Preparing for her return to NZ Parliament after nearly six weeks of planned maternity leave, Ardern posted a Facebook Live video about her time off and settling into life with new baby daughter, Neve. During the stream, Ardern reveals that the family is “doing really well,” but laughingly acknowledges she and partner, Clarke Gayford have “no routine to speak of”.
“I can hear now a chorus of parents laughing at the suggestion that you would ever have a routine with a five-week old baby but we’re doing really well nonetheless,” the Prime Minister jokes.
Ardern then goes onto share some of the ways in which her life has changed since becoming a mother. As she sits on a chair in Neve’s room rocking the baby’s cot back and forth while reading a stack of papers (two bags) which have been sent to her that week alone, she mentions she is now “multitasking like every single parent I’ve ever met.”
But Ardern also mentions her eagerness to get back to work and previews a schedule of issues she’ll be focused on during her immediate return, including work in the mental health space, environmental policy and trade.
As she smiles at a murmuring baby Neve, she mentions that these areas are all part of “delivering our economic agenda and increasing growth” adding that in her first week back she’ll also be making an employment based announcement she’s excited about.
“Obviously in that first week back I’m going to be focused on getting straight back into it. We’ll be hitting the ground running, as I know people will expect us to do,” she says.
The Prime Minister took time to thank citizens who had written to her over the weeks, sent her gifts and wished the family well saying it reminded “tike and I, how generous and wonderful Kiwis are.”
She also thanked her team, her family and the acting Prime Minister for their hard work in her absence before adding one last special tribute.
“As I finish up this Facebook Live, I’ll share a final little acknowledgment and shout out to the one person who I know will not be watching this Facebook Live, and that’s my mum.
“She spent a couple of weeks with me when I came home with Neve, and what a new appreciation you get for mums after you have your own,” she said.
“So, a little thank you to my mum, and to all mums out there as well.”