INTRODUCING Season 3: Imperfect Parents

In season 3 of HCF’s Navigating Parenthood podcast, host Jessica Rowe talks to parents and expert psychologist Lydia Black about the struggles and juggles of raising happy healthy kids.

We explore work-life balance, the challenge of co-parenting and separation, managing device time and what to do when the unexpected happens along your parenting journey.

Listen to the episodes below or through your phone or tablet.

Episode 1: Work-life Balance: How to Make Your Own Rules

Every new day brings a new challenge in the life of a busy parent. While you try to smile your way through it, there are times when you can’t keep your cool, you think you’re failing, or when work is too much.

Jessica Rowe chats with a parent about how she wrote her own parenting rulebook when it comes to juggling the work-life balance, dividing duties in the home and balancing the mental load. She’s not tied down by the traditional expectations of how to parent, she chose her own path and changed course many times to fit in with her family’s needs and ultimate happiness.

Need help? Visit for tips on work-life balance as a family.

If you feel depressed or anxious, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

EPISODE 2: How to Stay Positive While Co-parenting

Single-parent and blended families are just some of many modern family types. Raising a child can be difficult under any circumstances, especially if you’re going it alone. And how do you reach a place with your ex-partner that’s positive for your whole crew?

Jessica Rowe chats with a parent who’s struck a great co-parenting balance with her ex-partner - but their path has not been without its challenges.

Need help? If you need help after a relationship breakdown, visit on helping children adjust after separation or divorce, co-parenting and blended families.

If you feel depressed or anxious, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

EPISODE 3: Coping With Stress and Change in Parenthood

When you embark on family life, you hope to head down the safe and predictable road - healthy kids and partner, a job with enough income to live comfortably and good mental health. But sometimes life can catch you unaware with a thunderbolt from the blue.

Jessica Rowe chats with a mum about how her life took a very different turn to the one she imagined. After a tough pregnancy with her first child, she was put on bed rest for the second half of her next pregnancy with twins. But not long after they were born, her partner was diagnosed with a brain tumour and she had to develop self-care strategies to cope. Life would never be the same.

Need help? If you need to create your own self-care strategies, read’s article on looking after yourself.

If you feel depressed or anxious, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

EPISODE 4: Online Safety for Kids

Technology has changed the way we all live – and the benefits can be felt across all ages and life stages. But how do you keep your kids safe online? How do you manage the right balance of screen time for kids? And how do you have the hard conversations about what’s out there and how to face up to the reality inappropriate material is so easy to come by?

Jessica Rowe chats with a mum about her children’s own online experiences and how she managed a confronting situation that could have seen her daughter compromised in unimaginably distressing way.

Need help? Read more on safety online from at eSafetyKids and the government’s online safety resource site.

If you feel depressed or anxious, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

EPISODE 5: Parenting Advice: Looking Back

Life teaches us many things along the way, leaving us with valuable advice we can pass on to our kids, as well as other parents around us. Parenting is never easy but looking back helps us celebrate successes and unpack how we’d do things differently.

Jessica Rowe chats with parents at the top end of their parenting journey, with grown-up kids who have left the nest. She talks to a working mum juggling her career and now-adult kids and two dads who became long-term foster parents. They reflect on how they’ve done their best working through all of life’s surprises and what they know for sure about parenting.

Need help? If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, visit the government’s information about foster care.  

If you feel depressed or anxious, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

EPISODE 6: Single Mum by Choice: Why I Chose a Sperm Donor

For some, the first parenting challenge is actually having children – maybe it hasn’t been a possibility till later in life. Many women are delaying having a family well into their 30s and beyond so they can focus on other areas of their lives. And some might not find their life partner before their ideal fertility years. So, what happens when a woman decides to go it alone?

Jessica Rowe chats with a woman who always wanted children but at the age of almost 40, her relationship fell apart. She was faced with a life-changing decision: to have a baby alone or face the possibility she may never have children. Fast forward to the present day and she’s now a happy and thriving single mum running her own business. We discuss the work juggle and the mental load.

Need help?

If you’re considering becoming a single mum through a donor, visit advocacy group Solo Mums By Choice, and’s information for single parents.

If you feel depressed or anxious, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For health concerns, speak to your doctor. HCF doesn't endorse any statements or opinions made during the podcast. This podcast contains general health information and shouldn't be relied on as medical advice.

For more help with your and your family’s mental health, head to HCF’s mental health support resources.


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HCF is proud to support members with award-winning podcast content.

*Navigating Parenthood, produced by HCF and Hardie Grant Media, has received the acclaim of both the global Content Marketing Institute (CMI) (finalist for Best Podcast/Audio Series), and the Content Marketing Association of Australia (silver winner, Best Branded Podcast Series).