In March, Jessica Rowe looked down the lens of the Studio 10 cameras and made an announcement.
“I’ve decided to leave Studio 10. It’s been a very hard thing for me to do. But it’s because my family need me… I want to be a present mum for my girls… I want to be there in the mornings for them, I want to take them to school, I want to do canteen duty – heaven help them with the sandwiches. But it’s something that I need to do.”
The 47-year-old journalist’s departure shocked viewers and inspired dozens of column inches, as commentators used the news as fodder for debating and dissecting the plight of working mothers.
While Rowe said the reason for her decision was simple, after four-and-a-half years on the program, it wasn’t one she came to easily. Speaking to Mamamia‘s No Filter podcast, Rowe explained that Studio 10 had come along at the perfect moment; a time when she was grappling with her professional identity, trying to reinvent herself.
“I grew very much as a person [while on Studio 10]. That job helped me feel more comfortable with myself. It made me embrace my vulnerability more, because I’d talk about that on TV and and then the feedback that I’d get from people encouraged me to do it more. Because it was,’Yes, that’s how we feel. That’s how I feel,'” she said.
“It was wonderful for a time. But like so much in life, things change and circumstances change; your kids grow and their needs change, as do mine.”
“I thought, ‘Something has to give.'”
With her children – Giselle, nine, and Allegra, 11 – careening toward their tweens, Rowe decided it was the time to lean into her family.
“I’m embarrassing anyway to my daughters, but sooner rather than later they won’t want to have a bar of me and I know the importance for me of sowing the connections now,” she told No Filter host Mia Freedman.