This week I’m super excited to be featuring an actual superstar mother and real-life friend on my blog! Bev is an ex-popstar (yes, really), a radio presenter and Mum to three girls. Sometimes when she’s not gracing the airwaves with her northern lilt, we get to go for coffee. She’s loads of fun, thoroughly lovely and seriously stylish. She’s the Mum at the school gates whose outfits I’m always coveting. Let me introduce Beverley Hunter…
Location: Teddington, SW London
Number of Kids: 3
Names: Lola 9, Maya 8 and Sadie 18 months
Was motherhood planned, a lovely surprise or somewhere in the middle?
Definitely planned. I had always wanted children from being a child myself. I remember selecting clothes that I would buy my imaginary brood from my Mum’s catalogues and actually choosing the name Sammy Jo (after Heather Locklear’s character in Dynasty) for my first daughter!
Initial feelings on finding out you were pregnant?
Sheer delight! I was so excited, but as quick as the joy arrives the fear that something will go wrong followed. I ‘googled’ everything!!!
How did you tell your partner?
With my third, we were in the queue at Costa Coffee, waiting for a coffee before going to watch the older two children in their sports day. I had been to the chemist next door, earlier in the morning and had a test in my bag, so I snuck off to the grubby loo’s at the back to pee on the stick as the milk was being frothed! As I re-joined the queue I looked in my bag to find the two blue lines had appeared and quickly and discreetly (ish) waved it in front of Chris’ face!
Well, he got more than a skinny cappuccino in a takeaway cup! We almost skipped to the school sports day we were so excited. That special time that the two of you share such a magical secret is an incredible bond. Our secret however, didn’t manage to stay a secret for even the 200 yard walk to the school field!
Did you glow your way through pregnancy or was it a complete bitch?
Half and half really. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed throwing up by the side of the A3 for the first 4 months on the way to work at 5.30am, but I did enjoy eating pastry laden sausage rolls at 10am every morning, a Thursday afternoon all you can eat Chinese buffet and spending random half hours hanging around the Hampton Court service station (my cravings were the smell of petrol and eating satsumas). I loved feeling the hiccups and kicks, having long baths and watching my growing belly stretch and move from side to side. I missed seafood, brie and sleeping on my tummy!
Tell me about your birth experience?
It was quick and magical. When my contractions became regular at home, and my mum suggested we head to the hospital, Chris, in a blind state of panic and unsure of where to put himself, decided to take his laces out of his trainers as ‘they needed washing!’ Oooh I remember that car journey, every speed bump we bounced over (oww) and the screaming I did to put his ‘bloody foot down’!
Nothing has come close to giving me the rush of adrenaline that giving birth has. I had wanted a water birth (which I had with my second and was utterly amazing) but unfortunately Sadie had poo’d inside of me so that wasn’t possible. Instead, I found my myself in the glamorous position of ‘all fours’ with Chris firmly ordered to remain by my head! I didn’t have any pain relief and after a 60 minute labour Sadie emerged, perfect.
We had to stay in hospital overnight so we celebrated with a bottle of fizz that Chris had snuck on to the ward (he drank it), fish and chips from the local take away (his favourite) and Match Of The Day on the hospital TV (guess who’s choice). You think he’d had a hard day!
Describe motherhood in a few words:
Incredible, fun, exhausting, immensely rewarding. The hardest job you’ll ever love.
Can you share any highlights?
We have had some fun times and challenges on our journey so far. Your brain definitely turns to slush when pregnant (and even if yours doesn’t – use it as an excuse;)) I remember one of my first days back at work after having Sadie last year when I had mistakenly put on my 7 year old daughter’s ‘Tuesday’ pants. By 10 am they were so tight around the top of my thigh I had to cut slits up the sides!
Highlights have been seeing Sadie sit for the first time, eat her first spoon of porridge, say her first words, watching her take her first steps, sitting around the table together as a family, everyone happy. Even silence, sometimes a simple silence knowing that she is content and I can have a cup of tea in peace can be a highlight of the day.
Can you share any low points?
There have been many. I used to feel I had failed if she didn’t nap at the ‘correct’ times, or didn’t take the ‘right’ amount of milk at each feed or I when I had pureed a dozen organic carrots and frozen 11 of them in overpriced ice cube trays and then she flatly refused to eat the gently heated one. I worried people would judge me for giving her a dummy or not breast feeding, but I don’t feel that anymore. As long as she is happy and healthy then I am doing ok – hopefully!
What do you do when the baby sleeps?
Shop at Zara online.
Do you have another job (besides being a Mama)?
I am a radio presenter and I work the breakfast shift hence the early starts. It is the perfect job for me as I am home by 3pm to pick my older children up from school. I am incredibly lucky. I love my children and I love my job. My children will love my job when they get to meet ‘Little Mix’!
What’s the best bits of being a Mama?
The wet kisses, the tight hugs, the unconditional love. I love being a mum, I feel incredibly lucky and wouldn’t swap the messy sitting room full of plastic (I set out going for wood but it didn’t work out) toys, the inability to ever ‘pop’ anywhere again (do you remember when you could just take your keys, phone and lippy out with you?) and the fact that I am incapable of sneezing, jumping or running down to the corner shop with out peeing myself, for the world! #ilovetenalady
What are the worst bits?
When you can’t stop the pain be it teeth, wind or nappy rash. The constant fear and worrying you do. I can’t imagine ever letting them go on holiday alone or off to Uni when they are older! Of course there’s the sleep deprivation, the early starts, the fact that it will be years before you read a newspaper in bed on a Sunday morning. There’s the probability that you’ll never go the bathroom alone again (unless you go back to work). Oh and there’s the nappies, my goodness the nappies. Your kitchen bin will never smell the same again. You give up a lot, money, nights out, flat tummy, pert boobs but you get back so much in return.
If you didn’t have your kids for a week what would you do?
Probably talk about them all week and wish they were at home!
Have you got any advice for mamas-to-be/new mamas?
Find your own way and what works for you, even if it’s different to what the books say. Say no to people if it doesn’t work for you or the baby (or if you can’t bear one more flipping visitor). Sleep more, eat well, get out in the fresh air as much as possible and use an online grocery store that delivers to the door.
Is there anything you wish you had known?
That Nero have reward cards (the majority of my maternity pay went on coffee).
What’s the most essential item mamas-to-be need to pack in their hospital bag?
Vaseline. My lips were soooo dry. A phone charger, you will want to send photos and messages all night!!
What’s been your best baby product?
Baby sleeping bags! I am paranoid enough without having to check if the covers have slipped over her head.
What’s your ultimate mum product?
Coffee and wine got me through my first year oh and big pants that hold it all in!
Massive thanks to Bev for finding the time to share her experience of motherhood. If you’d like to hear more from this superstar Mum, tune in to Eagle FM any weekday morning and have a listen!
And if you’d like to feature on the blog as part of my ‘In the (mother) hood’ series please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org