Retro Mummy in Sunday Life

All the photos in this post were taken by the super talented James Horan – check out his websites James Horan Shoots People and Solas (his wedding photography business). Thank you James for allowing me to share them here.

Well yesterday I was in Sunday Life magazine (you can read it here) and I think I did a good job of keeping it kind of quiet in the lead up. I expected some backlash to the article and that’s ok. The world would be a pretty boring place if everyone was the same or didn’t have an opinion. And my blog would be a very boring place if I was too scared of what other people thought of me. I just did a session during my time away last week about how we need to get out of our comfort zone if we want to go anywhere in our life. So true. In every aspect of our life. Opening up your life and home to a big newspaper, yep that’s getting out of your comfort zone.

Anyway, I work so hard on this blog. If you’ve been here a while you know that. Late nights, answering emails, running my own website, taking all of my own photos, working with some of the biggest brands here in Australia and running all of my social media stuff that goes along with running a blog these days. 1am is the usual time I flop into bed each night. But I love it. L-O-V-E. I have the best life right now. And I get to be home with the people I love. It makes me happy. I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to sit still and always wants the best life ever.

I did the biggest clean up before the lovely Alex came over to interview me. We talked about loads of things – from the expectation that I was always going to go uni (and it had to be a top uni like ANU where I completed my Bachelor of Commerce), how my mum had a PhD in philosophy (womens studies!!!!) and Alex’s mum had a PhD too,  how would I react if my girls didn’t want to go to uni and I even showed her the kids bedrooms with unmade beds and clothes in piles on the floor because of course I cleaned downstairs and didn’t get the time to make upstairs presentable. We talked about how my mum went back to work when I was in year 4 and I hated it. I had to catch the bus home and had a key to get in the door with my sister. We’d watch agro on tv, have a few biscuits and wait till she came home. Everyone else had someone waiting at home for them but both my parents were working hard to pay off a mortgage.

It did influence the way I wanted to bring up my family but I love that my mum wanted a career herself and for me too. She was an ambitious and hard working woman who only left work when the cancer in her brain left her too sick to work. Two school terms before she died is when she finally left work because she was just too sick. Even when she couldnt drive due to her treatment she held down a full time job with people driving her around… the last year of her life. She was that devoted to her career  and I just wanted her to retire and spend her last year with family. She was a huge influence in my life and was so proud of everything I did.

I am crying right now as I write this. She was an amazing woman and I miss her so much. All she wanted was to give me the best life possible. She went without so I could do ballet, piano and horse riding. I was never allowed to wear thongs because when she was growing up in south west sydney they didn’t have money for shoes in summer so she’d always have to wear thongs. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money but my parents loved me so much and just wanted the best for me. And she is the reason why I am the way I am. And I know that Alex couldn’t write an article about my life story or every little detail about my life but I loved the article and photo. She is an amazing writer.

Having the photos taken was so much fun. A few days after the interview the most amazing makeup artist Shane came out. What a life she has led and the night before I thought I’d check out her website to see who was coming to my house. Oh ok she’s done Drew Barrymore and other hollywood celebrities as well as models and lots of Australian celebrities. Oh cool. Great, she’s coming out to the suburbs to do little old me. I love when she politely said she’d correct my eyebrows for me. The eyebrows I do myself. She was just lovely and what I would do to have my make up done professionally again!

Then James Horan the photographer arrived. What a character. We had a lot of fun during the day. And I had to laugh when I saw the paper yesterday with just 2 photographs….he took hundreds from 11am to 4pm! And the photo he did take was hilarious – I said to him ‘ living the dream’ and ‘welcome to the suburbs’. I hate washing! And James has ever so kindly allowed me to share the photos here so long as I link back to him. Easy. He was just so funny and it was like he was part of the family, the kids loved him.

Oh and I have to say a big thanks to my school mum friends who were texting me telling me how lovely I looked in the paper! I mean these are the ladies that see me everyday looking less than glamorous wrangling 5 kids and trying to keep them all happy. And my gorgeous readers and lovely people who know me who are just proud of what I’ve achieved. Thank you for your support.


  1. Beautiful pictures. I wont get to see the article but I am sure it is wonderful. Good for you and enjoy your successes – you deserve it.

