‘People underestimate how dramatic the transition can be.’

Alex Jones talks about the early days of motherhood in her latest interview.

Pregnancy news 07/04/17

We were delighted for Alex Jones when she called The One Show in January to say that she’d had a healthy baby boy, and this week, she has opened up about the early days of motherhood in a new interview with the Daily Mail.

The 40-year-old TV presenter gave birth to her first child, Teddy, in January and says the past few weeks have been ‘lovely but tough.’

‘A typical day is feeding him for eight hours, trying to fill the washing machine, then filling the tumble dryer and stuffing some food down if there’s time. And then it’s dark and you wonder what you’ve done with your day – it’s a bit like being in the Twilight Zone. People underestimate how dramatic the transition can be.’

'And even going in to this in my late 30s, I don’t feel as though I was told exactly what it would be like. It’s a real change of gear. I’ve gone from running around at 100mph to being in the house alone; from a lot of noise to it being very quiet. It is hard but it’s an absolute honour to be a parent. There are times when you think, “I just don’t know what to do to make him stop crying”, but the joy outweighs anything else.’

We agree with Alex that the transition into motherhood can be tough. You may feel like you’re experiencing every emotion at the same time – on top of the world, exhausted, excited, worried, joyful - the list goes on!

But Alex thinks that being an older mum has its advantages: ‘I have more patience than I did when I was younger, and more of an understanding of my body. And we’re just so grateful that we did manage to have him – when it starts getting tough we remember how lucky we are. It gives me perspective.’

Since making the documentary ‘Alex Jones: Fertility & Me’, she has become a poster woman for older first-time mums. One of the reasons she worked on the documentary was her mother’s admission that she had had an early menopause when she was 43. Does she think there’s an ideal age for having a baby? ‘I don’t know if there is one, but if you know you want to be a parent it’s worth thinking about your options when you hit your ‘30s – things like freezing eggs. That was something that I didn’t know anything about. I think lots of GPs don’t have the right information or advice. If we were all better educated about fertility, maybe fewer people would find it as much of a struggle [to conceive],’ she says.

Along with the emotional changes that new motherhood can bring, it may take a while for your body to feel normal again, too. How does Alex feel about her postpartum self?

‘I don’t look the same as I did but I’m alright about that – life isn’t just about me anymore. I don’t care if I’m a bit wobbly or look more tired, because it’s all part of the fun of being a parent; it’s a badge of honour. I haven’t felt the pressure yet [to get back into shape], but it’s early days. I wouldn’t say I don’t care if I never get back to how I was. But it took nine months to make him, so if it takes nine months to get back into my old jeans, then so be it.’

Alex’s presenting spot on The One Show is currently being covered by Angela Scanlon and Michelle Ackerley while she’s on maternity leave. The BBC’s recent series, The Replacement, aired a few weeks after Alex gave birth. Was she affected by the maternity leave paranoia that was portrayed in the show? ‘Of course! I’d be lying to say I didn’t feel any paranoia when I first left the show, but then you get over it because you realise there’s nothing you can do about it,’ she says. ‘The best bit of advice was from [BBC newsreader] Sophie Raworth, who said: “Do NOT watch it!” And I didn’t. By the time I had the baby, I had no time to watch it anyway.

‘At the same time, you hope they’re doing a good job because you want a show to come back to – it’s a balance. But anyone who says there’s no paranoia is lying. It’s healthy, I think – it shows you respect the job and you care about it.’

Thank you Alex for sharing these snippets of your journey into motherhood! 

More on after the birth

  • A breast pump.

    Expressing

    Expressing milk is a way of extracting milk from the breast, and this can be done by hand or by using a pump.

  • Yawning baby.

    Coping with sleepless nights

    It’s really hard to stay cheerful if you’re being woken up every couple of hours every night. Try to remember that it won’t last too long.

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