Karl Stefanovic’s wife hit backs at critics in open letter to working mums

There’s no denying Karl Stefanovic’s divorce from his wife Cassandra Thorburn is playing out quite publicly. Thorburn was criticised earlier
Source: YouTube

There’s no denying Karl Stefanovic’s divorce from his wife Cassandra Thorburn is playing out quite publicly.

Thorburn was criticised earlier this week after speaking out on Facebook about the divorce and the ratings battle between her husband’s show Today and rival program Sunrise.

Read more: Karl Stefanovic discusses public split on return to Today show

Now she’s penned an open letter to working mums, hitting back at her critics and talking about her decision to be a stay-at-home mum .

In the letter posted on PopSugar, Thorburn questions why working mums feel like they’re in competition with stay-at-home mums.

“I’m aware you spend your days in a competitive environment,” she writes.

“You’re often surrounded by young co-workers who are a constant reminder that someone is biting at your heels and there are deadlines to meet and pressures at work — and then you race home and your children need you also. It’s never ending. I get it.

“What I don’t get is why, in my experience, you also feel you’re in competition with us, the stay-at-home mums who made a different decision than you. Not a better or worse decision, just the right decision for us and a different one to you.”

Pointing to a recent media headline about her “This is the reason why women should never give up their jobs”, Thorburn questioned why the author felt the need to try and make her feel like she made a bad decision being a stay-at-home mum. 

“I respect all working mums for the decision you made that was right for you,” she writes.

“I only wish there was that same respect returned to stay-at-home mums.

“We made a decision that is different to yours. It doesn’t mean, as I’ve realised some people think, that I’m watching daytime soaps all day.”

She makes the point that like many stay-at-home mums, she helps out in the school canteen and uniform shop.

“Stay-at-home mums support each other,” she writes.

“We don’t lunch every day, if that’s what you think. We are busy, we stay informed, we fulfil the needs of our family.”

Thorburn offered some words of support to fellow stay-at-home mums.

“Next time a working mum rolls her eyes at your stay-at-home status, hold your head high,” she writes.

“Their decision is not superior to ours and there’s no competition as to who made the better choice when it comes to parenting.

“We all make the decision that works for us and I guarantee you I don’t know any unhappy stay-at-home mums.”

Read more: Karl Stefanovic’s wife bares all on social media

She also slammed reports that she wrote the Facebook post earlier this week after drinking a bottle of red wine.

“It’s such a shame that the biggest critics of women seem to be other women. Such a damn shame,” she writes.

“There was no malice intended and I certainly didn’t expect to be picked to pieces for it.

“The media showed no interest in this stay-at-home mum for 11 years, so kicking me now when I’m going through one of the hardest times of mine and my children’s lives seems very cruel indeed.”

And she signs the letter off with a big question – when will judgements from other women stop?

“I hope it’s soon, so my daughter can make her own decision when she has a family and not feel like it’s a competition,” she writes.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful for daughters to make the decision for themselves and not be judged for it?”

What do you think of Cassandra Thorburn’s letter? Do you agree with her comments?

  1. Kathryn Van Sebille  

    Cassandra, I’ve been a stay at home mum for my kids, never gone out to work but found to be secretary for my husbands business. Still do it to this day, 46 yrs it’s been. My children are well adjusted, modern women seem to have to prove the fact they are super women able to do everything regardless if it’s for everyone’s benefit. I believe the children miss out on lots of things, and the parents miss out too on important events in the children’s lives.
    Everyone has to make their own choices, working mums shouldn’t give grief to women who decide to be a stay at home mums. I hope I’ve made sense with my comment.

    • Gaye  

      Kathryn, you are so right, in fact you will always have a close bond with your children, and we should feel so sorry for the kids whose parents work.. Cassandra said.. “Their decision is not superior to ours … and I agree with that in fact, stay at home mums position IS superior to theirs..
      My husband was going to do a PH.d on children dumped into long day care, but it was going to cost us over $62,000 and was not politically correct.. There is much evidence out there to prove that day care does permanent damage to children, and causes them to not be bonded with the mother.. Well for one, they are dumped in their early mornings, after mum has rushed around getting them and her ready for her all important job, then they spend the whole day in the jungle of a pack of other kids with a couple of non caring carers who are constantly changing, they are later picked up, fed and dumped into bed….The best 6 to 8 hrs are spent in the care of strangers who become their mummy and the other kids become their families regardless of how much bullying, and hurt they have their.

  2. Una Slatter  

    I was a stay at home for 40 odd years & proud to be. The only problem was that once my husband retired, because I wasn’t old enough, I had to go & look for a job. Now who’s going to give a 62yr old untrained woman a job, luckily, as long as I did 30hrs a fortnight volunteer work, which I did, Centrelink was happy.