  2. Well done Corrie. Love the pics. And thanks for the story about Mum. Behind every face we see on the Internet there’s a story. I think a lot of people forget that. xxx

  3. Elizabeth Canavan says:

    Lovely photos , well done

  4. Corrie, this would have to be my most favourite of all of your blog posts…. ever. I read that article, but having this as a follow up really helps to get your opinion across. My Mum was a BIG feminist in the 70’s (and still is quite frankly!) and she always says that women fought for the rights to be treated equal in all aspects of life, and to allow women in the future the right to choose what life they wanted. Whether that be in a career OR the home (or whatever else they fancied!) and to be treated with the respect that all women deserve, no matter what they choose. She says they fought for the right to have it all, no matter what having it all means to you. I hope that made sense, as now I am crying too!

  5. What beautiful photos Corrie, I especially love the craft room ones with all the kids. I think your mum would be very proud of you and your lovely family.

  6. Corrie, I can’t remember how I found your blog but I just want to say I’m so glad I did. Every little interaction I have with you (whether it’s on your blog or via Facebook) gives me that little touch of inspiration and encouragement I need to get through my day. You’re an amazing woman and I’m so glad you put in the time and energy to share your spark to the world. God bless!

  7. Ha ha….I love Elodie getting a flash of nappy in there :) lovely shots… the one with the kids on the side and you in front of the screen…..your time to shine :)
    Maybe you are doing all the things you wished that your mum could have done had there been enough time for it all…family is way precious x

  8. beautiful pics Corrie and once again I am grateful to you for saying it how it is. You don’t preach or judge: you just share.

  9. Corrie I loved the article, and the photos! For me the point of the article was perfect – you have to do what is right for you and your family. I’ve a couple of degrees, worked a corporate role with lovely salary and benefits. Today I’m a stay at home Mum of two, and paint furniture. It works for me and I’m happy to do it. I’m a woman and I can CHOOSE to be any one of a million things, and be proud of all of them. Well done Corrie

  10. Catherine says:

    Corrie I am normally too shy to leave a comment on your blog post but your blog today touched me in so many ways I just had to leave a comment. Ever since I met you at Wendy’s quilting group I have followed you blog daily and it gives me so much inspiration and a laugh on days when I really need one. I read the article in the paper yesterday and Anne Summers made me mad, even though I consider myself a feminist. I like you come from a highly educated family where everyone (including myself) has multiple degrees and I have forged career in publishing, having edited 100s of books and written 10 of my own. But since I had my children I have found true happiness in just being a mum and a homemaker, and especailly in cooking and craft, even through I have juggled that with work. And I constantly find myself feeling guilty for that, which I hate!

    Now I find myself suddenly with a rare form of cancer in an isolation ward, not having seen my children for nearlly 2 weeks. And when I look back at the past year the things I am so glad for are the memory quilt I made for my Mum’s surprise 70th, the time spent with my beautiful boys and the gorgeous home I have just finished renovating. Work is not important. And when I look forward to the future once I am cured and out of here I am fantasising about all the lovely foods that I can eat/cook again and time spent with the family and the beautiful quilts I will be making for my children.

    Corrie you are such an inspiration to so many and when you get down to the essentials of life it really makes you realise what is important and what isn’t. I am still am feminist but that does not in anyway contradict the choices I have made in my life and how happy I am with those choices. As you say in that article, no education is ever wasted, regardless of the career path choices you decide to take after you finish your degree. And the learning never stops, does it? Being a mum has been my best ever education.

  11. I Loved your article and am now a big fan!
    As a tertiary educated at home mum ( of only 2! what a wimp!) who loves making candles and cooking in my Thermomix, I laughed at the journalists take on being at home as “at least at home they can set their own hours and agendas and control outcomes”!
    Clearly she doesn’t have small kids or has spent time at home all day with any!!!! Haha!
    Go Corrie!

  12. Beautiful, Corrie!

    Love your thoughts, love your blog, love your cooking, love your sense of humor:)

  13. Wendy Yates says:

    Just lovely Corrie! Great photos!. However did he get the kids all looking great at the same time?

