Love. Wisdom. Motherhood.
Thursday, 31 March 2011 12:54

Love-Wisdom-Motherhood-Jessica-Rowe-cover_TNWith humour and great humanity, Love. Wisdom. Motherhood. is inspirational. Send your details to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for your chance to win a copy.

Sharing the wisdom of twelve inspiring Australian women, this is a heart-warming and revealing look at motherhood - a unique mother's group on the page for women looking for honesty about what to expect and the support to know they are not doing it wrong!

  • How many other mums are feeling like me? Happy, bored, exhausted, writing mental notes, dreaming of Paris, getting lost?
  • How do you balance children, life, relationships and work?
  • Why do women feel the need to justify being a mother as a job? And why hide the struggles faced?
  • Why are we so quick to judge other women and the choices they have made?

When these questions kept coming up for Jessica Rowe after the birth of her first daughter, she realised that she wasn't be the only new mother facing the expected - and often entirely surprising - challenges of mothering. And, while the perennial question women pose is ‘Can I have it all?' she soon realised the truer question was ‘Can I get through this?'

She wanted to speak to other women to ask if they faced the same issues. Did they struggle in the early months? Did they worry their career was over? Did they feel guilty about going back to work? How did they make time for their partner? And, what does being a mum mean to them?

Rowe-Jessica-credit-Kurt-Sneddon_stShe chose eleven extraordinary Australian women admired by us all, and through exceptionally honest conversations with Lisa McCune, Heidi Middleton, Elizabeth Broderick, Wendy Harmer, Collette Dinnigan, Maggie Tabberer, Tina Arena, Quentin Bryce, Nova Peris, Gail Kelly, Darcey Bussell and a chapter from Jessica herself, she reveals the obstacles they encountered along the way, the happiness and the heartache, the myths and the realities, and the ultimately joyous and shared nature of the motherhood journey.

Ultimately, she discovered that they all share the same fears, doubts and worries; all wish they'd been gentler on themselves in the early days; all felt guilty about leaving their children to go to work; all have bad days and sleepless nights; and, all feel that being a mother makes them better in their professions.

With humour and great humanity, Love. Wisdom. Motherhood. is inspirational.

How each woman's motherhood experience is unique

Lisa McCune is the mother of three children, Archer, Oliver and Remy. She talks about trying to balance all of the hectic elements of her life, and how sleep deprivation caused anxiety. She says "If you think you are missing out, that's when you're doing yourself a disservice. You've got to accept this is your life at the moment."

Heidi Middleton is a mother of two, India-Grace and Elke. She was diagnosed with breast cancer just 24 hours after the birth of her second daughter. She says "It's about working out a way that suits your family that sort of makes things feel like they are running smoothly." For her, the best way of doing this is by spending lots of time together.

Elizabeth Broderick has two children, Tom and Lucy. She acknowledges that there are other sides of mothers' lives, and that they come in all shapes and sizes. She faced difficulties with breastfeeding and was worried by the niggling question, "Am I a good mother?'. She came to realise that it wasn't about being ‘the best', just giving your best and supporting one another in the different choices we make.

Wendy Harmer is the mother of two children, Marley and Maeve, with a husband who stayed home while she went out to work. She worried about missing out on the day-to-day growth and milestones of her children but believes mothering is more about the way you live your life and the example that you set for your children, rather than what you do for them.

Collette Dinnigan is a single mother with one daughter, Estella. She says having a child is the best part of her life. But she says she's not a ‘goo-goo, ga-ga' type of mother. She hopes her daughter will look up to her and learn right and wrong. Her advice to women is don't be afraid to have children younger, careers can wait, and the skills learned from mothering only add to ability and value in the workplace.

Maggie Tabberer has two daughters, Brooke and Amanda, and lost her son Francescino to cot death. She is a woman who has kept on going, regardless of what fate has thrown her way, and says "I don't think you should ever be frightened to ask for help."

Love-Wisdom-Motherhood-Jessica-Rowe-cover_STTina Arena has a son, Gabriel, and has suffered two miscarriages. She says that the precious gift of motherhood has made her very philosophical. She talks particularly about learning firsthand the impatience you can feel as a parent, but the importance of controlling this and communicating with the family.

Quentin Bryce has five children and eight grandchildren. Her inspiring message is "I often think you have to make compromises along the way. I often feel that I've done a lot of things and some of them not very well." A common thread through her career has been finding opportunities for women and children, and she is passionate about the mental and physical health of mothers: "If a mother is well, a family is well."

Nova Peris had her first daughter, Jessica, when she was 19, two more children, Destiny and Jack, in her 30s, then experienced a failed ectopic pregnancy. She also has a grandson, Isaac. Her grandmother was removed from her family as a child, and her mother was of the Stolen Generation. Being a mother made her mentally tougher when she returned to her sporting career in hockey, but after her second child was born and her career ended, she experienced some depression. Her advice to mothers: as a mum, you always have to be prepared for the unexpected.

Gail Kelly has four children, Sharon, Sean, Mark and Anne. She coped with the arrival of triplets when her first child was just three years of age! She says "You've got to actually sometimes take the world off your shoulders, and not beat yourself up. You've got to have a sense of perspective, there's no point in walking around feeling guilty about things."

Darcey Bussell is the mother of two daughters, Phoebe and Zoe. Her first child was born prematurely when she developed pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy. She went back to the gruelling training schedule of a prima ballerina after Phoebe's birth and realised that being a mother gave her more confidence as a person, and carried over into her performance.

Jessica Rowe has two daughters, Allegra and Giselle. She battled with post natal depression after the birth of her first daughter. She wishes for her daughters that they will grow up to feel brave, bold and strong, and that they will live their lives courageously and with compassion.

With humour and great humanity, Love. Wisdom. Motherhood. is inspirational. Send your details to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for your chance to win a copy.