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A Mothers Appreciation..
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A Mothers Appreciation..

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This is a piece I wrote for Adelaides leading newspaper, The Advertiser to run in the edition that was focused on International Womens Day. I thought it would make sense to reprint it here in conjunction with this weeks Lovewell topic on Self Care. The mothers I interview for this piece are truly inspiring individuals and take us through their relationship with balance. What’s your daily non negotiable?

Love, Teresa

 

 

 

There’s something about Adelaide, theres a little magic to it and it’s not just the high I have from our daily after school trips to The Garden of Unearthly Delights that’s doing it (those hot cinnamon donuts though..) Adelaide is humble and beautiful, comforting and homely yet vibrant and pulsing in a way that feels enticing and exciting. I have called many cities home after the last 12 years abroad tending to my acting career, but Adelaide is our forever home, the place that we have chosen to raise our children and never have we ever felt so happy and settled.

Much of my positive experiences of Adelaide have to do with the families I’m interacting with, the communities we’re being welcomed by. My sons attend an amazing and progressive school here that celebrates and nurtures relationships and connection between families. I’ve been observing the way people are embraced in this school environment and it has made me feel so moved to be meeting so many incredible and inspiring folks who value the idea that “it takes a village”.

Today I want to pay particular attention to the mothers I’ve come to know and love- a mothers appreciation piece of sorts. Most mums I meet place themselves at the end of their very long to-do lists; between shepherding the kids to school, play dates, extra curricular activities, taking care of the household, having a balanced relationship with their partners and meeting everyone else’s needs first; many of my Mum friends neglect their own self care. In a day and age where everything seems to be getting busier, we are getting more “time poor”, less time for us to pursue things that we are passionate about and more time running around dealing with logistics and schedules. We must recognise how important it is to cultivate self care, to choose a daily non-negotiable that helps us recharge and rewind so that we can be our very best selves (mine is an uninterrupted daily bath!)

To the mothers out there fighting to make ends meet, juggling all the responsibilities of raising kiddos whilst trying to maintain a healthy and happy family unit, I acknowledge you. I know it can be tiring, I know sometimes it feels like your voice isn’t being heard or that your effort goes unnoticed but it is important, beautiful, commendable work and you are doing a sensational job. I’ve reached out to my local mama tribe navigating the peaks and valleys of child rearing and asked them how they find balance in their ever increasingly busy lives.

Zarah Brooks 

Who’s in your family?
My family consists of myself and my 3 year old daughter Harper. 

Current occupation: 
I am studying a Bachelor of Psychology at the UniSA in their Honours Program.

Where do your passions lie?
I am passionate about being a mindful and connected parent who ensures that Harper is a well balanced, happy and caring child. I want to entrench the importance of community and compassion for others in my daughter. Supporting my family and friends and being connected to my community is very important to me, as well as helping others though psychology and counselling.

What does balance look like for you? 
As a single mother with full time care of my daughter, balance can be challenging. But it’s not impossible, planning and creativity is key. Sitting down weekly and looking at my week ahead, helps me to be mindful of my time and energy and how it is being spent. I schedule everything in, from uni assignment due dates to gym work outs and family time. This gives me an opportunity to make changes if needed. Sometimes Harper and I will need a home day, where we cook, play and read. Other days may be full with ballet, play dates and work. Scheduling keeps me accountable and makes it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle, foster my relationships with my family and friends and to ensure that my spiritual cup is full.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy life? 
Going to the gym is my meditation. The gym I attend has a creche so I can bring my daughter along. I love going there, putting in my earphones and just working out. I also love going for walks at local reserves, having a home pamper night once a week; face mask, hair mask, doing my nails etc. And going to church weekly and connecting with my friends also keeps me grounded.

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide? 
I love that it still has that small town feel about it which creates a strong sense of being connected to community. I also love that there is so much to do outdoors for kids, particularly in the Adelaide Hills.

 

Kate Collins

Who’s in your family?
My little family is made up of myself, my husband Leigh and our two boys, Harvey (4) and Eddie (1)

 

Current occupation:
Newsreader, Nine Network Adelaide 

Where do your passions lie?
I am passionate about our family and raising my boys to be good, conscious and caring people. I care about our community and doing what I can to make it inclusive and a better place to live. I'm passionate about doing what I can to help others. And I’m passionate about trying to find balance in my life to provide for my family but also be present.

