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Celebrity Families

EXCLUSIVE: Our favourite celebrity mums share their best parenting anecdotes and advice

Happy Mother's Day from TV WEEK!

By Amber Giles
In honour of Mother's Day 2020, we sat down with some of TV's biggest stars to share the joys, laughs and fails they've had on the crazy road of motherhood.
From Home and Away's Ada Nicodemou through to Project host Carrie Bickmore, these mums share their highlights and lowlights in honour of a Mother's Day many will spend in lockdown.

Ada Nicodemou

TV WEEK: What advice would you give to those women who are about to become mothers for the first time?
Ada: Listen to your intuition, as it's pretty much always right. And don't compare your child to others – they all grow and develop at different times, so never worry that your child hasn't hit a certain milestone. And please don't criticise other parents – bringing up kids is hard enough without having to hear criticism from others. Be kind – we're all trying our best.
What's your favourite Mother's Day memory?
My 40th birthday fell on Mother's Day, so it was so nice to celebrate my mum, me as a mum, and also me turning the BIG 40. We had a lovely champagne breakfast – we got all dressed up and had a lovely lunch with the family and my friends.
Ada loves cooking with son Johnas. (Image: Instagram @adanicodemou)

Rebekah Elmaloglou

TV WEEK: Best parenting fail?
Rebekah: My most embarrassing parenting fail would have to be forgetting to pack Kai's swimmers for his Year Six camp. The poor kid had to borrow someone else's spare shorts. He still hasn't forgiven me!
What's your favourite Mother's Day memory?
My favourite Mother's Day memory is always waking up to tea and toast in bed. My son always has a lovely little gift and gets so excited to give it me.
What was the best thing your mum cooked for dinner?
My mother has always been a superb cook. I would say all the favourite family dishes from my Greek heritage are the winners every time. Luckily, she has passed them onto me. My greatest memories are of her in the kitchen.
Rebekah and Kai love a good clown around. (Image: Supplied)

Angela Bishop

TV WEEK: What have you tried to take from your own mother in terms of parenting?
Angela: The thing I learnt most from Mum in terms of parenting is talk, talk and then talk some more. Communication is everything. I've always known I could tell my mother anything, and I want Amelia to know the same thing.
Best parenting fail?
Without a doubt my biggest parenting fail is that no amount of threats, bribery, tricks or tantrums (mine, not hers) can convince Amelia to eat a vegetable. It's a case for Super Nanny.
What advice would you give to new mums?
The best advice I'd give to someone about to become a mum for the first time is run your own race. If you don't want to go to classes, don't. If mother's group isn't your thing, don't feel you have to go. Sometimes I feel too much comparing goes on, and that can make you feel you're not doing it right. Kaz Cooke's book Up The Duff was my bible, and family and friends were my support network.
Angela wants her daughter Amelia to be open and honest with her always. (Image: Supplied)

Carrie Bickmore

TV WEEK: What have you tried to take from your own mother in terms of parenting?
Carrie: I wish I was as patient as my mum. She had so much going on – keeping a step-family going, working full-time, doing her PhD – yet always had time for us. She always had time to stop and genuinely show an interest in what we were doing.
What's your favourite Mother's day memory?
I think the first Mother's Day, where Ollie was old enough to bring me a cup of tea in bed and write me a proper card, was pretty special.
WATCH BELOW: Carrie Bickmore on the joy of her children. Post continues after video...
Which fellow mother do you look to for advice?
I have incredible friends who are amazing mums and inspire me every day. [Radio presenter] Fifi Box is one of the best mums I know. Despite her busy workload, she's so good at being present for her kids.
She can just put away her phone and play with her kids for hours. I admire that, as I'm not great at playing! I'm great at setting up games, but I'm hopeless at the playing bit.
Carrie enjoys down time with partner Chris and kids Ollie (far right) Evie (below left) and Adelaide. (Image: Instagram @bickmorecarrie)

Allison Langdon

TV WEEK: What's your favourite Mother's Day memory?
I would have been about eight years old, and I got so excited, as I had $10 Dad gave me to pay for a present. I bought Mum a new laundry basket and, as I didn't have enough wrapping paper, I wrapped just the lid. I was so excited, but I'll never forget the "I have just been given a laundry basket" look on Mum's face. God love her, as she did act like she loved it!
Best parenting fail?
You want just one?! When Mack was two, I had a friend over for lunch and I'd left the bathroom door open. Mack went in and came out sucking the toilet brush. It was the most disgusting thing.
How are you surviving with the parenting and isolation combination?
It's tough and it makes for a long day. But on the flip side – and I'm saying this from a privileged position of having a job – I do appreciate that our lives have been simplified and we can watch how the kids flourish with all this attention. So as much as going on an imaginary bear hunt millions of times a day can make you sigh, it's awesome that we can have this time together. We all have to look at the positives.
Allison thankful she has the chance to spend time with husband Michael and their kids Mack and Scout. (Image: Instagram @allisonlangdon)

