New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is going to be a mom! On Friday, January 19, the leader of the Pacific island nation made her official pregnancy announcement, sharing that she and her partner Clarke Gayford are expecting their first child.
The PM -- who has been serving in the leadership role since late October -- also took to Twitter to share the happy news, writing, "We thought 2017 was a big year! This year we’ll join the many parents who wear two hats. I’ll be PM & a mum while Clarke will be 'first man of fishing' & stay at home dad. There will be lots of questions (I can assure you we have a plan all ready to go!) but for now bring on 2018."
NBC News reports that Ardern will take only six weeks of maternity leave before returning to work. That's just a fraction of the 22 weeks of paid leave that most parents in New Zealand are entitled to.
Meanwhile, the response to the PM's news has been downright exuberant. "It's really inspiring ... having our prime minister lead by example is a great sign of how far we've come in women's industrial rights in New Zealand," Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff said. And former PM Helen Clark wished Ardern and Gayford "all the best," remarking, "Every woman should have the choice of combining family and career."
The politician has had to face eyeroll-inducing questions, as well. Ardern, who found out she was pregnant just six days before she became prime minister, was asked how she juggled morning sickness and pulling together a government. Her response: "It's just what ladies do. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby. I know these are special circumstances, but there are many women who have done it well before I have." Cheers to that!
Congrats to Prime Minister Ardern and Clarke Gayford on their growing family!