What does balance look like for you?
The holy grail! It's a constant juggle. It's an ever-changing schedule where new factors are always thrown into the mix, but somehow we make it work. But at the heart of it, its learning to say no and being surrounded with supportive, hands on family and friends who pick up a lot of the slack.. We're not there yet though, I’m still learning that to look after my family better, I need to also look after myself.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy life?
I’ve been really trying to schedule things in that are just for me- even if I feel selfish or indulgent.  Keeping a regular exercise routine, eating better, the occasional massage, coffee dates with friends to be able to connect and debreif. They may not look ‘productive’ on paper or like I’m ‘getting things done’, but without them, I can’t do all the rest!

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide?
I love the palpable sense of community.  I love the one degree of separation and our ‘big country town ‘ feel. I like that Adelaide is small enough to feel like you belong, but big enough to have opportunity. My boys are at their happiest outside and I love how the varied natural landscapes-  the sea, the hills and the plains- are right on our doorstep.

Lucy Cornes 

Who’s in your family? 
Kane, Ed (12) Raph (10) Sonny (9) Mavis Georgina, Geoffrey Arthur, Tucker Walter Disney

 

Current occupation: 
Self employed, Sheshopped.com

Where do your passions lie? 
My greatest loves are my boys. Time in the bubble, when it’s just the 5 of us is when I’m happiest. Other passions include travel, reading, exercise and collecting dogs. I’m also incredibly inspired by the business community - I love seeing entrepreneurs grow an idea to a commercial reality. 

What does balance look like for you? 
I feel in alignment when I have time to exercise, my house is decluttered and systems in my business are working so that operations feel orderly. I’m also an extroverted introvert so I need time on my own to restore my energy.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy life?
I’m constantly aware of my mental health and take steps to nurture it. My brother passed away 12 months ago so I’ve had to be very self aware as I navigate through grief. I prioritise exercise, practise gratitude and I keep things simple to avoid overwhelm. I’m good at saying no and outsourcing - which gives me better choice when it comes to how I spend my time.

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide? 
The proximity of everything. A day in the hills or by the beach are equally accessible. I’m so grateful for the full life we are living with our boys here.

Christiane Duigan 

Who’s in your family? 
We are a family of 5 - James, myself & 3 kids: Charlotte 6, Leonardo 4 & Rafaela 1. James and I were both born overseas but raised in Adelaide where we now call home.

 

Current occupation: 
James and I were founders of Bodyism, a global health and wellness company & author of Clean and Lean Diet book series. We exited the business last year and I got to fulfil my long life mission: being a full time mum living in Australia.... for a bit! Now between school runs, morning coffee & an exercise class I’ve gone back to my working passion in health & beauty alongside Teresa with our new business venture, Lovewell a nutritional supplement shake for mums and kids.

Where do your passions lie? 
My number 1 passion is my family. I love my husband and children and feel completely fulfilled when we’re together. My perfect days are spent with them at home or at the beach and where some good food and coffee are involved! I’m always on the search for great restaurants and delicious chocolate.

What does balance look like for you? 
I now feel like I am getting some balance in my life. I used to work around the clock and hardly used to see my children. London life was hectic (and cold & dark!) but I feel like In Adelaide you can have a more balanced quality of life. For me that is dropping the kids of at school, getting some work done and being able to be there at school pick up- my favourite time of the day.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy life? 
I’ve recently made the distinction between maintenance and self care. I would often get my nails done and when I got back, James would ask ‘do you feel better now that you have had a break?’ For some reason the answer used to be no. It wasn’t until a very clever friend (Teresa - ahaha!) said to me that that’s not self care- it’s doing something that you LOVE! So since then, I have been doing more of that: beach walks, listening to podcasts, I did a girly trip with Charlotte and dancing ballet. All things that I love and have made me feel more uplifted.

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide? 
There are endless things to do with kids in Adelaide and a playground at every corner! In contrast to London- I used to have to plan activities daily and it would be an effort to go and do them; I would then come back exhausted! In Adelaide I feel like you walk outside (or in to your backyard) and it’s like a natures playground. We have found a beautiful school that we all love and extended family are all around to help raise and be with the kids. It’s the dream lifestyle.

Chantel Farmer 

Who’s in your family? 
My lovely family is made up of my husband Alastair, myself Chantel and our daughter Lucy who is 2. We are expecting the arrival of our second baby at the end of April. 

