Friday, 02 October 2015
Gabby Logan: My Precious Moments
The TV presenter and mum of 11-year-old twins, Lois and Reuben, says it's all about getting the balance right
Did you always want to be a mum?
Yes. I wasn't sure when or even if it would happen, but Kenny (rugby player Kenny Logan) and I really wanted a family. We feel incredibly lucky to have had twins.
What was your experience of birth?
Reuben and Lois were delivered naturally after a long labour, but no sooner were they out than I started haemorrhaging and had to have an emergency transfusion. It was pretty dramatic but I bounced back.
Biggest parenting influence?
My own mum and dad. We moved around a lot when we were little because of dad's job (he's former footballer Terry Yorath), but mum was great at making it all happen smoothly. They've both always supported me.
Favourite thing about being a mum?
I love how it puts your whole life into perspective. I've always been organised and driven, but you suddenly have these two people to consider – and that responsibility becomes the heart of everything. The early days are relentless, but once you get into a routine you feel like you can do anything.
What's the best advice you've been given?
I have a good friend who has four kids and I used to ring her about everything – I joked about starting a blog and posting all her brilliant advice. I was never too proud to ask, especially if it made my life easier.
How do you juggle such a busy life?
With a tight schedule it's all about diary management in our house. Last year when I was umming and ahhing about going to the World Cup and being away from home, my son said, 'You have to go, it's the World Cup!' Once you get that permission, it's Ok.
Perfect family day?
On Saturday mornings Reuben plays football and Lois has a riding lesson, and then we might play tennis or go for a run with the dog. We used to go on bike rides a lot when we lived in London – ironically that seems harder since we moved to the country, because of the pot holes in the roads.
Andy Murray, to tire my son out, and Miranda Hart for my daughter – they could gallop around together. Lois adores her.
What does Kenny do better than you?
Because he isn't in charge of operations he can be the 'fun' one. You can't have two of you doing that or it would be chaos. On my Mother's Day card Lois wrote all my attributes and one was 'organisation'! That's quite sad. I'm a much better cook than Kenny, but he's amazing at fixing things so they'll go to him to make anything.
What attribute would you like to pass on?
I don't want them to think anything comes easily. They have a much more privileged life than I had in terms of the places they get to go to and the holidays they've been on. I always try and instil in them that it's an incredible opportunity and they shouldn't take it for granted. I've banned holidays that are just lying about in luxury hotels.
How important is it to you that your children are active and sporty?
I was a bit disappointed when my son was little and all he wanted to do was play with Hoovers and didn't want to kick a ball. Then at six he suddenly went sport crazy and now he wants to be a pro sportsman. I just want them to have a nice time, be healthy and enjoy sport.
What do they think of you being on TV?
It's funny, I'll come downstairs and Reuben will be watching Match of the Day on repeat, but I don't think he sees it as me on there. They occasionally say it's hard because someone's said something at school about me but I had that with my dad, so I know what they're going through. They do enjoy it when I do shows like Splash! though.
What's your parenting style?
Disciplined and organised, but still fun.
Have you had to give anything up?
Flexibility and spontaneity. I'm so unspontaneous, so hopefully that will come back. Kenny's got this fantasy of just going to the airport and taking the next flight somewhere, anywhere. Argh, I need to plan!
Any guilty pleasures?
I love a massage – one every day would be a dream, and Kenny and I sit and watch box sets on Netflix to relax. It is always snatched time, though.
If you could invent one thing for new mums, what would it be?
Coated baby clothing that the sick just bounces off so you don't need to change them ten times a day. All that laundry is hard work.
What's your one top parenting tip?
Take help and relinquish control, and don't ostracise your partner. Let them share the responsibility and make them feel involved from the start. Men need the confidence with babies because it's not their natural domain. My husband was brilliant at not neglecting our relationship too. He would encourage me to go for a coffee with him if my mum was over and the babies were sleeping. He used to say, 'They're here because we love each other so we can't stop loving each other.'
What has having children taught you?
To be in the moment. Parents of older kids always tell you to savour every minute because their childhood goes so quickly – and it's true. When homework isn't finished in the evening and the house is a mess, I just think, 'Relax, it's not always going to be like this.' Soon they won't be at home wanting help, so you have to relish the chaotic times.
Gabby is an ambassador for the Great British Tennis Weekend. She was chatting to Ali Horsfall.