New mum Jacinda Ardern has used a homemade Facebook video to flag her return to work as New Zealand’s prime minister.
“After weeks of being away, my leave from parliament is starting to draw to a close, so we’re roughly a week out of being officially on deck,” the PM said.
Titled A Quick Hello Before We Come Back!, the video was Ms Ardern’s second social media post since she and her TV host partner Clarke Gayford welcomed daughter Neve on June 21.
The PM, who stopped working four days before becoming a mother, made history as the first elected world leader to take maternity leave and the second to give birth in office.
The intimate almost-eight minute video shows Ms Ardern, in a striped Breton top with no makeup, rocking Neve’s crib with her foot as she does government work and discusses her plan to take back the reins.
“I’m multitasking, like every single parent I’ve ever met,” she said, with the camera panning down to show the briefcase of government papers she was reading.
“Just doing a little bit of rocking here as I read papers. This is the biggest workout I’ve had in weeks, sitting here flexing my toes.”
At one point, five-week old Neve gives a squeak and her famous mother quickly looks down.
A quick hello as we get ready to come back!
Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Saturday, July 28, 2018
Ms Ardern used the video to have a gentle dig at own parental naivety. Before she gave birth, she said she hoped to have her baby in a full routine when she returned to paid work, leaving Mr Gayford as full-time father.
“We’re all doing really well still, we have absolutely no routine to speak of,” she said, beaming.
“I can hear a chorus of parents laughing at the suggestion that you would ever have a routine with a five-week old baby but we’re doing really well nonetheless.”
While Ms Ardern, 38, kept her return date vague, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said on Monday she will resume her duties “at midnight on Wednesday”, when he leaves the country.
She will return to Wellington from Auckland next week.
Ms Ardern, who turned 38 on July 26, outlined her plans for what “the week will look like when I return”.
She said she will be spending time on things that are “important” to her, including mental health, environmental issues and trade-related matters.
“I’ll touch base with everyone again … about what life will look like. Obviously it’s going to be a little bit different.”
“Ultimately, though, that first week I am going to be focused on getting straight back into it.
“We’ll be hitting the ground running.”
One of the many special people we have been so grateful for over these past few months, our wonderful midwife Libby. Not only is she incredible at what she does, this morning she made me macaroni and cheese because she heard me mention a wee craving yesterday. Thank you so much for everything Libby!
A post shared by Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) on
Ms Ardern thanked “generous and wonderful Kiwis” for congratulatory wishes and gifts they sent after Neve’s birth, including a handknitted possum wool blanket that was held up for the camera.
Shegave a special shout out to her mother Laurell Ardern: “She spent a couple of weeks with me when I came home with Neve and what a new appreciation you get for mums after you have your own.”
The video sparked a 3829-strong torrent of mostly-positive comments on Facebook from Ms Ardern’s fans.
“Rock a cradle and run a country. Showing women can be mothers and leaders,” said one user.
Added another, “I love how you make it seem like the work you’re doing is nothing more than the rest of the parents in the world do.”
The intimate video was posted on Sunday, two hours after the opposition National Party held its first national conference since Simon Bridges – who, on his own video, is shown drumming with his band in a fairy lights-bedecked room – was elected as leader.
Mr Bridges is seen kissing his wife Natalie (“I fell in love with a leftie”) and playing board games with his three children, in what has been called by some New Zealand media “the battle of the babies”.