Cec Busby had never really entertained the thought of children until she met her partner, Claire. “Claire had always known she wanted kids and when she brought it up, it just seemed a natural progression to our relationship,” Cec said. With the help of a dear friend as a donor, Cec and Claire are now the proud parents of son Harper (6) and daughter Mackenzie (3) and their donor dad, Wade, has an active role as a father in their children’s lives.
Cec supports other same-sex parent families through her membership on the board of Rainbow Families and is heavily involved in the group’s lobbying to build a community that “fosters resiliency by connecting, supporting and empowering LGBTQI families”.
Claire gave birth to both babies and she, Cec and Wade marvel at the unconditional love that Harper and Mackenzie have brought into each of their lives.
“That kind of family warmth is so great. Kids reignite our wonder and delight in the world that, as adults, we tend to lose.”
When Harper was born, Claire was working as a marketing manager for Paramount, which had a generous paid parental leave scheme and Cec was able to work from home with some support from a nanny. Cec took her parental leave on a one-day-per-week arrangement and it meant she could spend the first two years at home with Harper.
When they had had Mackenzie, they both had excellent parental leave conditions and the invaluable help of the nanny.
“We’re all fortunate in that the companies we work for are great in supporting families and offer us the flexibility to work remotely,” says Cec.
A big win for same-sex parents
Rainbow Families lobbies for change in all matters that discriminate against same-sex couples and families.
One of their recent achievements has been the inclusion of non-discriminatory language in the new edition of the Blue Book, the health record for children issued to all new parents in New South Wales.
Cec acknowledges that change has come more quickly in the inner city areas but is slower in the outer suburbs where there is still a long way to go. She and her colleagues at Rainbow Families will continue to advocate strongly for improvements in all aspects of LGBTQI community and family life.
A celebration for all mothers
Cec and Claire’s family is a super-strong unit and they have both made big efforts to create that strength and flexibility.
“Since Harper started school we’ve negotiated pick up and drop off during work hours. We all take turns.”
“We still have our nanny for the kids Monday and Tuesday, then I work from home Wednesday, Claire works from home Thursday and Wade deals with Friday pick up and drop off.”
‘Like many couples now, we both work but we take family holidays together, one year to the UK and another year to Western Australia with our children’s father’s family. Wade also brings with him a huge family - he has 4 siblings and 22 nieces and nephews. This is actually great for the kids as Claire’s family is in the UK and my sister has no kids and my brother lives in the US. So it’s great for them to get to hang out with those cousins.”
Mother’s Day for Cec and Claire is all about getting together as a family over lunch. It’s a time to celebrate many happy moments and many achievements and most of all, the strength and resilience that only strong family love and support can bring.
“Family is very important to us - and I guess that is the most important thing about Mother’s Day for me. It’s not about the cards and the presents – instead, it’s an opportunity for us all to be together and celebrate our love for each other.”
“We’re very fortunate that our kids have three loving parents.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.