Emma’s Story

"The support makes you feel like a human again."

Emma was deep in the trenches, parenting three little ones under the age of five.

“I didn’t get to shower much or have adult conversations because I was stuck at home with the kids all the time”.

Caring for young children is often challenging but it’s extra hard to attend to a baby if your three and five year olds have special needs.

With so many roles to fill at home, the juggle was never-ending. Emma’s husband was working hard to support the family financially, but she was feeling the pressure.

“I first heard about Home-Start through the HIPPY program at my son’s kindergarten. Val came to talk and explained how Home-Start pairs parents with a volunteer home visitor to give families a bit of extra help. It was exactly what I needed.”

Emma was matched with Jane, who came to visit the family at home each week for a couple of hours.

family around a birthday cake

“Jane’s support had an amazing effect on my mental health.

Just having an outside person come in for two hours a week helped me have simple conversations about things other than my kids. It sounds like a small thing, but having a connection with someone who isn’t judgmental, and who’s just there for me was a game-changer.”

On the days Jane visited Emma at home, she provided a valuable extra pair of hands.

“When Jane came, I could cook dinner while she played with the kids, or I could take a moment for myself and actually wash my hair. She was so adaptable, we did whatever we needed to do on those days and Jane was there for it”.

After almost five years’ support from Jane and the Home-Start home visiting program, Emma’s moving into the next phase of parenting and family life with more self-belief.

“My three big boys are now all at school, and even though we have another baby, the dynamics are different having older children. I’ve been able to get my driver’s license now, so I’m more independent.

Jane’s support has made me feel more confident in myself and my parenting abilities.

I’d 100% recommend Home-Start to any parent who’s struggling. The practical help was invaluable, but just having a conversation and someone who’s there to support you, it makes you feel like a human again”.

Emma, mum of 4.