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Model and former Miss Universe Australia Jesinta Franklin and her AFL star husband, Lance “Buddy” Franklin became parents to baby girl, Tullulah Franklin in February this year.
With their daughter now six-months-old, it has been a challenging few months for the pair as they’ve adjusted to parenting while in the midst of a pandemic.
“I decided not to go into the hub because it was a long time to be in a hotel room,” explains the 29-year-old.
“It has been difficult but I think everyone is experiencing challenges during this pandemic. Whether it’s your partner being away or not being able to see your family or your friends. I keep reminding myself, this will be over soon, that we are lucky and to count our blessings not the challenges,” says Jesinta.
“Because if you choose to focus on the challenges it can get a little overwhelming at times. It has been challenging but you’ve just got to push through.”
Since her daughter arriving earlier this year, Jesinta admits adjusting to mum life has taken some getting used to but says her baby girl is her number one priority.
“I’ve really grown into my role as a mum now and I feel really good. Like any new mum it’s such a change in your life. You go from being able to wake up in the morning and going, ‘What am I going to do now?’ ‘Am I going to have a shower or go for a run?’ But when you have a baby, it is all ‘Baby, baby, baby’ and all of your needs come second,” she explains.
“With the pandemic on top there is added pressure and more to do at home but I feel like I’ve gotten into it but it has been difficult. Like all mums at home whether you’ve got a new baby or a five year old or a ten year old, the pandemic has brought so many challenges.
“I think I am more grateful that she is a baby though, because to all the mamas out there who are homeschooling, ‘You are amazing’. Everyone who I have spoken to says it is so difficult and a lot of people are still trying to juggle their own lives and work and look after a household and then, homeschooling on top.”
With Tullulah now six months, Jesinta says her daughter’s personality is really beginning to shine through and she’s a happy little one.
“She’s starting to get really cheeky now. She smiles all the time. My favourite part of the day is when I walk into her room and she has just woken up and her little head pops up and she’s looking through the slats of the cot and she has the biggest gummy smile on her face,” Jesinta smiles.
“She’s very observant, she will watch everything and very into the detail of things.”
Jesinta says she has grown into her role as a mum and she feels really good.
An advocate for indigenous affairs and a mum who knows how important it is to read to your kids, Jesinta has proudly co-authored her first children’s story, The Grumpy Little Crocodile.
“It was such a beautiful project to work on while I was at home with Tullulah throughout my maternity leave,” explains Jesinta.
“Now I’m a mother, I recognise how important it is to read to your children; not only for their cognitive development and their own literacy skills, but for instilling really good values early on.”
The book’s themes were important to Jesinta who had a clear vision of what she wanted to portray.
“I really wanted the book to include the message that our differences are what make us special. I have a little girl who is indigenous, and I know there is going to be a time in her life when she might feel a little different, someone might make a comment about her heritage or the colour of her skin, so I wanted the book to have a strong message of acceptance for all children,” she says.
“We wanted the messages of self-acceptance and diversity to be really strong. The background is the Northern Territory and there are beautiful references to native Australian flora and fauna. I couldn’t wait to read it to Tullulah.”
The Grumpy Little Crocodile is a limited-edition children’s book available exclusively from the Lovekins shop.
10% of the books proceeds will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.