Penny McCarthy On the Most Joyous Thing About Motherhood

Fashion Editor Penny McCarthy On the Most Joyous Thing About Motherhood
Penny (centre, on Jimmy’s shoulders) wears Theory shirt, $599, and pants, $749, Isabel Marant earrings, $420, and own watch. (Left to right) Ruby wears Hansen & Gretel dress, $319. Jimmy wears The Academy Brand shirt, $89.95, and Bassike pants, $340. Ava wears Witchery jacket, $279.95, Maje jeans, $375, assorted Petite Grand and Sarah & Sebastian jewellery, from $155. Max wears Bassike top, $280, and The Academy Brand pants, $89.95.

Photography by Georges Antoni
Styling by Rachel Wayman

The working mum of four shares her modern parenting philosophy ahead of Mother’s Day.

Fashion editor Penny McCarthy says that despite the fact motherhood came quite naturally to her (“that’s something that took me by surprise”), over the years it’s taught her the importance of patience and acceptance as well as the meaning of unconditional love. Today, the working mum of four balances work and home life like a pro, citing a supportive “domesticated” partner as crucial to the juggle. “It’s much easier now the kids are older, but I quite like chaos and being busy – I thrive on it,” she says. Though things have slowed down, her earliest days as a mother were emotional. “The first two births – Ruby and Jimmy – were smooth sailing and I was on an absolute high. Max was born with Down syndrome so that was a huge shock and the early days were very difficult, and then my youngest daughter, Ava, was induced six weeks early and needed a blood transfusion due to rhesus.” 

I would like to think my kids could tell me anything. I’m very open, but I’m not perfect. I always say, ‘I can only be me’.

These days (as ever) the McCarthy family is big on food. “Eating meals together has always been a big priority,” Penny says. “We also like just hanging out and doing nothing but laughing.” Her fun-loving approach to parenting belies the mum’s absolute devotion to her children. “My parenting philosophy is all about having lots of love and respect for each other - I would like to think my kids could tell me anything,” she says. Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get her family in one place at the same time. “The most joyous thing about motherhood is watching them grow up,” she says. 

Shop Penny's Mother's Day Edit: 

1. Hollie Straight Leg Jean by Whistles, $219.

Hollie Straight Leg Jean by Whistles

2. Check Marle Longline Jacket by Anthea Crawford, $599.

Check Marle Longline Jacket by Anthea Crawford

3. Merino Blanket Almond by Waverley, $679.

Merino Blanket Almond by Waverley

4. Chambord Coffee Press 4Cup Stainless Steel by Bodum, $49.95.

Chambord Coffee Press 4Cup Stainless Steel by Bodum

5. Portofino Long Pyjama Set by Jasmine and Will, $97.30.

Portofino Long Pyjama Set by Jasmine and Will

6. Oright White Leather Loafers by Midas, $148.

Oright White Leather by Midas

7. Extra Lip Tint by Bobbi Brown, $56.

Extra Lip Tint by Bobbi Brown

8. Nettle & Wild Achillea Cologne 30ml by Jo Malone London, $98.

Nettle & Wild Achillea Cologne 30ml by Jo Malone London

9. Easel 5X7 Shiny Silver Metal Photo Frame by David Jones, $34.95.

Easel 5X7 Shiny Silver Metal Photo Frame by David Jones

10. Le Creuset Signature Square Grillit 26cm Kale, $299.00.

Le Creuset Signature Square Grillit 26cm Kale

Shop Penny's Gift Edit