When she’s behind the Channel Nine news desk bringing Australian viewer’s their daily bulletins, Amelia Adams radiates authority, control and calm. But when it comes to motherhood, the newsreader isn’t afraid to admit she’s just like the rest of us as she navigates the challenges of raising her two young children, three-year-old Charlton and one-year-old Matilda. Accomplished, whip smart and breathtakingly beautiful … yet there’s absolutely no airs and graces about this star and during our interview, Amelia had The Delivery team howling with laughter and vigorously nodding our heads in absolute agreement.
Motherhood is …
Endlessly challenging, exhausting, and rewarding… and the greatest responsibility and privilege one can have.
How do you perform the great balancing act between parenting and your high pressure career?
With great difficulty and a LOT of coffee. Logistics are the biggest challenge because my husband travels for work and I work shifts, so getting the kids to and from daycare or looked after at random hours is tricky. On the weekend I try to make a plan for the week ahead so everyone knows who’s doing what and when, which avoids any last minute conflict. Of course, inevitably shifts change or someone gets sick and sent home from kindy … so I’ve learnt to stay flexible and roll with the punches as much as possible. Mentally, I try to leave my work at work as much as possible, which isn’t always possible when I’m at home trying to keep across breaking news or big stories. When I’m work I focus on that and don’t stress about household issues or check in on the kids, if there’s a problem someone will call me and I’ll deal with it.
Describe your parenting style?
I’m pretty relaxed about most things as I want my children to enjoy being kids and have fun and feel loved. I like to think I’m fun, we play lots of imaginary games and build Lego and dress up as super heroes. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a push over as I find tantrums hilarious, and as soon as my son sees me laugh he knows he’s got me. His father is much tougher!
What does an average day look like for you?
Organised chaos. We play musical beds with the kids all night then I’m up at 6am packing kindy lunch and getting my 11 month old ready for daycare. I drop her at 7am and am in the makeup chair by 7.15am. It’s a busy shift reading the news for Today Extra, Morning and Afternoon News, then a mad dash to daycare and kindy pick up and home for witching hour. I’m strict about the kids 7pm bedtime, so my husband and I can have some time together (i.e. watch Netflix and eat chocolate). On days off we do all the normal stuff.. swimming lessons, play dates, grocery shopping and tantrums. To be honest work days often feel easier as my colleagues are much less challenging than my children, and I can sit down, focus on my job and drink my coffee in relative peace.
“Raising humans is the most incredible job, filled with unconditional love and lots of surprises. But it’s OK to drink before 4pm.”
What has been your greatest challenge as a mother?
Giving up time. Time to myself, time with my husband, time with friends. Hobbies, exercise and quiet time and all the things that keep me sane. A lot of the time I feel I’ve lost myself, but I know it’ll get easier as the kids get older. And stepping back from my career. People say women can have it all these days but I disagree. We can have families and careers and it’s certainly more accepted than it used to be, but there are major sacrifices and I’m acutely aware of the goals I once had that I now cannot achieve. Is it worth it? Of course. 100%. But for me, it’s been hard to come to terms with, especially after my second child.
What’s the biggest lesson motherhood has taught you?
Patience, and tolerance. Raising humans is the most incredible job, filled with unconditional love and lots of surprises. But it’s OK to drink before 4pm.
Do you have any rituals?
My morning piccolo is crucial, I literally cannot function without it. Also, I used to run religiously but I’m now housebound with the kids, so I try to do exercises at home when I can and eat really well to feel good and keep my energy levels up.
How do you keep the spark alive with your husband between juggling a business and family life?
This is a constant struggle for us. My husband travels a lot for work and is away for weeks at a time, and I work weekends. When he gets home it can feel like business just managing the kids, logistics and keeping the household running. The only time we get together is after 7 or 8pm and by then we’re exhausted and usually spend the time talking about the kids or planning family logistics. We’ve recently employed some help with the kids which has been life changing, it’s meant we’ve had some date nights which is so important.
“People say women can have it all these days but I disagree. We can have families and careers and it’s certainly more accepted than it used to be, but there are major sacrifices and I’m acutely aware of the goals I once had that I now cannot achieve..”
Best beauty secret for busy mums?
Keep it simple. Find a good quality skincare range that works for you and stick with it. I wear a lot of make up at work so I need a good cleanser, Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel removes even the toughest make up. For a moisturiser, I swear by Dr Spiller Active Substance Cream. My must have handbag item is Mecca Cosmetica Lip De-Luscious with SPF 25.
Is there a golden piece of wisdom you received on the parenting journey that has resonated and stuck with you?
Lower your expectations. I used to have a really “all or nothing” attitude to a lot of things, such as exercise. If I didn’t have time to run 10km what was the point? Now I know that 20 mins of exercise in the backyard while my baby sleeps is better than nothing and makes me feel good. It’s the same with sleep, and holidays. A friend once advised me to “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” and it really does ease the disappointment when things inevitably go wrong, or you have to cancel your whole life for a week and stay home with a sick baby.
Have you identified values or character traits you want to instil in your children?
I’m determined to raise kind, confident children who treat everyone with respect. My three year old currently thinks out loud and says exactly what he thinks, which is normal for his age but can be confronting. He recently told a man in the street he was fat, and questioned someone with dark skin. We talk a lot about how words and actions can impact how people feel about themselves. I also see a lot of entitled kids and am trying to discourage that attitude. They get treats but not every day, and every shopping trip is not a free for all on toys and lollies. We’re teaching them about working hard and earning money, because I want them to have a good work ethic and know the value of their belongings and lifestyle.
Favourite family friendly holiday destination?
Caloundra, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. It’s still a bit old fashioned which we love, and there are so many beautiful and child friendly beaches. We keep it low key, lots of swimming and fishing, playground visits and ice cream.
What’s your stance on sharing our children on social media in this day and age?
It’s such a personal decision but I have no problem with it, within reason. There are definitely photos and stories I keep private, but at the same time I make a deliberate effort to share “real” moments and anecdotes, makeup free snaps, meltdowns, illness, because there are so many false “perfect life” images on social media, it just makes women feel like crap about themselves and their children. If more women, especially in the public eye, posted daggy moments or parenting fails I think we’d all feel more supported and connected, and less self-critical.
I haven’t read a book since my daughter was born, that’s almost a year! Seriously. I used to be an avid reader, I absolutely love true crime novels and have a bookshelf full of them but don’t get time to read now. When I do have down time I do housework or watch an episode of something before bed.
TED Talk/Podcast recommendation?
I’ve just listened to and loved Dirty John. I also listen to 9Honey’s Honey Mums which is easy listening and hilarious.