As Billie Faiers launches her latest babywear collection for George at Asda, the TV star and mother of two chats to Mother&Baby about routines, the big mum-juggle and why she loves being pregnant.
Billie, you and your sister Sam are so relatable on the show. Is it important for you to keep it real?
Sam and I are all or nothing, it’s the only way the show works. People love to watch how we’re doing the everyday, real stuff. By sharing even something quite boring like the bedtime routine, mums can see how we’re handling those tricky, every day mum situations. Sometimes you just need to know that it’s not just your child that’s screaming and shouting over not having the iPad!
It’s definitely like we’re all getting to swap notes when we’re watching. So how’s the family digital detox going? We’re inspired
It got to the point where I’d look around and Greg would be on his phone, I’d be on mine and Nelly would be sitting with the iPad and I thought, this is too much. So during the week, Monday to Friday, I hide them. Nelly started coming home from school and rather than wanting to do her homework, play, read or chat with me, she’d want her iPad instead. It became habit. So during the week, it’s out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes when I’ve got dinners to put on and washing to put away, it’s easy to say yes, just for half an hour. But that half an hour turns into two hours. Everything is fine in moderation.
You’ve said you’d like to have another baby when the time’s right. What are you most looking forward to about being pregnant?
I really enjoyed both of my pregnancies, it’s just all the excitement that a new baby is coming. Being pregnant is great but I always feel quite nervous too. At every scan I couldn’t help being a bit apprehensive. I think it’s because we know and read so much about all of the things that can go wrong, it makes you feel more nervous. There’s so much information out there, you almost don’t want to know. But I love being pregnant, I was really lucky that I had really good pregnancies and nothing happened to majorly scare me.
Tell us the one piece of parenting advice you’ve been given that’s really stood out?
It’s normal to ask for advice and take a little bit on board but I think as a mum you should just do it your own way. Don’t care about what anyone else says or what people are telling you to do. If you’re doing something and it’s working for your family, your baby, you, and you’re all happy, then don’t change it. Especially when they’re really small and people comment on things like whether you should or shouldn’t pick them up, or cuddle them too much. Your baby is six weeks old, cuddle them! Just do what you want to do, figure it out yourself, take onboard the pieces of advice you want to but most importantly, go with your gut instinct. A mother’s intuition is always right.
So have you ever experienced mum-shaming, Billie?
Honestly, the good comments outweigh the bad. I definitely get more positive than negative but there can be the silly little things. Like, Arthur still has a bottle when he goes to bed, he’s two and a half and I’m pretty sure that mums will be thinking he needs to get rid of that bottle. I just think if that’s his little comfort to go to bed and it’s not hurting anyone, then who actually cares?
It’s your fourth collection with George and you’re running your own business, plus there’s the TV work… How are you juggling it all?
I do have to be really organised! Luckily, I’m quite an organised person but there are the days when I’ve got about five baskets of washing that need to be put away and the jobs indoors are just never-ending. That can stress me out! I get to the point when I feel I need an indoors day to just get on top of it all. And I’m forever forward planning, it’s all just a juggling act. While I’m as organised as I can be, there are the days when it just all goes out of the window. If I know I’m going to be working or coming home late I’ll do little things like meal prep so the kids have got their dinner. I’ll do all my food shopping online, anything to just make life a bit easier.
The Christmas pyjamas are so cute. What does your perfect family Christmas look like?
I love having a big, traditional family Christmas. We wake up at home, do all the presents, have tea and biscuits and there’s always a bacon bagel Christmas morning. We have a big family Christmas dinner. Our Christmas is never pyjamas on, watching films on the sofa, it all turns into a big massive party after dinner with dancing, singing and prosecco. Boxing day someone usually does a party or we’ll have a chilled one, but there’s always stuff going on.
There’s heaps of lovely knitwear in the collection. What do you love most about winter?
You can’t beat putting on a jumper, jeans, boots and just wrapping up. When it’s not raining it’s so nice to be out in the cold, fresh air. I love winter fashion, all of the coats, boots and all the cosy.
Last season we saw you a bit stressed out in the run up to the wedding. What do you do to unwind?
I’ll have a nice shower, get into my pyjamas and do a mini facial with my sonic face brush. I wear make-up a lot for filming so that just makes me feel better. Then I’ll get into bed with tea and biscuits, sit with my laptop and browse the net or watch a programme before having an early night. Being at home is my ultimate way to relax.
Mums are pros at mornings! What’s the first thing you do when you get up?
Have a cup of tea! I’ll go downstairs with the kids, have breakfast and then I usually jump in the shower and get ready while the kids are having their breakfast with Greg. Then Greg brings them up and we swap, I’ll get them ready while he showers. We’ve got a really good routine in the mornings. Monday to Friday we have to have a really strict routine because we’ve all got to be out of the house by 8:15am for the school run.
What’s your ultimate time-saving parenting tip…
When I cook a roast dinner on a Sunday, I’ll do enough so that I can chop up what’s left over the next day, add more gravy and make another meal out of it. The kids absolutely love it! So when you’re doing a big dinner, double everything so there’s extras for the kids to eat throughout the week!
What would you go back and tell your pre-mum self?
Not to be so nervous. When I first had Nelly I was always worrying and speculating. I’d wake up throughout the night to check that she was still breathing. I was so nervous as a new mum, if there was a dot on her, I would panic and be straight on Google.
Please tell us you have those days when mum life takes over and it’s impossible to get anything else done…
Yes! I really struggle with those days because work is work and I do need to get things done but what I try and do is not let it take over. I’ll try really hard to change my mindset and I think, just chill out, it will get done later. The other night I was literally folding and putting washing away at 11 o’clock at night because I didn’t have a chance to do it while the kids were up and I’d been working all day. I knew Greg would be asking where his pants were in the morning! At that moment, staying up that extra half an hour with a cup of tea, to get it done, made me feel better. But I’m trying not to let the little things stress me out so much… It’s just a bit of washing!
Billie’s 5 key buys
1) Blue Bunny Knitted Dungaree, £15
“Just so lovely with the bunny peeping out – they can stash all their snacks in the pocket!”
Billie by Billie Faiers AW19 Babywear Collection will be available on George.com from 27th September in sizes 0-4 years, with prices ranging from £5 to £17. The Christmas line will follow, dropping in mid-November.
Written by Lucy Felton