Are hard times “be­ing a mum

On about moth­er­hood, work­ing life and her love of sport.

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That’s the way you have to be re­ally. It’s nice that Sum­mer is get­ting that lit­tle bit older. We can do things to­gether now, like when I’m do­ing the wash­ing I’ll make it a fun job for her to take the clothes and put them in the bas­ket, or when I’m clean­ing up she’ll go around with a wet wipe. It’s very cute!

Have you been tak­ing her swim­ming?

I took her swim­ming from three weeks old, so she’s been into it from a very early age. She just loves it, I think she’s at that age where I can take her places but some­times she doesn’t full un­der­stand what’s go­ing on, whereas she just gets swim­ming. She feels in­de­pen­dent and does her own thing. I would en­force that she learns how to swim be­cause es­sen­tially it’s a life skill.

We re­cently ran a cam­paign that ex­posed not enough was be­ing done to help work­ing mums in Scot­land. What are your thoughts on this?

Well I only had two months ma­ter­nity leave af­ter hav­ing a baby so I em­pathise with that kind of thing be­cause I didn’t have long at all. Hav­ing said this, I’m in a re­ally for­tu­nate po­si­tion as I only work three days a week so I’m lucky that I’ve been able to cre­ate that bal­ance. I do un­der­stand that cre­at­ing a work-life bal­ance when you’re a mum is a chal­lenge. My sis­ter is a teacher and was the head of her year be­fore hav­ing a child but she had to move down to a lesser role when she re­turned so that she could work part-time and spend more time with her child. It can be a re­ally tough chal­lenge.

Moth­ers can of­ten feel guilty about go­ing back to work af­ter a child – what ad­vice could you of­fer them?

You do feel guilty be­cause you’re leav­ing your child but how I look at it is: I’ve got to work in or­der to give my daugh­ter nice hol­i­days and things like that. My mum and dad worked when I was young and I never ever look back and feel like I missed out on time with them. I re­mem­ber the things that their hard work en­abled us to do. I want my daugh­ter to grow up see­ing that you have to work hard for what you get. It’s a re­ally nice value to give your kids. I think find­ing a job you love def­i­nitely makes go­ing back to work eas­ier. It’s re­ally im­por­tant, it’ll make those days away from your child that bit eas­ier as you’re do­ing some­thing you truly en­joy.

What’s it like be­ing in the lime­light?

When you’re in the lime­light, peo­ple can think you’re su­per­hu­man – so it’s nice to show peo­ple the real me in in­ter­views or when I meet them. I’m just a hard worker who loves what I do. I think the good def­i­nitely out­weighs the bad in this in­dus­try. I don’t read any­thing in the press any­more, which is quite sad. I know it’s not true if I’ve not done an in­ter­view.

What kind of role model would you de­scribe your­self as?

Hope­fully a good one. I love sport and ev­ery­thing that comes with it, I take it re­ally se­ri­ously and love educating and en­cour­ag­ing chil­dren about sport.

You’ve pre­vi­ously tried re­al­ity shows such as I’m A Celeb and The Jump. What one was your favourite and why?

I would have to say I’m A Celebrity. I loved it! I had such a fun time. You couldn’t have pre­pared for it and you don’t know what to ex­pect but I came out of it hav­ing met 11 bril­liant peo­ple – who I still speak to.

Would you try any­thing else? We think you’d be great at Strictly!

I’ve got two left feet so I don’t think that would be the case. I like do­ing shows that you learn a skill from – I wouldn’t do Big Brother be­cause for me, you’re not chal­leng­ing your­self in that way.

What are you most look­ing for­ward to about Christ­mas this year?

I think it would just be spend­ing it with Sum­mer. Last year she was only six months old so she didn’t un­der­stand – this year she’ll be a bit more clued up. She still won’t know what Santa is or any­thing but she’ll

Re­becca wouldn’t do Strictly, but says I’m A Celeb was an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence.

be re­ally ex­cited by all of the presents and un­wrap­ping them.

Where will you be spend­ing Christ­mas?

At my home with my fam­ily!

Do you cook at Christ­mas?

I do... Well, maybe we’ll say ‘help out’. I’m def­i­nitely in the kitchen at some point!

What’s your favourite thing about the fes­tive pe­riod?

Spend­ing time with fam­ily and giv­ing presents.

Do you have any ex­cit­ing plans for 2017 that we should keep a note of?

I haven’t even thought about next month, never mind next year! But ob­vi­ously there will be lots more sport and hope­fully my swim­ming pro­gramme will con­tinue to grow – my mis­sion to get more peo­ple into swim­ming con­tin­ues.

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