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"It makes you super laser-focused." How becoming a mother has changed how Laura Byrne works.

Laura Byrne is a busy woman.

She juggles a full-time job, owning and designing jewellery for her label Toni May, hosts two podcasts: Life Uncut and Mamamia's Me After You, and raises her one-year-old daughter Marlie-Mae with her fiancé Matty J.

On this week's episode of Lady Startup StoriesLaura sat down with Mia Freedman to discuss how she built up her business from a stall at Bondi Markets to a shop on Oxford St in Paddington, how she managed Toni May while appearing on The Bachelor, and how becoming a mother has changed how she works.

Listen to the whole interview with Laura Byrne and Mia Freedman here. Post continues below.

After Marlie-Mae was born in June 2019, Laura decided not to take maternity leave. Not because she had to go back to work, but because she wanted to.

"I was really lucky because we were very established when I had Marlie," Laura told Mia.

"My sister had a baby the year before and we made allowances around that. So we both didn't take maternity leave, not because we couldn't but because we didn't really want to."

Laura said that during the first year of being a mum, she was scared about losing her sense of self if she took the time off.

"I really thought that I would lose who I am if I spent too much time at home. So I would bring Marlie to work from when she was four weeks old and put her in the bouncer under the table," she said.

"I really felt like I had something to prove [to myself] in that first year so I didn't take any time off," she continued.

Now, as Marlie-Mae has passed the one year mark, Laura continues to balance work and motherhood. Thankfully, both she and her partner Matty J have flexible work schedules.

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"I've still been juggling the whole 'I have a full-time job and a baby with no daycare assistance'," Laura explained. 

"I have a babysitter who comes two full days a week for her and then Matt and I rotate the other days.

"We're both very lucky because our careers are flexible so we organise our work so one person has a full intensive day of work and the other person is at home with Marlie," she said.

But as Laura explained, the good thing about juggling both a baby and a business is that when she is working, she needs to be as productive as possible.

"Something that I realised after having a baby is that it makes you super laser-focused," she said. 

"I now get two days' worth of work done, in the one day that I have free because it just makes you go, 'I need to be productive.'

"Every minute counts," she said.

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Feature image: Instagram/@ladyandacat

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