Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar

Mum-of-six Antonia Kidman on balancing a big family, work and study.

With six children aged between five and 19, television presenter, journalist and law student ANTONIA KIDMAN, 47, is an expert on the fine art of harmonisin­g motherhood and career

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Ialways wanted a big family. I love the buzz, energy and vibrancy that so many people bring to the home. There is always something going on, or someone to talk to. I do like my own time, but I manage to weave that into my day. Now that we don’t have any toddlers running around, the rewards are starting to pay off. I finally feel like I’m coming up for air – things are getting easier. I think!

Being a working mum isn’t easy. When I moved to Singapore [in 2010] and married again [to Craig Marran; her late ex-husband Angus Hawley is father of her four eldest children], I knew we were hoping to have at least one child together.

At the same time, I wanted to have a hand in some kind of work, and fortunatel­y that’s worked out for me, from writing my book [ The Simple Things in 2012] to speaking at the recent Mercedes-benz Grand Prix Ladies Day luncheon, an event championin­g successful women. It was something I felt particular­ly drawn to and I feel very lucky to be able to engage with these inspiring women who push me to challenge myself. I also decided to attain a Juris Doctor degree [a doctoral degree in law], which allowed me to expand and hone my skills while maintainin­g flexibilit­y. And I have thoroughly relished the challenge of it. I find social justice and family law incredibly interestin­g, and plan on moving into this area when I graduate later this year.

Craig and I have been pretty clear about the roles we play in our family: during the week, I take care of the home and domestic tasks, and he works for us outside the home. On weekends we are both in it together. We both value what the other person does, and we each prefer the roles that we have. We see each other as part of a team and we make our decisions based on that.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to the day when all the kids are grown up and have flown the coop. But it’s still quite far off, and by the time Alex [the youngest] leaves, there may well be a grandchild around because Lucia [the eldest] is 14 years older. And I hope my career in family and social justice law will be in full swing by then, so I won’t have the time to miss anyone too much. I am certainly not a person who is looking forward to “retirement”. I need purpose and structure, and I thrive from connecting with people. I hope and intend to work for as long as I can.

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