BBC’s Kirsty McCabe on Motherhood, Competitive Parents and Rainy-Day Ideas!
Being a new mum is a stressful job on its own, but add that to a job that requires 3am starts and broadcasting live across the country and you’ve got an idea of life for BBC’s weather forecaster Kirsty McCabe.
We caught up with Kirsty on her Ben 10 Alien World Record Challenge tour, where she is partnering with Cartoon Network to help kids across the UK build a giant Ben 10 alien out of plastic bricks and break a Guinness World Record!
The mum to son Ethan, talks to UKMums.tv on early starts, other competitive parents, deciding to return back to work and creative child play ideas for when the weather is terrible!
1. How are you involved with the Ben 10 Alien World Record Challenge?
I'm really happy and excited to be involved in this project. It's been a bit of an ambition of mine to be part of a World Record and the fact that this kicked off in Glasgow where all my own family are made it perfect. It's great to be involved in something that's going to travel around the UK and grow, and be something that children and families can be part of together. I can’t wait to see the finished world record-breaking alien!
2. How did becoming a mum change your outlook on life?
Becoming a mum changes everything but in particular your perspective in life. I don't let the silly little things bother me like I used to. I can see the things that matter and forget about the rest. I also really appreciate my own parents more.
3. Was it a difficult decision to return back to work? (Especially with your 3am starts!)
Well, firstly I have bills to pay so like many new mums, I have to work. I do feel guilty but I do also enjoy it, as it allows me to keep my own identity and reap the rewards of being both a mum, and still have my career. I'm very lucky that my husband works from home so leaving early isn't the struggle it could be with two of us needing to be up and out of the house. I do miss Ethan’s happy time of day when he’s just woken up and refreshed, but I just have to make the most of the mornings we are together.
4. Do you, like most working mums, find it difficult to juggle both work and family life? How do you cope?
Being organised - it’s an absolute must! I've made simple changes like ordering food and shopping online so I don't waste valuable family time tearing around the supermarket on my days off. Communication is also key – men just don't see the mess in the house like a woman does. Or they're happy to live with it if they do. It's key to communicate what you need help with and what needs doing Vs just expecting them to do it then be frustrated when it’s not done!
5. What do you wish your mother or a fellow mum had told you about before becoming a mum yourself?
Don't be sucked into the competitive clique! Too many mums are too focused on who is doing what first and comparing their children and I just can't understand it. It doesn't matter who sits, talks, walks first – it's not a competition. The other thing is everyone tells you stuff about labour and you don't really listen: part because you're blocking it out and part because you think it can't be that bad. My advice is listen and take tips and advice from those that have been through it!
6. Do you have any mummy heroes or role models who inspire you?
Working mums in general! Kate Garraway does an unbelievable job of juggling working full time, bringing up two young children, and still having fun time for herself. She is just so happy and positive all of the time and it’s really inspiring to see.
7. Not that we’re blaming you – but this summer’s weather has been terrible! What are your favourite things to do with Ethan when it’s raining and pouring outside?
(laughs) Well the sun is finally out now! It’s definitely easier to keep Ethan entertained when it’s sunny outside but you just have to make the most out of what you have. We have filled a paddling pool up with plastic balls which is now in the house and that keeps Ethan entertained for hours. However my favourite rainy day activity with Ethan is just cuddling up on the sofa with lots of cuddles and kisses, reading books and watching TV.
8. If you can give our readers and other working mums one piece of advice what would it be?
Trust your instincts, your mum and ultimately, you need to do what's right for you and your child. Don't get sucked into a competitive clique and don't feel guilty - your best is good enough! I’d also say to all new mums with a newborn, sleep at every opportunity…nothing is as good for you as sleep in those early days.
The Alien World Record challenge runs until 29th September visiting nine UK shopping centres. To find out more about the Guinness World Record visit www.ben10record.co.uk where, from 2nd August, a clip from the new Ben 10: Omniverse series premiering in October on Cartoon Network will be available.