Adelaide local, Emmah Money, is a mum, an author and motivational speaker, a charity ambassador, and in January this year was named South Australia’s Local Hero during the Australian of the Year Awards. She also lives with the life-threatening lung condition Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that affects her daily life, but one she is not willing to let limit how completely she lives it.
We chat with Emmah about life with CF, defying the odds and becoming a mum, and how she has channelled her passion for life to prove that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Can you tell us how CF has shaped your life?
Having a life-threatening illness can sound scary and trust me, at times, CF has definitely influenced how I live my life, but I have been brought up to not let it define who I am. When I was a teenager, I won a competition run by Girlfriend magazine, for raising awareness and funds for CF. This national recognition for what I worked hard on, changed my life. It allowed me to become the national youth ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Australia, I became a published author and the biggest realisation for me was that I could choose to let CF define me and my life or I could turn this around. My life has constantly been filled with optimistic, almost unrealistic ideas – but the mission I set for myself was to never take no for an answer. I am passionate in all that I do, with the primary goal to succeed. CF is not easy to live with, but I also feel like I have a job to show that whilst I have a life-threatening illness, it won’t stop me from what I want to achieve and do in life. Now as a mother, I have even more reason to succeed.
Tell us about defying the odds and becoming a mum to two beautiful children.
Motherhood was something I never imagined I would get the opportunity to experience. As I began my research about having CF and becoming a mother, I found nothing encouraging about being a woman with CF and having children, but I wanted so badly to experience pregnancy and to become a mum.
After lengthy discussions with my doctor about how pregnancy would impact my health, I was told it wouldn’t be easy, but it was possible. After a year, I found myself pregnant. The emotions overwhelmed me; what did this mean for my baby long term? What did this mean for me? Motherhood brings a fear of the unknown, but I knew I was ready for whatever lay ahead.
My pregnancy shocked me; I was the healthiest I had been since I was a child. I went into labour naturally and had my beautiful baby girl, Ayvah, my miracle baby. Two years later, I fell pregnant again, naturally, with my little man Logan. And here we are. I am 32 years old; I have a 6 and 4-year-old.
How do you talk to your children about having CF?
Thankfully over the past few years my children haven’t seen CF, and the treatment involved, as scary. They know that my lungs don’t work very well, so I have medicine to make my lungs stronger.
CF is not a focus for them, and it shouldn’t be. CF doesn’t run our lives, it obviously affects me on a daily basis, but I can manage it around the kids most of the time.
I have realised that I don’t want my children to be afraid of CF. I could bring them up in a world where the medication, the needles, and constant doctor appointments are a negative, but I haven’t. I’ve tried to normalise my CF and show them it is not a big deal.
Tell us about your upcoming children’s book and what messages you are sharing in your writing for kids.
Today’s generation of children are very different; disability doesn’t seem to have such a negative stigma around it. One thing my kids have taught me is that children are curious, they are open to anything, they question everything, and they are accepting, if we help them to be. I wanted to create a fun story where we talk about disability and know it’s safe to do so. The story has a focus on primary aged kids who have a range of disabilities, through acknowledging each disability and learning that we are all different.
Kate Bailey is a producer for Sonya Feldhoff on ABC Radio Adelaide. Music has always been a part of her life whether playing it, singing it or banging on about it, and she keeps the dream alive by introducing new music to the world every week. And all of it local! Hear the review live at 1.45pm each Tuesday on ABC Radio Adelaide, 891 AM. And tune in 1.45pm each Friday for her local (streaming) gig guide. You can also listen live via the ABC Listen APP, online or via Channel 25 on your TV. Kate is also Mum to three beautiful boys Liam, Louis and Jay who have been showered in music since birth and reminded often that it’s a universal language that binds us, revives us and inspires us. A city without a music scene is a city without a soul. Which is why now, more than ever, we need to stay connected with our local musicians and keep the creativity alive!
I’m not only impressed but also quite relieved to see so many of our local musicians and venues getting tech savvy in order to bring us live performances in the virtual realm. Music is like medicine in so many ways! And let’s hope this also means many of our creatives can keep on keeping on despite the impact of Covid-19.
