ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/3041566/Sophie-E-B-Im-not-a-glam-mum.html
SHE is a chart-topping pop princess and a fashion icon to women across Britain. But Sophie Ellis-Bextor, 31, is taking on her toughest challenge to date: being mum to 16-month-old Kit Valentine and six-year-old Sonny while maintaining her place as one of the hardest working women in pop. Her new single, Bittersweet, is out now and she is touring with the Pet Shop Boys this July.
Sophie, married to The Feeling's guitarist Richard Jones, takes her two roles very seriously. The busy mum explains to LIVEit how she copes. She says: "I think as a mum you have to not be too hard on yourself. Sometimes you feel like everything is ticking over really well and at other times you will be working a bit too hard. You have to go with the flow and not beat yourself up too much. That is easier said than done, but I'm not the only working mother out there. There is a lot of guilt, but the idea of giving up work when I became a mother didn't really cross my mind. Kids take it as it comes as long as they're happy, supported and always have someone listening them. We have a wonderful nanny, who has been with us for five years, my mum's down the road and my dad's around too."
"I haven't done any trips where I am away for a long time, I've been strict about that. The other week I had a gig in the Eastern part of Russia, it took 13 hours to get there, but I did the gig and came home again. I don't sleep much, I do the job and come home again. I think I'm a better mother for working. My work is my passion and a part of who I am, so if that was taken away from me I think I'd feel a bit odd. I see more of my kids than a lot of working mums because I work intensely in little periods of time and then have lots of gaps during the week so we can go and do special things."
Sophie's boys were both born early and she knows that for other mums like her this can be a worrying time. She says: "The boys were premature so there were certain things they didn't know how to do and they weren't allowed to leave hospital until they were well equipped. It wasn't the easiest way to have a child, but the staff at the hospital where I had them were so tremendous, the technology that is there for premature babies is incredible."
As a face of Rimmel make up Sophie is one of Britain's most stylish women, but she feels this is no longer a priority. She says: "I think being a glamourous mum should be pretty low down on your list of priorities. I don't think doing the school run in heels would be that appropriate, we walk about a mile to school, so it's better to wear flats. Fortunately my day job is being a pop star, so I'm not hankering after glamour."
Sophie is keen to fit family trips away into her busy schedule. She says: "We had a good trip to the New Forest in Hampshire and I like the Great British seaside and Europe is so child friendly."
Sophie has always been a face on the summer festival scene and having children has not changed this. She says: "Last year we went to Glastonbury with Sonny. I think a lot of festivals are really family friendly these days, but we cheat a bit if one of us is working there, we'll bring our nanny and she will take the kids when it gets to 7pm so they can have a good nights sleep."
With a job and children, Sophie tries to fit in relaxation when she can. She says: "The time I spend at home is relaxing. Cooking is something I find therapeutic, reading to my kids and having a good boogie once in a while shakes away the cobwebs!"
Sophie is fronting Sky Broadband's 'Happily Ever After' competition to ask people what happened next in the nation's favourite fairytales. If Sophie selects your alternative ending you could win a trip to the Black Forest and a year's free Broadband and Sky TV. For more information and to enter visit: sky.com/happilyeverafter.