Wednesday 21 November 2018

RTE presenter Jacqui Hurley on working mum’s 'guilt'

Jacqui Hurley
Jacqui Hurley
Jacqui Hurley. Photo by Kyran O'Brien
Jacqui Hurley and her husband Shane Mc Mahon
Jacqui Hurley
Eamon Dunphy and Jacqui Hurley, one of our four female pundits on RTÉ's World Cup roster
Jacqui Hurley with her son Luke last year in RTE's Pairc Life, Reality Bites
Jacqui Hurley. Photo: Donall Farmer
Jacqui Hurley
Jacqui Hurley lost her brother Sean (25) in 2011 in a road accident
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

RTE sports presenter Jacqui Hurley has admitted that she experiences working mum’s “guilt” when she works weekends.

The 34-year-old, who has two children with her husband Shane McMahon, is passionate about her job in RTE, but sometimes feels she misses out on family moments.

"When you go into something, you're thinking 'I'm doing this because I love it' but you're not necessarily thinking about what the practicalities of that are, and suddenly you're realising it's every Saturday and every Sunday and you do it because you love it but I think when you have a family, that's when you start to see the other side of life and what you're missing out on," she told RTE.ie.

Jacqui admitted that her husband effectively is a “single parent” every weekend.

Jacqui Hurley and her husband Shane Mc Mahon
Jacqui Hurley and her husband Shane Mc Mahon

"We make it work because my husband is hugely understanding, he's great with the kids and he loves his time with them but effectively he's single parenting at the weekend and that's a big challenge for both him and for me because there is the guilt for me and there is the extra load for him and that's pretty tricky on a relationship," she admitted.

The Corkonian, who presented for RTE at the 2016 Rio Olympics and in studio for this year’s World Cup, also commended tennis player Serena Williams for highlighting issues around maternity leave for professional athletes.

Wimbledon officials decided to seed Williams 25th at this year’s tournament — despite the fact that she was technically ranked 183rd in the world — after ruling that players should not be punished professionally for taking maternity leave.

Hurley told RTE.ie: "The whole maternity leave around athletes is crazy. We're in a situation now where you're asking people to have a baby and come back like nothing has changed.

"What are we really looking for from female athletes?"

"People are nearly afraid to talk about babies, they're afraid to talk about the menstrual cycle - these are real problems that women face and I think if we could be more upfront and head on about it, we could do an awful lot better.

Jacqui Hurley with her son Luke last year in RTE's Pairc Life, Reality Bites
Jacqui Hurley with her son Luke last year in RTE's Pairc Life, Reality Bites

"If it takes something like Serena Williams getting to a Wimbledon final after having a baby and then speaking out about it, that's progress but I wish she didn't have to be made an example of and to have to so publically talk about it to be recognised as a problem," she said.

Eamon Dunphy and Jacqui Hurley, one of our four female pundits on RTÉ's World Cup roster
Eamon Dunphy and Jacqui Hurley, one of our four female pundits on RTÉ's World Cup roster

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