WEL­COME TO CLUB

MUM’S RE­ALLY BEEN THE WORD FOR THE NORTH QUEENS­LAND COW­BOYS THIS YEAR WITH MANY LIT­TLE BUN­DLES OF JOY JOIN­ING THE RANKS OF THE FAM­ILY-ORI­EN­TATED TEAM

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - Feature - BET TINA WAR BUR­TON

The North Queens­land Cow­boys baby boom has hit an all-time high this year with six play­ers wel­com­ing new ad­di­tions.

John Asiata and wife Shailah wel­comed their sec­ond baby, John Jnr, in Au­gust, and An­to­nio and Brooke Winterstein had their fourth baby, Finnlay, in Septem­ber.

Also in Au­gust, Kane Linnett and his wife Erin wel­comed their first child, a baby boy named Corbin.

Lach­lan Coote’s wife Laura gave birth to the cou­ple’s sec­ond child Mia Rose, a younger sis­ter to three-year-old Bai­ley, in July.

Justin O’Neill and his wife Chantelle’s sec­ond daugh­ter Kasia was born in July.

Shaun Fensom and his wife Leah’s twins Cruz and Leo were born in Fe­bru­ary.

Mrs Asiata says the club has had a “lovely” run of births this year.

“It is so won­der­ful for us mums, and the play­ers, to be go­ing through sim­i­lar life mile­stones off field,” she says.

“I think it unites the club even more. The club is a fam­i­ly­ori­en­tated club, and it’s nice that so many of the play­ers are ex­pand­ing their fam­i­lies or start­ing fam­i­lies.”

Mrs Asiata says she adores be­ing a mother of two chil­dren born a year apart.

“Sure it can be chal­leng­ing some days to have a new­born and a run­about year-old, but I’m lov­ing this time in my life,” she says. “Lit­tle John Jnr is such a gen­tle and laid-back baby. He is only wak­ing about once a night. It is Eleana who is wak­ing up more as she’s teething.

“But I don’t mind. As a mother of ba­bies you get into the groove of wak­ing up through the night and sur­viv­ing on bro­ken sleep. I don’t re­ally ex­pect to get a solid eight hours’ sleep for some time but that’s all part of the par­ent­ing jour­ney and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Mrs Asiata says she’s grate­ful her mother lives close to her home.

“To have fam­ily to help with the ba­bies is in­cred­i­ble, and John is such a fan­tas­tic, hands-on fa­ther,” she says. “He comes home from work and he gets right in there help­ing with the chil­dren and the house.”

Mrs Asiata says her fam­ily of­ten caught up with the Winterstein fam­ily who also live close by.

“The Win­ter­steins live not far from us so it is very con­ve­nient to catch up,” she says. “Brooke had her baby weeks apart from me (hav­ing my baby). She is the sweet­est of peo­ple, re­ally grounded and pos­i­tive.”

Mrs Winterstein says she feels so “grate­ful” to be blessed with four healthy chil­dren.

“Find­ing out I was preg­nant was a huge sur­prise so we de­cided we would keep our preg­nancy a se­cret for as long as we could,” she says.

“We ac­tu­ally did very well with this and only made it pub­lic when I was 32 weeks preg­nant.

“Even peo­ple I would see weekly at games or around town didn’t know. It made it re­ally spe­cial that Finnlay was our lit­tle se­cret for so long.”

Mrs Winterstein ad­mits that 2018 has been a “big year” for the fam­ily.

“We are ad­just­ing to life af­ter foot­ball since An­to­nio had to an­nounce his re­tire­ment (in July) that was med­i­cally ad­vised but thank­fully hav­ing him home at the mo­ment has been amaz­ing,” she says.

“We can get through the new­born stage to­gether.”

Mrs Winterstein says she and An­to­nio love hav­ing a large fam­ily.

“We love that fact that our daugh­ters have each other, and they al­ways have a friend, com­pany and some­one to play with,” she says. “No mat­ter what, later in life they will al­ways have some­one to help them and share spe­cial times with.

“I love that the girls are all so dif­fer­ent but that they are their own lit­tle ‘girl group’. They per­form daily to The Great­est

Show­man so there’s al­ways singing, danc­ing and loads of role play­ing in our house.”

Mrs Winterstein says she cher­ishes be­ing a mother.

“There’s so many dif­fer­ent rea­sons why I love be­ing a mother. Watch­ing the girls grow and evolve into lit­tle peo­ple is just won­der­ful,” she says. “The way that they love me and mostly that they are half of me and half of the per­son I adore, we made our own lit­tle fam­ily and that’s pretty amaz­ing.”

Mrs Winterstein says she is learn­ing to ac­cept that it’s OK to have over­whelm­ing days.

“I most def­i­nitely don’t have it all to­gether but I’m learn­ing to ac­cept that some days I can’t and won’t get ev­ery­thing done and that’s OK,” she says. “I re­mind my­self to take a deep breath and try to slow my mind.

“Mums have a mil­lion dif­fer­ent things go­ing on in their brain to keep up with ev­ery­thing.

“It can be hard, very de­mand­ing and the sleep de­pri­va­tion is bru­tal, whether you have one child or four. But ev­ery day us mums show up.

“I do what I can and when I hear our daugh­ters’ laugh­ing or see their lit­tle faces light up then I’m to­tally re­warded for it all.”

JUSTIN O’NEILL WITH HIS DAUGH­TER KASIA JAYDE

PHOTO: VICKI MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY

JOHN AND SHAILAH ASIATA WITH SON JOHN JU­NIOR.

CORBIN KEITH LINNETT

CRUZ AND LEO FENSOM

MIA ROSE COOTE

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