Frances Sheen Practical Parenting Editor

Journalist and award-winning editor Frances Sheen is the ultimate career chameleon.

March 14 2019

She has rocked it with boy bands as editor of Smash Hits, held the throne of Australia’s number one weekly magazine, New Idea, and more recently, relaunched PracticalParenting.com.au – Australia’s fastest growing parenting and shopping website.

So what makes this mum-of-two tick? And how on earth does she juggle her ‘tiger-mum’ responsibilities with her career?

Frances Sheen, Editor

Q. What’s your background?

A. I’ve worked in magazines as a journalist and editor, mostly women’s lifestyle magazines, for more years than I care to mention both here and in the UK. I even used to hang out with boy bands when I edited Smash Hits way back in 2000! In 2006 I had my first daughter, Ruby, and then in 2009 I had my second daughter, Ivy and life changed! Since then I have mixed work with trying to be the best mum I can be to both the girls as they grow up.

Q. What do you enjoy best about your job?

A. I’m fascinated by the world of motherhood and how we change as we become a mum and I love following that journey with other mums. It can be such a tough road and I really believe we should all be in it together, not tearing each other down. I love hearing tips and tricks that others have used and I love to pass them on.

Q. What are your favourite books and podcasts?

A. I love the Getting Curious podcast by Jonathan Van Ness (he’s one of the Queer Eye cast and I wish he was my best friend), Wild by Cheryl Strayed was one of those books I read and I recommended it to everyone I met within six seconds and bizarrely Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. It was a book my mum read to me over and over when I was little because she loved it as a child. Hopefully one day my daughters can pass that tradition on to their own children. Up The Duff by Kaz Cooke would still class as one of my all-time favourite books about parenting. When you're scared and pregnant it really makes you feel at ease!

Q. What’s your favourite quote?

A. This too shall pass.

Q. What are your favourite ways to unwind?

A. Part of me wants to say yoga and meditation but that would be an outright lie. Laughing with my friends over a bottle of wine is much more me, but hanging out with my girls is amazing. Ruby loves swimming and her passion for it is awe-inspiring while Ivy is a dancer and the joy she gets from twirling around is immense!

Q. What’s your best #mumhack?

A. I can’t claim this as my own as someone told me about it but I have always given my kids a bowl of fruit when they first get up, before brekkie, because then I know they’ve had their fruit for the day. It’s become a habit now that I hope they never break. Also, another mum once told me that sometimes it’s OK to just feel like you’re being an OK mum and I try to remember that!

Q. What’s your funniest parenting moment?

A. God there are so many. I cut the umbilical cord of my second daughter after my husband fainted during the birth. That’s a story for her 21st!

Q. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

A. Much to most people’s horror (including mine as I type this) I have recently taken up golf and after months of hitting trees, golf carts and the odd bird, I’ve started playing better and I’m loving it! I also love taking our dog, Barney, for a walk with the girls. Finding a great ‘dog beach’ where he can run and make us laugh is our favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon!