Precious moments: Sophie Ellis-Bextor
The singer tells us what it’s like being mum to her brood of boys – Sonny, 12, Kit, seven, Ray, four and ten-month-old Jesse
Did you always want to be a mum?
Definitely. Both my mother and grandmother had their first babies at 23, and I had a strong feeling that I’d become a mother at a relatively young age too. I was 25 when Sonny came along, and as I already had a successful career, I could afford to pay for help. I’ve always been aware of how very lucky I am.
Did you plan to have a big family?
I wanted three children, but then my husband Richard (bass player with The Feeling) and I realised we had room in our hearts for another. It’s too soon to say whether we will have a fifth, but I keep an open mind. People assume I want to keep trying for a girl, but I am very happy with my boys. It’s pure comedy.
How are you coping with four children?
It’s certainly chaotic, and the house is always a mess. But you have to choose what you’re prepared to worry about. I’ve always been pretty relaxed, which helps. I also have a lot of family support, and Sonny is amazing with his baby brother. If I need to get on with things, he’ll sit Jesse on his knee and keep him entertained. He’s my secret weapon.
Who’s your biggest parenting influence?
My parents. When I was growing up, they were always encouraging, but they didn’t try to be my best friend, and there were clear boundaries. I could talk to them about anything, but there was a lot of respect too.
And most embarrassing mum moment?
Oh, there have been many! But one recent incident springs to mind. I was with one of my kids (I won’t say which one for fear of embarrassing him) at a park where they have huge inflatable balls you can sit in to float across the lake. They are, of course, transparent and once inside, my boy decided that he needed a wee. So he took off all his clothes and relieved himself as all the other parents looked on. I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or to hide.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is a supporter of Ovarian Cancer Action which funds research into finding innovative treatments for the illness. Visit ovarian.org.uk or call 020 7380 1730. Sophie was talking to Lucy Benyon