Emily Jade O'Ke­effe

Haven Magazine - - Upfront -

102.9 HOT TOMATO BREAK­FAST PRE­SEN­TER/ WRITER/MAR­RIAGE CEL­E­BRANT. MUM TO MIL­LIE VALEN­TINE (4). Emily Jade O’Ke­effe re­mem­bers her one and only preg­nancy (so far) with joy. Deal­ing with fer­til­ity is­sues, EJ says her and hus­band Gerard were “thrilled and thank­ful” to be preg­nant. With one child, and the hope of more fad­ing, EJ ad­mits that rais­ing an only child comes with its own share of terms and con­di­tions. “We are deal­ing with a lit­tle girl who is to­tally doted on by ev­ery­one around her. For her it is won­der­ful, but she doesn’t hear ‘no’, or have to share, or learn com­pro­mise with other sib­lings. So she can seem spoilt when she is in a big­ger gath­er­ing of kids. If they want to play with her things she can get over­whelmed by shar­ing, or if she wants to do an ac­tiv­ity and they don’t, she doesn’t cope well with the al­ter­na­tive. We de­cided to do respite fos­ter care to give her a chance to know what it is like to have sib­lings, and also to help other lit­tle peo­ple in need. It re­ally does seem to be work­ing out for ev­ery­one.” What parenting tips did your mum give you? She gave me so many. She was what she called a ‘pro­fes­sional mother’ and is now a child­care worker. As a mother of five, she chose to be at home and early on de­cided to view moth­er­hood as a ca­reer in or­der to bring her the right sat­is­fac­tion. So she ad­vised me to not look at moth­er­hood as ei­ther a step back or a hold on my ca­reer when I had to go on ma­ter­nity leave, but in­stead view it as a dif­fer­ent ca­reer choice and learn and grow from it and em­brace the change. She then taught me to be su­per-or­gan­ised each day be­cause the more or­gan­ised I was, the more time I ac­tu­ally had to play with Mil­lie. Mum used to have all the wash­ing done, the house tidy and din­ner pre­pared be­fore we all even woke in the morn­ing. I don’t know quite how she did it, but then she had all day for us. Do you think your mum had it eas­ier as a mother in her gen­er­a­tion? I thought she had it harder with no dish­washer, not as much flex­i­bil­ity in the work­place for mums, not as much money, higher in­ter­est rates etc. But she thinks this gen­er­a­tion has it harder and when I spoke to her about it, I tend to agree. Mums are now ex­pected to be able to do so much more - work full time and then still be per­fect mum with per­fect lunch boxes, houses, wardrobes and work­out rou­tines. We then con­stantly com­pare our mother­ing choices and life to ea­chother be­cause of so­cial me­dia. We are over­loaded and I, per­son­ally, am al­most burnt out. It wasn’t un­til I pulled back on a lot of things that I started to en­joy be­ing a mother. What is one of the big­gest lessons you’ve learned as a mum? That while I am here to teach Mil­lie about life, she is the one who teaches me. How do you look af­ter your­self while also look­ing af­ter your kids/fam­ily? I hire help. I will forgo new clothes for a cleaner. I’ll forgo din­ners out for a guy to come and do the gar­dens. If I have to worry about those things, my hus­band and I don’t get a break on the week­ends, so we got help and that makes us both so men­tally happy which makes the house­hold happy. How would you like your kids to de­scribe you? The same way I de­scribe my mum - the best mum in the world. If you could go back in time, what one thing would you tell the brand new-mum ver­sion of your­self? That breastfeeding takes longer than you think, so make sure you have Net­flix.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.