This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Weaver Maryanne Moodie Reflects On Birth, ADHD + Her Coven Of Mothers

Family

Celebrated weaver Maryanne Moodie found her calling at the loom whilst pregnant with her first son Murray (7). She’s since built a thriving career as a maker, in addition to welcoming Rudi (4) with her designer/ developer husband Aaron.

These days, Maryanne juggles weaving, workshops and parenting in and around her artful East Brunswick home. Ashe Davenport talks to Maryanne (her old housemate!) about parenting the most challenging version of yourself, and the ‘birth’ that lasts years and years – becoming a mother. 

10th January, 2020

Maryanne at home in East Brunswick with sons Murray (7) and Rudi (4). Photo – Sarah Collins.

Backyard fun! Photo – Sarah Collins.

The Moodie clan – Maryanne and her husband Aaron, Murray (7) and Rudi (4). Photo – Sarah Collins.

Murray and Rudi in the Moodie family’s East Brunswick backyard. Photo – Sarah Collins.

Murray is 7 going on 37. He’s so desperate to be a grownup, with all the accouterments. He wants the phone, the keys, the house, the car. He’s really driven and strategic, like an investment banker trapped in the body of a child. Rudi is really silly and a bit of a showman.’ Photo – Sarah Collins.

Gorgeous Maryanne. Photo – Sarah Collins.

Fam time at home. Photo – Sarah Collins.

Murray and Rudi’s room – how cute is that mobile by Genevieve Griffiths! Photo – Sarah Collins.

Amazing posters from the climate rally last year. Photo – Sarah Collins.

Details in the boy’s room (featuring woven creations by Maryanne and Genevieve Griffiths). Photo – Sarah Collins.

Rudi Moodie – cutest kid’s name of all time! Photo – Sarah Collins.

The family in Aaron and Maryanne’s room. Photo – Sarah Collins.

Serious scooter skills! Photo – Sarah Collins.

Lovebirds Maryanne and Aaron. Photo – Sarah Collins.

Ashe Davenport
Friday 10th January 2020

‘One of the beautiful things she (the therapist) said was, “You are that parent. You’re also a weaver, a wife and a businesswoman. You are a multifaceted person.”‘ – Maryanne Moodie. 

I was lucky enough to call Maryanne my housemate for a time during the aughts. She had the * nice * room, the one with the ensuite, and access to the balcony. It was well-deserved. She was the lady of the house, and ruled with humour, grace and an awe-inspiring collection of vintage clothing. (The second upstairs room was occupied by none other than maker-extraordinaire Gemma Patford).

Maryanne has a luminous and commanding presence. She was a primary school teacher for 10 years. It’s not difficult to imagine her wrangling a classroom of rowdy six-year-olds. I imagine her combination of warmth and power has helped Maryanne forge her path as a weaver, and to navigate some of the more challenging aspects of parenthood. One of her kids was recently diagnosed with ADHD. I asked her what parenting him was like and she said simply: ‘The world needs different thinkers, and that’s what he is. He’s Superman, and sometimes it’s hard to parent Superman.’ 

We were living together when she met Aaron, now her husband of 10 years. Our neighbour saw them kiss at the front door after their first date. Aaron said goodbye, and our neighbour watched as Maryanne went inside, then danced around the backyard to ‘Modern Love’. (Our neighbour potentially overstepped their bounds, come to think of it, but I’m so glad they did). Incidentally, Modern Love was Maryanne and Aaron’s first dance at their wedding.

Maryanne is a bringer-together, of colour, textures, people and places. She draws in what she sees, mixes it all together and makes it teem with life. The world needs more Maryannes.

How would you describe your kids? 

Murray is 7 going on 37. He’s so desperate to be a grownup, with all the accoutrements. He wants the phone, the keys, the house, the car. He’s really driven and strategic, like an investment banker trapped in the body of a child. Rudi is really silly and a bit of a showman. He’s caring and quite in tune with people. He’ll ask the neighbour if their ailing dog is feeling better, which for a four-year-old is pretty unusual. They’re similar in that they’re both very loud, and they look similar. But we put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and two completely different people came out. 

