Alex’s baby struggles
Sleepless nights and a nonstop crying baby sent TV’s Alex Jones to breaking point. Here, she honestly opens up about struggling to cope as a new mum
Most new mums will admit there are things about parenthood they never expected. And, for TV presenter Alex Jones, 41, the first few weeks after her son, Teddy, now 14 months, was born were so tough that she admits to questioning, ‘When will this ever end?’
‘There were times, right at the beginning, when I thought, “What have I done?”’ she recalls. ‘I remember, within three weeks of having Teddy, Mum had taken him and said to me, “Go and have a shower.” I just thought, “When is this going to end? When do the sleepless nights stop?”
‘You feel like you have to tell people, “This is amazing, isn’t this a dream.” And actually, it’s not, it’s really hard. You don’t have a manual and you don’t know what you’re doing. You feel you should be elated. But you’re not elated.’
The One Show host introduced Teddy – whose dad is her partner, Charlie Thompson – to the world last February. In a candid first shot of Teddy’s little hand wrapped around her finger, she captioned an Instagram post, ‘My new obsession! #soinlovewithhim.’
After the birth, she told her TV co-host, Matt Baker, ‘It’s the most wonderful feeling. He was 7lb 11oz... A lovely weight.
‘[It was a] very straightforward birth. Charlie was with me, and my mum and dad were in the waiting room. The past four days have been heaven. We’re in a bubble.’ But sleep deprivation and worry over her parenting skills drove Alex to melting point. She recounts a moment in a supermarket when a woman told her that her crying son was hungry. ‘I just left the shop and I was in floods of tears,’ she admits. ‘It was exactly what I’d worried about before leaving the house.
‘Now, I make a concerted effort to give a warm smile to anyone in a similar situation. Some people have little empathy for new mothers. You feel out of your depth.’
Breastfeeding was equally as tough for Alex.
‘My nipples were bleeding – this is not like how people said it would be,’ she says. ‘I had Vaseline on my nipples, and ibuprofen to keep me going.’
On top of that, Alex was worried that becoming a mum would ruin her flourishing media career.
‘As thrilled as I was to fall pregnant, as I got closer to maternity leave, I did really worry. I like the job I do and I was worried someone else would do it better.
‘People don’t like to admit that. I shouldn’t feel anxious about leaving my job. But
you’re hitting your career stride in your 30s, then biology dictates that we have to take time out, and it’s not something men have to deal with. I am the main breadwinner in our family, so I did worry.’
Now, though, 14 months into it, Alex is settled into her new routine and calls motherhood ‘the biggest privilege’.
‘I’m less selfish and more patient – I am a better version of myself than I was before,’ she says proudly.
‘I am happiest when we’re in the kitchen, when all the toys are on the floor, when there’s Weetabix in my hair, when Charlie and Teddy are there and we have a whole weekend together.’
… and she’s now loving being mum to Teddy
Alex loves her job with Matt Baker on The One Show…