With families across the country celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, Fusi Sinipata will take a moment to reflect and, hopefully, get some well-deserved relaxation time.
Fusi, a mother of two, became guardian of her eight nephews and nieces after the death of her sister in 2018 and brother-in-law in 2020. Now the family - with 10 children aged between five and 23 - live between Fusi’s home and that of her parents, who help with childcare while Fusi works shifts at the Counties Manukau Hub public counter.
Here, Fusi writes about Mother’s Day and what it means to her and her unique family.
I believe Mother’s Day is a day which makes people remember the importance and significance of mothers in their lives.
My favourite memory of Mother’s Day was being at church as a first-time mother, watching a Mother’s Day programme run by the church kids and the youth. Just being together in this atmosphere with my mother and sisters back then was special.
My family means the world to me and I am totally grateful for every single one of them.
My family is my WHY and my motivation to strive forward every day. They are my biggest fans and supporters and they are 110 percent proud of me working for the Police.
I am very grateful to my parents and siblings here and in Australia as working full-time and trying to organise the kids is challenging.
The key for us is having great communication as there is a lot of us and sticking to a routine that works is vital as my parents look after the kids while I’m at work.
As a mother I try my best to remain positive and plan ahead, I keep an eye on the kids' school-term timetables and I do all I can to attend any interviews, school trips and sports they are involved in.
I am very close to my mum and we share some similarities as we are both stubborn, but my mum has taught me growing up the importance of putting others first before ourselves.
I am going to spend Mother’s Day with my family together at church and then we will all head to the cemetery to visit my sister.
My ideal Mother’s Day would be to eat out all together and hang out at the cemetery. We have never eaten out as a whole family as there are too many of us to afford it - I find the hardest thing about being a mum is when I'm not able to provide for my family's needs.
The best thing about being a mum is being called 'mum'. The kids are my blessing and seeing them happy gives me the most joy. My dream for the future is to build a bigger family home in my own back yard.