country WA on a sheep farm and we now live in Melbourne. I don’t think I will ever get used to the winters!
Love Aunty Amy was launched in March 2017 to help awesome aunties find the best gifts for their favourite little people. I started the business after having my second child and realizing people without kids really just have no idea what to buy a baby or child! It was named after my sister Amy, the original favourite aunty, who died when she was 25 from a stroke. It has been a long ride since she died in 2010 but now I feel really lucky to create memories with Amy, even without her.
Describe for us, a day in the life of you. Do you have any tips or life hacks?
The days are fairly long in our house but relaxed. I have early risers and a husband gone from 6-6 on week days so mornings are always just me so I try to be organized and prioritize. The boys go to daycare 2 days a week (a 15 minute walk from home) so on daycare days bags are packed and clothes are out the night before, but the departure time to day care can be anytime from 8 – 8.30 am. The days I get to work I try to be head down working and then the days the boys are home I generally don’t even try to work until they are in bed.
My oldest is starting kinder this year though so all routine is being thrown up in the air and I will have 1 in kinder 3 half days a week, one in daycare 2 full days a week so will only get 10 hours a week of “work” so it will be a juggle. But it means I get a few hours 2 days a week with my oldest before he starts school which I am excited about.
What was the best advice you have received?
Dress for the position you want, not the position you have! My sister told me this when I was 19 and stared working in my first office job and even after I left the corporate world I often think about it. These day’s I don’t think it is so much about the clothes I wear (although I can’t work in my pjs or activewear without thinking I am not really working), but more about starting things how you intend to finish them and always looking forward, aiming for the next thing.
Where do you go to get your entertainment? E.g. Netflix, Books, Podcasts, YouTube, and what are your fave’s.
I have to admit I am a sucker for reality TV and I like anything from drama to lifestyle. I have always had a slight obsession with home renovation, probably thanks to The Block circa 2006 but these days if I am not in the middle of a series like Unreal (my guilty pleasure of drama) I am watching 9Life and cramming episodes of Fixer Upper. However my 2019 goal is to read a book a month so my TV watching might have to take a back seat.
What is your go to dinner!
Burritos are on high rotation in our house, particularly over summer. We even used to give the boys a deconstructed burrito when they were little, but these days they like to hold it like us, but that often brings tears of frustration when it falls apart!
What one area of your life would you like to improve?
It’s a bit cliché as a mum but it’s about slowing down and making time for me. I think as a family we have lots of slow days (we have no family in Victoria so our time is often our own which can be nice, but no family close by can also be a curse) but I don’t get much time to slow down solo. I end up pushing the boundaries and staying up late for solo time after working in the evenings and then am up from about 5.30 am for the boys so some more time before 9 pm for me would be lovely!
What’s your greatest fear and how do you deal with it?
Apart from the absolute extreme of something happening to my husband or kids, I really hope I don’t let life pass me by. I was 23 when Amy died, and when I turned 25 I felt like I had little to show for my time on earth. I don’t have plans for world domination, but I do have plans for making the most out of my days and not sweating the small stuff. I love speaking with people and communicating, and I love sharing about Amy and giving people who didn’t know her a chance to how amazing she was. I am also doing my best to teach 2 little boys about the big wide world and making sure they grow up loving themselves and having people love them. Because love really is the most important thing in the world.
1. What website have you signed up to that you actually find value in receiving their emails.
I get really overwhelmed with emails so rarely open any of them! However I have been reading Lisa Messengers books recently and just joined her mailing list so I am hoping for big things.
2. What’s one piece of advice you would give your pre baby self
Love your body and what it is about to do! At times in life I have had an unhealthy relationship with food and eating has been about control, thankfully not to the extreme but more than it should have. Being skinny was the main focus of my late teens and early 20s, and I wish I had just loved it for how amazing it was, not what I wanted it to look like! Having kids has made me accept my body, lumps and all and know that I may never have cellulite free thighs like I did at 20 (and at that point always worried they were big), but I do have two amazing little humans who love me.
3. What’s the most useful / useless baby item you have?
The most useful is a baby carrier – with 1 kid it was handy on those tough days, and with having 2 kids 19 months apart it was essential for baby number 2! And the most useless was probably a nappy bin. I used it for a year or so but it was an expensive way of throwing away nappies when a bin and bin liners or nappy bags work just as well at about 1/8 of the price!
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