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In Conversation
Creative Director, Co-Founder Edwina Forest on embracing motherhood and surrendering to the unknown.

The mother, daughter relationship is a formative bond that seeps into our memories, personality and mannerisms that become naturally, irreplicable. As a constant source of encouragement, the relationship personifies itself into a motivator for self reflection in times of uncertainty. Aje Creative Director, Co-founder and mother to one year old FreÏa Moon, Edwina Forest, leans on the moments of vulnerability, in her approach to motherhood and commitment to her family. Photographed by her husband, Felix Forest, the family share moments from a morning in their new home that echoes love and light.
 
Aje invites you to learn more about our ultimate muse.

There’s an undeniable cosmic connection between mothers and their daughters, stemming from shared experiences in the formative years of motherhood. Since having FreÏa, has there been a special moment which you have shared together that reminds you of a time with your mother?

Without a doubt the bond between mother and daughter is infinite and palpable. I have been fortunate enough to experience the deepness of this connection from the perspective of a daughter, and now am learning the depths of love one feels as a mother. Everyday I am tested in ways I never dreamed, and everyday my heart grows more full and more open. Watching my mother now as a mother, and grandmother, I am evermore in awe of her selflessness, and her passionate commitment to family.
 
The unique expression of love and light from woman to woman is a testament to fostering genuine relationships, particularly in a time of social disconnect. How have the lessons passed on from your mother helped you find solace in times of uncertainty?

We lived on a relatively remote farm on the Darling Downs in Queensland when I was young. Accordingly, without the community that is required to raise a child, my mother had to rely very much on her intuition and instinct. Due to the onset of the global pandemic coinciding with Freïa’s birth, in addition to my commitment to forty days of post partum confinement, I began my journey into motherhood, in a similar way. In the moments when I fell prey to feeling overwhelm and panic, I guided myself back to instinct for answers, just as my mother did, for every mother mothers differently, as every child is unique. We are our own best guides.

Forming female relationships and friendships is incomparable when seeking comfort in times of celebration as well as despair. At what moments have your female relationships informed the relationship you are building and nurturing with your daughter?
 
Without a doubt the strongest friendships I have, have bared many a storm, but none have taught me more than the bonds fortified and created through the shared experience of motherhood. Having a child really rips you open, your body and mind have endured so much to bring life into the world, and while it’s the most natural and primal process, you emerge so raw, so changed and ironically, so vulnerable that you are almost childlike. This rawness and vulnerability form the most beautiful foundation for a relationship to flourish from, both mother and child learning how to move forward in the new world together, and separately. However, without the ability to connect with other mothers over such shared experiences, the path would indeed be very lonely.
 
Have you found the pressure to conform to social norms as a new mother daunting? Are there measures you have enlisted for yourself to align your own expectations with reality?
 
I've never been one for conformity and approached motherhood with the same air of irreverence. I have however definitely come face to face with the pressures to conform. I had a very difficult time breastfeeding, like many women, and definitely wasn’t met with much sensitivity. Like life in general, childbirth and motherhood do not go according to plan. There is so much beauty, but also pain, and so much out of our control. One needs to be realistic and connected whilst still believing in the magic that undersides the journey.

From your own lessons learned in your journey as a mother, what essence of womanhood are you most excited to share with FreÏa?

It has taken me such a long time to truly understand the concept of surrender. Being a Virgo, and a type A creative, I’ve struggled with perfectionist tendencies all my life however the journey into motherhood requests one to leave all of that at the door before entering. It allows no time for, nor finds no sentiment in overly orderly approaches. It is this that I feel so passionate to share with her from a young age. That the universe always has her back and whilst we must definitely have dreams and aspirations, we need always to remain open to the opportunities life offers every day. If we are too rigid, we miss the magic of serendipity and spontaneity.

What hopes do you have for FreÏa to live a purposeful life in such an uncertain time in the world?

 

I visit an energy healer frequently, and just before Freïa was born as I was feeling more and more saddened and perplexed by the state of our world, I asked her if my child was going to be safe, and she said such a beautiful thing, that nature has the most magical ways and that in times of global uncertainty, the children that are born, are born with a certain resilience, and joy of life that allows them not only to survive, but also to create great change.

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