    • we did so many photos and they were all saying when can we eat, when are we going to do the kitchen photos! we took soooooo many!!!!!!!!!!!!! best of a bad bunch? :)

  14. Corrie – you should be so proud of yourself and your gorgeous family. I was so sad to see all the uproar yesterday about the article. This blogpost just reminds me why I love reading and following your blog! Don’t change. Much Love X

  15. Mama of 2 boys says:

    Oh Corrie, I couldn’t be more in awe of you, what a beautiful post. The photos are exceptional, so full of love and life and colour… just you and your family to a tee. Just completely inspirational, as always. You deserve to be recognised, rewarded and celebrated, not only for your positivity, friendly advice, sharing of all the things you love and your readers love, your generosity and charity work… but for being a Mama to 5 adorable tots… THE toughest job in the world. This article and photos made me smile widely. Well done lovely lady! xoxo

  16. Simone-honeyandfizz says:

    Gorgeous photos Corrie, something to treasure always xx

  17. I so enjoyed reading this blog post, I was concerned how you would feel after that article! What I read here in this post is that you are truly happy, and that is a privilege and a blessing that not everyone has.
    By the way I love your red shoes!!

  18. Gorgeous photos and lovely post too Corrie. Off to read the article now. :)

  19. David Chapman says:

    Congratulations Corrie
    Back in the “good old days” in the bank, I had some clients who got their names in the paper, but normally not for good reasons!
    Well done on providing a different perspective on parenting and not conforming to the accepted views.You have proven that, not only can you have your cake and eat it too, but you can bake it as well.
    I only met your Mum a couple of times but she was a very classy lady and I can see the influence she had over you.
    Well done!

  20. My mum worked before she had kids but after having us, she decided to be a stay-at-home mum. She is always around for us and that is something that we probably took for granted – because she is always there. Reading this blog post makes me miss her because she does not live in the same country.

    When I became a mum, I worked part time, just 2-3 days a week, so that I could have some adult interaction. It was good for me as I needed that at the time for my sanity but I missed my kids when I was at work. In the end, after working part time for a short while, I quit. I wanted to be like my mum and be there for my kids. It’s a decision I have not regretted at all and one that I am so glad I made.

    I have ‘known’ you for many years now, maybe since 2006, so I have followed your blogging journey from the first blog you had. I can see how well you have done and what you have achieved and it’s been wonderful. Your mum would have been proud of you and your beautiful family. xx

  21. The photo of the 6 of you in front of the fabric stash is an ABSOLUTE KEEPER. Gorgeous.

  22. Well done Corrie :) You are inspiring and encouraging many woman! x

  23. Its amazing to get the ‘backstory’ of an article. The pics with all 5 of you are amazing – fun to see it all!!!!

  24. Are you feeling the love! Great blog again. Anything that gets women thinking about their life and what it means has got to be a positive.

    We have but one life and many ways to live it now. As a women of the 70s I am proud to see the young women valuing the choices they can make today. Bless you all.

    And a big bunch of love & best wishes to your correspondent Catherine for a full & speedy recovery. Maybe a future blogger herself with such thoughtful and wise words.

  25. Engracia says:

    These photos are so fantastic Corrie, so nice of James to allow you to share them, your craft room looks great and you & the kids look beautiful. I don’t understand why women are so hard on each other and the choices we make in life. I read with amusement Anne Summers exasperation at her perception that this generation has abandoned the “feminist movements” achievements. I think she has it wrong, my mum & dad worked hard to raise a family of 5 kids and sent us to private schools (and mine a convent school was very much you can do anything you put your mind to & heavily encouraged university & professional careers). I did that & never in my wildest dreams did I think I would give up my high paying career to become a full time (read unpaid) mum of 2. But I did and believe it is the right choice for me & my family, Anne Summers, thank you for all the hard work you & your colleagues did back in the 60s & 70s because now I have the opportunity to chose how I want to live my life. And no one should receive any flack for their choices.

  26. Beautiful photographs Corrie! Your mum would be so very proud of the very loving, special mother and wife you have become!

  27. Rachel Sweetnam says:

    Wow Corrie fantastic shots of you and your gorgeous family. I picked up my sunday paper yesterday and was so excited that I knew someone in the paper. Well done…You have and are achieving so much and it is inspiring…I love reading your posts and I love that you are honest….

  28. Corrie I love the shots of you and your family. You should be very proud of yourself and family. Read the article with interest. Surely it’s about having the choice.

  29. Cassandra McCredden says:

    Hi Corrie – gorgeous photos and might I say, you’re looking amazing! What a yummy mummy! Congratulations on an excellent opportunity with Sunday Life and love the family photos :)

  30. I have very mixed feelings about this article. The part about you was lovely, and they did paint a beautiful picture of your domestic bliss, however, hearing the rest of your story straight from you makes me sad that they couldn’t add more of what you had said into the article. It seems as though the writer pitied women like you who like staying home and being “domestic goddesses”. All of the feminists in the article with their clenched fists shaking at the SAHM’s of the world seem to forget that feminism was meant to be about choice. We were meant to be given the choice to work if we wanted to. Saying that it is going to be our fault if women lose their footing in the working world is like saying it’s the melting icebergs fault that the water levels are rising around the world.

