International Women's Day celebrates women across the globe for their achievements, no matter if it's political, economical, cultural or social.
With this in mind, I want to shine a light on a local Brisbane woman who has made international headlines for chasing her dreams and never giving up!
Rosie Luik is a mother of 4 children, and a surrogate mother to twins. Along the way she has overcome a business failure and significant health issues and a 3 month hospital stay.
At the age of 30, with her beautiful family behind her and on the road to recovery, she decided to chase her dreams of becoming a model. On this journey, Rosie has been ridiculed and pushed down, however this has not stopped her.
She has a198k following on Instagram @rosie_luik, is a Model, Author and speaker! She is one successful woman who celebrates other women’s success.
We knew we had to sit down with Rosie and share more on this inspiring woman.
We hope you love our one-on-one with Rosie Luik!
Tell us about @rosie_luik what drove you to start it?
I created my Instagram account a few years ago after starting some promotional work to bring some extra money in. Due to complications from child birth, I had a legacy of medical bills and other expenses that had piled up during my years of surgeries and recovery. I started by posting my daily life of being a mum with four kids and pictures from the modelling jobs that I was working on at the time. With the odds stacked against me, I had started modelling at the age of 30, had five pregnancies and carried six babies and was recovering from a collapsed family business post GFC. I was having a little bit of early success and getting some good momentum going, when I realized that it may not be too late to pursue a modelling career, I worked really hard, said yes to every job, and paved my little space in the industry.
It was really important to me to show people, Mum’s in particular, that no matter your age, your financial position and if you have or don’t have children, you can always follow your passion and rediscover your own identity once again. Baby steps in the right direction is all that it takes. Instagram was a great conduit for sharing that message and I’m so grateful for the messages of support and the messages from people that have been inspired by my story and pursued their goals too.
You are an incredible mother of 4 and a surrogate mother to twin girls, how has motherhood changed you?
Becoming a mum has always been a dream for me. I am one of four kids and I always looked up to my Mum and the other Mum’s around me. My husband and I always wanted four kids and we are truly blessed. Motherhood is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs, ever and watching my kids grow and become their own people is amazing. The gift of motherhood has made me so grateful in my own life and being able to help give that gift to someone else to experience was very special to me.
What are the greatest lessons motherhood has taught you?
I became a mum two days after my 21st birthday so I was a relatively young first time mum. I’ve grown a lot since then and being a mum has just always been part of me. I’ve learnt not to take things so seriously and that my kids are all so different. My kids have taught me so much about life, put a lot of things in perspective and reinforced the things that really matter in life. The things that are fulfilling and give your life purpose and meaning.
What piece of advice would you like to share with other Mums about motherhood?
Don’t sweat the small stuff, breath and let it go. Some days are train wrecks and that’s perfectly ok. Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t punish yourself. Do not compare yourself, your bub or children to everyone else and avoid people who give you back handed compliments about the way you choose to be a Mama. Just be the best mum you can be.
Read the book “The 5 Love Languages” and encourage your partner to do the same. I’ve learnt so much about how my husband and kids respond to certain things, how different they all are and the ways that make them feel the most loved.
And use spanks after each childbirth! This was advice from my Nanna that women apparently swore by 70 years ago and now I pass it on to everyone.
What is the most challenging aspect about motherhood for you?
I think remembering that I’m not super mum and it’s okay that I can’t be everywhere at once and please everyone at the same time. I sometimes get really anxious and upset when I feel like I am failing my husband, kids and friends. I guess I am a little bit of a people pleaser and want everyone to be happy. That’s been a challenge for me but with four kids, a husband, a dog and five cats (our “boy” cat recently had kittens), I’m now ok with a 75% success rate!
What drives you to maintain a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family?
Between our third and fourth baby I was a surrogate and had twins for a friend. After the birth I had an infection that resurfaced after our fourth baby. I had to have a hysterectomy and developed peritonitis, a life-threatening infection of my stomach and organs. I spent three months in hospital fighting for my life and I didn’t think I would make it home to watch my kids grow up.
After having over two dozen procedures and operations, I still live with a lot of complications, daily pain and have spent many years recovering. It is so important for me to remain strong and healthy by eating right and keeping active. This also has the flow on effect of keeping my mind positive and happy which hopefully flows through to our home.
How do you find balance in your life with your family, writing, speaking and modelling each week? Can you share any tips?
We just say yes to everything and figure it all out later. We often call our home “controlled chaos”. My husband and I work together as a team and just make it happen. We work with what we have, to get things done. I do miss out on some amazing events and opportunities occasionally and that’s a little frustrating but we try our hardest to make it happen and if it doesn’t then it wasn’t meant to be. My husband is a fire fighter and has set holidays and a rotating roster which means we can plan around his roster and holidays when booking jobs and travelling. This allows for at least one of us to be at home with the kids.
If you could offer 3 key tips in maintaining your health what would they be?
Don’t put pressure on yourself; everyone is different, everyone’s situation is different, every pregnancy is different and every body is different; as long as you’re happy and working towards your goals that’s what’s important. All my children are now at school, so I have a little extra time to spend on me and looking after myself. I have previously put on 32kgs with one pregnancy and came out of hospital at pre-pregnancy weight with another. In the early years with bub, weeks feel like months, months feel like years and years feels like decades so it’s important to be conscious of this and be kind to yourself.
Self-love is so important, finding yourself again after having kids can be tough but learning to love yourself can be even harder. Take time to focus on you and yourself and your entire household will be a happier place.
Positive thinking, I always try and find the positive in everything. My husband and I have been through what I would describe as very low times and faced a lot of challenges together. Positive thinking works with creating a positive energy inside yourself and others. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.
Definitely do activities that you enjoy. I just click with HIIT, Pilates and boxing because I like to go hard and hit stuff but I don’t want the session to take very long! Find what makes you happy and then keep doing that. It’s so much easier to keep the routine up when you enjoy what you do.
My message is simple, be kind, be humble and be giving. No matter what life throws at you remember these three things and live by them and don’t forget to include yourself on the receiving end of your own kindness! As a woman I've been judged, ridiculed for my career choices, unsupported and pushed down, mostly from other women and Mum’s. Don’t let other people’s issues and desire for drama keep you down and destroy your self-perception and self-worth. Surround yourself with a community of women and mum’s who support and motivate, who stand at the top and help others get there too, rather than keeping it all for themselves. Treat people with kindness and bring each other up, we have so much power in numbers so let’s use it for good. I get excited about a community of Mum’s where someone has an idea, a passion, goal or venture that they want to get off the ground and they already have their own cheer squad ready to get behind them and lift them up.
Thank you Rosie!