Singer Mar­cia Hines on be­ing a teenage mother.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - as told to Al­ley Pas­coe The Syd­ney sea­son of Vel­vet, star­ring Mar­cia Hines, opens July 26; vel­

When I found out I was preg­nant in 1970, I was sur­prised. Very sur­prised. I didn’t quite know what to do, but I was al­ways brought up know­ing there are con­se­quences to the things you do. I’ve al­ways loved chil­dren, so for me it was easy [but] I do not con­done teenage preg­nancy – when you be­come a mother, you are no longer a teenager.

I didn’t care if there was a stigma around teen preg­nancy. You have to de­cide whether other peo­ple are go­ing to con­trol your life or if you’re go­ing to. At a very early age, I con­trolled my own life. My mother was the only per­son I cared about and she ac­cepted it. When I told my mum, she said, “Do what you can and if you can’t cope, bring the baby home [to Bos­ton] and I’ll help you out.”

I was on­stage the night I had my daugh­ter, Deni. I was back on­stage nine days later. When Deni was born, she had me all day, and a nanny when I went to work. Even­tu­ally my mother came to live with us; I was blessed with good peo­ple around me.

Moth­er­hood taught me self­less­ness. You could be dressed to the nines, ready to go out and they would vomit all over you. It teaches you so much more about your­self than you’d ever know. Those women who want to have chil­dren should go and do it. And those women who don’t want to? That’s fine, too.

I was sur­prised when Deni fol­lowed me into the mu­sic in­dus­try. We sang at home a lot, but I thought she wanted to be a coroner. Mu­sic was an in­te­gral part of our home, so she de­cided to do that. She has such a beau­ti­ful voice, one of the most unique voices I’ve ever heard.

I didn’t give her any ad­vice when she started out. She’s my daugh­ter; do you think she’s go­ing to lis­ten to me? Any­body who has a daugh­ter will know what I’m talk­ing about…

The older your daugh­ter gets, the bet­ter you com­mu­ni­cate. The teen years

are rough. The older Deni gets, the more she re­alises how hard it is to be a par­ent. We do all we can. My re­la­tion­ship with Deni is re­ally cool now; I like it. We are sim­i­lar in a lot of ways.

Hav­ing Deni made me grow up quickly. I think all of the above is why I am the way I am. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve only had one child, and I’m re­ally glad that I did.

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