Parenting, and especially motherhood, can be one of the most rewarding and tough gigs all in one. It seems that once you are on top of a particular stage in your child’s life, they grow up and develop and the learning starts all over again. And all the way through, whether you’re a stay at home mum, a working mum, a celebrity mum, a single mum, a mother of one or a mother of 10, there’s always times of second guessing and ‘mummy guilt’. We talk to a number of savvy local women about how they tackle motherhood and their tips on how you can too.
Chloe Maxwell // TV Presenter, Model, Founder of Charity 4 ASD Kids. Mum to Max (9) and Phoenix (8) as well as step kids Jack (19) and Skyla (16).
It was in 2009 that Chloe and rugby league personality husband Mat Rogers went public with their son Max’s autism. With so many strings to her bow already, Chloe turned her lemons into lemonade by forming the charity 4 ASD Kids, to support kids like Max. She says one of the biggest lessons she has learned as a mum is to “never deny children the privilege of struggle”. “Having a special needs son, this has been the hardest for me,” Chloe explains. “But I have seen my son flourish by being pushed out of his comfort zone and not being a slave to it.” Chloe believes we can mollycoddle our children to the point where they become helpless in the world, unable to do simple things for themselves and so reliant on others. “Our children need to make mistakes to learn, they need to fall down, to feel pain and rejection. It’s all a part of growing up. I don’t mean push your kids off a cliff or anything, but rather allow them to make mistakes and find their way naturally.”
How would you describe yourself as a pregnant woman?
Hungry, happy, tired.
What parenting tips did your mum give you?
Always follow through with discipline. Instill responsibility from a young age. Nothing is going to be perfect. Kids come first, housework second!
Do you think your mum had it easier as a mother in her generation?
No I don’t think so. She worked very hard and was set on giving us the best start in life. She sacrificed a lot for herself so this could happen. She also went through a divorce when I was just in my teens but still managed to look after us as best she could.
How do you look after yourself while also looking after your kids/family?
It’s probably only now my kids are in school that I have been able to focus much on myself. I do a lot of exercise now and compete in marathons and triathlons for fitness and to feel good. I train whilst they are at school.
What kiddie matters are you dealing with in your family currently?
With the little ones it’s about whether or not the Easter bunny and Santa are real. With the older ones, I’m dealing with boyfriend/girlfriend troubles etc.
How would you like your kids to describe you?
Lots of fun, loving, reliable.
If you could go back in time, what one thing would you tell the new-mum version of yourself?
Enjoy every minute of them as babies as they are going to be grown before you know it!