This month's CultureBaby Mom is a breath of fresh air during these hot August days. Courtney Adamo of the widely read and deeply loved website Babyccino, brings style and grace to both her professional and private life in London. Since we at CultureBaby have a crazy girl-crush on the lovely Courtney, we were so pleased that she agreed to be our August Mom. Read on to learn more about how a Washington farm girl came to settle in the UK capital, how she balances her work at Babycinno with managing her brood of four and how she does it all with aplomb. We dare you not to crush a little too!
Where were you raised?
I was raised on a tulip farm, surrounded by flower fields, up in the northwest corner of the US (half way between Seattle, WA and Vancouver BC).
Where do you live now and with who?
My husband and I have lived in London for ten years now, along with our four kids: Easton (8), Quin (6), Ivy (4) and Marlow (8 months). We live in the leafy North London neighbourhood of Highgate.
London is such a diverse and international city! How do you expose your kids to all the cultural goodies it has to offer? Do you have favorite "oh so English" thing to do with them?
One of our favourite things to do in London is to walk over to Hampstead Heath and trek up to Kenwood House to have breakfast on a weekend. The Heath is one of London's largest parks, and walking through it feels like hiking in the English countryside - it feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. We're usually wearing welly boots and rain jackets (year round!), and this in itself feels so English to me.
We also love to make trips down to the Tate Modern museum. We usually take the tube to St. Paul's Cathedral and then walk over the bridge to the Tate. Walking over the Thames river and taking in the view always reminds me that we live in London - and what a cool city it is!
Being a transplant to London, how do you expose your kids to American culture and the things you love that you grew up with..is it strange to see your home country through their eyes?
In London my kids aren't really exposed to any American rituals or cultural traditions, but we do celebrate some American holidays together, like Thanksgiving and Halloween. And as a family, my husband and I often sing American songs from our childhood and read some of our favourite American children's books, etc.
Every summer we head 'home' to America to see our families, so our children get to spend 6 weeks doing the things we did as children. I love watching my children roam around on the farm where I grew up - it is a life so different from the one they know in London, and I think it's so great for them to know this contrast. My older kids are starting to notice the differences between American and British cultures and I love hearing their point of view on things - what they think is funny or 'different'.
Is raising your kids to be good global citizens important to you? Why?
My favourite thing about living in London is that we are exposed to so many different cultures and backgrounds. The other day my son had a few friends over for a playdate and I realised that we had a child from India, a child from Germany and an English boy in our home. I love this! I also love that living in London gives you such easy access to the rest of Europe, and that in just a short train ride or flight, we can be in a totally different country, eating different food and speaking a different language. It is so important to us to raise children who are aware of all these different cultures and who are also interested in learning about and enjoying them.
Tell us more about Babyccino and the advantages of working with a group of international women? How has forging your own career with this site been important to you
Babyccino Kids was started by three mums, all in different cities (Amsterdam, Paris and London) and from different backgrounds. I love that the Babyccino Kids blog provides different cultural perspectives on parenting and other topics. I love learning about the different cultural beliefs on birthing, babies, breastfeeding, weaning, education, health, etc. It's so interesting how different it can be from country to country.
I also love working with Esther and Emilie, and of course we have fun traveling to each other's cities. And together we love representing shops from all over the world and working with such a diverse group of people.