Thursday, 12 November 2015

Ordinary Mums with Extraordinary Stories...Interview

Last week I got an email from a media agency (who works for Barnados) asking if I could be interviewed by a reporter for Mamamia/The Motherish online website. They were wanting to do a story to promote Barnados Mother of the Year for next year, and wanted to know if I was able to take part.  This week I was interviewed by phone, and the article went online yesterday.  Chauntelle who was the ACT Mother of the Year this year, was also interviewed.  This is the story below and it is online here. 
I love that it says I'm still 40 (I was when I was awarded Mother of the Year, so we will stick with that! :) I've cut and paste it from the online story and can't get rid of all the links.

The path to motherhood was a tough one for Chauntell McNamara.

The 35 year old, from Murrumbateman, ACT, endured a long and painful battle with IVF before losing her precious newborn son Jacob, who was stillborn.  But despite all that grief, Mrs McNamara never gave up.

Today, happily, she and her husband Andrew are proud parents of three kids – Brodie, 13, and Annabella, 9, who they adopted, and Cooper, 7, their biological son.
Mrs McNamara also provides emergency foster care of babies and is a passionate advocate for local children of asylum seekers, volunteering her time and teaching skills at an after school program.

The mum of three is the 2015 Barnardos Mother of the Year (ACT) and was nominated by her friend Leilah FranklinAyton, who said she had also raised thousands of dollars over the years for local children’s charities.

Mrs McNamara said the win was a “lovely acknowledgement of my everyday work as a mum” and that she survived the tough times thanks to her friends and family.
“My family and my husband especially gave me the strength to keep going, and to keep pursuing my dreams,” she said. “I truly believe in doing things for others and I want to make a small difference in the world and set a good example for my kids.”

Her advice for fellow mums? “Trust your instincts, and ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to admit when you need help,” she shared.
2015 Barnardos Mother of the Year (TAS) Lisa King, 40, from Newstead, Tasmania, has also lived through unbelievable tragedy.
Mrs King and her husband Aaron had four boys – Jalen, Harri, Kobe and Noah, who was born with a severe brain condition called Hydranencephaly.

Noah’s condition left him with the mental capacity of a threemonthold and he was only expected to live for a few years. However, he defied the odds for almost a decade, before passing away aged 10.
Then the grieving family lost Aaron, who suffered a fatal heart attack. But despite her grief, Mrs King, a blogger, always remained positive.

 “You can collapse in a heap, and say life isn’t fair – and it isn’t – but if you do that, the rest of your life it’s going to be pretty miserable,” she said. “I teach my boys that it’s ok to feel sad and to grieve….but you’ve got to pick yourself up. You have to find a way to keep going and see the positive things.”

She urged all families to make the most of every day, and advised mums to admit when they need help. “My son Noah was born with a severe disability…and that’s how we got through…we were grateful for the little things. We knew we wouldn’t have him for very long so we appreciated every moment,” she said.

 “It’s okay to acknowledge that things are hard. Sometimes we feel we have to put up a front and pretend everything’s okay but everybody struggles at some point in their lives and it should be okay to say you need help and support,” she added.
Both women said they were overwhelmed and honoured to have won and praised Barnardos for the organisation’s ongoing support of vulnerable kids.
Barnardos Mother of the Year is the largest and best-known national awards celebrating mums. Now in its 21st year, the awards are held to showcase mums and women who go above and beyond for our children and our communities.


  1. Lisa,
    I have followed your blog for a long time now...back when it was mentioned by Stephanie Nielson on her blog. I immediately admired your perseverance in circumstances that were just unimaginable. To lose such an amazing child and your fun-loving husband so soon afterwards...well, I couldn't even fathom how you were able to deal with the enormous trauma. But it turned out that life had some unexpected and unwelcome twists for me as well...I like to think that maybe reading your story helped me and continues to help me. I wanted you to know that. Within the span of a little over a year, I had a sweet baby girl, Poppy; received a diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer; learned I was pregnant again; had a double mastectomy and a week and a half later received a shocking pancreatic cancer diagnosis for my wonderful 39-year-old husband; had a sweet baby boy, Oz; and lost my husband. My babies were only five weeks old and 15 months old. You were one of the people that gave me strength from afar. I'm still not quite sure how I'm going to do this. If I think too far ahead, I begin to freak out a bit! So, I guess I try to learn from you and take one day at a time.
    I know that you miss Aaron very much. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I think of you, and your family, and I can tell from your stories that you do a tremendous job with your boys. Thank you for being a role model for me. -Debbie

    1. Oh wow Debbie. My heart is racing as I read your comment. I'm so sorry to hear about what you've been through and are going through right now. I'm sure your children were sent to you at the right time, as they'll keep you going, even though I know how hard it is to care for your children, while grieving at the same time. Just take it a day at a hour at a time. Don't look too far ahead or it overwhelms you. You will look back one day and see how far you've come. Lots of love and prayers to you and your children xxx


We are so grateful for everyone's love and support, and appreciate your comments xoxo

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...