Rebecca Gibney

TV WEEK: What's your favourite Mother's Day memory?
Rebecca: I have a video of Zac dancing and singing a Happy Mother's Day song while I'm having a cup of tea in bed in the morning. I still have it saved on my phone. I think Zac is about six years old in it and it brings me so much joy when I watch it. He's totally unfiltered and free.
Growing up, what was the best thing your mum did with you for fun?
When times were tough, Mum would sometimes drive us around the block in the car as if we were going on an adventure – she never wanted us to be frightened or feel we were going without.
What have you tried to take from your own mother in terms of parenting?
Compassion and kindness are the two most important things my mother ever taught me. I'm probably a bit too soft sometimes, but I believe as long as Zac knows he's loved no matter what, then I hope he'll always know we're here for him whenever he needs us. We also laugh in our household – a LOT.
Rebecca loves a laugh with son Zac. (Image: Supplied)

Penny McNamee

TV WEEK: What is your favourite Mother's Day memory?
Penny: My first Mother's Day was very special, as it had taken us so long to fall pregnant. Matt [Penny's husband] made me the most beautiful memory book, full of photos of Jack and hilarious quotes from my first year of motherhood.
What advice would you give to those women who are about to become mothers for the first time?
Be kind to yourself... you don't need to have a tidy house or a toned tummy. Just give in to the chaos of it all.
Growing up, what was the best thing your mum cooked for dinner or did with you for fun?
My mum has a great sense of fun. When we were young, one of us five kids complained about Mum's rice being too gluggy. My mother proceeded to pick up a handful and throw it at said child. And so the enormous rice fight of 1994 ensued. The carpet has never looked the same.
Penny soaks up cuddles with Neve (right) and Jack. (Image: Supplied)

Kyly Clarke

TV WEEK: Can you remember trying to impress your mum when you were younger?
Kyly: My biggest memories are making breakfast with my siblings and putting flowers from the neighbour's garden in a special gold vase for Mum on her food tray. In my eyes, delivering that to her as she woke was always what Mother's Day was about.
Best parenting fail?
I was rushing one morning trying to get out of the house. I did Kelsey Lee's hair and couldn't quite work out why the hair gel wasn't grabbing. I came home that afternoon to realise the hair brush was sitting next to the hand sanitiser. I didn't use hair gel…
How are you surviving with the parenting and isolation combination?
Making the most of this precious time together. Kelsey Lee and I love being super-active, getting outside the house, playing on the trampoline, her scooter and learning how to ride a bike without training wheels. She loves arts and craft and I also love being creative – it truly is a nice way to relax with your child.
Kyly is happy to own up to her parenting fails! (Image: Supplied)

Jodi Anasta

TV WEEK: Can you remember trying to impress your mum when you were younger?
Jodi: I always loved making Mum breakfast in bed and giving her flowers. I'd get so excited and plan what I was going to make her the night before. It's funny, because Aleeia does something similar for me now.
How are you surviving with the parenting and isolation combination?
I think, like everyone, I do my absolute best. Between being mummy and playing teacher (ha, ha!) it can be very hard. We make it work, and it's certainly not perfect, but we just do the best we can with every day. We also try to have a lot of fun with exercise, cooking and our favourite: dancing.
Which fellow mother do you look to for advice as a mum?
I have quite a few mothers I go to – some have been married a long time and some are single mothers. I like having a group of very different women I can gain experience and life advice from.
Jodi always has time for a dance with daughter Aleeia. (Image: Supplied)

Colette Mann

TV WEEK: What have you tried to take from your own mother in terms of parenting?
Colette: I was a bit of a drill sergeant when the boys were younger, just like my mother was with me. I'm extremely proud of how they've grown up and, once they turned 18, unlike my own mother, I let go. Maybe that's why they haven't yet left home? I need to have a good think about that!
Which fellow mother do you look to for advice as a mum?
I think, in a different way, I've now become the universal mother at work at Neighbours. I work with a lot of young ones who're separated from their family for one reason or another, so I feel privileged that they come to me for advice on issues often outside of scripts or acting.
Can you remember trying to impress your mum when you were younger?
I remember the Mother's Day stalls at school with knitted toilet-roll covers. I'm sure I probably bought a few of those for her – with her money!
Colette with her sons Charlie (left) and Sam when they were much younger. (Image: Supplied)

Erin Molan

TV WEEK: What was the best thing your mum cooked for dinner?
Erin: I always loved Mum's bolognaise… hated her rissoles! She's a very good cook. As we got older, she started making mean salads – chicken and mango the best!
Best parenting fail?
I totally forgot Easter this year. I woke up, cuddled my little Buddha, she made her daily joke about wanting chocolate for breakfast, I laughed. Then I had to get up and go to work for the Sunday Footy Show. I got into work, saw all the Easter Eggs, and died. I not only robbed Eliza of the first Easter she would have understood, but of the only day of the year she could legitimately have had chocolate for breakfast. Let's never speak of this again!
What advice would you give to those women who are about to become mothers for the first time?
You WILL survive. It's allowed to be bloody hard. You're allowed to struggle and still know how blessed you are. It's the greatest thing you will ever do, but it can also be brutal
in the early days – hang in there!
Erin with her daughter Eliza. (Image: Supplied)

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