Community / 5th May 2021
A special mum to many...
If anyone has earned the title “Super Mum” it’s Jennifer Heywood, but don’t let her catch you calling her that - Mrs Heywood is as humble as they come.
Forget about the terms “biological” or “foster” children, Mrs Heywood doesn’t believe in those words, instead, for her, it’s just family.
Jenny, as she is affectionately known, birthed five children of her own - Carlie, followed by Jay, Charity, Russell and Michael.
She has since cared for countless children who she has taken into her home.
“I have been doing it for a very long time and I’ve had a lot of children that have been in my care and I’m still in touch with a lot of them,” she said.
From early on Jenny knew she wanted to help less fortunate children.
She said having brothers and uncles as police officers in different areas opened her eyes to the very real need for help.
“I saw a need there at times and a necessity for children to be cared for,”Jenny explained.
“I always knew that once my children grew up and left home, that as long as they were healthy and independent, I would help in this way.”
Jenny was adamant there is truth in the saying that it takes a whole village to raise a child.
“Everyone has a part to play,” she said.
“And you don’t have to give birth to someone to be a mum.
“When your children’s friends come over you’re being an active, caring mum to them.
“A mum is a mum, is a mum.”
And there’s nothing that brings a smile to this mum’s face more than laughter.
“I love watching and listening to my children laugh,” she said.
“If it’s a genuine laugh you can tell, and at that moment, knowing they are just happy is the best feeling.”
Jenny’s eldest child, Carlie Sutherland, said her mother was the true definition of the “matriarch” of her large family.
“She is a woman that is full of so much wisdom and courage,” the proud daughter said.
“Mum has held us all together, she’s always there for us. There’s nothing more important to her than her family.
“She is such a selfless human.”
Carlie said she was still unsure how her mother managed to find time for herself with all the people she has cared for.
“Mum’s an avid reader, she loves to read and she has an amazing vegetable garden,” Carlie said.
“I don’t know where she gets the time to do any of that though because she is always busy looking after kids or the grand kids or even helping me out at the shop.
“She keeps very busy, she’s not one to sit still, she’s always been a goer.”
Carlie said one of her favourite memories growing up with her mother was the girls shopping days the pair spent together when she was a young teenager.
“We grew up in Victoria and I just remember those days and we would always stop and get a toasted cheese sandwich on rye-bread.
“We still talk about those memories to this day.”