celebrating motherhood with carla oates

May 07, 2021

an ex-beauty editor, carla oates has harnessed learnings from her own skin journey and her belief in the value of an inside-out approach to beauty to create successful wellness brand, the beauty chef. in celebration of mother’s day, we spoke to carla at her bondi home about how motherhood has changed her, the challenges of balancing work and family life, and how she will be commemorating her late mother this mother’s day.

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

this mother’s day will be spent in our kitchen, cooking with my children and preparing a delicious lunch. my morning will start with a swim at bondi, then home to drink tea, eat a sourdough crumpet with lots of cultured butter, honey and ricotta, and do the weekend newspaper crossword. it may also involve a game of chess or two. since watching queen’s gambit, we are all obsessed with chess. it’s also a time when I will remember, reflect and celebrate my beautiful mum who passed away a few years ago. she was a real foodie, so our day will be about food, love and celebration.

what does motherhood mean to you?

motherhood is something that is visceral and hard to intellectualise. it gives me the strongest feelings of love, compassion, guilt, pride, delight, frustration and happiness as well as creating a strong platform for self-exploration, the practice of unconditional love and the perpetual desire to be the best version of myself for them. motherhood for me, really is about love ¬ without boundaries, but also understanding the importance of boundaries to help support their growth. for me, finding that balance of helping my children – but letting them learn on their own – has always been challenging. because of course, my instinct is to always want to help them.

how has becoming a mother changed your worldview?

since becoming a mother my brain and view of life has altered. a big part of my brain is dedicated to thinking about my children – being happy for them, worrying about them or thinking about how I can help them – and the biggest part of my heart is also completely devoted to them. my children have definitely made me a better person, more accepting, compassionate as well as more philanthropic and conscious and sensitive about the world and environment both physically and politically.

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

for any woman, be they a new or experienced mother, balance is by far the most challenging aspect of motherhood and is something that is still taken for granted in modern society. as a mother, wife, ceo, founder and philanthropist, I juggle a lot of things. balancing these facets of my life is something I am constantly having to work on. while success in your career is rewarding, at the end of the day love, family and friendships sustain.

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

my beautiful mother taught me about what really matters – about love, compassion, laughter, passion and food. these values are ingrained in me, and are what I hope to have taught my, now adult, children.

carla, jeet & otis’ edit

carla oates and her children jeet and otis, photographed by mason stevenson at her home in bondi, sydney.

follow carla’s work on instagram @thebeautychef and find out more at thebeautychef.com