In what ways are they like you? 

They look like Aaron, so I was tricked into thinking they were more like him than me. But they got a lot of my personality traits, even some that I don’t like so much. It’s hard to parent that more challenging version of yourself. How do I parent my kid out of that? Do I want to? It becomes a process of birthing the mother.

Yes, which is an excruciating birth. Way more painful than birthing children. 

And so long. Years! This birth goes on for years. You fight it at the start, because you think you’re just taking this little doll home from the hospital, and it’s so hard getting up through the night and feeding and all the rest. I think all the physical challenges of parenting are like the animalistic side of us. Then as babies grow and start to become their own little people, you start getting into the emotional and psychological challenges, which is another level entirely. 

How do you stay sane enough to make it work? 

Exercising. Dancing. Talking. Actually talking about what’s going on, whether it’s with my mates or Aaron. Sometimes I share that I’m having a hard time on Instagram. Saying it aloud makes me feel like less of a monster. I get to connect with people who feel just the same as me. Everybody hates it at times! And it’s okay!

How do you and Aaron share the parenting load? 

I have the more flexible job, so at the moment I’m the primary carer. We have three long daycare days. I use one of them for errands then I have two full days weaving. Murray is in school now, then goes to after-care a couple of days a week, which he loves. On my solo parenting days, Rudi and I have playdates, go to the museum or to the zoo. I really enjoy them. Plus it’s a Thursday and Friday, right before the weekend, when Aaron is home and everything’s easier with the two of us. 

How did weaving become a career?

I was teaching art at a Primary School for 10 years. I loved it for a long time, then I hated it. I was crying all the time, broken down and bringing all my problems home. I was 33 at the time, and figured why don’t I just get married and have a kid? That will take away all my problems!

(Pause for peals of laughter)

I went on maternity leave for a year. Murray was a perfect baby, so I ended up having a lot of time on my hands. Before maternity leave, I helped clean out the art storeroom at my school and one of the things we decided to get rid of was a little loom. I took it home and decided to teach myself how to weave. I had a community of followers already through House of Maryanne, which was my vintage clothing business, and so the leap from vintage clothing to weaving wasn’t so big. A lot of people came along. I think it helped that we’d already established somewhat of a commercial relationship. I was learning and posting as I went, and people were keen to buy even my very early pieces. 

Did you sell many in the beginning? 

No. Though I probably would have if it wasn’t for Aaron. His advice was not to sell anything until it was the quality you would find in the museum gift shop. He has such good business advice, and because he’s a designer, he wants things to be beautiful all the way around. He could see my career a lot further into the future than I could at the time. 

They say parenting takes a village. Tell me about yours. I hear you’re one part of the unofficial coven of Melbourne makers…

It’s me, Kristy from Kuwaii, Imogen Pullar, who’s an architect and Mel from Cecilia Fox. Kristy, Imogen and I met on the dance floor, then we met Mel through her partner who works in the music industry. We all had children around the same time and our businesses grew around the same time, so that really sealed the deal. We have business lunches where we get drunk and make plans. We spent New Year’s together in my backyard. We’re each other’s family friends. 

That’s so lucky, but also a payoff for a lot of years of nurturing the relationships, I imagine. Is that right? How does friendship work? 

We’re all equipped with each other’s life happenings. People talk about ‘me time’, but it’s just as important to know about how the people you care about define their ‘me time’. We know what’s important to each other and how to provide the necessary support. 

Have you needed extra support around your son’s diagnosis? How have you managed on a personal level?

I saw a therapist, who was really helpful. I was so scared that being a parent of a kid with ADHD would become my identity. One of the beautiful things she (the therapist) said was, ‘You are that parent. You’re also a weaver, a wife and a businesswoman. You are a multifaceted person.’ At the time the situation felt all-consuming, but the therapist helped me realise that it was a choice to make it my whole identity. It was better for everyone if I didn’t. I couldn’t climb into the whirlwind with him. I couldn’t help him from in there. I needed to be me to do that. 

