I’m Nami Clarke; writer, conversation starter and pint-sized powerhouse who fuels Little Tsunami. This project is about the real stories of motherhood.
This space disrupts the polite code of silence between those soon to embrace parenting and those currently overwhelmed by it. Here, mums can speak frankly about their experiences and are part of a supportive, connected community. Here, we’ll reassure women that even when it’s really, really hard, you’re still doing it right.
I created this space after years of yearning for children – spending the better part of pregnancy engrossed in glossy parenting magazines – only to wonder what the hell had just hit me once my baby had arrived.
Motherhood. It’s a beautiful bloody mess.
Having kids was a non-negotiable on my life list. On my third date with my now-husband I informed him that if he wasn’t interested in having kids, he needn’t buy me another beer (too soon?). He quipped he’d hoped to have eleven (kids, not beers), enough for a cricket team. Cricket gives me the shits so that was never going to happen but he did buy me another beer and eventually we welcomed two children into the world.
And we laughed and we laughed and we laughed – mostly at my delightfully naive expectations of motherhood. As a first-time mum I experienced a traumatic birth, I had trouble establishing breastfeeding; I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. Amongst it all I somehow juggled the demands of running a fully-fledged business. I stopped wanting to socialise, I stopped feeling, and at breaking point I felt like I was living a lie. I cried a lot, panicked a lot and I yelled at my husband a lot, too.
Following the anxiety, mood-swings, and a shitload of Stevie Nicks, I hit rock bottom. I still remember the shame I felt when I filled a prescription for anti-depressants. Counselling sessions and medication steered my mental health back on track and I reached a place where I felt comfortable to say:
I loved my baby but I didn’t love motherhood.
Laughably, I made the ‘decision’ that baby number two would be my chance to get it right. But life – as they say – is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. When I was 33 weeks pregnant, I was informed my unborn daughter was affected by a fatal genetic polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) . My husband and I braced ourselves for the loss of our child yet two years later – as she continued to defy all odds – we were thrown another curve ball. Our daughter had been misdiagnosed. Don’t exhale just yet, this firecracker doesn’t do things by halves. Fast-forward another two years and we found ourselves back in the hotseat, supporting Dulcie as she underwent chemotherapy for a kidney tumour (Wilms). Need to re-read that last paragraph? I don’t blame you; I’m still getting my head around this motherhood gig too.
These are my little tsunamis.
Putting pen to paper has been wonderfully cathartic during my most pivotal moments as a mum (other times I just sit and hold on tight). And while many experiences on this journey are difficult to neatly summarise, the more I talk, write and share, the better I’m able to digest my thoughts and feelings. As a result, other wonderful women connect with me and generously share their experiences in return.
Birth and babes deliver us the most significant relationship of our lives and it’s clear that as women – as mothers – we need to talk. This is the platform to do just that.
Little Tsunami is where we’ll expose the truths, joys and fears of motherhood. We’ll exchange inspiration, courage, support and comfort with other mums as we navigate through the mind-bending maze of parenting. So let’s fess up and put it all on the table. Pregnancy. Birth. Miscarriage. Body Image. Breastfeeding. Mother guilt. Perinatal depression. Sleep deprivation. Anxiety. Relationships. Identity. Warts and all, darling.
Sit, join me. The conversation starts here.
Nami’s personal accounts of motherhood + Motherhood Interviews have been featured by Huffpost, Elephant Journal, Mamamia, ABC TV and others.
She works collaboratively with COPE – Centre of Perinatal Excellence.
While we’re getting into the nitty gritty…
I’m hooked on haircuts, coffee, and a kick-ass lippy. But you can’t get me out of my bra – gasp! – and into my trackies quickly enough at the end of the day.
I love vintage chairs, movies that make me cry, hot chips and road-trips (separately or combined). I also love to poo and think in peace. Rarely do either of these things happen.
I’m guilty of eavesdropping on stranger’s conversations, nana naps and sneaking a blankie with me into the cinema. I have approximately 17 sewing projects on the go.
I’m so proud of the $15,000 (national record!) my team raised for Kidney Health Australia’s 2012 Big Red Walk. My daughter for beating cancer at just four years of age. All the amazing mamas who’ve shared their story on Little Tsunami and all the mums who have a story to share.
Curious about sharing your story? I’d love you to be involved.