CHRISTINE ANU: 'My kids had to hold me up during my divorce and I don't feel guilty about it.'

For Christine Anu, it's all starting to fall into place. After some big, beautiful, messy and entirely unexpected years, it's all beginning to make sense. Finally.

The iconic Australian musician, who exploded into stardom in Australia in the '90s with her song My Island Home, has been through a lot in recent years. And she has plenty of songs to show for it.

With the release of her new album around the corner, she sat down and spoke with Holly Wainwright in a new episode of MID, discussing how parts of her past have brought her to a place where she's now making the best music of her life.

Watch: Check out MID - Mamamia's new midlife podcast hosted by Holly Wainwright. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

In a wildly honest, raw conversation, she talks about rebuilding herself, her life, her relationship with her kids and her career after a divorce knocked her off her feet. And how it's not always clear how you're going to climb out. 

"There have been great times, there have been not-so-great times and you're the sum of all of that, aren't you? That's all of who I am right now," she shared.

In 2016, after almost six years of marriage, Anu and her husband Simon Deutrom announced their separation.


"You never go into a partnership or a marriage thinking that you're not going to end up being on the same page together. You don't do that. And when it happens, it's not a clean-cut pie. It's like a cookie. You break it and it's never perfectly down the middle. And there are crumbs everywhere," she told Holly Wainwright.. 

"And those crumbs are the people that are involved. In my situation, my two children with two different fathers. The man I married wasn't their father, so there was a lot of relationship building right there, and that was going to be affected by the decision to do that."

Listen: Catch the full interview with Christine Anu here. Post continues below. 

The 54-year-old singer has a son named Kuiam, 28, and a daughter called Zipporah, 21, who she shares with Australian actor Rodger Corser, known for his work on shows such as Underbelly, Rush and Doctor Doctor

"But you have to do it and you have to move on and you have to let them see you be a bumbling mess and allow them to be there for you in that way. 

"You've got to assure them that they're not your parent, that it's okay that you're not having those great days and that at the other end of it, we're all going to celebrate and be happy. And that's exactly what happened," she said.

"There were some days where they were they'd be bringing me coffee in bed, or they'd be seeing how I was and kind of taking on that parental role. But then you wake up one day, and it's not like that anymore. You have picked up the pieces and you've moved on. But gosh, it changes them when they see that momentarily, they're having to take on parental responsibilities for themselves."


For many women, Holly said, it's easy to forget that your children are often there, waiting to take care of you in the moments you need them most. 

"You've been giving, giving, giving — and it's okay to receive as well. It's actually fine to not be smiling and be like, 'Actually, kids, I need you to hold me a bit.'"

Anu added, this way of thinking doesn't only extend to your children, but also your own parents, too.


"I look after my mum now, or I am responsible for the care and the welfare of my mother — she's in our home. And I really take that idea of being there with my mum in her later part of her life as a huge privilege. The same way that you give your own children or I gave my children the sense of that privilege to take care of me and my emotions," she said. 

"It's about saying, 'The world that I've built for you isn't a perfect world. It's not going to always feel like it's secure. I have to be able to have a wobbly day and you need to be able to see that. And I'm giving you permission to hold me up on either side when those days arrive.'"


"And they do. I think that they really saw those moments as a real privilege to be there for me because I reached out to get help from them, not from others. And we kept that within our world amongst each other."

As many mothers will know, Holly said, there's an inherent guilt felt when it comes to relying on your children for support. More often than not, mothers punish themselves if they're not painting a secure, safe, scrubbed-clean world for their kids.

But of course, this isn't real life. And your relationship with your kids is integral, especially when it comes to re-building your life post-divorce.

"You start to really see how time is such a precious thing. What I was actually grieving was the time I couldn't get back. And what ended the time I perhaps missed with them, was just sweeping the children up and making them be a part of all of these decisions. Now because the divorce is happening, they're a part of that process of re-building who we are as a team as a unit."

After her son began living independently, Anu said the reality of single parenting hit the hardest. 

"Then it just felt like I've just had this beautiful little shadow in my daughter," she explained. Adding, "It's been great to have her to talk to about what it's like and grieving my eldest son leaving home, who's now a father." 


"My daughter and I have had these triumphs together, so many wins. And she's brighter and better as a human for having been a part of seeing me — as her role model — go through the things I have and see my inner strengths and what that looks like and how I repair them. She's been there to watch what it is to be a woman." 

Can you relate with any of the above? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@anuchristine.

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