How has parenthood changed the way you see the world? 

I used to think there was a right way and a wrong way to do things. If I did that thing, I’d get that result. But parenting isn’t like that, birth isn’t like that. There’s no such thing as an A+. The kids and Aaron and I try and say, ‘I appreciate you’ as much as we can. We say it to each other all the time. Murray will set the table and say, ‘Nobody said they appreciated me!’ And I’ll say, ‘Hey, nobody said they appreciated me cooking the dinner!’ Then we’ll say it to each other. Having these little moments that make you feel good are important. They help a lot, actually.

This Week

News

Street Artist Rone's First Book Is Released!

Read all about it – a new book chronicles the prolific Melbourne artist’s two decades on the Australian art scene.

Shopping

A Sunny New Range Of Planters From Capra Designs

Capra Designs debuts a new collection of planters inspired by ancient Roman architecture.
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Design Awards

Announcing Our 2020 The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards FINALISTS!

It's a big one today, people! From Architects, to Landscape Designers, Furniture Designers, Craft practitioners and more... say hello to the...

On The Market

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Turned Contemporary Family Home (With Two Rooftop Terraces!)

A sleek renovation in one of Melbourne’s most coveted inner city locales revives this heritage home - and it's on the market!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Fab Face Masks Made By Women From Refugee Backgrounds In Melbourne

Second Stitch is a homewares and fashion enterprise offering training certificates and employment to women from refugee, migrant, and asylum...
Sasha Gattermayr
  9 hours ago

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr
  11 hours ago

News

An Exhibition Weaving The Past, Present + Future Of First Nations Textiles

Distinguished textile artist Elisa Carmichael reimagines traditional weaving practices in today’s contemporary context.

Architecture

A Totally Transfixing Concrete Retreat

This contemporary family home in Kew by Architects EAT is totally secluded, yet bright, breezy and open!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Gloriously Verdant Inner-City Extension

BKK Architects design a contemporary addition around its luscious, sprawling garden for a pair of self-declared introverts in North Fitzroy....
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Seljak Brand Releases A New Wool Blanket Made From Recycled Jumpers

The pioneering Australian label releases a new recycled blanket spun from old woollen jumpers and garments.

On The Market

Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

A 1920s house with Geelong's best suburban garden (we're calling it!) created by permaculture expert Ben Shaw is up for sale.

Architecture

Two Buildings + Two Courtyard Gardens = One Clever Inner City Home

This Fitzroy North house by Rob Kennon Architects turns the traditional house and backyard model on its head!
Amelia Barnes
  19 hours ago

Homes

A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

The Neutral Bay penthouse apartment of Tracy and Peter Fleming, renovated by their son Jono Fleming with Strutt Studios.

Art

TDF Collect Presents 'Devotions' By Lucy Roleff

The much-anticipated debut solo show from the Melbourne realist painter is here!

Architecture

Go Inside Australia’s Most Incredible Architectural Homes - For A Great Cause!

To replace their annual fundraiser, The Robin Boyd Foundation launches Virtual Open House, offering the chance to video-tour through award-w...
Sasha Gattermayr

The boys working their best poses! Photo – Sarah Collins.

FAMILY FAVOURITES

Rainy day activity?

LEGO, wrestling, yelling, fighting.

Sunday morning breakfast?

It was Wildlife Bakery, until my kids somehow turned off the power and water at the mains. Now we just get their sourdough and eat it at home as damage control.

Date night?

Bar Idda – so yum, always.

Go-to album?

Kurt Vile and Tycho are long trip must-haves. They send our boys into a rare silent trance.

Weekend getaway?

Visiting mates in Daylesford or Macedon in winter and camping on the coast in summer. 