So, whether you fancy streaming a gig or just some good old-fashioned listening here are a few local tracks to help you put the Iso-blues away.
I’ll start with something from the heart. Albeit an angry one.
A bloke named Benjamin messed with Kelly Brouhaha’s heart. Big time.
So, the soulful songstress put her powerhouse vocals and mean guitar skills into action and wrote that man out of her heart. Using his real name, I do believe.
And for a break-up song it’s pretty darn catchy. Up-beat even.
Much like her new life, perhaps? Leaving behind her marriage and a mortgage Kelly jumped in her van (the most wonderfully named, Pamela Vanderson) and began pursuing her dream of travelling Australia full-time.
And she continues to carve out quite the lifestyle as a multi-instrumentalist and jack of all trades gathering fans all along the way – including Beccy Cole and Libby O’Donovan with whom she joins forces from time to time.
So, perhaps Benjamin did her a favour in the end, providing both material and motivation.
The single is out now on all platforms.
Okay, genre shift. Time to think cacti, cowboys and tumbleweeds – quite apt at a time when things have slowed down so much our city streets are almost bare on a Saturday night.
5-piece Los Palms draw their inspiration from that classic California surf rock and 60’s sound and describe their music as Desert Jangle. Expect reverb aplenty and a rather conspicuous nod to the Shadows in this track Lost Phantom. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.
It’s been a solid few years for Los Palms, including playing The Americana stage at this year’s Superloop.
They too are making the most of a more isolated lifestyle recording demos (several of which you can check out on Facebook) and are hoping to leap into the studio the moment it’s allowed.
And finally, for a laugh (don’t we all need those right now?) do yourself a favour and look up rocker Ben Marwe from Bad//Dreems singing “I Wanna Self Isolate With You”. Maybe without the kids in the room for this one.
Bad//Dreems were forced to cut a major overseas tour short, come home and isolate. Scattered all over the countryside for now they’re beavering away on new material while they wait for the lockdowns to lift. Ben also does a short performance from his abode each weekend (the Sunday Morning Songbook) – so check out their social media pages. And I’ve been told we can expect something new very, very soon!
Until next time, support our musos however you can, and stay healthy!
Is this where we are going wrong in modern parenting? And by we, I mean me.
Rebecca Morse presents Adelaide’s Ten News First bulletin and is co-host of hit107’s breakfast show, Bec & Cosi. She has a degree in Journalism and started her media career at the ABC, where she was named SA Journalist of the Year in 2005. Rebecca is actively involved in community and charity work, as a proud Ambassador for Kickstart for Kids, the Animal Welfare League, the Premier’s Reading Challenge, Uniting Care Pancake Day and the Port Adelaide Football Club, She is married with three daughters, Grace, Milla and Frankie and an adopted dalmatian named Henley.
What type of Parent Am I?
Have you ever stopped to consider what style of parent you are?
When I was a little girl I desperately wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid. I begged my mother for one. They were very expensive. I waited months in hope in the lead up to my birthday. I looked at them in toy stores and fantasised about taking one home. Would I get a boy or a girl? What colour hair would he/she have? And what would the name say on the one-of-a-kind birth certificate?
It seemed like all my friends had one. I would play with theirs, dreaming of the day that I might, if I was lucky enough, have my own.
On my birthday she came to me.
Her name was Katrine Barbara and she had brown hair and blue eyes. I decided that since I was her adoptive mother, I had the right to change her name, despite the official looking birth certificate signed by Xavier Roberts. She would henceforth be known as Natalie Jane. Natalie, after my favourite Young Talent Time member (second favourite actually, but I wasn’t sold on the double-i in Dannii) and Jane because that’s my middle name and I wanted to pass it down the line to my cherished newborn with the hard plastic face and soft squishy limbs.
I now understand this to be the concept of delayed gratification. I wanted that doll so much for so long that when I got her I appreciated her so much more than if Mum had just let me grab her off the shelf the first time I’d asked for one.
Is this where we are going wrong in modern parenting? And by we, I mean me.
