Miriam O'Callaghan: 'I don't think of balancing life as a working mum - I think of the woman who cleans my office on Prime Time'
RTE star Miriam O'Callaghan has spoken of her gratitude at being able to afford assistance in raising her children.
The Prime Time host has eight children and while most of her eldest have flown the nest, she still has a house filled with teenagers and her youngest is 11. Her husband of 20 years Steve Carson had recently been living in Belfast until last month when he moved to Scotland, where he is working as BBC Scotland’s Head of Multi-Platform Commissioning. She might juggle a house filled with children and a thriving media career, but considers herself fortunate to have a support network and a well-paying salary (the latest RTE salary figures showed she earns €299,000 per year).
When asked about balancing being a working mum, she said: "I don't think like that. I think about the woman who cleans my office on Prime Time - she has been there for a few years now, has three kids and has hardly any money. Her life is a struggle. I feel incredibly lucky because I have my health and a well-paid job. Truthfully, I remember feeling guilty after I went back to work when I had Alannah.
"Then I realised that my kids were happy once I left them with somebody very nice and I have had the same childminder for the past 22 years, which is important. A big shout out to Lorraine, she is my right hand woman and godmother to my 15-year-old son Conor. I don't know what I would do without her. I am always honest about having help, I used to have two childminders, but with the kids getting older, I have one.
"I couldn't do what I do without her, especially with Steve working in Belfast."
Life in the O'Callaghan/Carson house is a busy one`, but weekends are reserved for family. "On a Saturday morning, we wake up late, stay in bed and then chill out. I normally visit my mother and Steve will head off for a long cycle, he is big into cycling. We always go out on a Saturday night, we don't go anywhere particularly posh, we like to keep it local or eat in a nice Indian," she told RSVP magazine.
The popular presenters might have one of the most enviable careers in television, but she never set out on becoming a
"I pinch myself and thank my lucky stars for ending with a career that I love," she added. "I didn't set out to be a TV or radio persoanlity. I started out as a lqyer before moving to behind the scenes work in TV. I didn't wake up one day and say, 'I want to become a tv presenter and become wealthy'. It just happened that I become a journalist. My official profession on my passport is lawyer/journalist and that's what I am. I am very lucky that the stars collided to enable me to have such a good career."