Alex Jones’ baby talk

Alex Jones on her joy at be­ing a new mum, her hopes for a sec­ond child and what it means to be back on The One Show

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I don’t look the same as I did, but I’m all right about that – life isn’t just about me any more

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Alex Jones ad­mits to feel­ing a mix of ‘ner­vous­ness’ and ‘ex­cite­ment’ when she re­turned to The One Show last month af­ter tak­ing ma­ter­nity leave to give birth to her first child.

But Alex, who re­cently turned 40, is clearly rev­el­ling in be­ing mum to four-month-old Teddy and is feel­ing gen­er­ally re­laxed about life.

‘I don’t look the same as I did be­fore, but I’m all right about that – life isn’t just about me any more,’ says Alex, who lives with her baby boy and her in­sur­ance bro­ker hus­band Char­lie Thom­son in Chiswick, west London.

‘I don’t care if I’m a bit wob­bly or look more tired, be­cause it’s all part of the fun of be­ing a par­ent; it’s a badge of hon­our. I haven’t felt the pres­sure yet [to get back into shape], but it’s early days. I wouldn’t say I don’t care if I never get back to how I was. But it took nine months to make him, so if it takes nine months to get back into my old jeans, then so be it.’

Dur­ing her three-and-a-half­month ma­ter­nity leave her place on the show’s sofa was kept warm by An­gela Scan­lon (host of Ro­bot Wars) and Watch­dog pre­sen­ter Michelle Ack­er­ley.

So did she ex­pe­ri­ence ma­ter­nity-leave para­noia, as chill­ingly de­picted in the BBC1 thriller The Re­place­ment ear­lier this year, in which a high-fly­ing ar­chi­tect (played by Mor­ven Christie) goes on ma­ter­nity leave – only to dis­cover her cover (Vicky Mcclure) has a sin­is­ter agenda?

‘Of course! I’d be ly­ing to say I didn’t feel any para­noia when I first left the show, but then you get over it be­cause you re­alise there’s noth­ing you can do about it,’ she says. ‘The best bit of ad­vice was from [BBC news­reader] So­phie Ra­worth, who said, “Do NOT watch it!” And I didn’t. By the time I had the baby, I had no time to look at it any­way.’

As to why she’s de­cided – for the mo­ment – to come back part-time two days a week, Alex says: ‘I don’t want to miss Teddy’s mile­stones.’

While she’s emit­ting a blissed-out seren­ity to­day, she ad­mits that’s not al­ways

the case. ‘A typ­i­cal day is feed­ing him for eight hours, try­ing to fill the wash­ing ma­chine, then fill­ing the tum­ble dryer and stuff­ing some food down if there’s time. And then it’s dark and you won­der what you’ve done with your day – it’s a bit like be­ing in the twi­light zone. Peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mate how dra­matic the tran­si­tion can be.

‘And even go­ing into this in my late thir­ties, I don’t feel as though I was told ex­actly what it would be like. It’s a real change of gear. I’ve gone from run­ning around at 100mph to be­ing in the house alone; from a lot of noise to it be­ing very quiet. It’s hard but it’s an ab­so­lute hon­our to be a par­ent. There are times when you think, “I just don’t know what to do to make him stop

cry­ing”, but the joy will al­ways out­weigh any­thing else.’

Her ten­dency to be dis­or­gan­ised isn’t play­ing out well. ‘The first time I went out alone with him, I took him to hos­pi­tal for a check-up. When I ar­rived I re­alised I had no nap­pies or wipes, just my sun­glasses and wal­let. But you soon learn.’

Af­ter mak­ing the BBC2 doc­u­men­tary Alex Jones – Fer­til­ity & Me last year, she has be­come a poster girl for older first­time moth­ers. She pre­vi­ously dated TV pre­sen­ters Steve Jones and

Matt John­son, be­fore meet­ing New Zealan­der Char­lie at a party. They mar­ried when she was 38 and she had Teddy at 39. They were, she says, ‘lucky that he hap­pened quickly’ (she had fer­til­ity tests for the doc­u­men­tary but wouldn’t pub­licly dis­cuss the re­sults).

One of the rea­sons Alex made the pro­gramme was her mother’s reve­la­tion that she ex­pe­ri­enced early menopause at 43, a con­di­tion that has a strong ge­netic link. Alex says they’d like a sib­ling for Teddy, so her age has fast-tracked the is­sue.

‘Mum’s menopause is some­thing we are very aware of. It would be fool­ish of us to chance it and leave it too late next time,’ she says.

‘It’s very early days [af­ter hav­ing Teddy] but if we did try to have an­other one and it wasn’t as easy as it was with Teddy, we might think, “Well, we’ve been lucky enough to have him, so we’ll just have the one child”. On the other hand, we might think it’s been so won­der­ful hav­ing him that we’ll go down the IVF route. I don’t know.

‘I do want two kids. You tend to mir­ror what you’ve grown up with and Char­lie and I have one sis­ter each. I wish we’d met sooner and that we’d cracked on with try­ing for a baby when I was 34 or 35 [to al­low more time to have an­other child], but that’s the way it was for us and you can’t change that.’

As for be­ing an older mum, it has its ad­van­tages. ‘I have more pa­tience than I did when I was younger, and more of an un­der­stand­ing of my body,’ says Alex. ‘And we’re just so grate­ful that we did man­age to have Teddy – when it starts get­ting tough we re­mem­ber how lucky we are. It gives me a sense of per­spec­tive.’

How does she feel about her re­cent mile­stone birth­day? ‘I’m not over-think­ing it,’ she says. ‘Some of my friends who’ve turned 40 strug­gled with it. But be­cause the baby has come the same year, I haven’t had much time to think about it. I reckon you should prob­a­bly cel­e­brate get­ting older. If you’re happy where you are in your life, it’s just a birth­day, isn’t it?’

Work­ing mum: Alex Jones re­turned to The One Show last month The power of One: with co-pre­sen­ter Matt Baker

With hubby Char­lie and (in­set) baby Teddy

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