Of course we all want to provide the best for our children, but perhaps going without on occasion is one of the most valuable lessons we can teach them. I’m hyper-vigilant about raising spoilt, entitled children.
My Year 11 has been testing my patience since she was invited to the Year 12 formal with a friend. Technically not her formal, so technically I’m not prepared to do all the things for her.
Because delayed gratification.
She found an outfit she wanted. Nope, I said. Based on both the exorbitant price tag and the exorbitant amount of skin that would be on display. She cried. Hysterically.
I told her for MY Year 12 formal I wore a $99 plain black dress from Cue, got spiral curls at the Blackwood hairdresser, tanned in the sun and did my own makeup. She cried harder.
Her lack of perspective was infuriating. So I decided to set her a budget. The sum total of my contribution to her entire formal ensemble would be $100. She went through all of the stages of grief until she reached acceptance. She called in favours from friends for hair and makeup, borrowed half of my wardrobe and used some of her savings from her part-time job. It made her think about the value of money, how to save for something, and how to be grateful for it once she got it.
Delayed gratification. I gave myself a parenting pat on the back. A premature pat because it turns out this lesson is harder to teach her younger siblings.
At Womad the youngest was given a choice. Snow cone now or donut later. When you’re eight of course it’s all about instant gratification. So, snow cone it was. An organic one I assume, given the nature of the world music festival. She was SO happy with her decision. Until the middle child who had chosen donut later, got her donut later.
Then there were tears. A good half hour of tears. Lucky the bongo drums were loud.
I think the take-out parenting lesson from the monumental scale of the tanty in this case was not to give the choice of instant gratification. Or, to get a babysitter next year.
No matter what our financial means, we do our children a disservice by giving them what they want, when they want it, Veruca Salt style. The latest technology, the latest labels, or even just a lunch order from the canteen because the food at home is BORING. If we just say yes, how will they ever know the feeling of gratitude and elation experienced by a child of the 80s in her velour tracksuit holding Katrine/Natalie so tightly that she may or may not still have that doll to this very day.
Three years ago, two 18-year-old girls, fresh out of High School had a bloody good idea and now it’s time for us all to cotton on!
Co-Founders Eloise Hall & Isobel Marshall decided to join the menstrual market after a Bond University Leadership Conference. The girls were left inspired to establish a business that enabled the everyday purchases of Australians to improve the lives of people around the world.
The net profits of their company TABOO Sanitary Products are directly donated to OneGirl; an organisation working in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
OneGirl uses a Microfinance model that employs local women to distribute biodegradable pads to other women in their community. This access to pads enables young women to go to school on their period whilst supporting the local economy in a sustainable way.
Half of all Australians will need sanitary products for a large part of their lives, and they usually need to purchase them every month. In fact, Australians spend $300 million on sanitary products annually.
Knowing this, TABOO Co-founder Isobel also wanted to help women closer to home, ‘We are very aware of the need that exists in Australia too. For that reason, we have partnered with NPY Women’s Council and Vinnie’s Crisis Centre to give our customers the opportunity to subscribe to our product on behalf of a woman in community Australia or a woman requiring emergency care in SA.’
Over the past three years Isobel and Eloise have spent their time presenting to school and community groups in Australia, releasing a line of conversation-starting merchandise and doing whatever they can to share their message. All of these activities have the primary goal of starting the conversation around menstruation in a global context – let’s break that stigma ladies!
TABOO was initially available online through a subscription model, however their products are now also available in IGA Malvern, Adelaide. Keep an eye out for them on other supermarket shelves soon!
MEET YOUR ZEN MAMAS TERESA PALMER & SARAH WRIGHT OLSEN
Words: Cassandra Kerr
Images: Gemma Pranita
Well-known actresses, businesswomen and founders of YourZenMama.com, Teresa Palmer and Sarah Wright Olsen have written a book; Zen Mamas – an extremely candid and practical guide on remaining zen(ish!) whilst embracing motherhood. We sat down to find out more!
Who is in your beautiful family?
