Celebrity Families

Jessica Rowe's hilariously relatable parenting confession

Every parent will be able to relate to this!

By Rebecca Sullivan
On paper, Jessica Rowe might look like she's got it all together, with her glamorous designer frocks, lucrative TV gigs and a doting husband.
But the 49-year-old says she is just like any other mother of teenagers, and is a constant source of embarrassment to her two daughters, Allegra, 13, and Giselle, 10.
"They're always saying, 'Mum can you walk behind me? Do you really have to chat to me about things? I'm OK!'," Jessica told Now To Love.
"It's that whole next new phase. I still learn all the time. What I'm discovering, even though your kids might push back against you and act like they don't need you, they actually need you more than ever," she said.
Jess pictured with her daughters Allegra (left) and Giselle (right). Image: Instagram
The whole family posing together for a group selfie on a joint holiday. Image: Instagram
Jess's daughter has even saved her mum as "Embarrassing" in her phone! Image: Instagram
Two years ago, in 2018, Jessica decided to quit her full time TV hosting role on Studio 10, in order to spend more time with her children, as well as her husband, Channel Nine news presenter Peter Overton.
It was a risky move that Jessica says has well and truly paid off.
"It's great. I feel lighter. I'm just happier. It's not like suddenly everything is amazing, but I know I feel lighter and happier and I can be better at all the different things I can do," she said.
"I'm loving that I'm able to be here early in the mornings, so I can pick up my youngest from school in the afternoon," she added, acknowledging that her decision to give up full time work was a privilege not all women can afford.
"I do know how lucky I am and no decision is ever easy or straightforward. I was lucky that I had a choice, and for many people it's not as simple as that.
"I realised, 'I have a choice here and if I don't make this choice now, I will be doing myself and my family a disservice'. Sometimes we have to leap into the unknown."
Peter Overton and Jessica Rowe with their eldest daughter, 13-year-old Allegra. Image: Instagram
Jess and Allegra pictured at her school graduation. Image: Instagram
Now, after decades of working for (usually male) TV bosses, Jessica works for herself, picking and choosing what projects suit her schedule and her mood.
In 2019, she starred on Channel Seven's The Real Dirty Dancing, and published her bestselling book, Diary of a Crap Housewife, a hard copy extension of hilariously ordinary cooking efforts, which Jess regularly shares with her 133,000 Instagram followers.
"I can pick and choose things that resonate with me, that I want to do, that work around my family."
WATCH BELOW: Jessica Rowe talks about her decision to leave Studio 10 live on air. Story continues after video.
The self-described "crazy cat lady" also appeared on the new season of Celebrity Mastermind this week, hosted by Jennifer Byrne, and there are no prizes for guessing which topic Jess picked as her "special subject".
"I chose cats ... and that was so much fun," she said. "I loved doing that. I even think I'd love to write a kids book about cats, being a crazy cat lady."
The death of her family cat Alfie last year- Jess says he "went to the rainbow bridge" - has motivated her to create a book in his memory.
"He had an amazing life so I'd like to write something about him," she said.
Jess is a self-described "crazy cat lady". Image: Instagram
Jess and her youngest daughter Giselle enjoying an ice cream together. Image: Instagram
Jess has won over legions of fans thanks to her brutal honesty about her regular cooking fails, which she often shares with fans on Instagram.
What started out as a tongue-in-cheek attempt at sharing her kitchen disaster stories, has turned into a movement helping many women feel better about their lack of cooking prowess.
And it's also turned into a lucrative side hustle for Jessica, who has curated her #craphousewife hashtag into an Instagram moneymaker, landing her sponsored content deals with brands including Coles, Maggi and now Meat & Livestock Australia.
Jess's loyal Instagram fans will know her weeknight dinner staples usually include chicken schnitzel, steak, sausages and mince.
"Sausages are on quite a regular rotation in our house. My kids love snags," she said.
"I can do mince many different ways. I'll do bolognese, tacos, shepherd's pie in the winter. And I love chicken schnitzels, but I like to do the crumb with panko breadcrumbs myself. Kebabs are so good and easy and you know your kids are going to eat them."
Steak night in the Rowe-Overton household. Image: Instagram
Mince makes the perfect base for make-your-own tacos. Image: Instagram
And she's learnt how to master the lamb roast! Image: Instagram
Now, after touring the country and meeting loads of local butchers as part of Meat & Livestock Australia's Greatest Butcher on Your Block Campaign, Jess says she has been able to up her cooking game and try her hand at some more advanced meals.
"I was never confident cooking steak and I would just burn things. I didn't know what to do. Now I know, depending on the thickness and type of steak, you cook it for this long on this side and then you rest it," she said.
"And I'd never really cooked a lamb roast before, because I thought I was too hard, then there were these beautifully prepared legs of lamb at my local butcher. You roast some veggies and you have this beautiful meal for your family."
If Jess can do it, then so can we!