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Kirsty McCabe: "I'm not just a mother. Going to work keeps a little bit of my old identity alive."

Our new Friday columnist, Kirsty McCabe, introduces herself as a busy working mum to two young sons and asks, is there such a thing as a work-life balance and exactly how controversial is it to enjoy being back at work?

Posted: 12 March 2014
by Catherine Hudson

Kirsty takes to the green screen to present the Channel 5 weather
Kirsty with husband Renato and their sons, Ethan, 3, and Logan, nearly 1
Ethan and Logan

Hello, I'm Kirsty McCabe; weather presenter and mum to two little boys, Ethan, 3, and Logan, nearly 1. Every Friday I will be writing Something for the Weekend, my new weekly column for Junior which will be filled with my experiences of being a parent and essential tips for parents, from how to cope with a toddler and a baby to my favourite rainy-day activities - this is Britain after all....

So, let's start with how my life has changed since my boys arrived. To be honest, I wonder what I used to do with all that spare time - do you feel the same? If I'm not busy feeding, changing or playing with my children, then I'm doing laundry, shopping, tidying, cooking: the list is endless. And then there are the nights spent consoling a teething baby, calming down a toddler after a bad dream, or the extra fun ones where everyone in the house has a tummy bug and you're trying to catch vomit in bowls, pray that the nappy copes and putting on the washing machine yet again - sound familiar? The funny thing is, I wouldn't change it for the world. Once you have a family, you realise that they are more important than anything else.

And yes, that includes work. The trick is to find that elusive 'work-life balance', because for me, going back to work was essential. For one thing, it pays the bills. For another, it keeps a little bit of my old identity alive. I'm not just Ethan's mummy, I am a qualified meteorologist who has spent years studying our climate and presenting the weather on the BBC, ITV and Channel 5.

Before I had children, I worked long, unsociable hours including lots of night and weekend shifts. For years my alarm clock went off at 3.40am when I was on the GMTV breakfast show. It did have the advantage of training me for night feeds and surviving the early exhausting weeks with a newborn baby. But, until the boys start school I'm trying to spend as much time with them as possible, as I'm well aware that time flies past and I will never get these years back.

Right now I'm working on a freelance basis. As well as popping up on TV now and again, I also write about the weather for The Weather Channel. While fitting in work is one more thing to juggle, I have decided that it's definitely worth it. I've already mentioned money and my own identity but, I'll admit it, going to work means that I can eat my lunch with both hands, settle down with a good book on my tube journey and go to the loo on my own. And it's lovely to pop on a nice frock and have a make-up artist do your hair and make-up! When I pick up the boys from nursery on a telly day the staff can always tell. Sometimes they barely recognise me. Perhaps I should make more of an effort on normal days? 

Are you a working mum? Do you secretly enjoy being at work to think about something other than the feeding cycle? Or are you nervous about returning to work? Let us know, join in with your comments below...

Kirsty will be writing her weekly blog here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter @juniormagazine and watch out for the hashtag #somethingfortheweekend every Friday to join in with the conversation

Read an introduction to our new columnist, Kirsty McCabe, and find out what she used to read as a child, what she cooks for her family and what she wanted to be when she grew up...



blog, parenting, advice, support, celebrity, kirsty mccabe, something for the weekend
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