TV and radio presenter and lifestyle blogger Katy Hill has daughter Kaya, eight, and son Akira, six, with husband Trey Farley. Her family motto? ‘Life just makes sense when you have kids’…
I’ve always adored children and knew I wanted to have a family. Now I’ve had them, they’ve exceeded my expectations in every single way. Someone said to me recently that ‘Life just makes sense when you have kids’ and I think that’s true. Being a mother has changed me. I’m very precious about my time now: I don’t have time for peripheral friends, and if you’re not a proper friend, you won’t go the distance. My priority is Trey and the children and friends fit around that.
“I imagined pregnancy would be amazing, and that I’d float around with a neat bump and a glow”
I imagined pregnancy would be amazing, and that I’d float around with a neat bump and a glow. The reality was very different. With my first baby I missed the 12-week scan because I was in America and instead had a quad blood test, which revealed that I was in a one in 24 high risk category for Down’s Syndrome. Two years later with my son Akira, the same thing happened and I was a one in 250 risk. Though it was an anxious time, I was keen to know everything I could so I researched the risks and Down’s very thoroughly. I also had symphysis pubic dysfunction and carpal tunnel syndrome and at the end with Kaya I was on crutches!
With the problems I had in pregnancy, weight was the least of my worries. I didn’t worry about losing my figure. I do remember being on a beach holiday at about three months pregnant – that stage when the thickening has started! – and I looked so rounded that I wanted to wear a badge that read ‘I’m in the early stages of pregnancy’! But I stayed positive. Every time my clothes felt tight I’d tell myself how amazing it was that I was growing a human being.
“I was so excited to have children that I didn’t want someone else to have all the fun”
After my first baby arrived, I wanted to take time out. We moved to Los Angeles for three and a half years so that we could live in the sun and slow life down a bit. It was the best thing because I could just enjoy being a mum. I was so excited to have children that I didn’t want someone else to have all the fun with them so I decided to be hands-on while they were little and not go down the nanny route.
When my youngest went to school last year, I went back to work. I’m lucky because I do a breakfast radio show (for Heart FM) so I’m out of the house at 4am when they’re sleeping and Trey does the school run. Then I’m home to pick them up and I’m totally in mummy mode.
I’ve had to learn to say no to things in order to get my work/family balance right. The last thing I want to do is to get so tired that I’m grouchy with the children, so I have learnt to be strict about setting parameters. Weekends are sacred. I ban work, the kids come into our bed in the mornings and it’s perfect family time.
Don’t feel intimidated by those pics of celeb mums looking perfect on the school run. Regular mums shouldn’t beat themselves up about that, because I know that those celeb mums probably do the school run once a year and spend an hour making themselves look immaculate for the paparazzi.
“As for the future, I tell them to dream big!”
I want my children to stay kids as long as they can. I wish for them to be carefree and I protect them from as much as possible. Having a daughter, I’m massively aware that society throws crazily unrealistic body images at her so I try to inspire her in other ways and help her realise what’s important in life. She loves science and it’s a joy to see her discovering that. They’re both very well-rounded with wonderful manners. As for the future, I tell them to dream big!
Katy is hosting the 20th Tommy's Awards which celebrates family heroes. Find out more at tommys.org Read Katy’s blog at katyhill.com
Photo: Ken McKay/ITV/REX