Tuesday 12 December 2017

Motherhood & Me: Sybil Mulcahy

'If I was wealthy, I would stay at home'

How many children do you have?

Three children – Hugh, Genevieve and Michael.

What age are they?

Hugh just turned seven, Genevieve is five and Michael is a year-and-a-half.

What age were you when you became a mother?

I was 33 and working as a news and entertainment reporter for TV3 News.

Did you breastfeed?

I breastfed all three of my children. For the first two I breastfed for three months and with Michael I breastfed for two months. I was running around after the other two and kept having to interrupt him mid-feed, so I eventually gave up the ghost. I'm glad I did it though.

What formula did you use?

I used Aptamil for Hugh and Genevieve and then when Michael came along I used just about every formula as he had reflux, so I spent ages trying to find one that would ease it. Heavier formulas work better so I used SMA in the end.

Did you buy baby food or make your own?

I did a bit of both. When they were tiny I used to puree vegetables and tried not to buy baby food. In the end, I gave them a lot of Ella's Kitchen, it's an organic range that comes in pouches, lovely but pricey.

Does your baby have set nap times?

Not really. Whenever he starts rubbing his eyes, I know he is ready for a nap. Michael has just dropped his second afternoon nap and he is not even two yet.

How soon after the baby was born did you go back to work?

With Hugh, I went back after five months as that was the length of maternity leave then.

With Genevieve, I ended up going back after three months as TV3 needed me to fill in as 'Ireland AM' presenter at the time.

Were you happy to go back to work?

I think each time I was, as my job has lots of exciting elements, however, I did miss seeing each baby every day. You spend so much time with them when you are off and then, bam, you see them just before they go up to bed at night and you miss so much. It can be tough, but financially I had no option but to go back to work.

Do you work full-time or part-time?

Full-time, five days a week.

If you had the choice, would you stay at home full-time?

If I was wealthy I would definitely stay at home full-time.

What is the division of labour between you and your partner?

I would get in serious trouble if I answered this truthfully, so lets just pretend and say its 50-50!!

Creche, childminder or nanny?

I have used a creche and a childminder, both are good but I have had the same childminder now for six years and I couldn't work without her. Working in TV the hours can be very unpredictable, so a creche didn't work out all the time.

What nappies do you use?

I use Pampers, but I have used them all. Whatever normally is on special in the supermarket!

What do you think of Gina Forde?

I bought her book but didn't follow it. I saw my friends become slaves to her routine. Bascially, you would meet them for coffee and 20 minutes later they would look at their watch and say they had to go because the child had to be put down for a nap at a specific time. It was ridiculous, her timetable was running their lives and all I will say is that Gina Forde doesn't have kids.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

Do the grocery shopping, go to the dentist, do the million jobs I don't get to do when the three of them are hanging out of me!

Do you children do any activities?

Lots of activities, swimming, rugby on Sundays, Genevieve does Irish dancing, Gaelic football, speech and drama, the works.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate, white wine, the odd cigarette (not sure I should admit to that!)

Irish Independent

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