Supporting the journey of motherhood, in style
Rachelle Rowlings

Rachelle Rowlings on Moving to London and Seeking Simplicity

Rachelle Rowlings has a knack for articulating the struggles of motherhood. We spoke to Rachelle about everything from motherhood, to wellness to her new life in London.

Rachelle Rowlings is known for being a candid, funny and stylish influencer mum. Mother to Roman, 7, and Rumer, 5, and wife to James, Rachelle has been sharing her journey through motherhood – the good, the bad, and the downright hilarious – on Instagram for years.

On social media, Rachelle’s life looks picture-perfect, but her experience of motherhood – like so many other women’s – is rarely pretty. It’s the contrast of her glamorous images with her not-so-glamorous behind-the-scenes storytelling that makes her content so charming.

“I dreamt of being a mum since I spotted a pregnant Barbie in Toys “R” Us,” Rachelle tells THE INARRA. “I did, however, for many years think my belly would open like a refrigerator door like hers did.”

When Rachelle met her husband, James (who she says is “the most grounded, authentic person I have ever met”), she knew they were destined to create a family together. They had Roman and Rumer 19 months apart. 

“The first two years were…umm, beautiful. No, sorry, it was hell. Utter hell,” says Rachelle. “But now it is beautiful, and although I had unrealistic expectations of what being a mother would be, especially with two under two years old, you somehow survive and you discover a whole new version of yourself and an appreciation of what you’re capable of.”

Rachelle doesn’t define herself as a certain ‘type’ of mother. “I don’t think you can ever categorise yourself. I change as a mother constantly, like weekly,” says Rachelle. “Sometimes I am Fun Mum, other times I am Having-A-Screaming-Fit-Before-7am Mum”. 

“My only constant is my love for them and showing and telling them that constantly. I am Smoochy, Fairy Kiss, Sit-On-My-Lap, Crawl-Into-My-Nook Mum,” says Rachelle. “My daughter relishes this, my son not so much. But the only thing that matters to me is that I am showing them love and reminding them that they can be whoever and do whatever they want in this world, and they will have my support always.”

“Some weeks I’ll wear leggings all week and the following I’ll wear crystal flats and a feather boa. That’s what I love most about fashion – you can be whoever you want, you can change and evolve and regress. You can reflect a mood or fly completely under the radar. And if ever in doubt, whack on a red lippy.”
Rachelle Rowlings
Rachelle Rowlings
Rachelle Rowlings
Rachelle Rowlings

Rachelle’s own mother is her greatest inspiration. “She has overcome cancer twice as well as losing her husband at 53, yet she is so positive and so loving.” Rachelle is also inspired by her “small but beautiful group of girlfriends – each who are not only mothers but successful, hardworking businesswomen, and regardless of how busy they are, are always there to pick up the phone and talk through anything I need help with.”

Last year, Rachelle and James decided to move their family to London to embark on a new life. “For us, the decision to move was quite simple,” says Rachelle. “My husband had been in Australia for 22 years and as a result of COVID we hadn’t seen his family in three years. His parents are getting older and I only have my mum in Sydney who is able to travel to us three times a year,” she explains.

“We wanted the kids to have time with their large English family and we knew with Roman starting Kindergarten that year that it was now or never. Home will always be there. The time for adventure is now.”

The move wasn’t easy. A visa backlog meant Rachelle and Rumer were separated from James and Roman for six months, but Rachelle marvels at her children’s resilience. “They just want to be where you are,” says Rachelle. “They don’t care about homes or cars or living out of suitcases. It’s an exciting adventure for them.”

The family has settled in a beautiful part of London, right on the River Thames, and Rachelle is grateful for the women she has met since being there. “I feel like I have won the lottery with the community we have found,” she says. “The beautiful women and families who have taken us in and made us a part of their family are some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met.”

Rachelle has spoken openly and honestly about her journey with wellness, especially quitting alcohol and prioritising exercise, which she says has positively impacted her life. “I haven’t drunk for four years and I have consistently done Pilates five to six days a week for four years,” says Rachelle.  “I cannot emphasise enough how much not drinking has changed everything – my physical health, my mental health, my anxiety, my gut, my skin,” she says.

Rachelle says her choice not to drink can be very lonely and isolating. Her advice to others wanting to do the same is “to accept that some friends won’t understand the journey and therefore limit the amount they want to see you. You may lose friends and avoid social events at first, but believe me, this is the best thing you’ll ever do. 

“Quitting alcohol also means quitting toxic friendships and prioritising the real things in your life, which usually means downsizing. Don’t be afraid of this, embrace it. For every bad thing that leaves, 10 good things will come.”

Rachelle wants to set a good example to her children about living authentically. “I’m not saying that they shouldn’t choose to drink or eat what they like, but they have options and can choose whichever path they want regardless of other people’s judgements and opinions.”

Rachelle Rowlings
Rachelle Rowlings
Rachelle Rowlings
Rachelle Rowlings

Rachelle has a newsletter where she writes skillfully and openly about motherhood, friendship, dealing with grief, navigating ageing and her style evolution. Her style can be described as elevated yet effortless, because it is – Rachelle has loved experimenting with fashion for as long as she can remember.

Her favourite thing about fashion is that it is always changing. “Sometimes I look at the outfits I wore last week and cringe,” she says. “Some weeks I’ll wear leggings all week and the following I’ll wear crystal flats and a feather boa. That’s what I love most about fashion – you can be whoever you want, you can change and evolve and regress. You can reflect a mood or fly completely under the radar. And if ever in doubt, whack on a red lippy.”

Rachelle acknowledges that what she deems stylish has changed since she moved to London, but she still has a “love affair” with Australian and New Zealand designers, in particular Maggie Marilyn, Christopher Esber, Paris Giorgia and Bassike. 

“I have also got an amazing Tamsin Johnson (PJ Femme) order on its way to me, which I am so excited to style up for autumn. But some of my favourite staples are from Acne and Re/Done.” 

Other pieces on Rachelle’s wishlist are a denim full length jacket from Ferragamo, a leather bomber from The Row, and black velvet pants from Prada.

In London, jackets are a wardrobe staple year-round, so they take priority in the limited wardrobe space Rachelle has. She is also embracing the art of layering in the cooler months, and has found her best basics at Arket, Skims, Bassike and LouLou Studio.

A lot of Rachelle’s clothes rotate between the two suitcases she arrived with, so investing in the right pieces helps her to maintain simplicity in her life – something which is important to her.

“It’s hard living a simple life anywhere, especially in a major city, but my husband is so wonderful and supportive and reminds me that we don’t really need much besides our little family.”

“Being separated by the visa was a reminder of that too. But my diet is simple, my friendships are easy and not forced and if I say yes to something it’s because I know it will be a great group of people that are enjoyable to be around. For me that’s a simple life where nothing is forced and you know your worth.”

“I think kids are the most powerful little reality check reminders. They will pull you down off any pedestal you’re on and remind you that you in fact work for them.”

Living with simplicity means Rachelle doesn’t want for much. “I never know what the future holds but if the next 12 months see a healthy family, lots of laughter, adventure and love then that’s enough for me.”

 

Words by Ellie Wiseman | Shot on location in London by photographer Emmylou Kelly

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