Lifestyle

Mother's Day Q & A with Courtney Adamo

As a mother, what does a regular morning look like in the Adamo house?

I suppose that depends on what time you’re talking about! If you showed up to our house before 8am, you’d find a hive of activity: five kids eating breakfast, taking turns in the shower, getting dressed, searching for shoes and backpacks, and trying to get to the school bus on time and two parents juggling tasks, making breakfast, packing lunchboxes, yelling out reminders to children, and trying to get kids out of the house on time! If you showed up after 8am, it would be a lot less noisy here — I’d probably be cleaning up the kitchen, finishing my coffee, doing a load of laundry, taking a shower and getting ready to sit down to my laptop by 9:30ish.

You are the eldest of 5 yourself, what was your childhood like?

My childhood was really idyllic, and the older I get, the more I realise how lucky we were to be raised that way. I grew up on a farm near the sea, and my siblings and I spent most of our time outside and in nature. I had both sets of grandparents living nearby, and my father was one of ten children, so I was surrounded by loads of cousins, aunts and uncles. My parents were really loving, but also quite strict about manners and chores. We were kept busy doing tasks around the farm, but we were also given the freedom to explore and be adventurous. I spent a lot of time with my siblings, but when I wanted to be alone, I could just hop on my horse and ride around the fields behind our house.

How has your upbringing influenced the way you now raise your children?

I always joke that having come from a big, crazy family, the chaos in our home feels quite normal. I guess my upbringing prepared me for this. I’m also really close with my parents and my siblings, and have always wanted to raise a close-knit family as well. I remind my kids all the time how lucky they are to have each other, and we place a lot of value on family time together. I also try to make sure my kids have a lot of unscheduled, unstructured time — so that they can just be bored and play and create their own adventures.

What’s your favourite way to connect to Nature? Was it something that your parents passed on to you or did you learn it later?

Growing up, we lived near the sea, but not the ocean. The water was freezing cold and the beaches were rocky and wild. We spent lots of time at the beach and swimming in that frigid water, but unfortunately there were no waves to surf (and you would have needed a thick wetsuit to stay in that water for long). Now that we live here in Byron with mild water and perfect surfing waves, I have learned to surf, and I really love it. It’s such a wonderful way to connect with nature, to calm your mind, and to get a bit of exercise. I love surfing with my kids, of course, but I also really love just being out there by myself, sitting on my board, watching the waves, and feeling so present.

You recently celebrated your 40th birthday, Happy birthday! Looking back what are some of your proudest and fondest moments? and let’s get real, what are some of the challenges and learning you have faced as a mother?

Thank you! (I still can’t believe I’m 40! I still feel like I’m 22!) I’m actually really enjoying growing up. It’s a beautiful thing to get to know yourself as you age, to find compassion for others, and to arrive at a place where you feel comfortable in your skin.

In terms of fond moments, we spent a year traveling around the world 5 years ago, and that was honestly the happiest year of my life. We have so many incredible memories from that trip, and came away feeling so connected as a family. Also, of course, the births of all of my children — especially welcoming our fifth baby, Wilkie, at home with all the other kids there in the room. It was a pretty magical moment.

We’ve also had our share of challenges too, of course. Wilkie was a surprise baby, and I think Michael and I both found it difficult to go back to the baby stage after we thought we were on the other end of it. He was a particularly challenging baby and toddler too — we never had tantrums with our first four, but then Wilkie came and made sure we had our fair share of tantrums! Like every other mother on the planet, I found last year quite challenging with Covid lockdown and the intense juggle of work and motherhood and homeschooling and toddler tantrums and teenage angst.

As a mother, what do you wish for your children?

I think I probably echo every other mother when I say that the thing I wish for the most for my children is health and happiness. It sounds so simple and basic, but it’s really all you need in life. Of course I also hope they are kind and compassionate, honest and fair. I hope they are as interested in others as they are interesting. And I hope they honour who they really are and follow their very own path.

Do you have wellness or beauty rituals that you do daily to promote your inner beauty, practical things to take care of your skin, body and mind amidst the chaos of mum life?

As a family, we put a lot of thought and attention into the food we eat. My husband does most of the cooking, and he’s a really good cook. We eat a vegetarian diet and we try to eat organically and as locally as possible. My husband and I also try to squeeze in yoga and pilates together a couple of times a week, and of course simply being out in nature, being at the beach, swimming and surfing in the ocean — this in itself is a wellness ritual! Personally, I have been using the Jurlique products for nearly a year now, and I really love the products and love how it’s changed my bedtime skincare routine. Just taking the extra five minutes to care for myself before hopping into bed is a moment of self-care that I appreciate more than ever.

For all the mums out there, can you please share a simple delicious recipe that you would want your children to prepare for you on Mother’s Day.

Courtney Adamo with her husband and family standing on a beach

Here’s a super simple, kid-friendly recipe for the most yummy blueberry muffins!

Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins:

  • -1/4 cup (55 grams) of butter at room temp.
  • -3/4 cup of sugar
  • -2 eggs
  • -1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons of sifted flour
  • -1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • -1/2 tsp. salt
  • -3/4 cup of sour cream (or créme fraiche)
  • -1-2 cups of blueberries
  • -1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste

Preheat oven to 230°C and line a muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Sift flour, soda and salt together, and add to butter mixture alternatively with the sour cream. Gently fold in berries and vanilla. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. (Makes 12 muffins).