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CONTRIBUTORS

EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL

7 HARD TRUTHS ON BEING A MUM: SARAH KOSSEW

Samantha Wills

I wish everyone was lucky enough to have a Sarah Kossew in their lives. Sarah is an Aussie, who I met in NYC in the aftermath of holing up at a dive bar waiting for hurricane Irene to pass us by. Now living back in Sydney with her young family, she is one of my favorite things about coming home. She is one of the worlds most thoughtful people, funny as hell, honest to a fault & beyond beautiful (inside & out), and she is  one of my best friends - how lucky am I?! With Mothers Day this weekend, I asked Sarah if she would like to write a few words to share. I couldn’t love what she has written anymore, funny, savvy, raw, honest & brave. I love you Koss, and thank you for sharing this with the world. You are truly one of lifes beautiful people. Happy Mother’s Day, my dear friend. – SWx


My beautiful friend, Sarah Kossew, in NYC at her baby shower for her first baby, Olive. 

My beautiful friend, Sarah Kossew, in NYC at her baby shower for her first baby, Olive. 


Olive & her little sister, Margot. 

Olive & her little sister, Margot. 


You will forget who you are for a while. Someone will ask what you do for a job and you will feel embarrassed as you give a protracted explanation about what you ‘used to do’ and about how ‘you’re a Mum now’.
— Sarah Kossew, Lawyer & Mother

Sarah with her family, husband Matt, Margot & Olive. 

Sarah with her family, husband Matt, Margot & Olive. 


Your mum friends were right: glitter really is the herpes of the craft world. 
— Sarah Kossew

Sarah & I, in NYC in 2013.

Sarah & I, in NYC in 2013.


1. You will find yourself saying at least 10 things per day that you never thought you'd say. 

"Get your tongue off the window/shopping trolley/vending machine"

"Please stop eating my lip balm"

"Just call me when you need me to wipe your bum, darling!"

"For the love of God, can you stop singing The Trolls theme song"

2. You will start writing an email or text message, it will take you 25 mins to gather your thoughts into a semi-coherent sentence, you will be distracted by something, forget what you were doing and then it will sit in your draft folder for 5 weeks until you re-remember it. 

You will recall when your friends who had kids before you used to do this. You used to think to yourself 'how hard is it to just send a simple reply to my email? I mean WTF are they doing all day?' 

Now you know.

3. You will look around your home, and wonder how it became such a sh*t heap. Your couch has peanut butter hand imprints all over it. The rug looks like you have an incontinent pet (you don't). Your doona cover has Sudocream stains on ever corner. There are toys everywhere. They have literally permeated every inch of every room. Your mum friends were right: glitter really is the herpes of the craft world. 

You have to let it go. Or get a cleaner. Or just gather everything into a pile, lie down and play a game I like to call 'who can be the quietest while Mum closes her eyes for just a second'.

4. You will feel guilty about EVERYTHING. 

Guilt about the kind of birth you did, or didn't have. Guilt about whether you can or can't breastfeed, guilt about whether you hand purée kale smoothies or whether you chuck Jamie's frozen fish fingers in the oven for dinner. Guilt about the putrid state of your home. Guilt that you really don't love being at the park for 2 hours. 

The feelings of guilt will be constant, and relentless and you will always feel like you're failing at something. 

You just need to find someone, anyone, to remind you that you're doing the very best you can. And that is good enough for now.

5. You will feel physically and emotionally exhausted all day. You will sometimes fantasize about having appendicitis so you can spend 3-4 nights in hospital resting and being brought food cooked by someone else.

You will promise yourself EVERY morning that you'll go to sleep at 9pm. At 4pm you would pay someone $150,000 just to be able to have a teeny tiny nap. 

And then you will spend from 8-11.30pm EVERY night trawling social media/listening to the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast/Pinteresting modern dolls house furniture. 

Whhhyyyy??? 

(Because it's your only chance to switch off, unwind and not worry about your offspring injuring themselves). But seriously, go the f*ck to sleep already so you can deal with tomorrow.

6. You will forget who you are for a while. Someone will ask what you do for a job and you will feel embarrassed as you give a protracted explanation about what you 'used to do' and about how 'you're a Mum now'. Your body won't feel like your own. You will feel accomplished if you have a shower in the morning. You will never have the time to learn the art of face contouring. Jeggings are now perfectly acceptable. You will notice that you never turn heads on the street anymore (probably coz of the jeggings). 

Presumably, you start to feel like yourself again one day? Still a mum, but maybe not JUST a mum.  

7. Despite all the mess and guilt and exhaustion and the jeggings, you will love your little people so goddam much. You will go into their rooms at night, at the risk of waking them up, after it's taken you literally 73 hours to get them to sleep, just to stare at their gorgeous tiny faces. You will love them in a way you have never loved anything before. 

They will drive you absolutely crazy and this is the hardest job you have ever done, but they are YOUR little people and you will feel it so fiercely, so wholly, with every single ounce of you. 


Follow Sarah on Instagram @SarahIsInSydney