Inspiring Mums: Katy Hill
Inspiring Mums: Katy Hill
Katy Hill is a TV and Radio Presenter – currently hosting Heart Breakfast and blogging at katyhillsblog.com and writing for Family Traveller Magazine. She’s passionate about encouraging women on this crazy journey and, with a BAFTA, National Television Award and TRIC Award to her name she cites raising her two children as beautiful, well-rounded human beings as her biggest achievement to date.
You are super busy. How do you fit it all in?
I get up at 3.45 am! Don’t panic though - that’s not just to fit it in, it's because I host Heart Breakfast from 6-10am every weekday morning. But getting up that early does help me fit it all in because it makes me super-dynamic for the day. I now totally believe that, whenever I end my time hosting breakfast shows, I’ll keep up with the early start. As a working parent, just to feel like you’ve achieved things – emails, life, house stuff and getting ahead on life before the kids wake up, means that you’re in the moment with them once they’re awake and don’t have that awful feeling of being on the back foot. Being self employed means I’m never technically “off-duty” so I have to make sure I always feel ahead of life, so I can switch off with my kids – otherwise there are always more emails to answer, more calls to make, more life to live. Being self employed you have to get good at compartmentalising life and switching off different sections so you can focus on one at a time.
Is there such a thing as an average day for you? And what does it consist of?
Parts of my weekdays are average…. 3.45 alarm….1 hour drive to work…. Swing by the drive-thru Starbucks next to the studio (good times) and host Heart Breakfast from 6am - 10am. After that, it varies.I try to head to yoga a few times a week at least – it energises me for life and centres me for my crazy days. I also spend time blogging. I started my blog a few years ago when I took time out to raise the kids and felt like I’d totally lost my identity. My blog space felt like I still had a voice and, now that the kids are growing up it has morphed into more of a lifestyle/travel/family blog - a place where I get to say what I want and discuss my passions, hopes and just about anything I want to. It’s liberating to have a space that’s just for me and I guess it’s been popular because I’m just like everyone else - muddling through and trying to do the best I can! The awards I’ve won for my blog are the best awards I’ve ever got - because it’s ALL ME!
Outside of this, I’m in meetings, fitting in TV work and running my home. Then, 3.15 every day, I do the afternoon school pick up which I LOVE because I miss the kids in the morning and it signals my clocking off from work. From then on, my day is theirs.
How would you describe your parenting style? (tough/loving/best friends etc)
A bit of everything but LOTS of love and hugs! I’ve always tried to be consistent so the kids always know where they stand and I feel like we have such amazing respect and love for each other – they tend not to misbehave because they’d be genuinely devastated if they thought they’d disappointed me! We have a great relationship and I took pretty much 6 years out of work to be with them after Kaya was born, so we’re super close. I never wanted to go the nanny route which has made for a super busy but supremely rewarding family life.
What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before becoming a parent?
I heard a quote once, how “becoming a parent is to sign up to forever have your heart walking around outside your body”! I get that now! Life will never be the same again – in the best possible way! But I now get why, during my teenage years, my sweet parents would always be awake when I came home. It used to drive me crazy, but I now totally get it! I’ll never stop looking out for my babies! I also wish someone had told me how tired I’d be! Before having kids you think you know how being tired feels after having a few big nights out in a row. NO! You haven’t even BEGUN to know tired! It’s more tired than you’ve ever been - So tired you walk into walls on the way to the loo in the middle of the night because you’re so confused you think that’s where the door is! So tired you search under the duvet for your baby you’ve 'lost' at midnight, only to discover them sleeping soundly in the Moses basket next to you that you’d automatically tucked them in to. So tired that you wonder how nobody warned you it would be like this and doubt whether you will ever come out the other side. And then you hit 6 months - and life gets slightly easier and you realise it’s just a phase and it will pass! And then you get pregnant with number 2!
What’s been the toughest period/event so far?
I found it really tough when my second was born. I struggled with breastfeeding both times and consulted experts, had an industrial pump and was doing all I could to increase production. My most amazing moment was when a midwife came to my house and admitted that, like all parts of the body, some boobs work better at producing milk than others. It was a revelation. I finally stopped being so hard on myself and concentrated on loving my babies. I also found it a bit overwhelming with 2 young ones – I felt like I was trying to be all things to all people and I think I had a bit of PND that was never properly diagnosed. I think my OH did too. There’s so much pressure put on parents and you’re constantly sold an image of how the parenting life should be and when you find it tough and relentless, it can feel a really lonely place. I remember a midwife coming to check on me and I was trying to breastfeed – with tears bouncing off my babies head, and it was like she didn’t want to see it – she said nothing!
What’s the best thing about being a working mum?
I LOVE the fact that my kids know that I work hard and know that life doesn’t just land at your feet – you have to go out and get it and graft! I also love that, when I get back with my kids, I can be in the moment with them, safe in the knowledge that I worked hard that day and earned my time with them!
Do you find time for yourself and if so how do you spend it?
I’m not great at taking ‘me time’ - I definitely need to get better at it. I tend to view my gym time as my time and I find training helps me cope with the madness of life - yoga especially. I went on my first ever yoga retreat last year with my girlfriends and had the best time. It was only 2 nights away from my normal world but it totally changed my year – for the better. I came back energised, empowered and ready for life and realising I need to put myself first a bit more often.
The one thing I’m most proud of is…
Living life to the full. By the time I finished on Blue Peter I felt like I’d lived about 3 lifetimes already. I now love hosting Heart Breakfast and writing and blogging has opened up a whole new world of possibilities and fulfilment. I’m also comfier in my skin now than ever before and try to live life to the max in all areas. We waste so much time comparing ourselves to others and the day you start to genuinely love yourself and focus on all the great bits is a happy one.
Do you still have ambitions you are yet to achieve?
There’s always more to achieve. The day you stop pushing your limits is a sad day. But I’m equally mindful of living in the now and being grateful for where I’m at and clocking my achievements at every stage - big and small. When you first become a parent, even the small achievements are massive. I tend not to think of achievements now in terms of work - more in terms of life. And I’m raising two pretty phenomenal humans and like where I’m at. Learning to love YOU is the biggest ambition and, ultimately, achievement you can have.
I’d like to be remembered for…
Katy’s blog can be found at: www.katyhillsblog.com