Mother's Day with Sarah Tarca
This mothers day, we are celebrating mothers and carers everywhere. Whether you’re a mom with kids, or a dog mom, or caring for others, we want to acknowledge YOU and all the energy and love you put out there to help your loved ones. We chat with Sarah Tarca, co-Founder of Australia’s first beauty newsletter, gloss etc about her motherhood journey and finding balance.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Sarah Tarca, a writer, beauty editor, lover of hot chips. I’m also Co-Founder of Australia’s first beauty newsletter, gloss etc, and the Co-creator of two boys, Yuki, three and Miko, one. In a former life I was a magazine editor (think Cosmo, Girlfriend Mag, Marie Claire), before spending five years as a digital nomad, travelling around the world with my partner (and baby) until a global pandemic rudely interrupted that… for now.
We created gloss etc in 2020, and launched it a month before Miko was born (I get super creative – or crazy?– when I’m pregnant). My co-founder, Sherine and I worked on the Marie Claire beauty team together, and after 15+ years of being the go-to beauty girls for all of our friends, we decided to put all of our knowledge and advice together in one easy, but beautiful place.
A newsletter was the obvious answer – we didn’t want to create something else that would fight for your time. I already didn’t have time (or the mental load) for all the podcasts, books and websites I wanted to read but I always, always read my emails. The problem was that newsletters had an image problem – they were ugly. We wanted to create something with the look and feel of a magazine, but the warmth and familiarity of the WhatsApp groups you have with your mates – and that’s how gloss etc was born. It’s us, using our years of experience to talk about beauty, deep dive into ingredients or trends, and give honest recommendations on products we actually use and love – it’s the stuff we’d rec to our mums/ sisters/ besties so you know it’s never BS.
I’m a Capricon sun, with Pisces rising and Aquarius moon – so stubborn and ambitious, wildly emotional and empathetic (loves a good cry) who hates to be put in boxes and do “what everyone else is doing”. It’s a RIDE.
What has been the most rewarding moment in your motherhood/carer journey so far?
Honestly, it’s not one big thing, but the everyday moments that remind me I’m helping to create and shape good humans. It’s the way I see Yuki put his arm around an upset friend to check they’re ok. It’s seeing them explore the world together, have dance parties or hearing them hysterically laughing at a joke Yuki made up (or because one of them farted, let’s be honest). It’s Yuki telling Miko he loves him so much, and Miko’s eyes lighting up when Yuki comes in the room, or the way Miko always shares his last scrap of food. It’s the hugs I get when I collect him from Kinder, and the unprompted “I’m sorry for yelling Mama’s” that I get at the end of a day (after a big meltdown). It’s the way they drink a babycino with passion, and the little waves and “thanks” they give cars who stop to let us pass. It’s Yuki asking to buy Miko some gumboots for his birthday so they could jump in puddles together… and now I’m crying (see also: pisces).
How do you find balance between taking care of yourself and prioritising your children? Any advice?
I just give myself permission to not be perfect, to be ok with what this version of normal looks like. I get it wrong all the time, but that’s all part of the journey, the hardest thing is always forgiving yourself for not doing or being enough. Both my partner and I work from home and the boys are not in daycare, so it’s hard to create boundaries sometimes… we’re either parenting or working and we have to remember to give ourselves days off from both.
Early on we established that we’d have our own “me time” thing twice a week, minimum. I do yoga twice and my partner does Aikido. For those hours, it’s our time to recharge and fill the cup. It’s also non-negotiable, we don’t book anything else in on those times, just like any other external appointment you’d make. I feel like making it non-negotiable is key, because it’s vital to our well-being and our family dynamic. I can’t be a good mother or partner if I don’t have that time to recharge, so saying I don’t have time is being a martyr. I make the time, for the sake of my family. When Yuki still used to nap I’d do yoga in that time too, and he’d often ask why. I always said it was to calm my heart – and really got that. Once I said to him “what do you give to people you love” (thinking he’d say hugs or kisses) and he said “space” and oh my god, he’s not wrong.
We also always make time to do things that connect us as a family, even if we’re stressed or busy. We go for walks most days, and have a “grateful alarm” that goes off every night to prompt us to think of one thing we were thankful for that day. On particularly heinous days that is HARD (and yes, I have muttered “coffee” more than once) but it’s a little ritual that brings a lot of joy. Yuki has also just instigated “one minute laugh parties”, which basically means whenever he calls it we have to laugh for a minute. It’s ridiculous but man, does it get you out of a funk.
Balance doesn’t exist (I wish I’d known this sooner!), but even on my bad days I try to remember that they are happy and loved and they will get their cues on self-care, acceptance, self-love and the imperfectness of humans from me. As long as I’m aware and trying to be better, apologising when I’m not, then I’m doing the best I can.
What do you love the most about motherhood?
I love that my boys love so hard, and that every day is full of excitement. I love experiencing life again through the lens of their joy and seeing the people they’re becoming. I love seeing their imaginations grow, and the hilarious conversations I have with Yuki (and I’m sure Miko to come). Don’t get me wrong, they also fight hard, but the love is strong.
Being a Mum means perpetually having a mirror held up to you, your actions, your emotions, the way you love. It’s exhausting and thrilling and beautiful and so, so hard and I’ve never wanted to be a better person more than when I’m being a mother to them.