friendship

Mum vs Life: Sophie Falkiner "Sometimes my daughter pretends she's not related to me"

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

This week we feature the lovely Sophie Falkiner, a TV presenter, model and mum of two – Isabella, 8, and Jack, 4.

SOPHIE FALKINER

Run us through your typical day?

There is no such thing as a “typical” day for me. Work changes from day to day, some days I could be doing a TVC, Mcing an event, charity work, morning TV or a photo shoot. Other days, I’m doing school drop offs, and pick ups, doing extra curricular activities with the kids, housework, groceries, play dates, pilates, cooking and helping with homework.

What are the challenges you face?

Not getting “Mother’s guilt” when I have a particularly busy week with work. I worry when the balancing act leans towards one side much more than the other. Having enough quality time with my husband is another. We are often both so tired going on a “date night” doesn’t seem as appealing as an early night. However, once we have gone out we are always so glad we did! I find putting the phone away, and not checking work emails, texts and social media when I’m with the family, hard sometimes especially when you get persistent calls. Also, learning that saying “no” to extended family and friends is okay sometimes. That it’s not the end of the world to prioritise your own family and have days where you do nothing but hang out at home.

What is your favourite time of the day?

For my son, first thing in the morning when he quietly gets into bed with me, and has morning cuddles and tells me, “I love you Mamma”. So sweet! For my husband when he walks in the door after work, or time away, and I realise how blessed I am to have him in my life. With my daughter, it’s my bedtime, when my husband and I get a different creative, picture, phrase, poem or drawing on our pillow every night from her. She is very creative, and some of her pictures are laugh out loud, while others bring a tear to my eye. Bella is a creative, loving little soul.

When is the last time you almost lost your cool when dealing with your kids?

When my son was too quiet a little while ago. I went to check on him and he had taken the pipes out of the back of the  washing machine while water was flowing through them on a wash cycle. Needless to say, the whole laundry/ rumpus room was flooded. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I made him help me fill buckets of water to outside and help mop the floor. It took a good few hours. His bucket was very small, and he hated cleaning up. He won’t be doing that again in a hurry!

When is the last time one of your children embarrassed you in public?

I was going to a kid’s movie premiere with my family. I mentioned to them, that I really needed to use the ladies while we were parking. On checking in, there were about 10 cameras and PR company people. My son proceeded to tell them while we were getting our passes. “You better hurry up, because Mumma is RRRRREALLY busting and she needs to do wees right now!” Funny, but embarrassing…

Have you ever embarrassed one of your children in public?

Always… I regularly embarrass my daughter in the mornings when I’m able to drop her off at school, she has a school pick up line where lots of girls are making there way into school. I always wind down all the windows and Jack (my son) and I, and sometimes his school buddy (Freddie) too, enjoy yelling out, “we love you Bella” at the top of our lungs. She always makes a very quick dash into school and pretends she is not related to me…

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How does being a modern mum make you feel? What are the specific challenges you face?

First and foremost it makes me feel busy! I love that women in this day and age have choices. However, with our general cost of living (and with most of my friends’ families) both parents need to do some kind of work, to help towards finances. It’s hard because we are all so hectic and things can fall through the cracks, if you don’t pay attention. Like all Mums’ it’s about getting the balance right and you worry if some areas of your life aren’t getting the attention they deserve. I constantly question myself…Am I spending enough quality time with my children? My husband? My work? My family and friends? on “me time”? (Like exercise and general health check ups?) I haven’t been to a dentist in years! How much sleep am I getting? What do I think is not getting enough attention? Am I spreading myself too thin? Am I prioritising the right areas of my life? The challenge is dividing your time up, the right way!

How do you get everything done and ensure you pay enough attention to your children?

I am a daggy list-maker, it’s the only way I can organise my time effectively. So I can visually see, when my time is going to be with my kids and husband. I also, have a work calendar on my fridge, an extra curricular schedule, kids school schedules too, and a place where we can all see social events and the 100’s of kid’s parties we seem to attend. I make sure I am able to spend enough time doing the normal Mum things with my kids to make me feel comfortable. If, for example, I had to work every day and night for one week. The next week, I would tell work I need to spend with my kids and husband, and say “no” to things. I’m constantly prioritising, so that the people that I love know that, yes, I do work. However, they still get my attention and feel important and valued.

Was it hard to go back to work after becoming a mum?

To be brutally honest, with my daughter I was looking forward to going back to part- time work. She had silent reflux badly, and the first 8 months (when she was undiagnosed) it was just she and I against the world, all day every day. None of my best friends had babies yet, everyone was at work, and my family all were unable to help out. I found it quite isolating, especially off the back of travelling the world for the Great Outdoors and being in studios with Wheel Of Fortune.

It was a tough time, you feel guilty about being jealous of your husband going off to work. Part time work gave me the adult interaction that made me a better Mum when I got home. With my son, he was an easy baby (after being diagnosed very early with silent reflux). I understood how magical that time could be. So yes, it was hard going back to work. Especially considering I knew it was my last baby. You relish the time you have “one on one” with them.

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How do you make weekends special for your family? Or are they just as crazy and busy as weekdays?

They can be busy and crazy, but crazy together as a family, not separately. We don’t do drop offs for my son’s parties yet (he is only 4) so we all go together. If we go out, we tend to do a lot of BBQs at friends houses or at mine, where the kids and adults all have fun together. We also go for lots of long walks with our kids. Jack can walk from Vaucluse to Bondi! (We catch a cab home). I find exercising with them is beneficial to all of us. The kids open up to us and talk about their lives. We all get some exercise and the kids sleep well. So it’s win-win !

Are you an involved mum when it comes to school and activities or do you prefer to take a step back?

I have never been the ‘class Mum’ or gone to all the cocktail parties and get-togethers. I’m sometimes late with permission slips and some of our book week costumes have been questionable, to say the least. However, I’ll do reading groups, help out on school excursions, and always make plays and special assemblies. I have never missed a sports carnival, and I love to cheer Bella on every Saturday at soccer.

What kind of questions do your children ask you about your work?

Not much really, I don’t really talk about it unless they ask. If they ask, I just tell them it’s a job, like everyone else has a job. You just get to see what I’m working on sometimes. I place a lot of importance on being a good person and that fame and being famous doesn’t necessarily make you happy. Bella is at an age where her friends are talking about fame like it is “cool”. Her friends have told her that I’m “famous”. I asked her what she said back, and she said… “It’s just a job that Mum likes doing and it what’s on the inside that counts, not being famous.”

Although I hate to admit it, I kind of like it when Jack confuses my Bioglan ad’s for Jennifer Hawkins. He always says, “is that you Mumma? You look beuwdiful.” It makes a nearly 40 year old Mum of two feel good. He is a little charmer.

If you could ask for any sort of parenting advice, what would it be?

What’s the best advice you can give to children when all the peer pressure and bullying/bitchiness will inevitably start? How do you teach them to deal with it in the most effective way, while still being kind, independent and confident kids?

If you could share one thing you’ve learned about motherhood, what would it be?

Trust your gut, really speak to them and get to know them, give them oodles of love and quality time, and don’t forget to laugh!

Sophie has a broad skill set, being accomplished in different arenas from entertainment news and interviewing to hosting shows and her greatest passion, lifestyle. Sophie enjoys family, cooking, travel, health and fitness, fashion and renovating.
She juggle family, friends, career and exercise whilst maintaining a happy and positive outlook.

You can contact her through Chic Celebrity here.

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