Things are going to get very noisy in Parliament House in the first quarter of next year. And not for the reasons you might expect.
South Australian Senator Penny Wong and her partner Sophie Allouache have announced they are expecting their second child in April next year.
The pair, who have a three-year-old daughter Alexandra, are overjoyed to be able to give her a little brother or sister despite the chaos it may bring.
For this pregnancy, the Senator and Sophie used IVF and the same sperm donor, whose identity remains unknown, to conceive both their children.
Senator Wong also told The Advertiser just how hard it was for the pregnancy to remain a secret once three year-old Alex found out about it.
“Like all families we had to think about whether we tell the toddler because she’s notorious – she doesn’t know what a secret is,” she said. “But we decided to tell her because we thought it was important she knew.”
But an excited Alex has been sharing the news to anyone who will listen. “At the Labor convention she sat reading The Gruffalo to a baby over and over again … I came over and asked how it was going and a friend said ‘it’s all really good but she’s just told everyone Mummy’s got a baby in her tummy’.”
Senator Wong is also conscious of the need to find a new balance once the second baby arrived, with the stressful schedule of parliament and two small children leaving her little down time. She said a supportive partner and two sets of supportive parents are the key to being able to grow her family while working such a busy schedule.
Senator Wong is the third Adelaide politician to announce a new arrival, with MPs Kate Ellis and Amanda Rishworth also due early next year.
Kate, who is married to columnist and radio show host David Penberthy, is due in April while Amanda and her husband Tim Walker are due in March.
All eyes will be on these women as role models for striking a balance as hard-working new mum. The Senator admits it’s very tough work, no matter who you are.
“I think we’ve still got so far to go as a society as to how we balance work and family.”