Being a mum is incredibly rewarding – but let’s be honest.
It can also be really, really hard.
Early hours, late nights, new challenges, and changes to your life that you definitely didn’t read about in What To Expect When You’re Expecting. For many mothers, having a strong support network is the thing that helps them keep it together.
But not all mums are lucky enough to have a pre-existing circle of family, friends and other mothers that can help them out when, you know, it feels like the baby has been crying for five hours and you haven’t had a chance to wash your hair in approximately five years.
We can all reach out to mums when we see them struggling – even strangers on the street. For someone like Jill, however, helping other mums is actually her job.
Jill, from The Benevolent Society, has devoted her life to giving that extra support to women who need it. She is now in her 50s, has two grown-up daughters of her own, and spends every day helping create more secure futures for mums and their kids.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Benevolent Society. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
She works with mothers who feel like they’re struggling and unable to cope, and helps them find stable housing, financial security and – most importantly – community support. When Jill talks about the women she has worked with, you can tell how much she cares.
One of Jill’s clients is a 20-year-old woman, with a two-year-old.
“To me she is still so young, and a mum as well,” Jill says, “She was removed herself from her mother when she was eight and put in foster care. I really like her drive and ability to ask for help. Just this week I organised career counselling for her. Her goal is to become a youth worker, and she wants to go to TAFE.”
The success stories – where Jill has managed to help women help themselves – make the job worthwhile.
“I’m really proud of another girl… She came to me looking for a way to connect with other mums because she was lonely, living in a flat with her baby and no work,” Jill says. “When she first contacted us, she had left a bad relationship after being seriously assaulted. She’d had lots of experience caring for kids because she was the eldest in a large family and helped her mother who couldn’t cope because she had schizophrenia.”