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NSM Inspiring Mum: ‘Despite everything, she beams at you with a smile every time’

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Charissa Lam from Castle Cove tells us about her fabulous cousin and friend Elaine Lee from West Pymble, with her entry to the North Shore Mums Mother’s Day Competition to find the North Shore’s most inspiring mum of 2016!

Elaine has had a tough start to 2016. Her 5-year-old daughter started Kindergarten but with her propensity to be anxious, they were having sessions with a child psychologist by the time Term 1 finished. It had been a long term dealing with tears and anxiety, day in, day out.

Elaine with her husband, daughter (5) and son (3).

Elaine with her husband, daughter (5) and son (3).

Her 3-year-old son, Toby, was due to start preschool but had an operation to remove his tonsils – which had been rescheduled from the end of 2015 due to illness. His slow recovery from the procedure on top of her daughter’s uneasy transition into primary school has made it a stressful, sleepless and mentally exhausting time for Elaine.

Half way through term, her entire family fell victim to the gastro-bug going around – she wasn’t just cleaning bedsheets and clothes but extraordinarily salvaged and cleaned the workbag her husband brought home filled with the vomit he couldn’t hold back on a train trip home. I would have thrown it away but I call this resourceful!

And yet despite all this happening in the background, she beams at you with a smile every time you see her and she never loses her inner child and ability to laugh or make you laugh. She’s committed to running a weekly music playgroup at our church for the local community as a leader. And she opens her home to family and friends for nerf gun wars and home-cooked meals.

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Elaine keeps smiling despite the challenges thrown at her!

We’ve been the recipient of delicious shepherd’s pie or chicken noodle soup on countless occasions – weeknights, weekends – you are so well fed as a guest at the Lee’s. She extends her hospitality to the local church too, cooking a delicious warm lunch for 70+ people to enjoy after Sunday service. If she come to our house for dinner, she never comes empty handed but contributes to the meal. The perfect hostess, the perfect guest.

Elaine is incredibly generous too – I can’t list everything she’s done for many North Shore Mums but here are just some examples: she’s given away her children’s clothing to families in need, she’s shouted us entry to Taronga Zoo, and with her handmade card-making hobby, this year she created Mother’s Day cards with the aim to give away any profits to charity, donating her time and labour into a cause which helps others.

My son doesn’t warm up to people quickly, but Elaine was naturally one that he gravitated to and allowed her to babysit him without tears even before his grandparents could unlock that achievement!

I can’t repay her for everything she has done for my family and all those who are fortunately enough to know them, but hopefully this little acknowledgment will give her a wonderful start to Term 2 of 2016 and uplift her from all the things going on in her life in the first quarter.

Do you know an inspiring North Shore Mum? Enter them into our Mother’s Day competition and they could win a $1000 farmstay at Mowbray Park Farmstay, and you could win a 2-hour pamper at Omorfia Day Spa in Lindfield! There are fabulous runner up prizes too. More details.

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