How to handle your mum if she is critical of your career

Transport Services Minister Chloë Fox has rejected her mother's concerns that she's exhausted, sleepless and struggling with life as a politician and single mum.

Acclaimed children's author Mem Fox had told InDaily she will celebrate by "opening champagne" if her politician daughter, Chloë, loses her seat in South Australia's March election.

Fox, who has been on a national tour to promote her new picture book Baby Bedtime, said Chloë's long work hours, coupled with life as a single mum, had taken a toll on the 42-year-old MP, leaving her "exhausted".

Today, her daughter rejected the concerns.

"Sometimes your parents can be a bit embarrassing," Chloë Fox told ABC Radio.

"I'm not sleepless; I had nine hours' sleep last night."

Fox said that while she appreciated her mother's concerns, they had to agree to disagree.

"I've spent 42 years trying to convince people that we don't always have the same views."

In an exclusive report in InDaily yesterday, Mem Fox said that she and husband Malcolm have had to step up to help raise Chloë's son, 3½-year-old Theo.

"Parliamentarians sometimes sit until 11pm at night. It is an absolutely shit job. It is relentless, it is thankless. Why anybody would want to go into it, I do not know. And if Chloë loses the election we will be opening champagne!" she said.

"She's absolutely exhausted... She's a Minister for Transport Services, she's a Minister Assisting the Minister for the Arts. Because she's had a young child for the last 3½ years she's sleepless for a start and then she's had this job on top of it."

Fox said it appeared that Chloë, a former school teacher and journalist who has held the beachside seat of Bright since 2006, was facing an unwinnable election after the redrawing of electoral boundaries. The redistribution has changed Bright from a 0.4 per cent Labor seat to a 0.1 per cent notionally Liberal seat.

"It does look as though she actually cannot win because they've redrawn the boundaries of the electorate so she's been pushed forward into Liberal territory, which means she's our Labor member of a Liberal seat," she said.

"So at the election, it's almost impossible for her to win. We're all being very cool-headed about the whole thing. We're seeing it with clear eyes.

"Of course she'll regret losing if she loses, but she will also be able to get a life."

As a grandmother, Fox said she felt privileged to have had so much involvement in Theo's young life after he was born eight weeks' premature in January 2010.

"Because Chloë is a politician and because she's a single parent, we are more like parents than grandparents," she said.

"Every single day of the week, we see him for hours – every single day of the week, some days all day."

This article was first publishefd at InDaily. It is republished here with permission. 

Last modified on Friday, 13 November 2015 16:38
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Kevin Naughton

Kevin Naughton is business editor at Indaily.

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