Welcome to the latest instalment of our Mum vs Life series. Each week we’ll feature a prominent Aussie mum and take you through her day.
Run us through your typical day?
Organised chaos. I always used to skip breakfast but since I’ve signed on with Jenny Craig I make sure I eat 6 small meals a day now including breakkie so I wolf something down while I’m making the kids lunches and then I drop them to school. Charlie is 8, Harry 14 and Georgia 16. I usually have a hit of tennis or workout with some of the mums from school and then head home to answer work emails or I might have a public speaking engagement. I pickup Charlie at 3pm and do the usual afternoon activities like most mums netball, Brownies, Chess and the older kids just started casual jobs. Then it’s the whole dinner, homework and bedtime routine. I usually collapse into bed around the same time as Charlie and the older kids stay up later and finish their studies.
What are the challenges you face?
I never have enough hours in the day. As a single mum with 3 kids you always seem to be torn in multiple directions and want to be there for all of your kids but sometimes that just isn’t possible for logistical or work reasons. Also with chronic pain issues (I’ve had severe migraines since I was 5 years old) that can lay me out flat you have to rely on the kindness of friends and family and not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. No one can do it alone.
What is your favourite time of the day?
Bedtime when my head is about to hit the pillow and I know all my kids are safely tucked in bed. I love having a snuggle with kids although it’s a challenge with teenagers but my 8 year old still thinks cuddling with mum is fun (don’t worry I totally know it’s a bedtime delaying tactic but I’ll take it while I can).
When is the last time you almost lost your cool when dealing with your kids?
Oh my gosh what time is it? Patience is not my strong suit sadly. I think my kids know I’m firm but fair. And yes I could be a bit more zen I’m working on it. I hope they don’t read this article.
When is the last time one of your children embarrassed you in public
I’m a stickler for good manners so I get really miffed if they forget to say please or thank you, or don’t look people in the eye when being spoken to. I know that might sound old fashioned but I think it’s of paramount importance to treat other people with respect. It’s weird teenage kids go through this strange phase where you almost have to retrain them with basic etiquette. I’m told it’s normal and happens to most adolescents but I’m not a fan.
Have you ever embarrassed one of your children in public?
If you ask them apparently I’m a repeat offender my mere presence is sometimes a crime. But seriously yes and on occasion it’s been on purpose because my (teens) needed reminding exactly who the boss is.
What are the specific challenges you face as a modern mum?
Modern motherhood is one tough gig, it’s 24/7 and my kids can drive me nuts from time to time but being a mum is also the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. My kids are my greatest achievements in life and make me so proud. Somebody once said, “The wealth of a person can be measured by the love of their children” so I count myself very rich. In the brief moments I feel daunted or overwhelmed 4 small words can instantly turn it all around – “I love you Mum”. Nothing else in the world is as powerful or life affirming.
How do you get everything done and ensure you pay enough attention to your children?
I never get “everything done.” Nobody is superwoman, she’s a cartoon character and impossible to live up to. She isn’t real and the sooner all women realise that and ease up on ourselves the better. Yes I’m a huge fan of her spunky red boots and perky boobs, but at 42 with 3 kids my non anti-gravity fighting cleavage knows as long as my kids are priority number 1, it doesn’t matter if there’s a pile of laundry on the floor or dishes in the sink, who cares.