If you would like to commission an original artwork by Maryanne, you can email her at hello@maryannemoodie.com. Interested in learning to weave or honing your skills? Head to maryannemoodie.com for information on her entirely unstuffy workshops and tutorials.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Extraordinary Routines

Extraordinary Routines · Maryanne Moodie

The daily routine of weaver and artist Maryanne Moodie, who has recently returned to Melbourne after four years in New York.
Madeleine Dore

Family

Stripping-Down The Family-Business Juggle With Pop + Scott

The dynamic businesswoman and mum-of-three shares her approach to mindful mothering, while simultaneously nurturing her evolving business.
Emma Eldridge

Family

Clare Bowditch On Overcoming Self-Doubt + Being Your Own Kind Of Girl

The Melbourne-based singer and storyteller talks family, and fills us in on her brand new book!
Ashe Davenport

This Week

Shopping

A Sunny New Range Of Planters From Capra Designs

Capra Designs debuts a new collection of planters inspired by ancient Roman architecture.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

Go Inside Australia’s Most Incredible Architectural Homes - For A Great Cause!

To replace their annual fundraiser, The Robin Boyd Foundation launches Virtual Open House, offering the chance to video-tour through award-w...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Gloriously Verdant Inner-City Extension

BKK Architects design a contemporary addition around its luscious, sprawling garden for a pair of self-declared introverts in North Fitzroy....
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Totally Transfixing Concrete Retreat

This contemporary family home in Kew by Architects EAT is totally secluded, yet bright, breezy and open!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

Two Buildings + Two Courtyard Gardens = One Clever Inner City Home

This Fitzroy North house by Rob Kennon Architects turns the traditional house and backyard model on its head!
Amelia Barnes
  19 hours ago

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr
  11 hours ago

On The Market

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Turned Contemporary Family Home (With Two Rooftop Terraces!)

A sleek renovation in one of Melbourne’s most coveted inner city locales revives this heritage home - and it's on the market!
Sasha Gattermayr

On The Market

Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

A 1920s house with Geelong's best suburban garden (we're calling it!) created by permaculture expert Ben Shaw is up for sale.

News

Fab Face Masks Made By Women From Refugee Backgrounds In Melbourne

Second Stitch is a homewares and fashion enterprise offering training certificates and employment to women from refugee, migrant, and asylum...
Sasha Gattermayr
  9 hours ago

Homes

A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

The Neutral Bay penthouse apartment of Tracy and Peter Fleming, renovated by their son Jono Fleming with Strutt Studios.

TDF Design Awards

Announcing Our 2020 The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards FINALISTS!

It's a big one today, people! From Architects, to Landscape Designers, Furniture Designers, Craft practitioners and more... say hello to the...

News

Seljak Brand Releases A New Wool Blanket Made From Recycled Jumpers

The pioneering Australian label releases a new recycled blanket spun from old woollen jumpers and garments.

News

Street Artist Rone's First Book Is Released!

Read all about it – a new book chronicles the prolific Melbourne artist’s two decades on the Australian art scene.

Art

TDF Collect Presents 'Devotions' By Lucy Roleff

The much-anticipated debut solo show from the Melbourne realist painter is here!

News

An Exhibition Weaving The Past, Present + Future Of First Nations Textiles

Distinguished textile artist Elisa Carmichael reimagines traditional weaving practices in today’s contemporary context.

Similar Stories

Extraordinary Routines

Extraordinary Routines · Maryanne Moodie

The daily routine of weaver and artist Maryanne Moodie, who has recently returned to Melbourne after four years in New York.
Madeleine Dore

Family

Stripping-Down The Family-Business Juggle With Pop + Scott

The dynamic businesswoman and mum shares her approach to mindful mothering, while simultaneously nurturing her evolving business.
Emma Eldridge

Family

Clare Bowditch On Overcoming Self-Doubt + Being Your Own Kind Of Girl

The Melbourne-based singer and storyteller talks family, and fills us in on her brand new book!
Ashe Davenport