Farewell 2016 – you were certainly eventful.
News agenda aside, my family made the heartbreaking decision to move away from an area I have grown to love over the past 10 years. The simple reason? We were out-priced. With a growing brood, getting a property in my beloved Teddington with an extra bedroom was just too expensive so we moved from a leafy corner of south-west London to a leafy corner of Surrey. Not much of a hardship I know in the grand scheme of things but, in the summer, it made a very pregnant and hormonal me very sad!
Anyway, three weeks after the move, my son arrived. He’s a gorgeous boy – as any mother would say of their child – but really, he is. His two big sisters adore him and he’s slotted into our family exceptionally well.
But three kids… deep breath… There are many jokes out there about being “outnumbered” by your children, mostly thanks to the TV sitcom of that name, but I have to say, for the first couple of months, going from two to three was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. That sounds dramatic but I can tell you that for me it has been harder than editing a news report up to the wire, harder than keeping calm and poised while a live news bulletin is going tits-up, harder than any exam I’ve ever done, and harder than seeing my husband almost die (that’s another story but all ok now thankfully!)
So that brings me onto my new job. I’m currently on maternity leave from ITV News so my “job” is as a stay-at-home Mum. The hours are appalling (24/7), there is no pay and it’s hard work (see above paragraph…rather than above photo!). However, I hang onto the fact that I’m unlikely to say in years to come: “I wish I’d spent more time at work and less time with my kids.” If I get the time (that precious commodity) I will write more about some of the everyday amusements and challenges I have found in my new status as a mum-of-three and also about fitting into a new neighbourhood.
So here we are at the start of 2017. A new year is always a time to reflect on the one that has passed, hence these musings. I have little idea what the new year will bring. No doubt there will be new challenges but I do intend to return to your screens in the summer, if not before. In the meantime, I have compiled some clips from recent times at ITV News… put together in a mild panic before starting maternity leave. As ever, you have to keep on your toes in broadcast journalism, but luckily my three little cherubs are keeping me well practiced while I’m off.