  31. Gorgeous pics Corrie! Sorry to say the kids steal the show :-) they are hilarious! And Tillie is a natural in front of the camera, she looks like she’s having a ball. thanks for sharing these, love them, lots of fun :-)
    Big hugs Jett’s XO
    p.s a blog post about the makeup artist’s tips would be fab!

  32. Hi Corrie, such great pics and totally makes me want to get my makeup done professionally. We are going to my husband’s sister’s wedding 2-3 weeks after I have the next baby so I have no idea what I’ll be able to wear (I suspect I will be shopping for an outfit the day before the wedding :-)) but I think I’ll treat myself to having my makeup done so that I don’t feel too puffy and post-baby frumpy. I found the article kind of annoying because they completely left out the fact that you (and the other women they used in the article?) are able to do what you do as a business. Sure, you’re not earning as much as when you were working out of the home but you certainly haven’t turned your back on the modern world. Looking forward hearing more about the development course in QLD, sounds like it was pretty amazing! A

  33. Just have to add in on my previous comment, that you are the only blog I regularly check in on. I’ve just read the article and it has made me realise why, apart from seeing your lovely kids grow. I thought it was because, like me, you’re an at home Mum, shared experiences etc. It is however more than this. You are confident in your choices and this helps me to reaffirm what I already believe, that what I am doing is truly worthy and the best investment for our family. I also just wanted to say that we as women, can work and/or raise children, it isn’t mutually exclusive, however, we do need to realise that it may not happen all at once (“the having it all golden carrot”) This comes down to compromise for many families, and thinking ahead to living with the consequences of our decisions whatever they maybe (we’re all different)
    Isn’t it great that we’re all talking openly about this. I think we’re all ‘smart’ women to be discussing such an important subject. Bottom line is, we need to respect each others own decisions and support one another. Thanks Corrie for throwing yourself into the ‘fray’. big hug JettsX

  34. Gorgeous photos. I have got the Sunday papers from my dad but hadn’t looked at them yet, I will have to go & check it out

  35. You look fantastic! What an exciting opportunity! I’m going to click through and read the article now! Well done! You are an amazing writer yourself Corrie, I wish my blog posts were half as engaging and interesting as yours are!


  36. Mummamaz says:

    Well done and you thoroughly deserve success and happiness now and in the future I truly admire your strength and determination. Love your blogs they are inspiring

  37. Corrie, thank you for sharing. I cried for some reason when I read the article (maybe because of its slight negative undertone) and I am now crying reading about your life as a child. Our lives seem very similar and in my late twenties I was probably earning more money than my mother ever made as full time working mother with thirty years experience. She thought I was crazy but I could not wait to give that all up to be a stay at home mum, five years later I still get questions from friends, family of when I will go back to work and stupidly I find myself justifying my choices or find myself saying I am looking into some opportunities- when I am not. The fact is my career like yours was not family friendly so the thought of feeling guilty (like my mother did) about taking leave or worse missing a Mother’s Day afternoon tea or kindy parent roster at school is just not worth it. I hope to find my new career too like you,but at the moment trying to keep up with the housework and play dates and ballet are perfect for us and I think i am truly blessed. Thanks for your blog, your family is divine and you are an inspiration. Well done!!

  38. I’m not sure why there was controversy about the article… I thought it reasonably balanced and asking interesting questions about both ‘sides’. What I take offence to is a feminist of an older generation thinking that it is more important to have a career and bring in money, than to raise your children into capable, happy, independent adults (and of course you can work and do that, but for some families or individuals that just doesn’t work). It is not throwing away all that the 70’s feminist worked for to step down from the corporate life and concentrate on your family. Why there is a need to think that if you’re intelligent you shouldn’t be raising children, that there is something more ‘worthy’ you could be doing by working in a job in a career that no one would care less about in 50 years time… it is just ridiculous.
    Good article Corrie, and I loved the blog background in this post. My mum was similar and went back to work when I was in year 5 – my sisters and I were all highly educated and have/ had good careers, travelled and did all the things she felt she missed out on. We’ve all ended up with different paths as adults but that’s the whole point…. having a choice.

