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.
Leeanne Enoch MP // Member for Algester. Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy. Minister for Small Business. Mum to Ethan (15) and Callum (19).
As a politician, Leeanne Enoch is never far from the public’s eye. Many people see her as the local member and the minister with many portfolios. But, after hours, Leeanne is just like many of us – she’s a wife and mother. You’d think it must be hard to keep on top of private life when so much of her life is spent being accountable to the public? “It’s a constant juggling act,” Leeanne says. “Fortunately I have the wonderful support of my extended family who are always there to help me or my boys. I make a conscious effort not to feel guilty about taking some time for myself. If I am not strong, I cannot be strong for my kids. Obviously, there are certain times in life that it is not possible and I’ll admit that it has become easier as they have gotten older.”
In three words, how would you describe yourself as a pregnant woman?
Big (I had big babies – they were about 8lb 5oz each!), tired, excited.
What parenting tips did your mum give you?
The best advice she gave me was about unconditional love. No matter what challenges your children present to you, you love them unconditionally.
Do you think your mum had it easier as a mother in her generation?
Not at all. At 24, my mum had four kids under 5 years of age during a time where domestic duties were the sole responsibility of the wife and there was no access to the conveniences we have today. She had the added pressure of being a non-indigenous woman married to an indigenous man, which in those days was not looked on kindly.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned as a mum?
My biggest lesson has been knowing when to intervene and when to let them find their own way and make their own mistakes.
If you could go back in time, what one thing would you tell the new-mum version of yourself?
Don’t worry about what people think. Don’t imagine what others are thinking, don’t entertain the imaginations and follow your own instincts; they’re almost always right.