    • Joyce Schubert  

      Never worked in 60 years for pay but volunteered three days a week now some people begrudge me a part pension

  3. jenny Blakeney  

    I believe every woman or man should be a stay at home Mum, I do not trust society enough to bring up my children.
    I was a stay at home Mum and I have 2 wonderful sons who are so successful – I am so proud of both of them and they are also wonderful husbands who care and treasure their wives so very much. I believe my sons are this way due to the fact I put in a lot of time and effort into them and taught them about life and how to treat women and people. They are both high achievers and that is because I once again put the time and effort into them. Stay at home Mums are very important if you want successful children, I would not have liked any body else raising and teaching my sons their viewpoints – not in today’s society.

  4. Jan Hunnt  

    I’m feeling for you Cassandra, don’t know your personal situations with separating from Karl, but if he had been my husband, he wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes…..I don’t watch The Today Show any more and haven’t done for the last 12 months because of your (now separated) husband. His ego is soooo big and I’m sure that’s come through in the marriage. Good luck, now it’s your turn.

  5. Faye Dapiran  

    Many of you on here are doing what Cassandra despaired of – criticizing someone who made a different decision to you. I don’t think she meant to create a forum for those who chose to stay at home against those who didn’t. In fact it’s quite the opposite. I have 2 daughters, one has chosen to go back to work [and they certainly could use the money], and the other so far is a stay at home Mum. I would criticize neither, as both are terrific Mums, love their children, are in happy marriages, but have chosen different paths. So please don’t think you are superior because you went back to work, or because you choose to stay at home with your children. By the way, I was a stay at home Mum until they were all at high school, and then I worked part time.

  6. Narelle Maskell  

    I was a stay at home Mum for our children and grandson whom we are extremely proud of. We didn’t want them in day care etc for someone else to raise and that was our choice. We enjoyed the interaction with other parents and helping out with school activities. It certainly wasn’t a dull and boring time and we have had beautiful rewards from seeing them grow up into wonderful adults. It was never a chore and stay at home mums should never feel guilty as we are also raising children who are the future.

  7. Jan  

    Hi Cassandra, I agree totally. I tried working when my boys were young and I worried so much I had migraines, seriously. I became conveyor of the tuck shop and though it was only a very small wage it worked for me. I went back to full time work when my youngest son started high school

  8. shirley w  

    I agree Cassandra .I was a stay at home mum when the youngest (of 6) went to school I got a job & was able to pick her up from school…to help with the bills I did sewing lol I was the local dressmaker..that was 42yrs ago women went on about the same old s–t even back then . we do what we think is right at the time m

  9. Sharron Hampton  

    Well done for writing such an excellent article. It’s never ceased to amaze me how judgemental women can be of each other whether it be in their choice to be a stay at home mum or a working mum. Every person has the right to choose their path. For some going back to work is a necessity because of financial commitments. For others it’s the fear of having a younger person taking over their role in the workplace and for others they struggle without being academically challenged. That’s fine however our stay at home mums make the decision they do and usually its about being there to see their children grow up, to be able to nurture these little people into valuable members of the community. They have made the choice and in many instances the financial sacrifice to raise the children themselves and in many instances to be fully involved in their children’s school and out of school activities. Passing opinion and undervaluing what each is doing is no different than those stupid people who write defamatory thinks about people on Facebook. WE DON’T ALL HAVE TO BE ALIKE YOU KNOW?

  10. Christine MacDonald  

    Much respect to you and so beautifully said.

  11. Zip  

    I recently left my marriage of 26 years. I was a stay at home mum after having had a career in project management. I raised two children and was in a supporting role to my husbands career which saw the family move internationally and nationally. I am now studying to be a nurse, I love it and while it isn’t easy, I am up for the challenge. I am the primary carer for my now high school aged children. I don’t think I would change a thing about how I got here. When I think about the future I feel excited about the possibilities but I can also find myself fearful so I try not to dwell on the negatives. This really is about self-belief and shaping the life I want for myself. I am sad that my relationship didn’t end with a ‘happy ever after’ and I am very grateful to Cassandra for sharing her story because it is a story of self belief and of a person taking their life in the direction that works for them. She gives us an insight into what is a very difficult process and for that I applaud her courage and generosity.

  12. Pamela  

    I absolutely agree with Cassandra about how hard on each other women are. Live and Let Live Ladies. Not impressed that the article is headed “Karl Stevanovich’s Wife” though! Surely we have progressed beyond labeling her as somebody’s property particularly with what she is living through.

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