Why everyone loves Scomo’s wife
IN his victory speech on Saturday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked his wife of 29 years.
"To the woman I fell in love with in my teens - and it's never let up - and now Australia has fallen in love with her, Jenny Morrison.'
Australia really did fall in love with Jenny Morrison during the election campaign, as she joined the campaign in marginal seats across the country, disarming locals with her easy smile, friendly manner and total lack of artifice. Women, especially, warmed to her.
Down to earth and approachable, former nurse Jenny, 51, has a natural "mum next door" beauty, never wears a lot of makeup and chooses her own no-fuss clothes.
The couple met at Luna Park when they were 12, began dating at 16 and were married at 21. They still hold hands in public and phone and text each other every day if they're apart.
One night during the campaign, when the PM was at Mollie Malone's pub in Devonport for dinner with the locals, he texted Jenny:
"Oh Jen, we're doing musical bingo. You'd probably love to be here doing this".
She quipped back: "I'd actually be good at it".
She says her husband "beats me at everything. You saw him at bowls [bowling the perfect ball first time] the other day. That's just so Scott".
They had to wait 18 years for children. While everyone else in their close-knit group of friends in the Sutherland Shire had become parents, they resigned themselves to remaining childless. Jenny has revealed she suffered from depression at times.
"I was very sad that I couldn't have children. That framed a lot of my life."
Marriages forged in such adversity often become stronger and the couple found shared solace in their strong Christian faith
But, when Jenny was 39, along came the first miracle the PM mentioned in his speech: their daughter Abbey was born "on the seventh of the seventh, 2007", as the PM likes to say. Two years later Lily was born.
Having waited to be a mum such a long time Jenny relishes the role.
"My kids are gorgeous," she says.
"Of course, they miss their dad but that's an all-the-time thing. Yes, it's a bit more at the present but he's away an awful lot anyway."
She has tried to keep life normal since the family moved out of their home in Port Hacking into the prime ministerial residence, Kirribilli House, last September, just a month after dad was installed in the top job.
A good part of her day is spent ferrying the girls back and forth to their old school. But she says the one-hour journey each way is good chatting time, and the girls amuse themselves choosing songs from the Spotify playlists on her phone. Abbey also puts the time to good use by doing her homework in the car.
"They love Kirribilli House but sometimes they do miss things about home," she says.
After Morrison became PM, he and Jenny gently had to explain to the girls that life would not be the same now, even if they stayed in the old house.
Abbey and Lily forgot any misgivings when a new member of the family arrived, Buddy the dog. Smart move, mum and dad!
It's no surprise that Jenny was deployed so frequently in the election campaign. She amplified the PM's image as an authentic suburban family man. Living proof that he was the real deal, she gave voters one more reason to trust him.