Saturday, September 8, 2012

Interview: Sophie, "Any mum of three boys could take on the world"

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is mum to Sonny, eight, Kit, three, and Ray Holiday, three months, her children with The Feeling bassist Richard Jones. She tells us why could fill the house with 100 babies, and how she got through pre-eclampsia and two premature births...

Ray has just turned three months, and you have two older boys, what's a typical day like for you?
Kit is my alarm clock, he is up at 6.30am every morning. We normally hang around in bed together and watch some CBeebies and then once we're all up and about we're ready for the day, out in the garden or doing whatever we have planned that day. I have a wonderful nanny who has been with us since Sonny was born, my mum down the road and of course Richard. I couldn't do it without them all.

How much sleep do you get?
It's not bad actually, I'm the nocturnal one! If I'm in bed by midnight it's a good night. Kit is up a few times in the night but goes straight back down.

You suffered pre-eclampsia with two pregnancies and Sonny and Kit were both premature, how did you get through that?
I had fantastic care and both cases were spotted and treated early on, which meant both boys and I got through it. Sonny and Kit were both two months premature and were each in hospital for a month after their arrivals. It was a tough time but we got through it and it certainly hasn't affected them.

What's your advice for other mums and dads in similar situations?
Remember you are fortunate and we have amazing care and support in the western world. Look at the positives - that your children are here and safe.

Sonny had meningitis at four months, how did you get through that?
Again we were so lucky it was caught early. I remember him waking up and being very hot. I called an ambulance and I think they knew what it might be. It's weird to look back on it as it was such a scary experience but so long ago.

What are your plans for the summer with your kids?
Sonny has broken up from school and we're just going to be having lots of fun with music and play. I've teamed up with Persil to encourage families to get messy with music this summer, whether that's by going to family festivals or making instruments and dressing up as your favourite pop idols at home. It's all about having fun, getting stuck in, and then Persil can take care of the mess!

You and Richard are both in music, are the boys showing any interest?
Yes, but I think all small children like making music as it's the one time they are encouraged to make as much noise as possible! Enjoying music together is great fun and it encourages creativity.

Do your children go to a lot of festivals with you?
Yes, and so many now are family friendly, like Camp Bestival. It's such good fun and can be an inexpensive way to enjoy the summer together. I did festivals when I was pregnant too as I didn't really stop working when I was expecting. After having Ray I started working again six or seven weeks later, but it was bits and pieces, not Monday to Friday 9-5.

What's your favourite thing about being a mum?
Watching them grow and change and become who they are. There is a great quote in Lost in Translation that sums it up: "Your life, as you know it... is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life."

What do you find the most difficult?
Probably not having as much time to myself, but I knew what I was signing up for. I'm from a big family - there's six of us - so I knew what I was letting myself in for!

Would you like more children?
I've just had a baby and I'm full of new mum hormones, so I could say I could fill the house with a 100 babies, but I think we'll see how it goes! I've never had any preference about having girls or boys, but once I had Kit, I had a feeling perhaps they would all be boys.

I think any mum of three boys could take on the world!

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