Lucy Kennedy: 'By the time I get to TV3 in the evening, I've already put in a whole shift with the kids'
By the time Lucy Kennedy gets to work, she has already done her first job but always finds energy to face the cameras, she tells Claire O'Mahony
Lucy Kennedy is feeling a bit tired. The previous night her six-year-old son Jack had a chesty cough, which meant very little sleep for the TV star. But she still has a full day of parenting duties before heading off to work to co-host The Seven O'Clock Show, midweek on TV3. How does she manage to keep going?
"I choose coffee - and a lot of it. And I keep thinking to myself - 9 o'clock tonight Lucy, you are in your pyjamas and you are in bed. I just kind of keep going. I love what I do and the lovely thing about live is that it gives you that second or third or fourth wind, whatever it is that you need, because you're live and you've no choice so as soon as the camera is on, it's just 'ding!' The energy comes in and off you go, no matter how tired you are."
Lucy and her husband Richard Governey are also parents to Holly, who is three and a half years old. Life is busy but she says that she has been lucky to land the perfect gig in terms of the family's schedule. "When I was on Late Lunch Live, I was leaving home to do the school run, and getting to TV3 in a panic for 9.30am and there until 5.30pm so I was missing quite a bit of their day, including their collection from school," she says. Now she gets to drop them off and pick them up from school, and spend some time with them at home before she heads off.
"I was explaining this to my pal quite recently. She was saying 'God Lucy, you know, it's handy enough'. And I said it is great and I adore my job but by the time I get to work at 4.30, I've already done my first job. It's like doing two shifts back to back, every day. I don't work on Fridays now, which is good. At least that's my day for shopping, play dates, doing whatever I need to do. That's my full mummy day."
And however much she adores her job and she's never considered not working, being a mother always comes first.
"I always said to myself if I can try and combine the two I'm laughing. But obviously if work didn't suit motherhood, I wouldn't work. Definitely, definitely not," she says. "I'm just lucky enough that I can work around my children because they are my number one priority. I understand that we all have to pay bills - but I don't think there's any point going to work and doing something you absolutely despise and to lose out on that time you have with your children just for the sake of it, unless you really need the money."
She's always wanted to be a mum, ever since she received her first big baby doll at the age of eight. Lucy was always confident too that motherhood would be a role she would succeed at, something that was confirmed when Jack was born in the Coombe Hospital and she saw him for the first time. "I thought 'Yes, I'm going to be good at this, I know I am'. Because I love it. I love being a mum, I absolutely love it. Anyone who is pregnant for the first time and is a little bit nervous, I always say: 'Look, this is the best thing that's about to happen to you' and I truly believe that."
Last year, Lucy hinted that she might like to add to the family and try for a third baby but she's not sure if she still is feeling broody. "There are days when I'd love another one; there are days when I think no, I'm kind of finished. I think the third is a big decision so I'm still slightly undecided if I'm honest. I kind of say never say never but I don't know!" While she really enjoyed both her pregnancies, she also suffered badly with morning sickness for the first 12-15 weeks, the nausea only being quelled by copious consumption of carbs ("I put on a stone, maybe more in the first 12 weeks because I just had to eat bread, crackers, anything that would soak up the feeling of morning sickness.") and that could impact on her decision to have try for a third. "Oh God, could I go through the morning sickness again? I remember it like it was yesterday. I have total empathy for mums who have it."
She describes herself as a strict but fair parent and that good manners are hugely important to her. "I'm quite an energetic mum so I'm generally jumping around the house trying to come up with new inventions and playing. I would be very playful," she says. "But at the same time I think they trust me and that they respect me. They have their very clear boundaries and they know not to push them too often."
It's also very important to her that they're friendly and make an effort with people. "I have a foundation course in psychotherapy; I have a TV course under my belt but I have no real qualification other than I think my only skill is my love of people and being able to disarm people and relax people no matter what they're doing, all walks of life, celebrities or normal people," she says. "I hope that comes through with Jack and Holly, that they talk to everyone, that they genuinely love people, that they genuinely care, that they're friendly. I think it's very important for children to see how their parents treat people so I hope that they love people and they treat people well."
While she might work in the media, she maintains that she lives a very normal, family-oriented life. "I'm not even vaguely rock and roll. I'd be found in my local pub sooner than the latest crazy venue."
Nor does she feel too much pressure to always look perfect when she appears in front of the nation. "My boss often slags me and off and says 'Luce, can you please make a little bit more of an effort?' If I could, and if I could get away with it, I would do the show in a pair of jeans and Uggs."
Not that she doesn't like being styled but left to her own devices she admits she's all about the comfort.
"So do I feel the pressure? No. Should I feel the pressure? Probably a little bit. But no, I am the Bridget Jones of Irish telly. I think, ah well, you know. People have better things to do than to look at my appearance and hopefully my appearance doesn't offend too many!"
This April 21 is a significant birthday for the presenter as she celebrates her 40th, an event she says that will not be surrounded by too much hoopla. "I'm just going to let it go by nice and quietly and gently. I organised my husband's surprise 40th in November and it was exhausting!" Her father, to whom she is very close, turns 80 that same week, so they'll mark the two birthdays with a family dinner and she may go for a weekend away friends during the summer. "I'm not going to go too berserk," she says. "It's a Thursday and it's just a birthday. I go bonkers when the children have birthdays but me, not so much."
Both she and husband Richard are singing off the same hymn sheet when it comes to parenting, with the same things irking them and worrying them and both children knowing that it's 'Team Mummy and Daddy'. There's no point going to one over the over because both parents will always say the same thing. Although she thinks perhaps that he is slightly stricter than she is. "I suppose I kind of would tend to soften quicker whereas he'll stand his ground with them. I end up saying 'Mummy looooooves you' but yes, we have the same idea exactly which definitely helps."
But she doesn't judge her parenting on anybody other then herself. "If I feel in my heart that I'm doing it right, then it's good enough for me. I think that your result is your children and if you ever need to know how you're doing at your parenting, look at your child. And if they're happy children then you're dong something right and mine are definitely happy."
Lucy Kennedy has teamed up with GloHealth to launch their new 24/7 accessible GP service, GloDoc. GloDoc is an unlimited GP service available to all GloHealth customers and can be accessed by phone or videocall with fax prescriptions available.
Seeglohealth.ie for further