Being a Mum can be stressful, challenging, and frustrating. There’s no instruction booklet, it’s learning as you go, it’s fall down and get back up again. It takes perseverance and courage. Being a Mum is a sacrifice. But with that sacrifice comes joy, happiness, laughter, hope, memories, and adventures.

Sometimes your children make you laugh until you cry, say the sweetest things, and actually teach you a lesson or two. In the lead up to Mother’s Day, we wanted to introduce you to some of the most amazing, hard-working Mum’s at Tearfund and their frustrating, funny children. We asked them three questions.

  1. What is the funniest thing your child/children have ever said about you?
  2. What has been your go-to stress reliever during lockdown?
  3. What is something your child/children have taught you?


Helen Manson (Humanitarian Photographer and Creative Lead at Tearfund NZ)

Helen-(1).jpgHelen with her three children; Hope , Eva and Maz
1. When asked by her teacher at school what Mummy did for a living, Hope replied, "My Mummy shoots people in the field".


2. My go-to stress reliever has been (and most often is), chocolate. 

3. The thing my kids have taught me is that balance is a unicorn. Before I became a Mum I thought I’d be the kind of Mum that could “do it all”. Now I know I can’t. As a Mum, I can do an awful lot, but I can’t do it all.  Trying to find the perfect balance is pointless, it doesn’t exist.

The second thing my children have taught me is how important it is to show them the path and lead by example. My little ones are sponges right now. These are the years where their character is being formed and their values are instilled. For Tim and I, that looks like taking them on “the journey” with us. For example, taking them on work trips where we can, going as a family to visit their sponsor child, or going through their clothes every six weeks to give them away. It looks like making sure they know they are not the centre of the universe but that our family, and them, in particular, are part of something so much bigger and they have an important part to play in that.


Lynette Leibach (Marketing and Fundraising Director)

Lynette and her daughter Kyra, now aged 7

1. I’m too organised and she’s too messy – we need to be a bit more like each other.

2. Dance-off in front of a mirror! Kyra has the best rhythm and moves.


3. Everything can be an adventure – adults need to create space to see things through a child’s eyes.


Olga Oosthuizen (Child Sponsorship Lead)

Olga-(1).jpgOlga and her son Alex 
1. When my youngest realised that his Dad had to ask me to marry him and that it was up to me to say yes, he turned to Johan and said – “phew Daddy you were so lucky Mummy said yes, you must have been so happy she did not choose someone else

2. I am an introvert and I recharge my batteries when I am alone. Being in lockdown with my family meant no alone time so while I dislike supermarket shopping, when the Government announced only one person from a bubble had to do the shopping, Countdown in Orewa became the place to be. 

3. I love my kids with a love that is hard to explain and I would do anything for them if it means they are happy. The one thing I have learned would be to choose my battles carefully and to not sweat the small stuff. Things don’t have to be perfect!


Tammy Frazer (Business Technology Solutions Manager)

Behind the lockdown gates: Tammy, Mikayla, (22) (daughter), Warren (husband). In front of lockdown gates: Zane, (31) (son) and Charlie, (2 1/2mths) (grandson)  

1. My children never say funny things about me (not to my face anyway).


2. The thing that has got me through lockdown is my family and my walks to see my grandson Charlie who was born end of February and lives 200 metres down the road.  The hardest thing has been not being able to pick him up and give him huge cuddles.

3. My children have taught me to appreciate them for who they are, and I am proud to see that the value of family has been passed on to them.


Victoria Hanna (Church Relationship Manager)

Victoria and her son Ethan (7)
1. “I want to marry a wife just like you”.


2. Netflix.. alone… with a glass of wine.

3. All the fruits of the spirit, especially love and joy and self-control!

Michelle Hartnett (PA to Lynette Leibach)

Left to right:  Rosie (12), Michelle and Georgie (20).
1. “When you die, can I have your Gucci handbag?”

2. Watching my 12-year-old move her bedroom furniture around while she FaceTime’s all her buddies for their opinions – we’re on the fourth move now… Hilarious! They choose daily outfits for each other too. And Snapchatting my 20-year-old – she moved to her boyfriend’s house in Level 3.

3. Always look at the problem from the other person’s point-of-view. And, being cold is an age thing – as I watch my 12-year-old wander about in a tee-shirt and shorts in 10 degrees…



Nicky Theunissen (Supporter Engagement Coordinator)


Top left, Leandro (11) and top right Shalomey (7)

1. Leandro said to me, “Mum, I love the fact that you are a bit fat and that I can barely get my arms around you.” Shalomey said: “Mum, you will take long to die if there is famine, you have enough storage to live on.” Didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, hahaha

2. My Lord and saviour, my cuddly new baby kitten, and my blanky and hot chocolate movie bingeing

3. To love myself unconditionally, and to be good to myself because they love me and only see the good in me even though I have so many flaws, and also to play like a child. It’s fun!


Natasha Goosen (Events Manager)


From left to right: Natasha and her three loveable musketers: Ben (9), Christian (4) and Daniel (7).

1. “My Mum smells like cookies-n-cream” (no idea why I don’t bake) Also, my son often tells me – “Mum, stop kissing me please, your hair keeps getting into my mouth.”


2. Carrot cake, and candle-lit baths while listening to Bruce Springsteen.

3. Well, definitely not patience as yet, hoping that plane will land soon! And also that I’m not perfect and that’s okay – they love me because I am their Mummy!


Need to buy your Mum a Mother's Day gift? Check out our Mother's Day Gift for Life collection which includes a FREE video you can send to your mum.

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