VIP mum Tiffani Wood

Tiffani Wood rose to fame in 2000 through reality tv show Popstars and later went on to form Bardot, Australia's biggest selling female group.

As Mercedes Maguire discovered, eight years later the mother to one-year-old Lillian Adel has taken her career down a different road thanks to her little girl.

Getting a baby to sleep is admittedly one of the most challenging jobs a new parent can face. But, for Tiffani, the task bought new meaning to her life - and a new musical endeavour.

Wood released an acoustic collection of classic lullabies and soothing nursery rhymes designed to help little ones sleep called Acoustic Dreams - Lullabies For Babies. Inspired by her newest role, Wood also created a health and fitness website called m Save ummylush.com. Tiffani lives with her husband Neil Cummins.

How did Acoustic Dreams come about? Was it a direct result of trying to get Lillian to sleep in the early stages of motherhood?

Being a singer obviously I sing to my daughter a lot and sometimes it would work to get her to settle and sleep. A friend was over one day doing some songwriting with me and playing his guitar and I noticed that lillian went to sleep really quick. I didn't think much of it but then it happened two more times when he was over. I did a bit of research and found that the string vibration of the guitar could be similar to that in the womb and the baby recognises it and it settles them. So I spoke with my management and they suggested I do a lullaby album. I thought it was a great idea but I really wanted it to be all acoustic and to have an adult-friendly feel to it as I found a lot of albums for children can get annoying. So we made it with a meditative type state that was helpful to both mums, dads, bubs and their siblings.

How much does music play a part in your new daily routine with your little girl? Has she got an ear for music already?

Music is always around me and my bubba, I'm always singing and playing music whether it be in the car or at home. If I'm having a bad stressful day sometimes I put my album on to relax me and I find I sometimes fall asleep quicker than she does! She's almost one and she actually sang a little something the other day, not the usual dadada mamama but more of a na na na in a tune. It was too cute.

When you embarked on your music career in your early 20s I'm sure you didn't see yourself releasing an album of baby lullabies - how has motherhood changed you?

Definately not, although in saying that I've never been one to stick to a strict type of music. As an artist you tend to write and create with what part of your life you're at. Because I'm at the motherhood stage it was a natural progression to create something around that. For me at the moment my life priorities changed with work becoming my number three after my husband and baby.

You have developed a health and fitness website called www.mummylush.com. Were you surprised by how much your body changed after having your baby and how difficult was it for you to get back in shape?

It was a complete shock at how hard I had to work to get my body close to how it was before the baby. I went by the goal that it took nine months to put the weight on so it should in theory take nine months to get the weight back off. I started at around the 60kg mark and finished at 80-something (I stopped looking at the scale when it hit 80!) I've managed to get back to my original weight within two to three kilos so now it's mostly toning and core strengthening which seems to be the hardest part. I had a lot of woman ask me how I got back in shape and with a personal trainer friend of mine we decided to create mummylush, a website to give woman of any shape or size programs to follow to loose weight or stay in shape.

Do you think there is too much pressure on women to trim down fast and look great after having a baby?

Definately. I think it's gossip mags and some high profile celebs fault. We see that they have lost this weight so quick but we forget that they have personal trainers, dietitians, nannies and not to mention plastic surgeons, so we really don't know what goes on behind those pictures we see which themselves can be edited or photoshopped. I think the 'yummy mummy' tag is actually a healthy one as to me it's not about being the hottest or most fabuolous looking mum but a mum that takes care of herself as well as her bub, a mummy that hasn't forgotten that she is a person too and deserves to be fit and healthy if not for themselves then for their little ones.

What is it that you love most about being a mum?

That you can wake up in the morning and look like a swamp monster and bubba just doesn't care, its a feeling of unconditional love that no other can give and that they love you just for being you. So im going to try and hold onto that for as long as I can.

The pressure of relseasing an album must put time constraits on your role as a new mum, how well do you juggle your work/life balance?

It's really hard to work and be a mum at the same time and it's a real challenge to get the balance right and to have that time for me where I can do just work. I'm lucky that I have a supportive husband, most of the time, so if I do have a performance or recording etc he looks after the bub (as he works at night). I also have a great network of friends who jump at the chance to babysit if a night time thing comes up.

Who does most of the domestic chores at home? Is Neil ‘hands-on' around the house and what chore do you simply despise?

Most of the chores are done by me mainly because if Neil did them I'd re-do them anyway. I'm a real home body. My hubby is a wonderful cook and really looks after us with the meals so I can relax on the couch and be looked after once bubba has gone to bed and we can have couple time. He also does a lot of the laundry. Cleaning the bathroom is always the worst chore for women as men just aren't that good at aiming right!

Life with children can be fairly chaotic, how do you and Neil keep the romance alive?

We have treat Thursdays where we go out and eat something naughty, usually choclate. And sunday is my husbands day off so we always have our time at home with a special meal, glass of wine and some dessert. We also try to get out as a couple once a month (it used to be once a week!) to a restaurant or event so we have time away from the baby as a couple.

Do you find it easy to ask for practical support from family and friends?

I sure do! My sister has two kids aged four and five and my mum has had four children so anytime I'm not sure of something or want to ask an opinion I don't even hesitate to call. Most of my friends haven't had bubs yet so I rely on my Facebook forum babies born in 2007 as well.

What has been your greatest personal sacrifice since becoming a mum?

I guess giving up my body in the way of the changes and stress that a baby can put on you both mentally and physically. It's a lot of hard work to get the body back (if ever) and the way in which we have to deal with those changes are a big sacrifice.

How often do you take time out for yourself?

When I'm in gym mode I take two hours out a day, four times a week. Lillian comes as well and she mingles with other bubs in baby creche. I think it's really important to have time apart as people.

What's your top tip?

I've learnt quite a few tips along the way. One was from my sister who taught me to get extra wear out of the Bonds-type jumpsuits you cut the bottom out and put socks on their feet when they run out of leg room. Also, that theres nothing wrong with usuing a dummy it can give you back your sanity!

Babies have a way of making us laugh without meaning to, when was the last time Lillian had you giggling?

She always has me giggling lately because she's trying to walk and doing the drunk walk all over the shop. And shes just learnt to give cuddles and big open mouth wet kisses which are just the best thing on earth.

If there was something you would change if you had your time over - what would it be?

That I got the epidural at an earlier stage in my labour and that breastfeeding didn't hurt so much!

If you had just one wish (no matter how fanciful) to change something in Australia to better support being a 21st century parent, what would that be?

Childcare that doesn't take the bulk of your wage!
 
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