Emma Bunton: "Having children has taught me to slow down"
The Spice Girl and Unicef ambassador talks about life with her partner Jade and sons Beau, nine and Tate, five.
Have you always wanted to be a mum?
Yes. I’ve always been surrounded by nieces and nephews and cousins with babies, and I’ve always felt maternal. Even now, when my boys are nine and five, I can be walking down the street, see someone pushing a baby and my heart just melts – I want to take a look. The parents must be thinking, ‘Ok, back off!’ So yes, babies are gorgeous, I love them; I always have.
Would you like to have more children?
I’ll always be broody, I think; it’s innate for me. My cousin, whose baby shower I've just been to, is about to have another baby boy. So I will be holding a newborn again very soon and I can’t wait – it just won’t be mine! But never say never. Though I would say, do take your time before having kids because when you do become a parent, life is completely different.
Describe birth in one word?
Personally, I found it intense and nerveracking, both times, no matter the amount of preparation.
How did it feel to first hold your sons?
It was pure elation. I wish I could go back to that moment every day!
What's the best thing about being a mum of boys?
Oh my goodness, so many things! I am lucky with my boys because they are very warm and loving, very cuddly. They’re sweethearts… for now! Don’t get me wrong though, they both have their moments. Everything is a drama with Tate, my youngest.
What has having children taught you?
To slow down and take every moment in. Life goes so fast and you need to enjoy experiences. My kids have also taught me to laugh a lot and make time for fun.
What do they do to make you laugh?
Both of them are hysterical. Tate is constantly singing and dancing, and has a great sense of humour. And Beau tells really fun jokes, so we are constantly laughing in our house. It’s a madhouse having two boys – the best way to be!
What's your favourite family day out?
It would have to be going to the park and just spending time outside. We love having a picnic and playing games. For it to be a perfect day, that would be followed up with a good movie night at home. That’s my idea of a lovely family day.
What's the best advice you've had?
That loving them is always enough and you don’t need to worry about giving them loads of presents or stuff. That was advice I took from my lovely mum.
Where are you going for a family holiday this year?
We’re off for our first family skiing trip – who knows what’s going to happen! None of us has skied before, so it will be a brand new experience for us all. We’re just going for the cheese fondue really…
Is there anything Jade does better than you?
Oh yes. He is definitely – well, I don’t like the word ‘strict’, but he does know how to get things moving in our house. He’s the one who says, ‘Right, come on, let’s get this tidied up/get out the door/get into bed,’ while I’m sat cuddling them on the sofa saying, ‘Just five more minutes!’
What's bath time like in your house?
Oh, lots of fun and games. I use my Kit & Kin products on both my children. In fact, they helped with the design and testing process. They have been so involved, telling me which ones they love the smell of and which creams feel really nice. Beau loves the oil, mainly because it’s quick to slather on. I always seem to be running around after bath time, chasing them down to put creams on.
What's the trickiest thing about being a new mum?
Nappies! It’s easy to struggle with putting them on correctly – especially with a wriggly baby. I love the idea of reusable ones, but I just don’t have the time. That’s why it was so important to me, when creating my own range of nappies, that they biodegrade much faster than most. We’re all so busy, but if we can do just one small thing, such as using biodegradable nappies, it will make a huge difference to the environment.
Why do you think parents need to think about the environment?
I’m an ambassador for Unicef, and I’ve travelled all over the world and seen so many harrowing things; it makes you want to try to do anything that will make a small difference. Having children, bringing children into the world, does make you refocus and think, ‘How can I try to make the world just a tiny bit better for them?’
What attribute would you love to pass on to your children?
Hopefully, Beau and Tate will inherit my work ethic. I want them to understand that Mummy gets up and goes to work every day for valid reasons. I think that is very important.
Is there a gadget you’d like to invent to help mums?
There must be plenty… I wish I could think of one. How about an extra arm? Now that would be very ‘handy'!
Kit & Kin (kitandkin.com), Emma's new range of biodegradable nappies and natural products, is available now. She was chatting to Catherine Hudson.