If anyone knows a thing or two about bringing up a brood it’s Jools Oliver. We asked her for tips on family life, Christmas and surviving sans sleep
While she’s married to one of the UK’s best-known (and busiest) chefs, Jools Oliver is juggling plenty of plates of her own. A mum of four and successful business woman, it’s fair to say she’s officially a pin-up mama.
We sat down with her for the latest issue of Mother&Baby to get some parenting life lessons.
Nurture their personalities
All my kids – Poppy, 11, Daisy, 10, Petal, four, and Buddy, three – have got their own unique characters. But they still love playing together.
Petal and Poppy play make-believe fairy adventures, Daisy is very thoughtful and loves chatting to me and Buddy is just a typical boy who wants to go outside in all weather and jump off high things.
Create a happy home
I want my kids to have a childhood that I had, filled with lots of happy memories. I had an amazing time growing up and so did Jamie so it’s important to recreate that for our children.
And, of course, you want the simple things in life – that they are all healthy and happy, and have a job that they love.
Struggle through sleepless nights
Buddy is a charming boy and a bit of sunshine in my life. But, he’s getting up a lot in the night at the moment, so it’s a bit like having a newborn again – we’re having the bad sleep that we managed to avoid when he was a baby, so Jamie and I are exhausted!
Plan out Christmas
When the chaos begins, there are usually 20 of us around the table for a big family lunch with lots of dishes that people have brought with them. Later on we play some classic games around the fire until people start to leave and the little ones are tired.
My tip is to make sure you save some time for just you and your partner. When the kids have gone to bed, Jamie and I open the special presents we got each other and watch a good film or some Christmas TV.
For more from Jools, pick up the latest issue of Mother&Baby, out now. Her latest Little Bird range is in Mothercare stores now.