By Corin Mackay
Forest Lake local Vanessa Poskus recently celebrated the 10 year anniversary of her radio spot Mummy Minutes, marking a huge milestone in her efforts to support mums new and old.
Mummy Minutes, a short, one minute segment played daily on FM station 96five’s family radio broadcast, will have Vanessa tell a story from her years as a parent, finishing with her tagline “You are important. Thanks for being a mum.”
The segment, written and presented entirely by Vanessa, came about in 2012, when raising her toddler, she would stay at home, watching TV and listening to radio.
“I would think about how lovely it would be to just sit by the radio and listen to a minute of encouragement, reminding me of the positives of motherhood, that made me smile and laugh, but let me get on with my day afterwards,” she said.
“After a few emails back and forth with 96five about who to get on to present it, eventually, they discarded the idea of a celebrity, and asked me to do it.”
In the early years of the segment’s broadcasting, there were few other avenues that could be taken to present information to such a wide audience that were within the range someone with children could take.
“Radio was what I was listening to around the house. I had a familiarity with 96five from ages ago, and found their family-oriented content useful for getting through my depression,” Vanessa said.
“I listened to them with my family, I did volunteer work with them; I knew them. When you’re in the midst of your day, it can be difficult to find time to listen to anything like Mummy Minutes, the whole point of the segment is that mothers don’t have to go looking – they can be encouraged wherever they are,” she said.
The spot is aimed primarily at mums, but Vanessa said that she receives calls from men thanking her for teaching them by talking about her experiences.
“I speak out about my own experiences, in the hopes that it might encourage another mother, but I know that there are women that aren’t mothers, and men, that listen and send lots of positive feedback, saying it’s encouraged them or helped them understand.
“I think in the last decade, there has certainly been an increase in the pressure women face in motherhood, to work both inside and outside the home, and I think there are a lot of women that would like the choice not to have to, but feel they can’t.
“In my tagline I talk about how important they are. Family is the most important thing for a child, not the toys or kung fu or piano.
“I want to tell younger mums to slow down, there’s plenty of time, but at the same time, it goes so fast, so don’t waste those moments.”
The segment has taken a long and arduous journey, growing to mirror Vanessa’s own adaptations in motherhood.
Her son, who was a toddler when the segment began, is now a teenager, and with the adoption of a stepdaughter with a child of her own, Vanessa is now a grandmother.
“Grown children now having children, seeing your child have a child, brings in different aspects of what it is to be a mother, a whole new facet of the journey,” she said.
“It was a miracle that he came along, and I’ve been able to cherish every moment of his growth and development.
Vanessa said when she first had the idea ten years ago, she didn’t expect the segment to last as long as it has.
“There have been times more recently when I’ve thought it’s not as relevant now because the world’s changed, but people seem to still take encouragement and find value in what I have to say,” she said.
“I’ve got plans to start a longer-form podcast, and I’ve always thought there’s a book in there, but for now, the segment will continue as long as the radio station wants it to,” Vanessa said.
You can listen to Vanessa’s segment on the air on 96.5 fm, find her podcast on Apple and Google podcasts, and contact her at email@example.com.