Mum vs Life: "Sometimes I feel like I'm on autopilot"

Welcome to the latest instalment of our brand new series Mum vs Life. Each week we’ll feature a prominent Aussie mum and take you through her day.

This week we talk to business woman Bianca Kristallis who built the Pamper Hamper Gifts empire while raising two adorable children.

"From the second my feet touch the floor it's go go go..."

My alarm wakes me at 6.40am 6 days per week, my body clock is used to it as I’m a stickler for routine. Firstly I turn the mute button off my phone and check orders that have come through my site overnight. Then from the second my feet touch the floor it’s go go go. I’m making school lunches for my 6 year old twins, breakfast, helping them dress, braiding my daughters long hair, getting myself ready and then flying out the door. Whilst rushing I’m reading emails from my phone in case there is something important.

"My kids know my shower is 'me' time..."

I’m a shower person, I have one in the morning and the night......Love my shower......I pretty much have no cold water running only hot. I scold my back, its that hot. But it relaxes me. The shower is my thinking time. It’s where I have 10 minutes of peace and assess my day or week ahead. My kids know to stay away from mummy while she is in the shower.......they know it’s ME time.

"The last time my kids embarrassed me in public was while shopping"

I was on holiday with my parents and the twins recently in Hawaii and my daughter said she needed to go to the bathroom while we were shopping in Victoria's Secret. I asked her to please hold it as this is mummy's favourite shop...well I turned around to see her peeing through her clothes, on the shop floor...

"I love my job"

I leave the house to drop my twins to school at 8.15, grab my coffee and I’m at my desk by 8.50am.

My work day is different each day however it’s usually consumed with emails from wholesalers and customers, phone calls, delegating , stock ordering and loads of meetings.

I love my job. I’m the founder of my business and therefore my own boss so it’s very easy to get through my day. I have no one to answer to however the work load keeps me going. There is always something to do, never a dull or quiet moment at the Pamper Hamper Gifts headquarters. I’m known by my friends as a “Doer” I tend not to procrastinate, I believe in getting my tasks done so I can move onto the next thing.

"I never eat fruit..."

I take lunch to work 2-3 times per week, the other days I’m at lunch meetings or I purchase a sandwich from the local cafe nearby. I have one coffee per day and have no time to snack, however if the staff offer me a nibbly I won’t say no. I tend to exercise more in the hotter months, however I do walk Coogee to Bronte once per week. Then when I remember I will do lunges and squats , about 50 of each a few times per week. I eat vegetables with dinner however I never eat fruit. Something I struggle to eat not sure why.


"My favourite time of the day is school pick up"

My favourite time of day is 3pm - school pick up. Nothing makes me happier than to see my twins' cute little faces filled with giggles and laughter. It makes me think of the important things in life and the worries and stresses of the day really do melt away.

"They talk about my business during Topic Talk at school..."

Connor and Chloe love what I do. They love coming to the showroom and pretend to make their own hampers. They even speak about mummy's Pamper Hamper Gifts during Topic Talk as school. They are very cute. I’m trying to instill the work ethic in them from a young age. I want them to know you need to work hard to make money and get ahead, even if it’s helping mummy in the home.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm on autopilot"

Not sure really… sometimes I feel like I'm on autopilot.  Stuff just gets done. My kids are lucky I can drop them and pick them up each day from school. My work location and hours make it possible. I also take them to their sporting activities and parties and stuff.  You just prioritise, schedule and somehow it all kind of fits in…

"The twins have become fantastic eaters..."

I cook home cooked meals most nights. The twins have become fantastic eaters this year and have started to eat what I eat, which is great. We eat together at the dinner table. I was brought up eating with my parents every night. It’s important bonding time and usually we chat about school and the weekend. I end my day pretty late as I usually work a little of an evening, but I sometimes get stuck watching TV in bed. I get stuck on a show and then before I know it it’s 1am ! I wish I could get to bed at at a more reasonable hour but that’s just not me!

"I have a strong network of friends with kids"

I suppose this is why I have such a strong network of friends with kids. We ask each other questions, tell our stories and are there for one another to help. I do have my own parenting techniques which I believe I adapted from my parents. My group always ask each other for tips and advice, so I guess I'm blessed in that way…

"Make your children's childhood fun and memorable"

One thing I have learned about motherhood is to make your children's childhood fun and memorable. Surround them with loads of love, friends and family. It's important to be there for them as much as you can.

Bianca Kristallis is a self-confessed hoarder who, from the age of five, collected Barbie dolls, make-up and shoes. She is now the owner and director of Pamper Hamper Gifts, a luxury online gift service which she founded in 2004. As a finalist in the Marie Claire Young Business Women’s Award in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2011, Bianca has been recognised for the business she has built whilst raising her beautiful twins.