Mum vs Life: My days of being a domestic goddess are over!

Welcome to the latest installment 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 speak to radio and television personality Yumi Stynes. Yumi is the mother of two gorgeous girls, newly re-married and one of the busiest mums in town. After the end of her successful TV show The Circle she was snapped up for Sydney's first all-female breakfast team on Mix 106.5.

Yumi with her daughters Dee Dee, Anouk and new husband Martin Bendeler



I wake up at exactly 4:25am every morning.  My husband still laughs at the sound of my alarm – which is sort of sounds like an alien hiccupping. I have to spring into action because I need to be in my car and on my way to work by 4:45.  It's like a precision operation!  Every second counts.  


I eat breakfast with great gusto! Once I read somewhere that successful people eat the same breakfast every day – it's one less thing to have to think about.  I don't know if this is true but it makes me feel less lame for repeating my breakfasts day in, day out.  In the summer months I do a soaked, uncooked porridge from The Trump Family Cookbook (an excellent resource if you're into healthy eating) – which is basically oats and water, left to soak.  I top that with natural, full-fat but unsweetened yoghurt and a fat wedge of papaya.  In winter I toast a wholemeal sesame bagel and eat it with vegemite, cottage cheese and avocado.


Sometime showering time is the only peaceful time I get (although recently my husband brought me my ringing phone while I was in there and asked if I wanted to take the call). I shower in the evening so I don't have to take any time with it in the morning.  Also, I think it's a Japanese thing. They don't believe in taking the day's grime and smearing it all over the sheets.  Better to go to bed clean, methinks.



My clothes are already laid out for me the night before – I have to do this because time is so short in the mornings!  I thought I could get away with choosing what to wear in the mornings – but I got to work the first few times and looked down at myself in proper light and realised I looked like a crazy person!  It's so boring and uncool to check the weather for the next day and then lay out clothes based on that – instead of being INSPIRED!  And getting EXPRESSIVE!  But I just have to be organised.  That means also packing each day for work a complete change of running gear that includes fresh bra, undies and socks, so I can go for a run, work up a sweat, then change into clean clothes for the meeting.


Work is fun but very draining.  I have to consciously make an effort to keep replenishing my soul because there's a lot of give involved in this job (talking on the radio) and then I get home and have to give to my husband and give to my children.  But I love my work environment and every single day we all cack ourselves laughing at least five or six times.  It's a blessing to have that in your work life.


My work space is a radio studio and a meeting room. The radio studio overlooks a few trees and rooftops and I watch the city wake up from there every morning. In the office, I'm the one who's anal about germs and clearing away coffee mugs and plates and frowning at used tissues.



I bring my own lunch in.  I love food!  I eat more of it than anyone else at work.  I always have a steady supply of healthy snacks on hand which I like to share. Usually mandarins, cashews, almonds and dried apricots.  I am also a tea nerd so I brought to work a tea pot so I can drink loose-leaf tea during the morning. Green tea makes me feel lean and has a diuretic effect. Good old fashioned English Breakfast makes me feel loved and caffeinated. 


At 9:00am our radio show finishes and everyone takes a break until 9:30am when we commence meetings for the following day's show.  I'm usually changed into my sweats by then and I use the half hour break to go for a 5km run.  This is the most brilliant thing I do at work every day!  I get to leave the office, experience the day and its weather, rest my voice in silence and solitude.  I love those morning runs.

I also see a trainer twice a week, and recently completed a half-marathon.  Exercise is a vital part of my work week, and I consider it non-optional.  I haven't always been like this but there's truly nothing better for clearing your headspace, cheering you up and regulating your moods.


My kids detest how tired work makes me, but they love most other aspects of my work.  The older one has started to say, "DON'T TALK ABOUT THAT ON RADIO!" but they enjoy the attention, they know it makes me happy and they know it pays the bills.  Mostly though I don't think they give it much thought.



Our family always eats together. We sit around a lovely round dining table and eat and chat.  Usually I cook because I prefer to eat healthily – and also I used to be a chef!  My youngest daughter is still exuberant enough in her youth to jump up from the table as soon and she's finished to perform a madcap song or dance she's just made up on the spot.  She likes nothing more than everyone looking at her!  I don't know where she gets that from.


I used to joke that I didn't know true love until I got a cleaner.  It's true.  Carol helps us A LOT.  I also have some key friends Julie and Carla who now, or in years past, have been there to help when I've been in a bind and have never let me down and never made me feel guilty, beholden or obliged. Sadly, my mum lives interstate so my village is my husband (chief villager), my friends and a few amazingly wonderful babysitters.


Sleep comes very easily for me because I've been doing nothing but run around all day!  I try to go to bed early so I don't expire from exhaustion but usually it's after 10:00pm.  We never watch TV unless we have to so at our house it's books, a DVD, cuddles, sleep.


Being organised is key to managing your time and lately I've been unapologetic in using pre-prepared meals to help kick dinner along – like a marinated chicken from the market, or some sort of delicious pie that I can just shove in the oven.  My days of being a domestic goddess are over! We'll have sausages in bread for dinner but with lovely raw vegetables and candlelight and fresh juice.  Somehow the balance works!

You can tune in to Sami Lukis & Yumi Stynes weekdays from 6-9 on Sydney's Mix 106.5 or listen online at

Each morning Yumi shares stories about her family and Sami offers her advice. During a conversation about the difficulty of packing two school lunches each day Sami offered to give it a go. It took her longer than she thought it might and included wraps and Tiny Teddies. The girls loved them!

Mix 106.5 also plays a brilliant variety of music every day.