TV presenter and property guru Sarah Beeny is mum to Billy, seven, Charlie, six, Rafferty, three, and Laurie, two. We caught up with her to talk life with four boys, getting by on five hours sleep and knocking down walls while six months pregnant...
How's life with a house full of boys?
I am completely outnumbered, and the house is totally trashed. They all get on quite well though which helps, but there's a lot of rough and tumble. The other day Rafferty actually managed to get one of the doors off its hinges! I just let it all pass me by though and try and stay relaxed, otherwise I'd put myself into an early grave. Four boys I can handle, four girls would be a struggle - think how many bathrooms you would need!
What's a typical day like for you?
Full-on. The mornings are the worst, just getting everyone up and dressed and out of the door. I cannot let myself get sidetracked even for a second otherwise the whole thing falls apart, and before I know it one of them is sat naked and playing with LEGO.
Life seems pretty hectic, do you ever stop?
Well, work is much more relaxing than home so I get some time there, but generally I'm not very good at stopping, even for five minutes. Someone once asked me to go to a spa and I looked at them in bewilderment. Why would I want to do nothing for a weekend?!
Not a lot of time for yourself then?
No, not at all really. Yesterday I had been in the bath for two minutes when they all clambered in with me. It sounds awful but occasionally I lock the door and if they knock I say I'm not feeling very well. It works!
Not enough. Five hours normally, and almost every night is broken. Sometimes I catch myself in the mirror and think "oh god, you're looking so old!"
You've filmed lots of property shows while pregnant, and you're always very involved with the work, how do you find that?
People always ask why I film so much when pregnant, but it's so I can take a nice long break afterwards. In lots of shots I just look fat and have boobs like watermelons but I certainly don't mind working when I'm pregnant. I prefer to be hands-on and get stuck in, bump or no bump! I always get asked if I've lost weight and I say, "no, I was probably just massively pregnant last time you saw me".
Families who are doing up houses during pregnancy certainly seem like a theme in your shows...
I think it's a theme generally. Everyone thinks, "let's get the house sorted before the little one arrives, it will only take a few months". It doesn't! I've done it, and it can be incredibly stressful, but everyone gets there in the end...
Do the boys take an interest in your projects, are they budding builders?
They certainly like to get stuck in! They make a lot of things, but as you can imagine not anything that will last as they are so young. We've made each one a bookcase for their rooms which they love. Of course after that comes the painting which they of course adore...
To spend time outside, and get some fresh air. Boys are like dogs, you need to run them hard, sleep them hard and eat them hard! I also love reading with them. Being a mum is an amazing privilege, and you can't ever imagine how wonderful it is before you have children.
What's the worst thing about being a mum?
Feeding them! It's always such a trauma. They're not too fussy, but certainly have their moments. Some days I'll slave over a proper, home-cooked meal, and one of them will decide he doesn't want to eat it - so annoying! I almost wish they could give me a sign each day so I know whether to bother cooking something nice or not! Sometimes I'll let them get away with things, but I always make sure I give them breakfast to set them up for the day. That's why I'm supporting the new Easy Yes campaign from Cheerios, it's all about saying yes and no for the right reasons and at the right time.
Mother's Day is just around the corner, have you got any plans?
Yes, and I'm expecting a lot! But I could put money on ending up in Pizza Hut! I love Mother's Day as it's simple and straightforward and it's lovely day to spend together.
Every year I hear the boys sneaking around and heading out to the garden, and the next thing I know I'm being presented with a bunch of flowers freshly picked with the roots hanging out!
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Finally, you're outnumbered with four boys, any plans to try for a girl?
I would love another but my husband says no chance! I think really our four makes our family complete, plus we'd have to get a bus to transport everyone in! My brother has four boys and a token girl. I feel for her...
Sarah Beeny is supporting the Cheerios Easy Yes campaign to encourage mums to say yes more often for all the right reasons. With the combination of 4 delicious whole grains and 8 vitamins and iron, Cheerios are an Easy Yes. For more information visit Facebook.com/cheeriosuk.
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