Name: Melisa Macey Ross
Place of birth: Newcastle
Occupation: Brand Consultant, Fashion and student of Psychological Science and Counselling
1. Did you always know you wanted to become a Mama?
Having children has always been a part of my life’s plan. As a child, I knew my Mother did the best she could with what she had. But as a single parent, she was handicapped by trauma and didn’t have the capacity to go above and beyond. I felt lonely, and at times, questioned what it meant to feel truly loved. I promised myself that when I had children of my own, I would never hold back in sharing that sense of all-encompassing love, empathy and compassion. Being a Mother has healed me in ways I expected and in ways that have been a wonderful surprise.
2. What are your most important values?
Inclusion. Integrity. Effort. Within our family, these are the fundamental building blocks we use to interact with the world around us. We talk about these values daily with our children. And as our children grow, we hope their life experiences will be guided by these values.
3. How have your notions of what it means to be a woman changed over your lifetime?
I come from a lineage dominated by matriarchs. As such, it was indoctrinated that women were equal to men, and most importantly, that women could build a life on their own without relying on a man. So naturally, I became strong-willed and fiercely independent. But when children came along that changed, and I softened, by choice or sometimes gentle force. Women are incredibly resilient, particularly in the face of discouragement. We find ways to nurture our personal sense of identity with what it means to be a Mother and partner. We find ways to retain our independence, contribute, build our careers, and enjoy the freedom that accompany it. Women are badass.
4. How do you ground yourself in stressful times?
I am not great with stress. I try to remind myself that it’s ok to surrender to those feelings and give myself time to plan the best way forward. Sometimes it works, but often I lean back on the people in my village who act as my greatest cheerleaders and conscientious soundboards - albeit at times very raw reflection of myself when needed.
5. What are your favourite indulgences?
Black licorice. Reflexology.
6. What brings you joy when you are having a bad day?
Red wine. My husband. Scrolling through my phone to find hilarious selfies my kids have taken.
7. What is one thing you are loving right now?
Online pilates and yoga classes with Mariah via mariahandco.com. At lunchtime, when the children have their rest time, I try to sneak in at least one class. I don’t love to exercise, never have, so finding a way to move my body again has been soul-nourishing.
8. What are your go to beauty and favourite brands?
I keep things as simple as possible since anything heavy can flare up my Papulopustular Rosacea (of which I’m about to start a course of Accutane to treat). Sukin and Aesop products have been good for my skin, particularly the SPF moisturiser which I apply religiously. It helps protect scaring, sun spots, and the pigmentation I developed through pregnancy. LOVEBYT is the only charcoal toothpaste that has actually whitened my teeth without making them feel sensitive and chalky. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille is my favourite scent that evokes fond memories of a carefree youth.
9. What are your favourite mid-week dinner treats?
Home delivery of vegan Dominos pizza with a chaser of non-dairy Ben and Jerry’s.
10. What’s in your bag right now?
Vaseline lip balm. Keys. A tattered Celine wallet from Circa 2012 that I wish they would re-do. A Woolworths receipt for a pack of muesli bars and box of wet wipes. My favourite, but ridiculously scratched, Epokhe sunglasses. My even more scratched optical glasses. My new Iphone 12 - also covered in scratches with a cute pic of my children Rocky and Franco at the beach as the screensaver.
Melisa wears a Verse Love Letters necklace F in 18k solid yellow gold.
Film photography: Rocky (1) and Franco (4).