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For Home and Away star, Ada Nicodemou the lead up to Mother’s Day this year has been more chilled than ever, and that’s thanks, in part, to isolating at home with seven-year-old son, Johnas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m loving it,” the 42-year-old tells Bounty Parents. “We’re in a good rhythm now, it feels more relaxed and this slower pace is amazing.
“Plus I’m enjoying not freezing at the soccer fields on Saturday mornings,” she laughs.
The forced slow-down has been a blessing in disguise for Ada who, like the rest of us, has had time to take stock and think about what really matters in life and for her it’s simple: Family, friends and the simple things.
Ada and partner, Adam Rigby are loving the slower pace at home with Ada’s seven-year-old son, Johnas.
The extra family time has also given Ada a chance to take stock about what kind of mother she is, and it turns out, well, she’s not that different to her Home and Away character, Leah Patterson.
“We’re quite similar,” laughs Ada. “My life is nowhere near as tragic as Leah’s of course, but we’re both Greek mamas who love our sons too much and are known to overfeed them.
“If Johnas was to move I would definitely be following!” she giggles.
Ada also finds Leah’s struggle with being a perfectionist a little too familiar. “For sure, my house can sometimes look like a child doesn’t even live here, but I’ve had to let that go a lot.”
Like Leah, letting go of those pressures on herself has been a huge part of Ada’s journey as a mum.
“I’m looking forward to a really relaxed Mother’s Day too,” Ada confesses. “I think we’ll just make some pancakes and mum and I will really just put our feet up and enjoy the day.”
Ada, whose mum lives “just up the road” knows how important celebrating motherhood is and is eternally grateful for the help she’s had on her own journey.
“That first year is so difficult,” Ada tells Bounty Parents. “I was just so tired, and I questioned myself at every step of the way. Johnas just didn’t sleep and I thought it meant I was doing everything wrong.
“If I could go back in time and talk to Johnas’ mum on that first Mother’s Day I think I’d tell her be kind to herself, you know? Give yourself a break, you are doing an incredible job and you should really stop for a moment and allow yourself to be spoiled.”
Like a lot of us, the pressure that Ada put on herself to be a perfect mum was destined for failure.
“I wasn’t as kind to myself back then as I am now,” she confesses. “l wish I knew then that it gets easier, that I would grow into being a mum. That nobody expected me to know how to do it perfectly right away, that it’s learned and that I’d keep on learning.”
And a lot of that learning, Ada credits to her friends and co-workers.
Ada with her co-stars, Penny Mcnamee, Emily Symons, Georgie Parker who she credits with helping her get through the tougher days of motherhood.
“Talking to other mums was a life-saver, in those early days and still,” says Ada.
“When I first had Johnas, my best friend had twins and we were forever calling each other up, just asking ‘what on earth are we doing?'” she laughs.
Having mum-friends and colleagues like Home and Away co-stars, Lynne McGranger and Georgie Parker as soundboards was a blessing that Ada will forever be grateful for.
“I went back to work after five months maternity leave, and I found the advice they gave me so much more valuable than anything I had read in any parenting book.
“It was just so real, and it made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and that I wasn’t doing everything wrong.”
And those relationships are as important to celebrate on Mother’s Day as any, according to Ada.
“Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to let those people know how important they are to you, and how key they are in your child’s life and how much that sharing of the ‘mental load’ has helped you as a mother.”
One thing is for certain, with lock-down orders still in place around the world, Mother’s Day is certainly not going to look the same this year as it normally does.
Ada has teamed with Big W this year to find ways to continue to celebrate the day after a staggering 30% of households revealed they didn’t know if they would commemorate the day.
“Big W are really committed to making sure that all of us can celebrate and be celebrated this year and you can see it in the thoughtful ideas they’ve pulled together that honour this strange time in our lives.
“I jumped on their website last week and bought mum pamper stuff, a nice cardi and a food processor because she loves pancakes and I’m looking forward to eating them with her!”
WATCH: Ada Nicodemou talks raising her son Johnas. Continues after video …