Kia ora Abbey, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a mother to four. Camilla is the oldest with a five year age gap between her and the twins. Lara and Soul are the twins in the family and Faith was the final piece of the Fouche family puzzle. For everyone wondering my surname is French South African and pronounced “Foo-Shaay”. Being a wife and with our three younger children only 16 months apart I certainly have my hands full. I am a fierce ambassador for motherhood and all things parenting, and despite my many attempts can’t seem to give up my love for caramel lattes. You’ll find me ordering a burger off the menu wherever I go and embracing everyone with my big smile and warm personality. I am extremely passionate about motherhood and female empowerment and I love what I do. When I'm not working (which to be honest isn't often!) Haha… I am either shopping or hanging out with friends (I am a bit of a foodie so I love to cafe hop).
What does the word Dignity mean to you?
To me, dignity at its core is about respect. Being treated with respect and also treating others with respect. I really believe it goes both ways. I also believe it is really closely linked to self-worth and self-love.
What was a meaningful experience relating to your period growing up?
I still remember getting my first period - I was actually at home watching Charmed (makes me feel old now thinking about it haha).... My mum was really great about it and actually treated me to a massage and congratulated me for “becoming a woman”.
What are some of the best things for you about being/identifying as a woman and menstruation?
Its a topic I have really tried to normalise over the years. I am very open with my children (my three girls and my son) and also my husband. I talk openly with my friends and we always joke about our cycles syncing. I actually think our bodies are amazing with the ability to menstruate and literally grow and birth life. I find it very fascinating!
What makes you feel empowered/comfortable in your skin?
To be honest, this is something that has come with age and life experiences, I am still young but I have definitely learned to love and appreciate myself both inside and out. I am very proud of the person I have become and loving myself on the outside and the inside is extremely important to me.
What would you like to say to anyone navigating their first period?
Be confident! Be empowered and think about how amazing you are. Its a little messy at first but there are so many options available nowadays you just have to find what works for you. Stop and take some time when you need to, I truly believe we should have a “rest day” or even two… those first few days of your cycle can be rough sometimes. Netflix and Chocolate work wonders!
How would you like to see the current status quo around access and period products and period equity in Aotearoa change?
I actually cannot believe this is not already in place… if we can access toilet paper in every bathroom then why cant we access period products? Its a no brainer in my opinion and I believe it is so important that any menstruator is treated with the dignity and respect they are very much entitled to. Period products should be readily available to everyone, at all times. Period.
Thank you Abbey.