Mumma moment : Polly Armstrong
Polly is a force to be reckoned with. She's colourful, bold and unapologetically herself. She captures your attention and brings a vibe to any room she's in! I ventured deep into the Tallebudgera Valley to her 3 storey treehouse, to meet Polly and Joop for a playful afternoon filled with gypsy wagons, mermaids and countless costume changes.
Polly wears the Venus dress in sun
Tell us a little about you and your family?
My Name is Polly. I live in the rainforest on the Gold Coast with my gorgeous 5 year old daughter Jupiter Willow and our man Justin. I work across many fields, but mainly in the music industry. I'm an Entrepreneur, Director, Producer, Photographer, Videographer, Events Co-ordinator, laugher, adventurer, happy person who feels best when in the service of others. I love a good joke, and live way too loudly to live in suburbia.
Do you remember how you felt those first few moments after becoming a mum?
I remember thinking... I DID IT!!!! And how tiny and perfect she was. How my life would never be the same again and that she was now my priority, my world.
What is your daughter’s name? And is there a story behind the meaning?
My daughter's name is Jupiter Willow, but it's Joops for short. She was born on the parade of the planets, when all the planets in our solar system lined up just above the horizon. I was in labour for over 53 hours. And the whole time I laboured on my balcony I was captivated by the brightest star in the sky, Jupiter.
What is one lesson you have learnt from motherhood?
Patience. Children are learning every single day and that they are smarter than we realise or give them credit for. That every chance is opportunity for growth and that when it comes to tantrums, my response has just as much impact on the scenario as theirs. Always try to divert the scenario with laughter and kindness, and a cuddle. Hearing their hurt is better than some kind of punishment, every single time.
Did your lifestyle change much from before pregnancy to parenthood?
There are only two states of being - before children and after children. But as far as lifestyle went, not really. I worked all through my pregnancy and straight after as well. Jupiter came to all the photoshoots, music video shoots, and gigs I ran. I think her first big gig was Cat Empire at Marketta. She slept in an amp box beside the stage at 5 weeks old. I was touring and living in a tour bus with Michael Franti for years before I became a mum, so I couldn't tour anymore. But she loves coming to work with me and even wants to do her own photoshoots together now, which is awesome and fun, cause we both love dress ups!
What is the perfect family day for you? And do you have any favourite bonding activities?
We love all snuggling in bed together in the mornings and having a laugh. We love playing dress ups and going on adventures. Sometimes we go for a rainforest walks and waterfall adventures, or pretend we are mermaids at the beach. Justin loves making fires and cooking on the fire for us and Joops loves 'shujjin", setting up a comfy space with a bed outside. We love lying by the fire, talking about the world, the planets, the stars, really deep stuff that she brings up and then she falls asleep under the stars by fire light. We do that a couple of times a week at the moment.
Was there anything you wish someone had told you before giving birth?
GET AN EPIDURAL!!! I went for 30 hours of labour before I got the epidural, and I felt like a failure. I wish someone had told me, that it doesn't matter how babies come into the world, you don't get a medal for having a 'natural' birth. That it's 2019 and no one is going into a hospital with a broken arm and asking to 'go natural'. It was the only thing that brought me back to earth and allowed me to focus on the joy that was taking place.
What advice would you give future mums-to-be?
Don't turn the music down, turn the music UP! Babies hear 98db in the womb, that's fucking loud, and for the first year or so, they can simultaneously listen whilst they sleep. So if they hear silence, they feel abandoned and are unsettled. And no one wants to have to tip toe around a sleeping baby. DO YOU? Listen to others, sure. But you know in your heart what works for you and your baby. Whatever feels right, is what's right. Try your best not to lose yourself, it's soooo exhausting, and lonely and hard, and if you can find things that make you happy, make your heart sing and bring joy to YOU, then your baby will thank you and so will your mental state.
Polly wears the Aura jumpsuit in fire.
What has been the biggest highlight on your motherhood journey so far?
Joops and I have started going on fancy dress adventures together, we esCAPE reality - usually in capes, cause capes are my favourite fashion accessory! We have always loved to play dress up together and have crazy fun. My man Justin is an amazing photographer and videographer, and loves capturing me and Joops, so we have decided to show her the world and have caped adventures whilst we are at it. Our home videos are pretty epic.
What would you say your motherhood mantra is?
It's all about the adventure. It's our job to show our children the world, not shield them from it. Joops is her own person, I do not own her or presume to - she is not mine. She will live her own exciting life and it's my job as a Mum to prepare her for the world.
Any question is valid and I will answer it as honestly as possible. I even think as a five year old she can make informed decisions on her own, with my guidance of course. But I have instilled in her from a very early age a sense of independence and courage. She is confident, happy, curious and has a strong sense of self.
I also don't really hide any of my emotions or tribulations from her. I am not a mystery to her. I share my stories with her, the stories of failure, shame and accomplishments, so she isn't alone in the wilderness of life! This has made her so perceptive and empathetic.
We talk about the big stuff; life, death, where we go when we die, where we were before here and the state of the world. If she brings it up, we talk about it. People tend to think children can't process adult things or big picture things, but they can. If they are thinking about it and asking questions about it, then their thought processors are already there and we can talk about it.
If you could wish one thing for your daughter’s future what would it be?
That she is truly happy and maintains a sense of hope and wonder in the world. That she grows up with kindness in her heart. That she accepts people and isn't judgemental. That whatever she chooses to do with her life, she is the best version of herself.
On a global scale, that we turn this planet around so what we enjoy today is still here for her when she is our age. That she fights for what's right and what's just and that she sees the best in people and herself.
Besides being a mum what else ignites excitement and passion for you?
My business Gypsy Coast is a whole lotta fun. We have just completed our first gypsy wagon that we built with Joops' dad. We also have a gypsy wagon stage where we throw parties in the parks on. I'm an entrepreneur, so I have some exciting business plans in the mix.
Polly wears the Zeppelin flares in sun.
You’re very much involved in the music industry. Can you tell us a little bit about this chapter of your life?
I've just started my own band, CAPE FLUX !!! That's super exciting....It's me, I'm C.A.P.E.S. and one of my best mates, Billy Weston is F.L.U.X. We are mash up DJ's and have six banging bitches on drums. We are galactic goddesses that have landed from a pastel galaxy far, far away to celebrate earths music and rock the fuck out. It's a party vibe. And we have a fashion house attached, so we get to be creative on all fronts. It's in its developmental stages, but when we land, its going to be fun!
Because of this involvement in the music scene what are some things Jupiter has got to experience that other children may not have?
She has been coming to photoshoots and music video shoots since birth. She has watched me dress and style people for years. She gets up on stage and announces bands with me and gets to meet artists and musicians from all over the world. She gets to dance and party every day, she gets her face painted at all the events I run around the city. She loves photography both behind and in front of the camera. She has a mind that can remember every song and all the words, and has taken to free style rapping around the fire. She kicks our ass on the free style, I gotta pick up my act!
What does Mother’s day mean to you? And what will you be getting up to this Mother’s day?
I guess it's celebrating the amazingness that is motherhood, with my child. I'm not really one for celebrating those kinda things. We will do something fun together and have a laugh, probably wear capes and lots of glitter. The usual for us two!