Ask most women who their biggest mum-crush is, and you’ll find they answer with the name of my interviewee today. Yep, broadcaster and journalist Cherry Healey just seems to be one of those mums we all want to be. “She’s so cool and has a gorgeous little girl. Oh and she has nice hair,” said one mum I quizzed about it.
Cherry Healey is mum to three-year-old Coco and famously gave birth on camera, while filming a BBC3 documentary in 2009. “When I was in labour, I freaked out and had to send the film crew out of the room for a few minutes,” she has said about the experience. “I’d had so much gas and air that I didn’t know where I was and wanted to be alone with Roly. But I did allow them back in again and I never regretted the experience afterwards.”
I chatted to Cherry to get her tips on surviving motherhood with a smile. Oh, and she gives a stellar tip to managing mum-guilt…
Describe your life, before you had your daughter, in three words.
“Insecure, spontaneous, fun.”
Describe your life as a mum in three words.
“Surprising, logistics, fun.”
What was the thing that surprised you the most about being a mum?
“That I was able to wear leather trousers without anyone blinking an eyelid. What’s been the biggest challenge? One of them has been accepting that lots of my disposable income is spent on childcare – the UK has got to address the ridiculous costs. I wonder how many women would love to go back to work but just can’t justify the cost.”
What’s been the high point of motherhood so far?
“When I was pregnant I just didn’t really bond with the bump – it was too surreal. Even so, I really tried! But the minute she was handed to me, all the mechanics kicked in and I was one smitten kitten.”
And the lowest point?! (Mine was probably being in the loos of a posh Tunbridge Wells cafe with my two month old who’d ‘exploded’ in her nappy, and realising I didn’t have a change of clothes for her. I cried…)
“Oh wow I can really relate to that! Mine is 100% text book! It involves a rainy day, a busy supermarket car park, a baby that’s just been sick over the car seat (WHY are they SO hard to wash?) and a buggy that just wont [insert expletive] fold. Funtimes.”
What are your top five tips for surviving motherhood with a smile?
1. “Make friends with logistics.”
2. “Don’t worry about sending direct emails (time at the computer is something I really struggle with.)”
3. “Buy some amazing face cream (my fav is Sarah Chapman overnight facial. It has saved me from so many sleepless nights.)”
4. “Delegate like a badass.”
5. “Do supermarket shopping online. Bonza.”
What are your favourite things to do on a wet Sunday?
“What I’m doing right now – watching a movie in bed with my daughter!”
What’s your ‘put this on and I can achieve anything’ outfit?
“Black spandex leggings, fresh white shirt, huge chunky necklace (the ones from Helen Spencer are amazing) and black ankle boots. It feels sexy and smart but I can also run for a bus if I need to!”
What’s the key to us working mums getting a balance – and ditching the guilt we feel?
“I use quite a silly method – I use my iCloud calendar as a way of checking the balance! Work appointments are in blue and time with Coco is in green. My work is so sporadic (sometimes full days away, sometimes a few hours for a meeting, or even just an hour for a phone call) that it’s easy to lose track of the work/parenting balance. This helps me to be honest with myself about how much time I’m spending with her.”
It’s Christmas soon – what’s on your wishlist?
“So many things! A new pair of trainers, a Chanel powder compact and a better cheese grater!”
What’s on your daughter’s Christmas wishlist?
“A dog that jumps and a train that goes by itself!”
What’s your favourite family Christmas tradition?
“Decorating the tree to bad 80s Christmas tunes. Best ever.”
Thanks Cherry! Merry Christmas from Not Another Mummy Blog xx
Pictures: Cherry Healey