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As a self-proclaimed ‘Crap Housewife’, Jessica Rowe is loved by Australian women, mums in particular, for her ability to keep it real.
As a mum to two teenage daughters, Allegra 13 and Giselle, 11, who she shares with her husband, newsreader, Peter Overton, Jessica Rowe doesn’t pretend to have everything all together. She’s honest and it’s so refreshing.
In a world where all we see is beautifully curated images on social media of tidy homes and chef quality family meals, the television presenter and author isn’t buying into it and for that we say, ‘thank you’.
Bounty Parents spoke to Jess about being a ‘Crap Housewife’ and how she empowers other women to not take themselves so seriously.
When you first began using the ‘Crap Housewife’ tag, did you ever expect it to become your brand?
No way! I had no idea. I started it as a way of making myself feel better and having a laugh at myself. Not for a moment did I think it would resonate the way it has, but it’s wonderful. I’ve got so much out of it from these amazing women who I’ve met through Crap Housewife and my Instagram. It’s a lovely community of people and we share recipes and little messages and we lift each other up.
Why do you think it resonates with so many women?
Because all of us have the inner voice that says, ‘You’re not good enough, you’re not doing this right’. And we buy into that. And we shouldn’t. The thing is, we are enough.
We need to give each other permission to take the pressure off to actually say, ‘It’s okay that I’m not a great cook. It’s ok that I’ve got a messy house and a benchtop covered in crap’. Because that’s real life. And do I want to tie myself in knots trying to create this airbrushed life that no one has, or do I want to be happy and do things that bring me joy, not things that make me feel exhausted and that I don’t enjoy.
I think it has resonated because all of us are doing our best and we are all enough. It’s about giving each other permission to say, ‘You are imperfect, but you are beautiful in your imperfection.
“I want to be happy and do things that bring me joy.”
We all tend to compare ourselves to others on social media…
Definitely! You fall down this rabbit hole of comparing yourself to other people’s beautifully curated social media feeds but it’s not their real life, that is no one’s real life.
You’ve been working with Meat & Livestock Australia, how have your cooking skills improved?
You know, we don’t talk to our butchers enough in terms of using them as an amazing resource. They know what to do with the beef, they know how to cook it and for how long. They know how to not make a soggy stir fry, you ask your butcher to slice the meat for a stir fry and you cook the meat in batches. I’d never done that before but you do it so it doesn’t stew! I’ve also learnt about the nutritional benefits of Aussie beef. Talk to your butcher and they will help transform your cooking. If they can do it for me, they can do it for anyone.
Jess says your local butcher will be able to give you tips that will “help transform your cooking”.
You shared recently that you had a colonoscopy. Thank you for sharing and raising awareness for others.
Thank you. I was given the all clear. I do have a history of bowel cancer in my families on both sides. It was my third colonoscopy, so I do have them on a semi regular basis. It’s important for all of us to talk to our GP about the right age to start having colonoscopies because they can see if there are any early signs of cancer. I think women, especially moms, often become busy looking after everyone else around them. We must make the time for important health checks.
We have also seen you doing some incredible TikTok dances with your daughter on your Instagram feed. Please do more!
I love that she wanted to do it with me because with teenagers they are usually like, ‘Go away mum you’re so embarrassing’. It was so fun and we could laugh and be silly. It was a real life highlight moment for me.
In the age of social media and selfies, how are you helping your daughters navigate their own social media presence?
I wish I had a simple answer for that but it’s difficult. All I can do is just talk to them about it. I realise that it’s how they socialize so it’s about making sure that they’re aware that not everything they see is true and that there are people that don’t have their best interests at heart, and to talk about that if they’re concerned or worried. I don’t have a simple answer and it can be easy to go, let’s all block social media without actually thinking, hang on it’s how they connect and stay in touch with each other and that it’s not all bad.