Current occupation
Before I had Lucy I was an Early childhood teacher at The Hills montessori school. I now enjoy the role of a ‘stay at home’ mum. 

Where do your passions lie?
My passions lie around child and family development. Being from a teaching background has further influenced my understanding of child development and shapes the way I parent and raise our daughter. I am also passionate about being involved in my local community. I volunteer on a fundraising committee at The Hills Montessori School, as well offering time to the ‘Adelaide hills outdoor playgroup’ committee. Staying connected on a local level is important to me. 

What does balance look like for you?
Finding a balance is something i have struggled with since having our daughter. I don’t have much time to myself which I know is not always a good thing, but I accept it is the way things are at the moment. This year I am accepting help from my supportive friends so we can, in turn, look after one another’s children to give ourselves some much needed time-out, to attend appointments etc. A balance would be having more time out for myself, to do more of the things I enjoy regularly. 

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy lifestyle? 
When I do have an opportunity for self- care I make sure I do things that bring me happiness and relaxation. I love seeing friends for a coffee, having a massage, preparing and eating nutritious meals and putting my feet up with my monthly magazine subscription. 

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide? 
I love that in Adelaide you can always find ‘something to do’ that is suitable for every family. Whether it be attending events and concerts that pop up from time-to-time, to more regular services that local community groups provide, child-friendly cafe’s and restaurants. Not to mention, there is a range of beautiful parks, playgrounds, beaches and gardens, to enjoy any time of year, all within an accessible distance.

Claire Hoban 

Who’s in your family? 
Our family is made up of my husband Luke, myself, our son Henry (3) and daughter Charlotte (1).

Current occupation: 
Head of Operations, Research & Partners of a blockchain-based digital identity management company. PhD candidate, University of Adelaide. Owner/Director, Bolt Hoban Estate. 

Where do your passions lie? 
My main passion lies in teaching our children about life on our farm on the Fleurieu, and how to care for plants, animals and each other. They’re very much outdoor kids! Career-wise, my passion is bringing ideas around science, health and technology to life to benefit the community. I’m also passionate about good food and making good wine and love entertaining friends on our property (Bolt Hoban Estate). 

What does balance look like for you? 
If I’ve had a hectic day at work, it’s making the most of where we live and driving 20mins to Port Elliot or the Fleurieu coast for fish and chips on the beach. It’s being flexible and juggling priorities, learning to step back and recognise when I’m overdoing it and turning it down a notch.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy life? 
I must admit this is something I’m still working on. I enjoy things that are good for the soul, like calling my friends for a chat, a walk on the beach, or a bottle of wine with Luke and watching the sun go down while dreaming up some crazy plans for the future. 

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide? 
It’s so accessible and such a great base. I feel we can give the kids the best of both worlds in having a mix of country and city life because the commute is so easy. Many of my friends are raising children here too because it’s so family friendly, so we have the luxury of regularly seeing our dearest friends who were once sprinkled all over the globe. The kids can look forward to great education in a safe city and likely have the freedom to pursue their own passions, whether that is work for a cutting edge global company alongside world class talent, or starting their own venture. Either way Adelaide, and South Australia on the whole, is a great and supportive climate to thrive in, especially for primary producers.

Katie Just

Who’s in your family? 
Myself, Tristan, Oliver (11), Lucinda (9), Chloe (7) 

Current occupation
Currently I’m a stay at home mum. I have been an Occupational Therapist, medical practice manager and project officer in the past.

Where do your passions lie?
My passions definitely lie with my family. I make time for the family to enjoy being together. We have bought a place at the river where we can get away and have fun skiing and being outdoors. I love food and cooking. I love travelling, especially with the kids, enriching their lives and showing them all the different ways people live and amazing sights. I love watching the kids sport every weekend and being involved in the school community. I love being outdoors and active. I enjoy keeping fit and healthy so I can do all of the above!

