Sunday Mail Column Sunday 9 May 2010

So this is my second Mother’s Day as a mum and I’m delighted to reveal that I’m expecting bambino number two later this year.  Which means that I’ve taken to introducing my daughter Ava by saying, “Here’s one I made earlier”.  Ha ha.

But with the forthcoming arrival of a second baby, you naturally start to think about all the stuff you’ve learned. For example, next time I’ll know that it’s probably safe to stop sterilising my child’s bottles and sippy cups when I catch them licking the shopping trolley they’re riding in.  And then there’s the Zen-like nature required at meal times.  Last week I put a great deal of effort into making Ava a baby version of ham and pineapple pizza. I presented it to her. She studied it suspiciously then decried, “No no no no” (in a Scottish accent which was kinda weird).  Ten minutes later I found her in the pantry reading That’s Not My Dragon while simultaneously eating a dog biscuit. There are times when living with Ava is like living with Billy Connolly during his cocaine years.

And while I personally find motherhood that alluring combination of wonderful and mind numbing, joyous and draining, the best thing I have ever done but also the hands-down-hardest – I am incredibly grateful for every moment.

But on days like today I think it’s important to celebrate all women who provide mothering and nurturing to a child – whether they are linked biologically or not. And there are thousands of volunteers who work with children who deserve acknowledgement today.

I’ve said before that I believe all children need an adult in their life – who isn’t a parent – whom they can trust and go to for sound advice.  And we all have a chance to play that role.

Protect All Children Today (PACT) is a leading child protection agency dedicated to helping children through the often harrowing process of going to court.  Volunteer Child Witness Support Volunteers support the more than 1100 children each year that must testify in court as either victims of or witnesses to a crime.

“It takes a lot of courage for children to go to Court and relive a traumatic experience in front of complete strangers” says PACT’s Volunteer Coordinator, Ms Sabina Nowak.  “Courts are daunting places for adults, let alone children. Our Volunteers reduce stress by befriending the child, teaching them about their rights and their role in court and the people involved. We are right there with them as they testify. That is how we help empower children to give the best evidence they can.”

PACT is currently looking for more volunteers in the Greater Brisbane and Gold Coast area. If you’re interested in giving your time to help a child deal with the court process, call  (07) 3290 0111, or 1800 090 111 (a free call from a land line), or visit to obtain an application kit. No experience is necessary and full training is provided.  Happy Mother’s Day.

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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