Five minutes with… Meghan Rainsberry, CNC Communications Manager and mother-to-be

CNC’s Communications Manager Meghan is getting ready to be a mum for the first time. In this Mother’s Day edition of ‘Five minutes with…’, Meghan tells us about what’s she’s learned about family life from the study.


What do you do at CLS?

I’m the Communications Manager for the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS). A big part of my role is to oversee the materials we send to our study members, including the booklets we send you every year, the study website, and the study’s Facebook and Twitter.

I also spend a lot of my time working with policymakers, the media and others to make sure that the findings from CNC reach people who can use them to make a difference in the lives of young people.


How long have you been at CLS?

I’ve worked here for 6 years – it’s been so long, it will be strange to leave this place while on maternity leave!


What have you learned from Child of the New Century about being a mum?

A lot! I feel like I’ve got advice for every step of the way, from breastfeeding, to the importance of having a regular bedtime, to why being a working mum is just fine for children.


What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working with some researchers who are using CNC to study young people’s mental health. It’s been really interesting to learn how a mother’s mental wellbeing is related to her children’s. When the research is finished, I hope we’ll be able to send the message that support for mums is support for their children as well.


What do you do with the information given by study members?

I work with the researchers who are analysing the information. My job is to pull out all the important messages and pass that learning on to the people who need it most. This could be parents, politicians, teachers, government workers or organisations providing services to young people.


What is the top of your to do list?

My top priority at work is to write the next booklet we’ll be sending you this summer. My top priority at home is to get our nursery set up!


What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned since you started working on the study?

Just how resilient young people and their families can be – lots of people face hardships at some point in their lives, but CNC has shown that young people have a lot of inner strength, and the support they get from their families, friends and schools can really make a difference.

It’s also been amazing to learn the impact that mothers have on their children’s lives. This is something you always assume, but the findings from CNC prove it time and again.


What is your favourite part of your job?

I learn something new every day.


What is your favourite question that has been asked on the Child of the New Century study? And how would you answer it?

When the CNC study members were aged 7, we asked them what they would like to be when they grew up. It’s a simple but fascinating question. Some children said they wanted to be like their mums, some said they wanted to be footballers – and some even wanted to be unicorns! I can identify with that – when I was little I definitely wanted to be a magical creature.

I hope that my baby will grow up to have such diverse interests as the children of the new century.


What is your favourite TV show?

It’s got to be The Wire. But I’m guessing that when the baby comes, I might be changing my answer to Peppa Pig or something similar!


Where is your favourite place to be?

Home with my (growing) family.