What it’s like to be married to the PM
J-Mo opens up her faith and family life
In her first television interview, the Prime Minister’s wife, Jenny Morrison, has shared candidly about her Christian faith, her daily life as a mum of two and her (regular) disagreements with the PM.
Morrison opened up for Channel Nine’s women’s network, 9Honey, about the relationships that lie at the centre of her life.
1. Her relationship with God
“When things are really hard and you’re feeling like you’re dragging along a heavy weight, you don’t have to – there’s someone you can talk to about it. That’s how I see faith – it’s a relationship,” said Morrison, who is a member of the 2000-strong Horizon Church in the Sutherland Shire, in Sydney’s south.
When asked if she felt that she had to fulfil a particular purpose now that “she had been elevated” to the role of “first lady”, Morrison replied: “My purpose in life is very simple – it’s basically to be kind to absolutely everyone you can. Because life is really about a series of connections with people.”
2. Her relationship with her children
Morrison also shared about two of the most significant relationships in her life – those with her daughters Abbey, 11, and Lily, 9. Like many couples, the Morrisons had to fight hard for these children, after years of infertility issues and failed rounds of IVF.
In an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly in August last year, before her husband’s appointment as PM, Morrison divulged that she had given over her desire to have children in order to accept “God’s plan”, whether or not that included children.
“I sent this message out to my friends saying, ‘This is just my path and, if children aren’t on it, then there’s a far better plan happening for me anyway’, so I just got on with the journey and that was a turning point,” she told the Weekly.
When the couple did finally have their first daughter in 2009, Scott Morrison reportedly wrote: “She is our miracle child, the answer to a lifetime of prayer and 14 years of painful, invasive, heartbreaking treatment.”
“I’m trying to keep things as normal as possible.” – Jenny Morrison
Today, Jenny Morrison’s life sounds similar to that of many mums: she wakes up early to prepare school lunches, drives the kids to school and walks the dog to a local café.
“You just do what you have to do. I think maybe people picture that your life as the wife of the Prime Minister is glamorous and amazing and exciting, but I’m doing the same things that everybody else does. It’s hard work being a parent, and you’d do anything for them,” she said in the 9Honey interview.
“I might be the Prime Minister’s wife, but I’m still a mum with two young girls and I’m trying to keep things as normal as possible,” Morrison stressed.
No doubt it’s sometimes hard to keep a grasp on this normality. Just a few weeks after moving into the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, Morrison made a pavlova for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan and Harry) and was given fashion advice from former “first lady” Janette Howard when she and former PM John Howard came around for dinner.
She admitted that the result of the leadership spill unfurled in August last year left her tin “total shock”.
With a young family still in tow, Morrison said: “I did not see it coming … I always knew Scott was capable of leadership … He’s always been that kind of person … He’s strong and confident and people want to follow him. He’s a bit of a natural-born leader … I knew he had the capacity for it. I knew he’d be great, but my girls were small.”
“… we’re not always on the same page.” – Jenny Morrison
3. Her relationship with her husband
Morrison readily admitted to 9Honey that she and her husband “disagree on a lot”, although she clarified, “We comfortably disagree.”
When asked if her husband sought her opinion on policy issues, Morrison said: “He doesn’t make policy for me, I assure you … He’ll ask me what I think because I come from a totally different mindset. So he gets a different viewpoint from me, which might be just a layperson’s viewpoint. And sometimes we’re not always on the same page.”
Morrison met her husband at age 16 and, after attending the same Christian youth camp; they married when she was just 21. While she joked about her husband’s regular absences and the distance between them being good for their marriage, Morrison was quick to defend his character, including his stance on asylum-seekers.
“Scott is very, very sensitive about issues. I think [people] have one view of him. But he never takes any of those issues lightly,” she said.
In a few months’ time, we’ll find out whether or not the nation agrees with this character assessment.