Introducing the Milk Label Journal, sharing stories that celebrate life: the beautiful and the messy. For this feature we caught up with model, designer and power house Bree McCann, mother to Mars and wife to Mitch, who have created a home for themselves on Australia's Sunshine Coast.
Photography by Bree McCann
Bree is a very dear friend of the Milk team and to witness her becoming a mother to Mars over the past year has felt close to the heart. Bree is one of the kindest people you will ever meet and is a strong advocate to love the skin you're in. After working for years overseas as a plus size model, Bree came home to Australia and, together with her builder-husband Mitch, built a beautiful home near the beach where they regularly surf and spend time in the sunshine.
Can you tell us a little bit about who you share your home with?
"My husband Mitch and our 8 month old son Mars. Mitch and I have spent the last few years renovating our beachside home on the Sunshine Coast so home life has been quite chaotic with construction. We are finally nearing the end now (hopefully) so it is really nice to finally be able to spend summer at home and enjoy the things we have spent so long working on."
What are some of the rituals and rhythms of your home and family life?
"Our home life is always changing and evolving. Mitch and I both juggle various work roles so everyday is different and keeping routines for Mars has been kind of impossible. We try to go in the ocean most days, have a coffee together in the morning and dinner together in the evening but those are really the only rituals we have. For me, parenthood has been a bit of a journey in terms of finding what works for us and making our own path. We take it day by day to juggle work and the lifestyle we want to have."
What can you tell us about your baby-feeding journey so far?
"I have loved my feeding journey so far. I feel grateful it’s been fairly smooth. The first couple of weeks, I got a bit overwhelmed with schedules but I found it so much easier when I let go of all that and just did what felt right for Mars. I was so much more relaxed and so was he. I always try to remember that no one knows your baby better than you do. It’s ok to make mistakes and figure things out as you go along. The first 6 months of breastfeeding are definitely a lot more time consuming then I expected but it goes so fast and the newborn phase already feels like a beautiful blur."
Can you share with us some of the joys and some of the challenges of parenthood that you’re experiencing at the moment?
"I love watching Mars start to discover the world. He is really aware of what is going on now and watching his joy brings me joy. He is such a happy, chilled out little man. He gets really excited when he knows he’s going in the pool, the shower or the ocean. He has the same excitement when he hears Dad’s footsteps coming home or when we get him out of his cot in the morning - truly is so happy to see you.
The biggest challenge I have felt is managing my time. It can be overwhelming trying to be the type of mum I want to be and juggling everything else in life but I’m sure every parent in the world would say the exact same thing! For me, a huge part of becoming a mother has been learning to block out all the noise, make my own decisions and being confident with my choices."
What makes you feel supported and safe as a woman/as a mother?
"For me it’s Mitch! I couldn’t do anything I do without him. He is my biggest support in every way."
What does community mean to you?
"Community is those around you. Both family and who you choose to surround yourself with. I think it’s so important to see different ways of doing things and different perspectives to keep some kind of balance. I feel lucky that so many of my friends have all had babies around the same time so I have a lot of wonderful advice and people to turn to."
What gives you comfort?
"For me comfort and clarity come from the beach and the ocean. It’s really the only place you can completely clear your head and refresh. "
What are the dreams for the season ahead?
"I am dreaming of travel – anywhere and everywhere. I spent most of the last decade living overseas and travelling non-stop, so now after having a couple of years at home I’m dying to get out again. "