What does balance look like for you?
Balance for me is having time to go to the gym. Getting the shopping done once a week in peace. Planning meals and cooking them either before pick up if we have a lot of sport on that night or when we get home. Being available to the kids for conversation and to help with homework. The occasional coffee with friends for some ‘adult time’. Chilling with my husband when the kids are in bed. Cards night weekly with friends, a couple who live around the corner. Getting away on the weekends when we can to the river. Having the time to pack, unpack, shop and wash for this. We also entertain a lot (mostly at the river) and have kids friends around.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy lifestyle? 
Self care: going to the gym in the morning 3-4x a week. The occasional Social netball game. I love a walk On the beach or a hike up brown hill creek with a friend (doesn’t happen as often as I’d like!) Occasional coffee with girlfriends. Trying to get a bit of quiet time during the day while eating lunch (May only be 10 mins) before school pick up and after school activities begin. Having some time out after kids are in bed to chill on the couch, reading or tv. If we have time on a weekend it is nice to sit back with my husband and take it all in (smell the roses), to appreciate what we have while watching the kids have fun either at home or at the river. I love it if I can manage to have one day on a weekend to lay in bed longer and read a book!

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide? 
We honestly have the most amazing lifestyle in Adelaide. Everything is so easily accessible and good quality. We have wonderful fresh produce at the local shops. We have the river and great beaches within 50 mins, plus great metro beaches. Barossa, McLaren Vale, adel hills all closeby. We have great hikes in the local area (5km out of the city!). I love being outdoors and being active. My husband loves to cycle and can get out a few times a week to do great road rides or mountain biking. The kids have a wonderful school and sporting opportunities. We can live close to the city on a large block with lot of amenities, lots of green grass and space to play. We can have a fire out the back and feel like we are away from the city. Lovely open parks and places we can walk or ride to with the kids and dogs. Adelaide has some great resaurants and things to do. In Adelaide we can get most places quickly (no traffic jams) and most things we need are Closeby.

Kate Laurie 

Who’s in your family?
I have 3 daughters (Eliza 14 Mimi 13 and Annabelle 9) and my husband hamish. Oh and Aggie the adorable Viszla.

Current occupation.
Winemaker / owner at Deviation Road

Where do your passions lie? 
I am very lucky that my career encapsulates so many of my passions. It allows me to travel, work on the land and with my family. I love science and making wine is a beautiful way of blending science and creativity. 

What does balance look like for you?
EEK! my life feels like it is in constant disequilibrium! I tend to muddle through each year and hope at the end of it i have managed to share time with work/family/friends and community in some sort of even split. It is easy to feel guilty during vintage as i really am working 7 days a week. So i make extra effort when it is calmer to dedicate to being a 'present ' mum.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy life? 
I have recently been focusing on getting on top of all the small things i normally ignore that build up and turn into clutter and then stress. By removing the clutter i feel calmer and more in control. It has created space in my day for exercise or just time to sit and switch off.

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide?
Everything! I've lived in cities like Sydney to a rural village in Champagne. I truly feel that SA has it all. The proximity to a beautiful city, stunning coastline, Adelaide hills, flinders ranges and KI makes family holidays easy, adventurous and varied. Throw in incredible events like fringe or the new tree climb in the city and you really have everything covered for the whole family!

Kathryn Mason

Who’s in your family? 
Myself, my partner, our daughter (almost 3) and another baby on the way.

Current occupation:
Clinical educator

Where do your passions lie? 
Infant and maternal health.

What does balance look like for you? 
I’m not sure I can picture it! It’s a perfect combination of being there for your family, watching them grow, sharing their new life experiences. But also knowing that this time is precious and will not last very long- that my self as an individual and not just a mother still exists and I have a role outside of our family too. Balance is doing both of these justice.

What practices do you have in place to cultivate self care amidst your busy life? 
I write in a ‘secret diary’ whenever I pm overwhelmed (obviously when everyone still asleep). My physical health is important too and exercise keeps me positive. At crisis point I always find sitting in the bathroom and just doing a breathing meditation is useful to then go face whatever chaos there is happening outside haha!

What’s your favourite thing about raising kids in Adelaide?
How friendly everyone is and how close everything is. The beaches are incredible and then it’s only a short drive to the hills. It’s the easiest place to live with families. I’ve found everyone is so warm and welcoming. 

 

Written by Teresa Palmer.

Bio: Teresa Palmer is the mother to Bodhi, Forest and her daughter, who will arrive in April. She is also stepmother to Isaac. She is passionate about wellness, conscious parenting, spirituality, animal rights, philanthropy and holistic living. Teresa is an actress, co-founder of parenting blog Your Zen Mama, founder of wellness blog Your Zen Life and co-founder of Lovewell alongside Christiane Duigan. She resides with her family in the hills of Adelaide and Los Angeles. 

You can find Teresa at;
@teresapalmer
@lovewell.earth
@yourzenmama
Yourzenmama.com