Juggling journalism and parenthood


The essence of news reporting is what makes it hard for a parent - unpredictable, unfriendly hours and unlikely to be happening on your doorstep. Shatteringly early starts (3am, anyone? ) combined with sudden sends far from the office mean school drop offs and pick ups can't be relied upon. Overnighting or late edits need to be signed off by a co-parent - 3 small children home alone could end up causing a news story of their own. But the truth is, working in TV news is addictive. It's a buzz. What may seem like an extraordinarily tight deadline to many is what makes us tick. Working on a big story is what we live for. And functioning without the adrenaline that brings is just not the same.

So now I am a mum of 3 - it makes sense to get what some have called a 'proper job'. Being able to plan swimming lessons, playdates and just being there for bedtime reading would make life easier. But I can't turn my back on news. Alongside this though - I'm trying to find a more predictable way of working. Presenting on TV and Radio brings the excitement of live broadcast - but can mainly be done from a studio. You know where you're going to end the day - and when. It doesn't always mean I'm home for bathtime - and often I'm out before my children are even awake - no mean feat for my 3 early risers. I hope to do more - but also to work on broader output - perhaps on things we share a love for as a family - the outdoors, wildlife, music and how things work. Watching the news together can involve tricky conversations - I know why so many actors read the bedtime stories on CBeebies, as a way to share their work with their children.

Journalism at its best is uncovering deception and wrongdoing , informing and enlightening - a force for good, and something I'm grateful to have been involved in. I hope even though I sometimes miss a school play or school pick-up - I'm sending my children a message that combining a career with parenthood is a worthwhile, if challenging, aim.

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