Turia Pitt has had quite the year, dealing with the bushfires that ravaged her hometown in early January as well as giving birth to a baby boy.

It was the devastation that saw her hometown and national parks ruined by bushfires that inspired her to start Spend With Them.

Spend With Them is a successful Instagram page that aims to put the spotlight onto small and local businesses whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 and the intense bushfire season.

Pitt reflected on the moment the idea was born, after a visit from longtime friend Grace McBride.

“We both cried. We were thinking, what's happening to this beautiful landscape? Our friends' houses and properties have been lost, and all the beautiful national parks. We both wanted to do something to help, but what?

“If you imagine that your energy is a light, then if you're just thinking about how things are affecting you and how scared you are, your light is only shining in. I try to flick that, to shine it outwards. So I started thinking, how could we help others? And that's how Spend With Them was born.”

She had to step back from Spend With Them though as she was due to give birth to her new son.

“I really enjoyed giving birth to Rahiti,” says Turia to Now To Love.

“It made me feel empowered. We had to go to Wollongong for the birth, which is two hours away. So we went up there the night before.”

“My obstetrician wanted to induce me because of the bushfires. Roads were closing and getting clogged with traffic and I could have ended up having the baby on the side of the road, which I didn't want. I asked for an epidural but by the time they came back with the anaesthetist, I was pushing him out.

It was a really positive experience for me. I feel lucky. With birth, anything can happen but I had two really good experiences and I had a really good medical team for both of them.”

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A post shared by Turia (@turiapitt) on Sep 9, 2020 at 4:18pm PDT

However, she was worried about her mothering ability after the pregnancy of her first son, Hakavai. 

“When I was pregnant with Hakavai, I was really concerned about my mothering ability,” Turia recalls.

“I would think about my mother, who is the kindest woman, she's so generous, she does everything for other people, she would give them the shirt off her back, she's so loving, so warm, so compassionate. Then I thought about myself and I thought, f**k, I'll never be as good as my mum was.

“I still don't think anyone gets better than my mum but now that I'm a mum, I can see all these more nurturing qualities in me. They've been amplified.”

“Being a mum has definitely softened me, made me more nurturing, made me more caring and more compassionate, and I like all those qualities.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.

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