TV's Angela Griffin is gearing up for the summer holidays with her daughters Tallulah, eight, and Melissa, five. She tells us how she copes working away from home (and how her husband, actor Jason Milligan, copes being a house dad at the mo), and why she's the most competitive mum at sports day...
The long school holiday is around the corner, what have you got going on?
If the last month is anything to go by, it will be hectic! Both the girls have birthdays in June so we've had parties, presents and all sorts going on.
Sports day is next on the list, and it's Olympic themed, so bound to be even more competitive this year!
Do you get involved in the parents' race?
I certainly have in the past, but last year there sadly wasn't one. I am hugely competitive though, maybe that's why it's not happening any more?!
What about your summer holiday?
We're going to be spending it in the UK. We've just spent a weekend at the new Wave Hotel & Apartments at Butlins which the girls - and Jason and I, let's be honest! - loved.
I have such good memories of going to Butlins when I was a kid, but the new hotel is just ace.
Everything is cruise ship themed and it has high tech gadgets and games for all ages. Tallulah and Melissa were so pooped on the way home, desperately trying to keep their eyes open after such a blast of a weekend. We're planning a break later in the summer with extended family too as there was so much to do.
Your girls are quite close in age, do they get on?
I would say they're normal - anyone who says their kids get on brilliantly all the time is lying! They have fun but they certainly have their moments. I reckon they are going to hate each other when they are teens and be best friends when they're adults.
You've just filmed the second series of Emergency with Angela Griffin where you follow paramedics working around the country, how long do you spend away from your family?
It's up and down the country, and we filmed over a six month period. The most I did was three days away, and then home for the rest of the week, usually over the weekend.
How do you cope with that?
To be honest, I have gotten used to it. I have always gone out to work since having a family. Ever since my youngest was five months old, I've been the breadwinner and my husband Jason has been at home. We're very fortunate we can have one of us working and one of us at home full time. As I worked solidly filming earlier in the year I now have the whole summer based at home, which is something I really cherish. That and regular Skype chats get us through!
The show must be incredibly draining, especially when the crews treat children. How do you switch off?
I try and separate it as work, and when I'm not there not think about it. I think if we filmed in London near home it would feel a lot closer, but I shut out the draining things I see as being far away from my life at home.
Angela and Tallulah hit the red carpet. Pic: PA
What's your favourite thing about being a mum?
There are so many things that can drive you mad with young children, but just hanging out with them and Jason is such good fun. Watching them grow up and change is amazing. I loved having babies but now they have their own personalities we have such a giggle together. A five-year-old making you belly laugh is a wonderful thing!
You were pregnant with your first baby nine months after meeting your husband, was it a conscious decision to start a family early on?
No, not really. Obviously we were well aware that there's only one way to make a baby, but no, not a conscious decision for either of us! I did want to give Tallulah a sibling quite close in age though, although we managed to get married in between having them!
Two gorgeous little girls, tempted to try for a boy?
I would love another baby, but at the moment it's just not for us. Me working and Jason at home is tough enough, and there's already so much pressure, as any parent knows. Throw a baby into the mix and the pressure multiplies. When you have your first you really have no clue what you're letting yourself in for, the second is planned but you really have to think number three through. We have two fantastic, healthy children, so I think we're doing just fine.
To book a break at Butlins Wave Hotel & Apartments, visit Butlins.com/wave.
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