Name: Katie Dally
Occupation: General Manager, Thinkerbell Sydney
1. Did you always know you wanted to become a Mama?
It’s funny how you get conditioned to think that Motherhood is just a woman’s right of passage. It’s great to see these expectations challenged and start to shift, so that people no longer assume Motherhood is right for all. However, I did always want to be a Mama, and I was especially ecstatic when I first learned I was pregnant.
2. What brings you joy when you are having a bad day?
I think our society is founded on so much materialism and consumerism that it’s easy to sweat the small stuff. I’ve learned a lot of resilience over the years and to brush off things that aren’t a big deal. When things aren’t going to plan, I find I can manage those best when I have some quiet time to allow for processing and reflection. As a Christian, this often involves some prayer time too.
3. What are your favourite mid-week dinner treats?
Over the last few weeks, it has been whatever Dinner Ladies I have in the freezer. They are the best home-cooked meals. It means I don’t have to cook, and everyone still gets the nutrition they need. I have stopped feeling guilty about not cooking. I am so time poor running an advertising agency during the week, that I’m rarely home in time for dinner. Plus, this way hubby doesn’t have to give the kids boiled eggs every night!
4. How do you grow your creativity?
I think curiosity feeds creatively. The more you can fill your mind, the more expansive the creative output. Be it through podcasts, or the latest series, I always try and have one eye on something I wasn’t familiar with the week before.
5. How has your working-life changed since becoming a Mama?
I have learnt to become the most organised person on Earth (along with every other working Mama). It’s incredible the capacity we have to get through life, and sometimes I amaze myself at what I achieve in the course of a 12-hour day. I also have really strict boundaries on what I will and will not accept professionally - this means my family is always the priority. I may get into the office later so I can help with school drop-offs or not always staying for Friday drinks. I also push to maintain some work-from-home flexibility. We are the only ones who can look after ourselves. So when you realise that no one else is going to do that job, you put measures in place to ensure a healthy way of managing the constant work/home juggle.
6. Is there a moment or event that radically changed the way you saw the world?
In my first year of university, I had a terrible accident at work that almost saw me lose an eye. Fortunately, they managed to save it. But I think when significant things happen in life, particularly when your health is compromised, you realise time is precious. You start looking after your core fundamentals like health and family. Living for tomorrow just won’t do. Although it is so easy to define our success by the house, the car, and the job, I think my experience taught me that we need to work out who we are as people first. We need to define our values, be selfless, not selfish. And once you’ve got that sorted, the other bits are just nice-to-haves.
7. Growing up, what did you think you wanted to do for a living?
I always wanted to be an air hostess. That’s until I went on several overseas trips as a teenager and always got airsick. I quickly decided that wasn’t for me. Later, I distinctly remember rummaging through the UAC guide in year 10, reading the Communications (Advertising) degree blurb. I decided that was absolutely me and have never looked back.
8. How have your notions of what it means to be a woman changed over your lifetime?
Right now, we are in a time when being a woman is more meaningful than ever. The things that have been silenced in the past are now being heard. We are starting to break down the stereotypes and forge new paths. There is an important equality movement in play, and it’s an exciting time to be part of the answer. As a Mother of two boys, I believe the next generation of men are the answer. If they’re brought up correctly, and forced to challenge many of the false norms, there can be genuine change. I take my responsibility as a Mama of these next-gen-men very seriously.