TP: My family consists of Mark, my hubs, Bodhi our 6 year old son, Forest our 3 year old son and Poet our 11 month old daughter! I also have a “bonus kid” , my beautiful 11 year old stepson Isaac.
SWO: Eric and I met 15 years ago on a Tv show on Fox. We married in 2012 and have two babies Wyatt 6 and Esmé 3.
Why was it important for you to put Zen Mamas out in the world, and to be so candid and honest throughout?
TP: We wanted to be as open and vulnerable as it gets. I think without real transparency we wouldn’t have been able to write a book that would be both insightful and helpful to new and existing parents. We utilised so much of what we have learnt from our YZM community and mentors alike. We wanted to write the book that felt like chatting to a friend about her personal experiences with pregnancy, birth and beyond. We didn’t have the intention of creating a detailed how-to guide but more a reflective look on all the aspects of bringing a baby into the world and the journey that unfolds before you once you’ve made that decision. Embracing all the ebbs and flows of parenting.
SWO: When we started Yourzenmama.com it was important for us to always be raw and honest about our struggles, mishaps, little victories and things we learned along the way about this journey. It does feel sometimes like some people have it all figured out but truly we are all just learning and trying to navigate pregnancy and parenthood. The beauty of our site is that it feels like here you have community to reach out to and to learn from. Teresa and I share our stories on the site and in the book as well as stories from our friends, folks in the YZM community and professionals that we look up to. This book states very clearly that we are not professionals and we do not have it all figured out, we are trying to learn and grow alongside all the other mothers and caregivers out there and it is comforting to do this in a community that feels supportive.
What was your favourite part of the writing process?
TP: It was a wild and colourful journey! A lot of the book was written in the back of a camper van, bouncing around trying to follow all my different train of thoughts whilst wrangling four kids in a small space driving up the coast of America. It was a smash up of crazy inducing, inspiring, therapeutic and enjoyable.
SWO: I loved writing this book with Teresa. There were moments that felt a bit overwhelming, deadlines that felt very quickly approaching. The best part though was being able to share this with someone who I consider my family. We would go off and write our own chapters and then switch and add in our voice to the others chapter. I constantly felt inspired throughout the process no matter how overwhelming it was at times because at the core this is what we are most passionate about so it was continuously fascinating even in its most tedious moments.
What do you hope readers will take away from Zen Mamas?
TP: Just that it’s really normal to feel as though you can’t get all your ducks lined up perfectly in a row. Every day is a little give and take, a lot of negotiating, part acceptance and a ton of embracing the changes in the moment. I really hope readers will take away that they can arm themselves with all the tools in the world to be the most loving, present, conscious minded parents but that the art of letting expectations go and allowing the experience to be what it is without the self critical voice is key. You might not land where you aim but where you land is where you’re supposed to.
SWO: We very thoughtfully laid this book out to talk about everything from the moment you decide you may want to have a baby, to that first pregnancy test, through all the months of pregnancy, postpartum and the first year with baby. It was very important to us to write a chapter all on its own about pregnancy loss. This subject is very quickly brushed over in most books but this is a very real and common thing that happens and we hope that talking about subjects like this and sharing our stories of loss and triumphs after, will bring comfort and help women to feel a sense of connection through all the stages of motherhood.
The best parenting advice you have received?
TP: Just to parent intuitively. Be moment to moment without the clutter of ensuring everything is done to a rigid routine. Let the days be slow and the expectations low. Be observant and mindful of how your own stuff can trigger you emotionally. Loosely following this idea has been very rewarding in my parenting journey.
SWO: Try not to over schedule your life. If you can avoid having to nap at home in a crib with the blackout shades and noise machine then you will be able to have a more mobile existence as a new parent and won’t feel so bound to your home. It was really helpful for me not to feel so structured. I had some structure but this advice gave me some freedom to try having my little ones nap in the car or a stroller or the carrier so I could still go to lunch or the park or somewhere with my friends.
Your number one tip of letting go of the innate anxiety and stereotype of being the ‘perfect mother’?
