In this series I begin by interviewing Sydney based ultra-busy mum and business woman Kodie Marie Atkinson, founder of Miss Marie Photography and The Fairytale Cottage. I threw a tonne of questions her way. Her answers were both insightfully honest and thankfully reassuring, showing us that the craziness that is parenting and work is a manageable part of life — she just handles it with optimism.

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Tell us a little about who you are, what you do and your family life?

Hello, I’m Kodie. I’m 28 years old. I’m married with two boys, Ace and Kruz who are 5 and 3. I run two businesses – The fairytale Cottage and Miss Marie Photography.

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What does a typical day look like for you in the Atkinson house?

Well if I was an outsider I would generally say chaos. I get up, answer messages on my computer for a little bit, I make the boys breakfast and lunches, I chase them around the house trying to dress them, we feed our puppy  and have a play and I have a phone call to my mum — It’s very important I speak to her in the morning or she will ring me allll day until I answer!

Then I do school drop, either drop Kruz at school too otherwise return to answer emails, edit photos, clean gowns, make lolly bags, answer phones and hide in a cupboard if Kruz is home :D. We pick Ace up and from then on it’s a total blur… bed, bath, dinner, homework, trying to prevent my lounge room from hosting the next world champion boxing title – I’m sure you get the drift. Then that clock hits 7:30pm and I’m diffusing the room with lavender and ceedarwood ready to send those boys to Fairytale land.

What’s one big challenge you have faced and overcome in the last 12 months?

Being a full time mum and running two businesses with a husband that works massive hours. I have really felt a huge pull and I have managed to just hang in there. My husband is going to cut down some of his hours and I know that’s going to be a massive help.

What’s the biggest success highlight for you in the last 12 months?

The Launch of The Fairytale Cottage! It is a very new business and it’s been so much fun planning and building it :) We are also a finalist of the business awards so that’s exciting!

How do you stay organised? Do you have any tools or tips you can share for busy mums and dads?

I don’t have any tips on staying organised but I do have a tip for when you’re feeling unorganised —

Sometimes when the week has been chaotic and I look at my house and feel defeated, I tell myself;

“Hey, it’s ok! You were just surviving this week and sometimes that’s ok! Next week is a bit quieter and you can catch up then.”

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Tell us a little about your business(s) and what you most enjoy about them?

I really enjoy being able to give mums a break and have the whole party sorted for her. I love seeing all the mums when they come in to pick up their children and they’ve have had some time to sit at the cafe, have a chat and a coffee and have just a little bit of adult time.

I also love creating magical memories for children. I love watching their little faces light up as they walk through the door – it’s so rewarding!

How do you juggle parenting, relationships and work life?

Balance… Oh my goodness is that even a word when you have a family?

So I’m doing ok with the work-children balance but the husband thing… well thats tricky! We barely spend alone time together so we need to work on that.

“Soorryyy Harley! I’ll make it up to you when you’re a stay at home dad!”

What do you think is the most important part of parenting?

For me it’s just not being too hard on yourself, or them. You’re learning their learning and we just need to be supportive and kind to ourselves.

So often I hear mums say; “I haven’t had a bath in years!” and I think “why?”. Obviously they think there are other things that can be done but don’t be so hard on yourself… have a bath, read a book, enjoy a tea… or wine! Just be kind to yourself – you deserve it!

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Thank you to Kodie for sharing with us all a bit about your busy life. It’s humbling to hear from someone whom is both self-aware and passionately driven to manage a family and a busy career.

If you’d like to learn more about Kodie and what she does you can visit her over on facebook.

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The Parenting Profile Series – This series puts hardworking parents under the spotlight. I interview ultra-busy mums and dads alike. I go on a journey to pick their brains to bring you engaging interviews, giving insights into how they juggle a busy work schedule with parenting life — and manage to survive the day while they are at it.

If you’d like to be featured or have someone to recommend for a feature send an email to ivansiladji@gmail.com.

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