#realmothersdiversevoices : Talulah Gough
I am thrilled to be sharing a new interview series with you each and every week. In this series my intention is to reveal the endless ways our family values can inform our Daily Rhythm. The mothers I have interviewed lead diverse lives but they each have a huge sense of clarity about what their Family Values are (even if they change over time) and consciously and creatively strive to create a Daily Rhythm in alignment with those values.
It is my hope that through these stories more Mothers feel inspired to explore what their own family values are, to question them and bring them to life in their everyday experience. I know that seeing the world through another Mother’s lens will develop more empathy, understanding and compassion between us.
Today I am honoured to welcome Talulah Gough to the Whole Family Rhythms community.
Talulah Gough is the founder and creatress behind Making Sacred – an online space where she shares Moon Circle eJourneys. She also runs Moon Circle workshops for Maidens and Mothers where they learn alongside their mothers about the cycles of the day, the year, the seasons, the Moon, the life phases and menstrual cycles. Talulah lives in Sydney with her husband of 14 years, Cameron, and their children, Taj 13 and Eden 11, and our girls Nina 9 and Willow 6. They have all attended a Rudolph Steiner school since preschool. She is also a teacher for the School of Shamanic Womancraft where she holds a 2-year training in Shamanic Womancraft. You can also find Talulah on Instagram where she shares the most mesmerizing videos of her daily improvised dancing.
What is one of the greatest joys you experience as a Mother?
The greatest joy is to meet who my children are every day. I am constantly inspired and humbled by their individuality, creativity and kindness.
My part in that has been to allow them to be free to be who they are, which has been challenging at times, but mostly liberating for me too. I had a very strict and conservative upbringing, so to see them evolve into wonderful individuals whom I love being around is the greatest joy for me.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face daily as a Mother?
Practicalities of running a home with 6 people in it. The washing, tidying and meal preparation are my biggest challenges. They’re not hard, I just don’t really love them. I have created systems that make them more enjoyable and easier for me and doing them while the family is around gives me time to do things I enjoy when I have space for myself. Also for me a challenge is to share the load, and help my children help me. Because it’s always easier and quicker if I do it, but it stops them from learning and valuing the work. My youngest absolutely loves to cook with me, so I take a deep breath and know it will take longer, be messier and be different to what it would be if I did it myself, and it’s worth it.
What does having “Rhythm in your Home” mean to you?
These questions are really making me realize how different my life is now I have older children. Still completely in my care, but what they need from me is so different now. Rhythm used to be everything when I had babies and toddlers. I was with them every moment of the day. To have a family rhythm brought peace, sacredness and predictability to our days and nights. Now the rhythm consists of some simple ways of being that have developed from those younger years, and values we feel are a vital part of growing up healthy in all ways in today’s world.
Can you give an example of some of your most cherished ‘Family Values’?
We live by the energy of the seasons and the moon as much as possible. As well as to each individual’s unique way. This means knowing my children and creating creative and energetic peaks and dips and support that. Our choice of Steiner/Waldorf education supports this and is one of the reasons we pursued this schooling. We value and appreciate being able to eat seasonal, organic, whole foods. Being in nature is healing and grounding. We connect with nature when we can. We value creativity and expression, music and the arts and engage in them based on age and interests. Being heard in a large family can be hard, so I take time to listen to my children individually whenever I can. Above all, we value the gifts and wisdom each one of us brings and support each other to be who we truly are. We don’t have any media in the house during the week, and a few hours only each weekend.
How do you hope to pass these values on to your children? Or in other words, how do you manifest these family values into your daily rhythm?
Just as we have transitioned from the baby and toddler years without noticing the change until reflecting back now, I hope that these ways of being will stay with our children as they move away into their own lives. If appreciation for nourishing foods, listening to their bodies and hearts, and having creative outlets is a daily experience throughout their whole childhood and teen years, (though they may go off track in their late teens and twenties) they will know what to come back to all their lives. The main way I think they will absorb our values is by watching my husband and I. I am committed to my health, my daily practice and being in beauty, and I make sure I tend to these aspects of my life. I honour the cycles and seasons, especially my menstrual cycle and the phase of the Moon. These are the strongest rhythms of our family and we can’t help but feel them, the trick is to be aware of what we are feeling and honouring that. Of course, I am open to them not valuing our values once they leave the nest and find their own. That is completely ok.
Can you outline a typical ‘Weekday Rhythm’ for you and your child(ren)? Specifically when/where/how do you and your little ones eat, sleep/rest, play inside/outside, work/learn and make time for self-care?
5:30 a.m. – I get up before everyone else and have tea in the dawn light whenever I can. Cameron gets himself sorted in the morning and goes early to work.
6:00 a.m – the girls rise and we get started with breakfast and getting ready for school
6:45 a.m. – I wake the boys and they get ready
7:40 a.m. – kids unpack the dishwasher and I clean kitchen and living area (if I get this done in the morning and come home to an inviting, tidy space I can move on to other work and play for the day, so it’s a priority)
8:00 a.m. – we leave for school
9:15 a.m. – I return home to work, emails, washing, my daily dance practice usually happens in this time, food shopping and making/getting snacks for after school
2:30 p.m. – leave home to pick up my youngest and then the elder children after.
4:00 p.m. – we generally have one or two after-school activities for a few of the children- ballet, basketball, music lessons, etc.
Children at home that have homework do it now
5:00 p.m. – prepare evening meal and make following days school lunches (this time often has my husband and I going in and out to collect and drop off kids to and from activities)
6:00 p.m. – evening meal with whole family (except for kids at activities), after dinner everyone helps clean up
7:00 p.m. – showers and room tidy up
7:30 p.m. – girls to bed with a story
8:30 p.m. – boys to bed to read for themselves
8:45 p.m. – me to bed. Cameron follows a bit later, he likes some quiet time to himself in the evening, I like sleep!
When does your family rhythm get thrown off kilter?
When I go away for work to teach, this happens approx. 6 times a year where I’m away for 4 days or more. My parents move in to help with the kids, the very basic rhythm is kept, bedtimes, meals, but everything else is forgotten. It takes a few days to recover.
Do you consciously re-evaluate and change your family rhythm with the seasons and ages and stages of your kids?
Constantly, though as they get older it is becoming naturally what we move towards and want to do, rather than me putting everything in place all the time.
When you’re feeling stuck, tired, frustrated with your role as Mother, what do you need most to shift your energy and perception?
It depends, sometimes I need to declutter, tidy up places to move the energy, to simplify my life. Sometimes I need to close the kitchen and eat out, do lunch orders for school. I often ask for help to make things easier. I forget I have so many helping hands available to me. I need to remember to hand over some chores as the children become capable. Sometimes I need to stop work and focus on the home. Just a day can help. Trying to do everything all the time leaves me feeling unaccomplished in all areas. Reining in my goals for a while can be very satisfying.
If you could recommend one book to ALL Mothers out there what would it be?
Being Born by Robyn Furnance
This book is written by a kinesiologist and rebirther. It goes through all the different scenarios and ways of being born- from normal, caesarean, breech, assisted delivery, fast, long, high risk, overdue etc. She outlines how these births affect a child, characteristics they have, challenging behaviours and ways to be with this child that are helpful and healing. It is an absolutely amazing book, in helping me be with my children, and in understanding my own birth story and how it affects me.