TP: I think the process of striving to be “the perfect mother” often ends up backfiring and results in mothers being too hard on themselves. I think if we all have an idea of the kind of parent we want to be and then acknowledge that some days we’ll land in that vicinity and other days we just won’t then we can all move forward cradling the notion that gifts come from the rollercoaster like motion of parenting.
SWO: It is just not possible and honestly at the end of the day what does that even mean? We make mistakes in every part of our lives and that is how we learn and grow. It shouldn’t always look cookie cutter and easy because it isn’t. I have posted many photos on my social account of my children destroying one room when I have gone to clean another one and honestly that is just how it goes some days. Don’t compare yourself to others because you don’t actually know what goes on in their home. I started off going to mommy and me groups and I really loved doing it. I learned very quickly that it would be a huge mistake to compare myself to others or put pressure on myself to be like some of the other women in the group. I decided to listen and try to learn from them, ask questions and not be afraid to try some of the things they were trying. I like a little bit of mess and I appreciate the growth as it feels so good to look back and see how far I have come.
Your favourite motherhood mantra?
TP: I don’t have any one in particular but Janet Lansbury says “When we let feelings be, we let go of reacting and, instead, stay anchored, accepting ups and downs, letting life flow.” I love the letting life flow part. SWO: A mantra my father-in-law taught me. “happiness is the journey”
And lastly, Happy Mother’s Day! What will you be reflecting upon and celebrating this Mother’s Day?
TP: My mother and my mother’s mother and how grateful I am to them both for the many ways in which they’ve shaped me. I’ll also be reflecting upon these beautiful children of mine and all the colour and richness they have brought into my life. I’ll too be thinking of all of those folks out there who wish to be a mama but due to varying reasons haven’t been able to walk that path just yet.
SWO: I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to work on this book over the last year and a half. I will never forget what went into this and how honoured I have felt to have the opportunity to write these pages with Teresa.
Favourite parenting podcast?
Australian Birth Stories by Sophie Walker
Janet Lansbury’s Unplugged is also an amazing resource for mindful parenting ideas.
Teresa and Sarah’s book Zen Mamas ($34.99, published by Penguin Random House), is available to purchase now.
Liv Williams is a mother of 3 and the brains behind eenie meenie miney mum. Describing herself as a ‘purveyor of big words and failed attempts at hilarity. Lover of bed socks and boy bands; peonies and Polaroids. Die hard coffee aficionado, ironing resistor, serial wardrobe untidier, couch commentator. Occasional selfie enthusiast, plus other fatal personality flaws.’
Life of the Party!
WORDS —Liv Williams
IMAGES — Meaghan Coles
Cue the glitter cannons, friends, it’s time to celebrate good time party vibes; all things joyful, jubilant and thoroughly day brightening! Things that make us smile and whistle as we walk, things that give us the best kind of feels, through colour, glitter and all-round frolicsome fun!
This is the kind of infectious energy Alexis Teasdale; founder of The Festive Co. brings to everyone she meets, and every event she has a hand in. It might be a rainbow ribbon wall or a big-time balloon installation, or even a cheeky DIY photo-booth prop; if there’s a unique, show stopping, conversation starting party idea, Alexis is probably behind it. She is creative, vivacious and just an all-round bright spark of a human being, and also happens to have years of impressive media experience within glossy magazines in Sydney under her belt. Having recently returned to Adelaide, Alexis has launched The Festive Co, an event design business with a focus on making life’s milestones more awesome, one glitter drop at a time.
We talk with Alexis about returning to Adelaide and launching The Festive Co, and how having children has sparked a whole new level of creativity in her world.
Tell us about your career journey thus far!
I was studying media at Adelaide Uni when I got it into my head that I should try and get some work experience at glossy mags in Sydney. Then I was lucky enough to be offered a job on my work experience week at Cosmo. My whole life changed, and the following 15 years were a mix of fun, hard work and more fun. I learnt to jump at any exciting opportunity that would present itself, and it took me on a pretty amazing rollercoaster ride in publishing.
What are some of your career highlights?
