Cassie Byrnes, Melbourne, VIC
What’s something you learned from your Mum that remains with you today?
Definitely resilience. My Mum has had a pretty rough run in life, which is easy to forget because she is so warm and loving and just gets on with it (as Mums tend to do). In my older age (and since becoming a Mum) I now understand how difficult some of the setbacks must have been, and how she did totally amazing things while raising four kids.
What is something you tell your kids in tricky times?
Well, Lottie is only seven months old, so to her tricky times really just consist of trying to sit up in her sleeping bag or managing to grip on to her pear slices with her tiny slippery fingers…. so I just cheer her on like, ‘You can do it girl, get that pear!’.
What kind of world do you hope your children will inherit?
This is a very big question! For a couple of years I did have a few worries about bringing someone new into a world that I felt was changing for the worse in many ways. But, I was way too maternal to follow through with it, so I guess you win, hormones.
I think we also need to understand that while at this exact moment in time it might be hard to see through the gloom at big picture level, we are still in control of our well-being and destiny and have the chance to use this time to create the future we want.
Closer to home, I really just want her to feel like she can do and be anything she wants, and feel confident enough to find out what that is. If she can take on that spirit then I reckon she’s got a good shot at handling the world in whatever state it’s in when she grows up.
What are you optimistic about right now?
So much. That’s what the baby bubble will do to you! We have looked at this isolation time as something kind of special, one we will always look back on as a time when the three of us were home with each other 24/7, and Lottie has benefitted from so much attention from us! As I learn the ropes of Mum-hood I’m feeling more confident and nurturing than I’ve ever been, and a lot less stressed, because, well, who even has time to stress about anything anymore? If you put all the fears aside and just stop to look at this little human who is genuinely thrilled just to be a part of the world everyday, it’s hard not to feel the same way.
Is everything going to be okay?
One hundred percent. Yes there’s lots of people hurting now, and it’s sad to think there will be more of that to come. But you know, we owe it to them and ourselves to try and find the positivity in all this. I’ve seen neighbours and friends come together in amazing ways lately. My group chats, Mums groups, customers DMs and daggy Zoom trivia nights all help to remind me that it’s the people in your life that really make up your world, and as long as they’re still around of course everything is going to be ok. And if you ever feel like things won’t be, remember to reach out to someone.
Cassie Byrnes is a freelance textile + surface designer. You can shop her latest collection of designs here (and listen to Lucy’s chat with her on TDF Talks Podcast here!).