Meet the Practical Parenting Team

Say hello to the team of mums behind your favourite parenting website

July 29 2018

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!

 

Angela Mollard with her daughters Eliza and Lilibelle

Angela Mollard with her daughters Eliza and Lilibelle

Angela Mollard, Parenting Commentator

Q. What’s your background?

A. I grew up in New Zealand, moved to London in my early 20s to work on British newspapers then moved to Australia when I was pregnant with my first child.  I write a newspaper column, celebrity interviews and a parenting page. I also do TV and radio commentary, podcasting and host corporate events. I’ve also published a book on parenting, The Smallest Things. However, my greatest role ­­– and the one I’m most proud of – is parenting my daughters, Eliza and Lilibelle, who are 17 and 14.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?

A. All of it! I love every day of being a journalist. The diversity, the stories, the fun - I’ve loved commentating on the Royals for the past six months. Mostly though, I feel so privileged when people trust me to tell their stories. 

Q. What are your favourite books and podcasts?

A. For podcasts, The High Low which is hosted by two very cool British chicks, Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. Conversations with Richard Fidler - terrific interviews and great talent. Desert Island Discs - it’s been going for a billion years but I love people talking about their lives through their favourite songs. Favourite books are The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton - It’s the book that introduced me to the magic of stories; How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran. The most joyous of feminists, the most clever of writers; and Cloudstreet by Tim Winton.

Q. What’s your favourite way to unwind?

A. Walking in nature and doing yoga, particularly in Bali.

Q. What’s your best #mumhack?

A. Giving them a cuddle when everyone is upset/annoyed/at the end of their tether. Sometimes there’s just too many words. 

Q. What’s your funniest parenting moment?

A. My youngest has always been a quirky kid. When she was little and I was explaining pregnancy and childbirth, she piped up: “So if you did a handstand when you were pregnant with me, I would’ve come out of your mouth?”

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

A. Reading, HIIT classes, Netflix, playing hockey, yoga and cooking. I’m also really enjoying raising teenagers - it’s bittersweet but there’s gorgeous moments where they really confide in me and I can see that my mothering has made a difference!

 

Franki Hobson with her sons Max and Louis

Franki Hobson with her sons Max and Louis

Franki Hobson, Parenting Reviews Editor

Q. What’s your background?

A. Apart from being a Supermum?! OK, my additional powers include having been the Editor of Cosmopolitan Pregnancy, Cosmo Health and Cosmo Bride magazines for 14 years. I was also the Editorial Director of teen bible, DOLLY magazine, whilst moonlighting as a women’s health and lifestyle journalist for (god blimey) twenty years. I know, I don’t look a day over 18, right?! When I’m not touch-typing at 200kms an hour, I’m chasing a fast-as-lightning 11-month-old baby around the house, or chauffeuring my 9 year-old son to footy/soccer/swimming/tennis/music. Tiger mum, who me?!  

Q. What do you enjoy best about your job?

A. I live to make other mums lives easier, happier, healthier, more efficient… They say it takes a village to raise a child but in todays’ super-fast-paced and transient, mobile society, we don’t have the same community network we did for generations. Today’s mum is juggling kids, work, home-duties… often on her own. It’s tiring. It’s hard. It’s bullshit! So if I can equip mum with helpful information, or arm her with knowledge that will make her life easier and happier, that’s me done.

Q. How do you like to unwind?

A. Online shopping - I love homewares and have been known to click ‘buy’ on goods no-one should ever buy without seeing in real-life, including a dishwasher, floor rugs, a bed, sofa! I almost NEVER sit on my backside doing nothing. But when I do, it’s for a Netflix binge session. Currently addicted to Jessica Jones but am extremely fond of kids’ movies and curling up on the couch with my nine-year-old son, Maxwell. My vice is a glass of red wine, or two, or three. 

Q. What’s your favourite quote?

A. Work smart not hard.

Q. What’s your best #mumhack

A. If it gets the kids to sleep faster, I let them sleep in my bed. I give baby Louis and Maxwell probiotics – especially after they’ve been sick. I cook big meals on a Sunday (lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise) so I don’t have to cook when I get home from work on a Monday and Tuesday night. I use child number one to look after child number two when I’m desperate to have a shower/do flame-throwing dangerous cooking.

Q. What’s your best parenting moment?

A. My ‘best times’ are travelling with my babies. I love the feeling of exploring new places with them, creating memories, trying new foods…  And, funnily enough, after living in the city for 20 years without a patch of grass in sight, I’ve finally moved to a house with a big back yard. Who would ever have thought that hanging clothes on a hills hoist (as opposed to putting EVERYTHING in a clothes dryer), and just sitting on grass, would be so relaxing and enjoyable. OK it may be a novelty and wear off, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

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

A. Catching up with girlfriends. They are my lifeline. For laughs, venting, advice, help…

 

Nicola Conville with daughter, Lucy, and son, Nathan

Nicola Conville with daughter, Lucy, and son, Nathan

Nicola Conville, Content Editor

Q. What’s your background?

A. I’ve been working in print and online media for almost 18 years, specialising in parenting, health and travel. I’ve worked on a wide range of publications and was Deputy Editor at body+soul for six years. When I had my second child I worked as a freelancer for five years before heading back into the office.

Q. What do you enjoy best about your job?

A. Interviewing inspiring people and finding out all about the latest and greatest products and trends. I love connecting with other mums from all walks of life.

Q. What are your favourite books and podcasts?

A. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and anything by Annie Proulx or Roddy Doyle. My favourite podcasts are Sounds of The Trail, which features interviews with thru-hikers, and the hilarious Hot Flush with bloggers Kayte Woog and Kim Berry. 

Q. What’s your favourite quote?

A. Fortune favours the brave.

Q. What’s your best #mumhack

A. As a general rule, I take every short-cut I can to make life easier and less stressful. I think with little kids there are just some things you need to let go of. I never iron anything unless it’s for an interview or a wedding and if I’m exhausted at the end of the day I order pizza and let the kids eat it while watching a movie (which they LOVE!). Plus I have an amazing neighbour who also has young children and we help each other out daily.

Q. What’s your funniest/best parenting moment?

A. There have been many funny moments, but lately my five-year-old son has become convinced he and I are an item. He says the wedding I had with my husband was a ‘fake marry’ and that he is my real husband. Can’t wait to share that with his first girlfriend! My favourite moment was when my then two-year-old daughter met her baby brother for the first time in hospital. She held him so gently and kept kissing his head.

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

A. Being outdoors. I love bushwalking with my family, and if I'm lucky enough to get solo time, I like to climb mountains or go hiking.