Edition 1 : Zara Wong + Freddie
Zara Wong is one of the most accomplished people in Australia’s fashion and beauty media industry. Currently the Head of Content and Editorial Strategy at Mecca, her impressive resume includes past roles at Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and WWD. We catch up with her and chat about her newest role, mother to Frederick (Freddie) almost 8 months.
Tell us a bit about your family - what season of parenthood are you in?
First time parent!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Everyone is like “get your baby on a schedule” – I mean, we all TRY but they’re a baby, they don’t follow the time! Broadly, I wake up when he gets up which is mostly at 6am. I spend the morning at home with chores/feeding/naps but try to do something everyday, whether it’s catching up with friends or baby classes (I am in the midst of parental leave and love it).
What is your favourite part of the day?
Freddie’s first wake window because he’s in SUCH a good mood, and I’m able to make and drink a cup of coffee.
Describe your home’s aesthetic in five words.
Currently, a work in progress!
Has having children changed your personal style? If so, how?
Definitely more into uniform dressing because I need to minimise the number of choices I make in a day. It’ll be a combination of shorts and a shirt (nursing) – and then I rotate. Secretly, I’m looking forward to when the weather cools down as fashion is more fun for me when you can layer and play with different types of textures.
What is your top mom tip/hack?
This too shall pass.
Does the clutter that comes with little ones make your eye twitch, or have you learned to embrace the chaos?
Embracing the chaos – I’m much more of a go-with-the-flow person with this. (Not with everything, but with the baby part!) This isn’t the case for everyone but I sometimes think that baby can sense my mood and energies, and if I’m stressed or trying to rush him, he doesn’t respond as well as when I just keep it light and easy.
What part of parenting has taken you by surprise?
With hindsight, I did find the newborn stage more challenging – but each week it just gets better and better. I think I’m also surprised how social babies are (or at least, my baby). He loves being with people and I love interacting with him.
The motherhood juggle is real— how do you keep your plates spinning?
Does anyone keep the plates spinning? I’m not sure – the maths isn’t mathsing. As a mother you’re always thinking three steps ahead and about the multitude of outcomes. While I’m on parental leave I try to do something out of the house or have an activity per day, otherwise I get a bit stir crazy. Also, it’s nice to not feel alone, so speaking to friends, whether with older children or babies around the same age as mine has been really comforting.
We truly believe it takes a village. Who is in yours?
My family and I’ve got a couple of great friends who have been giving me tips along the way. My mum is great with Freddie, she is really playful with him. When we visit, Freddie’s head is like a little periscope looking for her.
How do you unwind?
Low-effort hobbies like reading and writing. I have a newsletter that I write weekly called Screenshot This – I started it in lockdown to help the weeks go by and during parental leave it keeps me accountable to produce something and think about something that’s not just about baby.
And finally, what is your favourite piece from The Muse Edition?
The play mat!!! I found it through Google searches and independently bought it. Honestly, a play mat that looks aesthetically pleasing AND comfortable – what a brilliant idea. I had been given some other rubber play mats as hand-me-downs and The Muse Edition play mat is so much more comfortable, I was seriously impressed. I’m tempted to get the upcoming travertine print one for the living room or to have at my parents’ place.