  39. You look absolutely GORGEOUS! What a stunner!

  40. You and your children look wonderful! Beautiful photos! :)

  41. Hi Corrie,

    i read the article on the wekend and thought to myself “oh, there’s Corrie!” – then I realised how bizarre it was because I’ve never actually met you….but I think the fact that you “keep it real” on your blog makes it feel as though we do know you. I thought the article was lovely!

  42. I loved the newspaper article Corrie. It provided some great discussion on twitter for my Sunday morning, covering a wide range of issues. I am sure there were a range of comments from all sorts of people but I thought it was great to see you and Kate mentioned in the article. My only disappointment was that it felt a little like they were dismissive of your success, possibly just the way I read it, but building a blog of your standing, looking after a family of five children, meeting everyone’s needs, your craft shop, writing projects, representing brands professionally…this takes the skills of a highly intelligent, efficient, professional woman. There were comments about how women need to keep their skills current, need to know how to earn an income etc, I wanted to point out that you had managed ALL of these things and done it from home. So, really, quite a success! I am sure your parents are more than proud of all you have done and continue to do.

  43. Well Done Fabulous Article and Love all the Pics..

  44. WOW look at all those positive comments…just shows how much we appreciate your blog…and I think anyone who has a go at your life choice is probably secretly a bit jealous that they can’t make the same choices as you….I love your blog, particularly your honesty and I say boo hiss to anyone who makes negative comments….so keep on with what you are doing (especially the recipes as we have been making your banana bread nearly every week as it is such a hit!!)

  45. M. Sc. in Marketing and I am thinking of making my life something totally different. You are a true inspiration and possibly one of the reasons I started to think about my life in the first place. I mean, what is more important than children!

  46. Fashionista says:

    Great article and back story (I so love to read the back stories). What was only very briefly touched on in the article was economics, women still on average only earn 83% of a man’s wage. Yes that is unfair, sadly the truth though and why it is so is a WHOLE other debate. But it is why I jumped off the corporate ladder, sheer economics, Darling Husband (DH) earned almost double what I did with the opportunity to keep that growing. It made sense for me to be at home more, even though DH is perfectly capable of running the home front (he had seven months as the stay-at-home dad when the children were 5 & 2). I count myself extremely lucky that I had the choice, choice notable as being the recurring theme throughout the comments. I had a few months off, went back to a consulting role which has grown to almost full time again but this time I am wiser and have learnt to say no so the balance is a bit better. You have to do what is good for you & your family, and if others have an issue with that, well then it is their issue.

  47. Ohhh! I covet those shelves so much! Can’t wait to read the article!

  48. I love this post and your gorgeous photos, especially you and all the kids together. I always thought I would be a stay at home mum and your blog is like a window into what that could have been like, and – because you are so honest – also insight to what some of my friends are doing. I work part-time which usually seems like the best of both worlds, but in my home time I like to make and bake too, for my own enjoyment and not to be competitive with mums that don’t. I also enjoyed Pip’s post on Meet Me At Mike’s, everyone needs to figure out what makes them happy without judging anyone else

  49. I think you summed it up very well with your comment ‘it’s all education’. I consider myself a feminist and I am a stay at home mum, and I think it’s sad that some women can’t see that these things are completely compatible. I don’t see the inherent goodness in paid work for the sake of feminism, and I don’t see what is so degrading about raising children, they are people after all, and will shape this world. That seems pretty important to me.

    Well Done!

  50. Rachel Laves says:

    There are a stack of us gals who were probably already sewing, crocheting, knitting, painting, baking etc before we even left high school. Why doesn’t anyone lament how we ‘gave up’ our creative pursuits for careers? Lol!

  51. You are an inspiration to all young moms.
    I am a retired teacher and I understand about your mom working so you could have a good life. That is why I worked too. Now I am retired and able to help with my grandchildren.!
    I love to visit your blog

  52. Oh you made me cry talking about your mum like that. The photos of you and the kids are great. Good job James.

  53. Corrie, I have been following your blog for years and have so enjoyed watching your family grow. Watching your children reminds me of my own grandchildren, and what an inspiration you are to the mothers of your generation. Lately, I have been checking daily for a new post, and am concerned that I do not find one. I do hope you are all well…I will keep you all in my prayers. Hoping to hear from you soon.

Leave a Comment


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)