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Finding joy wearing different hats

JOY REID is a TVNZ Journalist and CEO of charity One Mother to Another. The Christchurch mother of three chatted with our editor KATE BARBER about being a mum, the trauma of having a child in hospital, and covering the Queen’s funeral. 

Tell us about your kids.

I have Jonathan (9) and Stella (6), who go to Somerfield Primary. And Annabelle, ‘our lucky last’, who’s 20 months.

Tell us about your work.

I do two days at TVNZ and then 15 hours (usually more) with our charity One Mother to Another. There’s not much downtime in my life! But I get a lot of joy out of the hats that I wear. I also get huge fulfilment from motherhood, including domestic duties like having a vacuumed floor!

It sounds really busy. Do you get stressed?  

Yes, but it’s strange things that’ll stress me out, like missing the school sausage sizzle on Friday rather than getting stressed about talking to half a million people on the news. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face with your kids currently?

The squabbling! But it’s been so beautiful seeing how the two bigger kids relate to my youngest. She’s spoilt beyond measure with love from her siblings. 

What do you like doing with the family when you’re not working?

I love going out to the park or going for little walks. And I absolutely love coffee dates with my six-year-old daughter.

What an amazing experience it must have been to cover the Queen’s funeral.

It is definitely the career highlight of my life!

Tell us about when you got the phone call saying that the Queen had died. 

I was on holiday in Tekapo, and Annabelle had been up all night vomiting. The phone call came at 5.45am. All I could think was I am three hours from an international airport. We woke the kids and jumped in the car. Annabelle had one of those bibs on that catch food, but it was catching her spew. It’s a horrendous story – I felt like the worst mum. I phoned my dad, who met us in Geraldine. My husband returned to clean up the bach we’d been staying in, and I went on to Christchurch with my dad to pack and do interviews. Within seven hours of the news breaking, I had travelled three hours in a car and was on a plane for the first of four flights to London.

What was it like? 

Utterly surreal! I worked something like 200 hours in 12 days, and it’s only now I am fully processing it. What really stood out was how much reverence everybody had for the Queen. We would be in a crowd of tens of thousands of people, and there would be a respectful hush. It was extraordinary. 

Tell me about your charity One Mother to Another.

I set it up with a girlfriend in 2016. We had both had our kids spend time in hospital unexpectedly, so we decided to give a couple of care packs to others in that situation, and we were really surprised by the response. Fast-forward six years, the charity delivers 4000+ gift packs annually to parents and caregivers in 10 different wards, across four South Island hospitals.

I love how personal the handwritten notes are…

Yes, it has to be personal. You can be in a room full of people with machines beeping and feel so alone. A handwritten note says, “I see you, and I care”, in such a special way. 

How can people support this charity?

We love volunteers – to help with note-writing and packaging. We always need financial support, and also, if anyone knows of any companies that might want to partner with us, we are always looking for donations of products to go into the care packages. 

onemothertoanother.org.nz

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