Kimberley Walsh | "Beyoncé is my fantasy babysitter"
The singer and stage star talks all about life with her son Bobby, 2, and expecting her second child
Did you always want to be a mum?
Yes, I’ve always been broody – even as a teenager I’d imagine what it would be like to have children. I was really maternal and loved looking after my brother and sisters.
Who’s your biggest parenting influence?
My mum – she’s incredible. It’s only when you have kids yourself that you realise what your mum did for you, and it overwhelms me when I think about it. She bought us up on her own – she did have help from my dad, but mostly she was a single parent to four kids while working full-time. I’m lucky I have my husband Justin’s support, and life is easier for me financially than it was for her. It was a struggle for her, but she did an amazing job.
Can you describe birth in one word?
What was your experience like?
When they handed Bobby to me it was the most euphoric experience. I just couldn’t believe I was seeing something that we’d created. That’s what I’ve been excited about with our second – I can’t believe you get to have an experience that’s so special twice.
Has it made you feel more prepared for your next baby?
I am feeling calmer. I know that every birth is different and that anything can happen, but the worries I have this time are all practical things. For instance, I’m thinking a lot about what will happen to Bobby when I go off to give birth – I have different things to consider this time. It will be very strange to leave him.
Favourite thing about being a mum?
Every single day they surprise you with something new. The things Bobby comes out with just crack me up. I woke him up from his nap yesterday and he held my hand and told me I had cute nails – I’d just had my nails done! Where do they get it from? I’m loving this stage (he’s two) because his character is really coming out.
What has having a child taught you?
It’s softened me a lot. I used to think I had an icy exterior and that it would take a lot to break me. Now anything can bring tears to my eyes, especially being pregnant with all the hormones racing around my body!
Has it made you more empathetic?
Yes – and if you’re a mum you’ll always have a connection with other mums. Being involved with the Pampers campaign to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus means a lot to me. All we want to do is protect our babies, and I really feel for those mothers who don’t have the choices we do to help keep our babies safe.
What’s the best advice you’ve had?
I don’t read too much about things or obsess over opinions of how you should parent because every child is different. So I think the best advice I’ve had was from my mum, which is to trust your instincts. You’ll never make the right decisions all the time, but you have to do it your way.
Describe your parenting style.
Well, I’m a little bit stricter than I thought I’d be but, saying that, both Justin and I can be really soft as Bobby is still so little. He only has to give us a smile and say sorry and everything is forgotten about.
Do you have one attribute that you’d like to pass on to Bobby?
Justin and I both have quite chilled-out personalities and I think that’s starting to show in Bobby’s character because he’s an independent toddler and not clingy. He’s a very confident little boy.
What’s your perfect family day?
We’ve not got to grips with taking Bobby out for a whole day yet because he still has his naps at home, but we love being in the garden. Justin will often play with him so I get a rest. He loves spending time with his dad, and because Justin doesn’t work far away Bobby gets to see a lot of him.
What does Justin do better than you?
He’s good at putting boundaries in place, and you can tell that Bobby really does listen to what his dad says. I try to back him up and support him because I think it’s important to stick together.
Have you had to give anything up?
At first I thought I wouldn’t have time to still go out with my girlfriends, but actually we all make an effort to organise dinners out. That’s important, even if we do spend the whole night chatting about our kids!
Who’d be your fantasy babysitter?
Beyoncé. She could teach Bobby some moves and have him prepped for a global tour by the time I got home. He’s already really musical so he would love it.
If you could invent one thing for new mums, what would it be?
I find putting sun cream on little ones hard, so I’d invent a new way to cover every little bit without them wriggling or running off.
How will you spend Christmas this year?
This Christmas will be full on, so I’m just hoping both our families will surround us for the whole period and do everything for us! If we can rope them all into cooking and helping with Bobby, then I can just concentrate on looking after the new baby.
What’s your top parenting tip?
You can’t prepare for it so don’t even try. Being a new mum throws everybody – even celebrities. The first month of Bobby’s life was probably the hardest I’ve ever had, but it does get easier so take each day as it comes. Don’t try to do too much; all that matters is looking after your baby.
Kimberley is supporting the Pampers Unicef 1 pack = 1 vaccine campaign (facebook.com/PampersUKIre). She was chatting to Ali Horsfall.