I started on the front desk of Cosmo Bride magazine and about 10 years later I returned to be the managing editor which was a real thrill. During my time there, we did some ‘Cosmo Pride’ activations during Australia’s Same Sex marriage vote, that I’m really proud of. Some of the team and I got to walk in the 50th anniversary Mardi Gras parade which was an unforgettable experience.
Being told I had the Beauty Editor role at DOLLY was one of the exciting moments I’d ever experienced. To work on that iconic title when so many teens looked to it for advice was really special.
But mostly, the highlights were a series of less glamorous, but equally amazing things. Like the women I met and worked with. Publishing was a very female-driven industry then, and still is now. That makes it a really inspiring and empowering place to learn and work, especially as a young woman.
What was it like coming back to Adelaide and what brought you back?
Our move back to Adelaide was actually a pretty quick decision after a few things aligned beautifully. My husband and I had been thinking about it for ages, especially with our sons getting bigger and we had to think about schools. Then he was offered a job transfer to my awesome home town and it felt like a sign! It’s been a complete joy moving back. It felt right from the first minute we arrived.
What have you rediscovered about Adelaide since returning?
SO much! I’ve literally created a page on my website called #rediscoveringradelaide because we were finding so many amazing things to see and do. I left Adelaide when I was 20, so in a way I never really lived here as a ‘grown up’. It’s been absolutely awesome seeing the city through my husband and kids eyes; they love it here! How much they love their new city is probably my favourite thing. I treasure taking them to do things I did, like going to The Magic Cave, drives to Victor Harbor, eating fish and chips for dinner on the beach and buying them my favourite treat: Balfours Frog Cakes.
Tell us about The Festive Co and how it all started.
I was working at SHOP ‘Til You Drop magazine when I got married, and in that particular job I did a lot of lifestyle styling. We would do these wild set-ups and lots of faux party shoots with elaborate styling, so I was having a ball doing that, as well as writing. Then after our (Big Fat Greek) wedding, I was getting a lot of requests to hire all the props from the big day. There were a LOT of props. So, I started The Festive Co website mostly just to hire them out and tinker away with some stories about weddings and events when I had time. But instead of people wanting to hire the props, most requests were to hire me! So, I started doing some parties and putting photos up on the site, and it all snowballed from there.
How do you manage being a busy mum of three and running your own business? How do you fit it all in?!
I don’t! Ha! I think that’s the key. Managing expectations. Both your own and other peoples. It took me until baby number 3 to realise that I actually can’t do everything, there simply aren’t enough hours in a day. I took on a job recently and about half-way through was finding myself up in the middle of the night crafting and thinking, “I actually might not sleep tonight”. CRAZY! It was a great wake up call for me, because I love to say yes to opportunities. I still try to, I’m just very realistic up front about how long something will take to create. That’s been a game-changer.
How has having kids given you a whole new perspective on creativity and putting together events?
Kids open your mind to a whole new level of creativity!! They see the world, and even just ordinary objects, in a magical way. A cardboard toilet roll is a ‘super power laser beamer’ and a piece of bark in the garden is a ‘fairy surfboard’. For someone creative like me, it’s been a dream and that’s a big part of why I started to think about leaving magazines to work on The Festive Co full time.
Also, with the state of the world at the moment, I think it’s still really important to find joy and celebrate things. Our children should see us be joyful, sing and create and for their world to be colourful. It’s not about spending loads of money. There are so many ways to celebrate and make memories without expensive props. Having the kids choose their cake, and lovingly make it (whether it’s from scratch, a packet or pre-made supermarket spongecakes, who cares!) is a time honoured tradition that children will remember for years to come.
What are you working on at the moment and what’s coming up for The Festive Co?
Every day is really varied which is so much fun! Some days I’ll hop on a podcast and talk about kids and craft, others will be full-on creative prep days making streamer walls and pinwheels, and then others are consulting with brands on how to make their content sing!
I’ve got a whole confetti cannon of cool things coming including some more workshops, e-books and even some party wares! Like so many mums can relate, the ideas are all there but it’s about finding the time to make them come to life, without sacrificing time with the tiny, joyful humans!