The Milk Label Journal, sharing stories that celebrate life: The beautiful and the messy. For this journal, we speak to one of our original Milk mums, Chloe Mackie, and share a small glimpse into life with her family of five in the tropical hinterland of Australia's South-East Coast.
Photography by Lisa Sorgini + Chloe's personal collection
Meet Chloe Mackie, one of our original Milk mums and a very dear friend of Milk. Chloe was trained as a Midwife and lives in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, Australia together with her husband Jason and three beautiful children. There, surrounded by Kangaroos, Wallabies and their family of chickens, they have created a magical home nestled into the sub-tropical hinterland. Chloe is a very special woman and mother of three who we are so grateful to share a glimpse into on the Milk Journal.
Can you tell us a little bit about who you share your home with?
I share my home with 4 special humans. My husband Jason, our oldest son Sunny - 6, Maya our girl is 3 and Juniper, the baby of our family is 2. We also have 5 chickens, a raft of ducks rampaging our pool currently and a family of wallabies who call our property their home.
What are some of the rituals and rhythms of your home and family life?
My family and I are intrinsically wired to feel music, it connects and intertwines with our moods, it’s food for our soul. It’s definitely one of our daily rhythms and is playing in our home from sun-up to sundown and later!
One of my most treasured rituals with my husband are our date nights. We have pretty busy lives, my husband is often away from the home with work but we are constantly connecting throughout the day. Im lucky to share a very deep, honest relationship with him, we’ve been together for nearly 15 years but finding ways to make each other smile is a big part of our days. A few times a month, we put the children to bed early and reconnect after a busy week. A beautiful home-cooked meal over candlelight, a bottle of red and Sade playing in the background is usually where you will find us on Friday nights.
What can you tell us about your baby-feeding journey so far?
I spent the good part of my 20’s becoming and then working as a Midwife. Over these years I had the privilege to support women throughout their most sacred rite of passage. It’s an incredibly powerful yet tremendously complex time. I went into my breastfeeding journey knowing how good it can be but I also saw the real rawness of motherhood, those sacred early days behind closed doors. These encounters gave me so much wisdom and strength leading into our own journey.
With a lot of support, I was able to breastfeed all of our babies until they self-weaned at 2ish. Our girls are only 14 months apart so I continued to breastfeed Maya right up until Juniper was 1. Breastfeeding throughout pregnancy and then tandem feeding a toddler and a newborn was a transformative (and exhausting!) experience. Im so grateful for the experience, I wouldn’t change a thing.
What makes you feel supported and safe as a woman/as a mother?
I crave soulful human connection. I want to be loved and nurtured…it’s basic human nature right. My love language is physical touch, I love a long, soulful hug. I have that connection with my husband and when it comes to friendships, I’m surrounded by the most incredible group of strong independent women. They range from business owners, to students to full time stay-at-home mum’s. They are so inspiring in their own ways. They are my biggest champions and vice versa.
Are there any books, films, podcasts or artworks that depict aspects of parenthood that you feel connected to?
I recently signed up to an Australian bookclub subscription - (wellread.com.au). I receive a book every month and I also get a list of great book suggestions. It’s felt so good finding my inner book nerd again. Ive always been a lover of literature but early on as a mother I struggled to find the time to sit and read a book. In hindsight its probably when I should have been reading the most and doing some self-care. Better late than never!
When it comes to pregnancy I’m a big fan of the works by Grantly Dick-Read and Sarah Buckley.
‘Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering - By Dr Sarah Buckley’ is a beautiful pregnancy book or a thoughtful gift for an expecting friend.
Can you share with us some of the joys and some of the challenges of parenthood that you’re experiencing at the moment?
I always say ‘every age is the best age’ but right now, the ages of our children and their Interests is so special to witness
Our oldest has just started school this year. He’s gone from this sensitive, quiet soul to a confident, thoughtful boy… I see so much of my husband and my own brothers (his uncles) in him. I can’t believe how enjoyable it has been to watch him transition into this next phase of his life this year, i’m so proud of him for jumping into it at full speed. He plays lots of sport and I am literally on the sidelines bursting at the seams. I’m the most unapologetic proud Mum.
We’ve also recently been working on a home renovation, its been an exciting project but we’ve been crammed into a 1 bedroom cottage at the back of our property since the beginning of the year. Our home should be finished in the next month or so, I cannot wait for us all to have our own independence and space back.
Would you share the story of a tender moment with us?
We’ve been co-sleepers from day 1 and most nights our babies still crawl into bed with us at some stage, even our 6 year old. Most of the time we don’t even notice. This morning I woke up and all 3 were between Jase and I, all tangled together like a beautiful, sleepy bundle of love. They hold hands when they sleep, they’re the best of mates. It makes me want to cry when I see their deep bond.
What does community mean to you?
Trust, receiving, service, love, bond. We’ve been so lucky to find our people during this season of parenting.
What gives you comfort?
Lastly, what are your dreams for the season ahead?
To continue to foster and nurture the relationships within our family. Spending quality time together and practicing good communication with our children. Teaching them resilience and having daily silly fun! Simple living is what I dream for us.