I've always been quite an organised type of person, through necessity I grew up firmly independent and self sufficient. That is mainly due to my parents running their own hotel, working every hour God sends and us kids having to fend for ourselves quite a lot of the time, as well as working in the family business from a pretty young age. The work ethic I witnessed in my parents and the rest of my family has definitely rubbed off on me. If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything and don't expect anything for nothing. I see it as a very healthy outlook, it can be exhausting at times but equally rewarding. By the time I was 16 I was juggling school and exams, working at the hotel, helping to look after my little brother, an occasional boyfriend and being in a band at school.
Becoming a mum, especially a working mum, has raised the stakes in this side of my personality ten fold. Especially with a husband in a band, it's pretty hard to factor him in to the equation on a regular basis as his time is spent away touring, in rehearsals or recording. It's a treat when we have him home, but when he is he's the most brilliant dad/husband and friend. We are currently looking for a new nanny, as I'm about to start a new job, which means that we need to find someone to live-in as I will be leaving the house at the crack of dawn. It's a first for us and will be a big change for us as a family. We are devastated to lose our current nanny, who has been with us since my youngest, Spike, now 3, was born. She's part of of the team and that's how we like to run things. I don't have a PA, I have a great agent, publicist, family and friends and they all factor into making life easier.
If I can do it myself, I will. That could relate to the school run, cooking dinner, story time, bath time, after school clubs, play dates, parties, swimming lessons. But when I can't then one of the team will pick up the responsibility. If i'm not around one day then I'll most normally have made dinner in advance so that I feel better about it myself that i've cooked the food that will feed them. Writing it down does make it sound a little dramatic, but we all have ways to help ourselves deal with the self appointed guilt that comes with being a working mum, anything that can make us feel that little bit better about it is a good thing.
Life is a huge juggling act really and I can't be one of those mums, and I don't mean it in any derogatory manor, but I'm not one to get someone else to do everything for me, which means that the structure of our lives and childcare is maybe more flexible and erratic than others. But I want to spend as much time with my kids as I can, but I also want to work as I absolutely love what I do and it then allows me to do things with the kids that otherwise, I wouldn't be able to do. I have the most amazing parents and in-laws, we really would be lost without them, always around at the drop of a hat to help out in anyway they can. In fact I am blessed with a wonderful group of friends and family who have and always are super supportive.
I have a calendar on my computer/phone/iPad that is colour-coded and has EVERYTHING on it. A different colour for Tom, the kids, work, holiday, birthdays, gigs, home stuff. It looks like some kind of air control centre spreadsheet, anyone else looking at it might get a migraine but one glance and I know what's going on. We also have an old school A4 year diary in the kitchen that stuff is written in, messages, shopping, play dates etc. It was Helen, our nannies idea and such a brilliant idea for everyone to know what is going on that week or the next.
I'm a bit scared about this new job hosting the breakfast show on new Virgin Radio, it's going to mean I won't be around for school drop in the morning but that is slam dunked by the excitement I have about the opportunity and new adventure. We talk very honestly to the kids about everything, I think that helps them deal with change and they've been part of this crazy world from the start. Rudy was with me when I was hosting the coverage of Glastonbury when he was two weeks old, just after I'd had a C-Section. Spike regularly comes with me to voice over sessions, just so he can sing Thunderstruck by ACDC into the microphone. Showing them what we do, encouraging them to be part of it and involved in the decision making helps I think too.
I love being a mum to my two boys, I love what I do and never want to stop being and doing both so as long as I can be as organised as I am now then long may it continue.
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