There's more to Jana Pittman's parenting style than what was on The Amazing Race.

Jana Pittman is no stranger to adversity and resilience – she's a three-time Olympian after all. And she's no stranger to cruel barbs and personal attacks either, something she experienced far too often during her athletics career, mostly at the hands of trolls, armchair critics, and an unforgiving media. 

Pittman wrote an entire book about her struggle with self-doubt, and her journey to feel as though she was enough, often taking the barrage of negativity towards her to heart.

Watch: Jana Pittman's interrogation on SAS Australia. Post continues below.

Video via Seven.

In Enough, Pittman writes about overcoming those fears, eventually putting herself through medical school, and starting an incredible new career as a doctor at 37 – a career she says she loves even more than sport. She's now planning for a future in obstetrics and gynaecology, and had left the days of being dubbed 'drama Jana' behind her. 

But an appearance on The Amazing Race with her son, Cornelius, changed all that in one fell swoop. Since her elimination, a new torrent of online abuse was unleashed on Pittman – this time targeting her parenting – leaving the mother of six reeling, and once again having to defend her "intense" personality. It’s also seen her defending herself as a mother – something no woman should have to do – in a heartfelt Instagram post. 


"Definitely heartbroken to read some super critical messages from people about our relationship and my mothering skills," she wrote.

"That I babied him, calling him buddy, that I was annoying and too critical."

Pittman wrote that she watched the edit and cringed too, urging viewers to remember how reality television works. 

"The first six races we killed it... then the pressure built up and it got very hard, we dropped the ball. Of course they mainly show the parts where we argue and I seem to push him too hard. It's reality TV!!"

Heartbreakingly, Pittman blamed herself too, claiming the commentary forced her to look at herself and realise she had to be "less intense.. do better.. enjoy life a little more" and "listen closer".

"It's a hard switch to turn off when you have been that way all your life.. but there were so many other fabulous moments where we pushed and supported each other well beyond our limits."

But the athletics champion called for compassion too, reminding her followers that she's still a person who bleeds and cries just like everyone else. 

"Reading some tough comments makes my heart hurt. My stomach aches with disappointment and my brain won't switch off.


"I have had lots of negative press as a younger athlete, far less of late but this has taken me right back to how that felt. The crippling self doubt, the dry mouth and the headaches. I wrote a whole book on it Enough."

While Pittman admits she signed up for public scrutiny by doing the show, she told Mamamia children were a "no-go zone". 

"I'm very aware that our edit was very much to enhance the 'mother-teenage son bickering' as a narrative," she says. 

"I understand that this is partly what attracts viewers, the conflict between family members when facing a very stressful race situation in foreign countries.

"Some of the comments, however, will definitely leave an impact on Cor, me and the rest of my children."

Despite the attacks, Pittman says since speaking out, she's received far more positive comments than negative. 

"Hundreds of women have reached out to tell me they suspect under such extreme circumstances, they'd be the same with their teenagers."

Feature image: Instagram/@janapittmanofficial

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