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"Forget the idea of perfection": Sarah Harris on letting go of the mental load.

Sarah Harris is a journalist, TV presenter and busy mum of two. And she has zero time for BS.  

Between juggling 20 hours of live morning TV a week and the demands of two high-energy little boys, Harris' life sounds... exhausting. And she's always quick to make it clear that the juggle is not easy.

The popular Australian media personality is one of the real ones. She's delightfully refreshing. Candid. Honest. Both on-screen and off.

Watch: What it's like being stuck in a lift with Sarah Harris. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Whether it's Harris posting a pic on Instagram of herself in PJs, craving caffeine after another sleepless night, or candidly sharing a photo of herself sleeping and breastfeeding on live TV - she paints the reality of motherhood exactly as it is. Bloody difficult.

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And as she approaches 40, the media personality and ambassador for the Blackmores Cold, Flu and Immune health range, tells Mamamia she has a whole new take on motherhood, self-care and being okay with not nailing the balance.

On her morning and night routine...

"I'm straight up when my alarm screeches at 5am to guzzle coffee and check the news before the kids wake up and the morning descends into madness!"

Come evening time, it's rinse and repeat. With a side of... murder.

"I'm a total nanna and usually in bed 9pm where I'm lulled to sleep by either a guided meditation or a serial killer podcast, depending on my mood." 

On prioritising her health....

When it comes to motivating herself to exercise, Harris' approach is pretty simple - don't treat it like it's impossible.

"Don't think too much about it, just get it done! You don't need to be the fittest, fastest or strongest: you just need to move. Every day. You never regret working up a sweat," she said.

"I'm back into running after a bit of a hiatus and damn it feels good to get moving again. My head's a mess without regular exercise. Gimme those endorphins!"

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Like a lot of mums, when life gets hectic and schedules and to-do lists are overflowing, Harris said her own health and wellbeing always suffers first - something she's slowly learning to prioritise.

Listen: Eve Rodsky explains the solution for sharing the mental load. Post continues after audio. 

"Us mums are great at looking for after other people, but we're terrible at looking after ourselves. We know exercise, good food and enough rest (lol - what's that??) all helps, and there are some great supplements within the Blackmores Immunity range that can help strengthen your immune health too."

On what's on her plate...

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"If I'm not organised, I reach for junk - so I try to meal prep a few healthy meals for the week on a Sunday," said Harris. "Chicken, brown rice and broccoli is a bit of go-to for me. By Friday the wheels have fallen off, and it's takeaway with the kids." 

On her favourite treatment to indulge in...

"While my boys are very active, my three-year-old gets sick of walking pretty fast... last week I carried him all the way over the Sydney Harbour Bridge!"

"All that lifting and carrying can wreak havoc on my back, so every couple of months I get a really good massage. It's gotta hurt to work out all those knots!"

On coping with the mental load...

If you're a mum, chances are you're pretty familiar with the juggling act between your own needs and the needs of those around you. 

And the "mental load" of having a career, raising kids, maintaining a household and organising day-to-day life is something Harris said she's still learning how to approach - and is something she's struggled with in the past.

"I'm almost 40 and I'm only just working out now that I'm a better mum when I look after myself better. If I'm rundown, everything else starts to fall apart," said Harris. "The older I get, the more I realise even ‘SuperMums’ need a bit of self-care."

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The grind of morning TV, and the pressure of ‘being on’ for three hours a day would be enough to exhaust anyone. Hell, we're exhausted just writing it.

So, when it comes to her mental health, Harris said it's all about tuning out and switching off.

"I like guided sleep meditations to turn off my anxious mind before bed and I'm making more of an effort at mindfulness, especially with the boys," she said.

"I'm getting into the habit of switching off my phone for an hour in the afternoon to focus on play time with my little people before the chaos of witching hour."

Along with learning to look after her mental and physical health, Harris tells Mamamia that these days she worries less about trying to live up to the expectation of being the 'perfect mum', and instead embracing the stuff that really matters.

"Forget the idea of perfection. Life is messy! Kids are messy! Let go and enjoy the ride!"

How do you cope with the mental load of motherhood? Share you experience with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: @whatsarahsnapped

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