celebrating motherhood with bella carlstrom

May 07, 2021

late last year, model bella carlstrom and her wife, former aflw player moana hope, welcomed their first child, svea, into the world. in celebration of mother’s day, we spoke to bella about her plans for her first mother’s day, the values that she hopes to pass onto her daughter, as well as her fondest memories with her own mother.

what does motherhood mean to you?

motherhood to me is unconditional love and devotion. it has been our greatest gift to receive.

how has becoming a mother changed your worldview?

we have always been conscious of the planet and all its beings, and we both try and do everything that we can to ensure we are giving svea the best chance of thriving during her life. it is also so important to us to make sure we teach her how to protect the planet and treat all its beings with love and respect.

are there any perceptions around motherhood that you’d like to change, or wish were more openly challenged?

I wish that mothers never had to experience shame or judgement. I think that too often, mothers have to fit into a society that is not built for them. there are too many unrealistic expectations. motherhood is so precious and should always be celebrated in all its forms.

what pivotal life advice or lessons did your mother or mother figure teach you that you have passed on, or will pass on, to your children?

the one thing that I have learnt from my mother was the importance of loving and supporting your children. growing up in such a loving environment allowed me very early on in my life to find self-love and acceptance. this has been what has carried me through all the challenging times in my life. it is something both mo and I want to carry on in our parenting journey, to make sure svea always feels loved, safe and supported.

what is your fondest memory of your mother?

there are way too many to list – she is my best friend. I can spend hours with her or on the phone talking about anything. I have to say our travel adventures are my fondest memories. we are so crazy and pretty much the same person, so we are always having a wild time when travelling together.

how will you be celebrating mother’s day this year?

we are so lucky to be spending mother’s day in new zealand with my family. I am from new zealand and we haven't seen my family for over two years. my brother and his wife are coming with my 9-month-old nephew. it is going to be so special to spend mother's day with the new mums, my mum and grandmother.

bella, moana & svea’s edit

bella carlstrom, moana hope and daughter svea photographed by liz sunshine at her parent’s home in toorak, melbourne.

follow bella’s work on instagram @isabellasofiacarlstrom