Radio one DJ Sara Cox is mum to Lola, seven, Isaac, three and Renee, one. She talked to Parentdish about keeping the peace between three children, juggling work and family life and why she's quite frankly, completely knackered...
With three young children and a day job, how do you juggle home life and work?
Day-to-day our life is complete and utter chaos, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's brilliantly busy and we're always on the go. Our routine changes every day as I'm freelance with work at the moment, so we have a part-time nanny to help, and Ben, my partner and Isaac and Renee's dad, is usually around too.
There's a couple of years between Lola, Isaac and Renee, do they get on?
Most of the time, yes. They play nicely together and all love each other, but we do have some moments. We've actually just let Lola have a lock on her bedroom door which she uses when she's off to school as Isaac was in there playing with all her stuff, which she hated. It's a little bolt on the front of the door that the little ones can't reach so she knows they won't move anything while she's out. It seems to be keeping the peace and she likes having that little bit of control.
Does Lola like school?
Oh, she loves it! She has great friends and really enjoys it. Mornings can be tricky, getting everything sorted to get her out the door though. She has no sense of time, so I can leave her to get ready, dash off to get Isaac and Renee sorted, come back and she's still just pottering and playing, thinking I've been gone for just a second. The other day I found her as we were meant to leaving for school, sat in her wardrobe in her knickers!
Mornings are pretty stressful then?
It's utter chaos organising them all, and getting Lola to school and Isaac to nursery. I always, without fail, end up shouting at some point. I'm like a temperature gauge going up as the morning goes on. It's like, 'watch out kids, mummy's in red zone!'
You worked right up until a few days before having Renee, was it difficult?
Well, to be honest as I was on the radio I just sat there, chatted and ate biscuits, so it was fine, and very easy to do when pregnant!
There were some very beautiful pictures of you leaving hospital with Renee - what was it like facing the cameras just two days after her birth?
They just turned up and I really didn't know they would be there, but it was fine. I'm not exactly Madonna so it would have been a bit dramatic to creep out and zoom off in a blacked out car! The paps were very respectful, which I appreciated, but it was weird as when you first give birth, everyone whispers to you and the first few days are very quiet. Then I stepped outside and the paps were shouting over to me, 'over here Sara' 'to your left!' which was a bit of a shock at first.
What's your favourite thing about being a mum?
The cuddles in the morning, when we all get into bed and just snuggle up. Of course it quickly descends into complete chaos within minutes, but I just love it. They all have their own funny things about them too. Lola is a chatterbox, and will literally just talk, non-stop, the second she wakes up. Isaac is a music man and dances away when the radio is on, alongside Renee who starts to wiggle her shoulder in her highchair when a beat starts up on the stereo. She's a confident little one too, sitting there looking like she rules the room.
What do you find the most difficult?
The tiredness. If I'm at work, I'm knackered, if I'm at home all day, I'm knackered, but if I do a half day at work and a half day at home, the tiredness is off the scale. It's just non-stop. The minute I get home I pick up a potato peeler and start dinner, usually with all three of them hanging off me!
You once said you'd never get married again, any change of heart?
It would be nice one day, but I'm in no rush, and I don't think we need it to prove anything. We have a happy home and happy children who are settled, so I think we're all set.
And finally, two girls and one boy, are you going to try for another boy to give Isaac a bit of back-up?
No, absolutely not. My family is complete and we're very happy with it. We actually had decided Renee was going to be our last, so it was lovely to enjoy my pregnancy with her, knowing I wouldn't ever be doing it again!
Sara Cox is launching the Dairylea Campaign for Simple Fun to encourage parents to bring to life simple pleasures for their kids today. To find out more visit www.facebook.com/dairylea.