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

Reveal - - CELEBS - Re­becca Greenow

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…

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