Celebrating Our Mothers: Carmel Dunne

Carmel Dunne is our Silk Laundry Ecommerce Manager, currently very pregnant and juggling a two-year-old whilst working from home. We sat with Carmel to chat about her journey into motherhood, upholding family traditions, and how she's navigating the ever-changing environment of working from home. 

Carmel wears the Deco Slip Dress Eucalyptus Jacquard & Long Sleeve Ribbed Top White.

Tell us, what does motherhood means to you?
For me, it’s a lot to do with community. Being a mother isn’t a one-woman job it does actually take a village and I’m so thankful to have a really incredible one. My partner, my family, my friends, my neighbours, kind strangers at supermarkets that distract my screaming toddler while I just try and pay for the milk. All of these people in our lives that contribute to the bigger picture that is motherhood.
You're expecting another child and raising a toddler...what has juggling full-time work and motherhood been like? Any tips? 
They are two very different hats but I love that I can be a person outside of “mum” at times, it’s so fulfilling to be able to have a career yet I always knew that I wanted to be a young mum and how much that meant to me too. I truly try to pour myself whole-heartedly into both roles and I think that’s the key, if you’re not doing it for the love of it then it will always feel hard.

I also think that it is so important to surround yourself with people who understand the unique challenges you face every day as a working mother. For starters, I have an incredible partner who encourages me, supports me, and consistently steps up if I need to get something done. Alongside a really incredible team who understand the unpredictability of my situation and how easily a Zoom meeting can be hijacked by a two-year-old. 
It’s definitely a constant juggle and you somehow just get on with it – a mother’s motto!
What has been the biggest challenge during quarantine? 
Working from home full-time with a stir-crazy two-year-old.
How was the initial transition from the office to working from home? What has changed? 
I’m well-versed in working from home, having done it quite a lot over the years but I’ve never done it with a quarantined toddler and I’ve never wanted to go and sit in an office more. The biggest thing that has changed is my schedule, there’s no 9-5, it’s very fragmented as my partner and I take turns with our boy while the other works. We have days where we both have to work late at night and that’s just become a part of this new reality.

Have you been able to find a sense of calm amongst all the chaos at home and the current situation in the world? 
Calm is an aspirational word in our household and we’re yet to know what it feels like. There is a big empty field at the end of our street though and we often go there and let our boy run and explore, there’s usually a moment of calm then, sitting on the grass staring at the sky, surrounded by fresh air. It’s quite blissful just thinking about it.
You recently renovated your house, can you tell us more about this space and what drew you to choosing this as your new home for your family?
We did some small renovations – there’s still a lot we’d love to do, but things move slowly around here at the moment! My partner and I were in the process of selling when we found our current house, we had renovated our first property to sell so it was all shiny, grey and real-estate ready and never truly felt like home. I was adamant that our next place would be different and then I found this house, it was a deceased estate and the lovely lady before us raised her family here over 47 years, it just felt like a home from the outset and it was truly meant to be as everything fell into place and we moved in not long after. It was really important to us to maintain the character of the house as those are the things we love the most about it so we haven’t changed much, we did part ways with the old orange carpet though to unveil the most beautiful hardwood floors beneath.
Do you practice any family traditions from when you were growing up? 
So many, my parents and my partner's parents imparted really meaningful traditions into our lives growing up and we treasure being able to pass those on. One thing, in particular, is teaching my son sign language, my Nan is completely deaf and my Mum and Dad taught me to sign. I remember my mum singing to me in sign language vividly and I think it’s so special to be able to pass that on to my own children and carry on a really beautiful and important language.
Carmel wears the Silk-Linen Boiler Suit Mushroom

What has been your WFH outfit? Do you have a go-to Silk piece? 
I am very obsessed with the short-sleeve boyfriend shirt paired back with the bias cut pant, I have it in the Houndstooth and did not think the pants would fit me (or flatter me) during pregnancy but they are my most favourite and comfortable pieces to wear right now.
What SL piece would you recommend for expecting mothers? 
Everything. Not even exaggerating. I have so many different styles in my regular pre-pregnant size and they are the most versatile pieces of clothing in my wardrobe right now, I’m hardly wearing anything else. The 90s slip dress is great as it’s cut on the bias so it just shapes your bump as you grow, the bias skirt and the pants both have an elastic waist so they are easy to wear, they also look great paired with the woven silk ribbed tops which feel incredible on sensitive skin.
What are your goals for the coming year?
I’d love to give some hugs, I haven’t hugged my mum in a very long time and I miss her dearly, especially now. Baby number two will also be a huge achievement and I’m really excited this time around (albeit a touch nervous) to experience it all again. I’m also loving my work and keen to bring more to the table, to roll out some new initiatives and continue growing Silk Laundry in meaningful ways.