using modern cloth nappies
Living with cloth

#45: The greatest gift

In today’s interview, filmmaker, actress and holistic coach, Catherine, shares her story of making the switch to reusable nappies despite a time without a washing machine. Catherine declares motherhood to be the greatest gift and joy of her life, and she worries about what the future looks like for her daughter and her daughter’s possible babies. Through keeping an open mind, doing her best and continuing to learn, however, Catherine hopes to create a beautiful new Earth and honour Mother Nature as much as she can. Join us for an interview that will have you dreaming of warm summer nights by the ocean.

Welcome, Catherine @misscatherinemack

Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live?

We are a family of three living in the northern beaches of Sydney. Our daughter is a year and a half, she was born in Melbourne and we moved up here when she was eight months old… The best decision we’ve ever made to live by the ocean.

You recently moved from the city to the coast – what inspired the change and what do you love about living by the ocean?

The negative ions, the freedom, the feeling of salt in our hair, the way that our daughter can just run and run and run and I love the grounding effects of the wet earth beneath our feet. I also find that watching a sunrise or a sunset changes and my mood every time I see one. It never gets old!

You’re a filmmaker, actress and holistic coach, and you’re studying a post grad in psychology – how do you make it work being a mother and wife alongside these roles?

I don’t! It’s still such a juggle! I just focus on whatever is most pressing in the moment and always put my daughter first. We’ve also opened a new arm of our production company creating beautiful cinematic family films for folks called @memoriesbutbetter. I try to focus on the things that bring me joy and then they don’t feel like work!

You also recently started co-hosting a podcast about motherhood, relationships and mental health. With you already juggling many roles, what prompted you to add another challenge? What have you learnt so far from chatting with your guests?

We’ve actually paused the podcast because we have too much going on. It was a fun side project but really just for fun. 

How did your life and career shift when you became a mother? Is it possible to be a mother and ‘have it all’?

What does have it all mean? It’s so different for everyone isn’t it. It’s just about defining your goals and how you want your life to look and staying focused on that, comparison is the thief of joy. 

Did you find motherhood came quite naturally to you? Were you given any good advice when your daughter was born?

So naturally!! I was worried about bonding with her, but it was love at first sight that grows every day. I never knew I was born to be a mama, but it’s the greatest gift and joy of my life. 

What kind of a mother do you aspire to be?

One that is constantly committed to personal growth. 

What has been the most inspiring part of motherhood? And the most challenging?

Most inspiring is my daughter, in every single way, most challenging is facing myself – my fears, insecurities and anxieties. 

How do you most enjoy spending time with your family?

The beach on a warm summer night and, in the mornings, cuddles and “bookies” in bed.

How have you adjusted to life in isolation?

It’s opened my eyes to question everything. 

What are your hopes and dreams for your daughter?

To be happy, brave, fearless, excited and vulnerable. I wish for her to be able to be who she wants to be, and to always know she is held, deeply, by her dad and me. 

Tell us about your belief that protecting our planet should be our number one responsibility. Has your perspective changed since becoming a mum? 

I get so worried about what the future looks like for her and her possible babies. I’m so dedicated to creating a beautiful new Earth and honouring Mother Nature as much as I can. 

Can you talk us through what sustainability looks like for you on a day-to-day basis? 

Recycle, reuse, have an open mind and do my best – I’m learning, always. 

Can you talk us through what led you to make the switch to cloth nappies?

The non-toxic nature of cloth nappies. We didn’t have a washing machine in our last home so we couldn’t really use cloth, but now I’m loving it (part time).

Who or what has been most influential in your decision to choose cloth?

Non-toxic element.

How did it feel putting on your very first reusable nappy?

Great!

What has the response to using cloth been like from your family and friends?

My husband prefers an easy pull up disposable, ha.

What was your early approach to using cloth nappies?

We just went step by step and used a few brands. A beautiful friend, Alice, sent me some to try and my friend, Vik, also loaned us some – making it hard to say no!!

What was important to you when you went searching for cloth nappy supplies?

Design, and also fit. 

What do you hope you can get out of this experience using cloth nappies?

Non-toxic use and help mama nature. 

What has been the highlight of using cloth thus far?

Non-toxic element (I’m a broken record, ha!).

Have you encountered any hurdles to date and, if so, how have you overcome them?

Huge poos… the cleaning up is not the greatest!!

What is the best advice on using cloth nappies you’ve received to date?

Use the long cycle and a good detergent!

If you could share a message to other mums about using cloth nappies, what would it be?

Just try one, and try them early on!! You’ll save thousands!! We were late to the game and I wish I had a washing machine earlier so I could jump in and give them a go. 

What is your best advice for making the world a better place?

Choose love. 

What final words of advice do you have for the motherhood journey?

If you need help, reach out. Don’t do the mamahood journey alone. Friends, or family if you have them. The helplines, health coaches, mindset coaches, women’s circles, mama circles, yoga class… we were built to do this in a community – so make one and reach out. Everyone is just doing the best they can. 

In brief

Number of bums in cloth. One.

Time in cloth. 5 months.

Number of nappies. 6. 

Full or part time. Part time.

Nappy style. Love the full all in ones the best! Super easy to put on. 

Stuff or snap. Both! 

Line or tumble dry. Both – I try to get them in the sun for antibacterial goodness.

Favourite cloth related product. Bamboo wipes! 

Describe your journey with cloth in one word. Mixed.

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