Inspiring Lives 12: Olivia Wayne talks Sky Sports to Motherhood
We recently spoke to Olivia Wayne, best known as Sky Sports presenter, about how her life has gone from talking about the offside rule to changing nappies at 3am. She explains how being a mother has changed her life for the better, why healthy eating and organic clothing is so important to her & how her husband Zeb makes parenting a little bit easier.
"I really appreciate knowing that my baby is wearing clothes that are toxin-free, made from sustainable materials and hypoallergenic. These are the things you only really start to focus on perhaps when you are worrying about dressing your pure and untainted bundle of joy"
This year is my first Mother’s Day. A day I used to spend by taking extra time to appreciate and recognize just how wonderfully selfless, generous and brilliant my mum is and how lucky I am to have her. It feels so surreal to think this year I will be reflecting on what it means for me to be Ozzie’s mummy. I am really looking forward to spending the day with not only with my son and husband, but also with my mum, mother-in-law and my sister-in-laws who have 5 kids between them. For me it is a day to be with family and realize how lucky we are to be able to call ourselves “mum”.
Becoming a mother was something I wanted for a long time and although I am hugely career focused, when the switch inside me flicked, having a baby became my priority. Being pregnant on Sky Sports News could be tough at times. The very early morning shifts (waking at 3am to go on air at 6am) became very tiring as my pregnancy developed. Being restricted as to how often I could go to the toilet when on air also got tricky sometimes – in the last trimester it was during every advert break! For all the difficult aspects of shift work when pregnant, being a presenter was also one of the best jobs I could have during this stage of my life. I would finish a shift at 10am and be able to nap and rest as much as I needed, and also had plenty of time to exercise, which would re-energize me. I had the benefit of a hair and makeup team to make me look normal and glowing even if I didn’t feel it, and I had wonderful co-presenters who could pick up my slack – especially when I got a bit slow at hot-footing it around the studio. My type of work though really trained me well for the disrupted nights and lack of sleep – the perfect introduction to nights with a baby. I am still on maternity leave – Ozzie was born in November, so as yet I haven’t navigated what Sky work life will be like now I am a mum, but there are plenty of brilliant women working there who juggle it well so I am looking forward to getting back on air. I have started hosting the odd event and writing the occasional article. I have found that having my mum around to help me at events is hugely beneficial – she takes Ozzie for a walk and sleep when I crack on with the work side of things. If she can’t come then I just go into it relaxed and hope that everyone understands that I have a 4 month old who requires attention and often a boob! When writing, I have found the best time is just after dinner, monitor on with a cup of tea and some dark chocolate – the most enjoyable way to get your work done too. Ultimately though it's about not beating yourself up that you can't achieve as much or as quickly as you once used to, and that this huge change in your life means the way you approach work now has to change too. I have definitely become more efficient with my free time – no more procrastinating on Facebook when there is work to be done.
"One major thing I have learnt from becoming a mum is that you basically say goodbye to all me time."
One major thing I have learnt from becoming a mum is that you basically say goodbye to all “me” time. I breastfeed and co-sleep so Ozzie is literally attached to me 24/7. This is a choice I have made and truly love, and hope will benefit him hugely. It also feels incredibly natural to me. I did however massively take for granted how much freedom I had before becoming a mother. You can no longer just pop anywhere quickly, or have a wax, or go to the cinema or drop into the gym without arranging suitable child-care and making sure the baby is fed. Exercise is the main thing I have still tried to instigate into my life. I have always worked out and in recent years I have come to really rely on exercise as a form of stress release and enjoyment. I had a very active pregnancy and was still in the gym the week before giving birth. I believe this contributed to my complication-free, drug-free natural labour and I am a huge advocate of the benefits of exercise for the body and the mind. For Christmas, my husband got me some personal training sessions (which included him looking after Ozzie in those hours) with a fantastic PT called Mike Viccars (MSV Training), as this was something I was desperate to get back into my weekly routine. I have found exercise to be a saviour during these early months of motherhood. It gives me an essential hour a couple of times a week to myself. It helps me feel good physically, releases the essential endorphins to fight away any baby blues, it re-invigorates me after a sleepless night, and it makes me feel energized to rock, walk and carry Ozzie around. I know the thought of exercise when overtired isn’t that appealing, but just like after an early shift, I have always found that once you start, and once it is finished, you never regret a workout.
"I think it’s just as important to put organic food inside our bodies, as it is to wear organic clothing on them."
I have a similar attitude to food. I try to eat nutritious and wholesome food because when tired and feeling low, the benefits of eating well are amazing – this is something I learnt very quickly on the 3am shifts. Due to being breastfed and being so little with an immature digestive system, Ozzie was sensitive to dairy and soy very early on, so I have eliminated them from my diet completely. I have never been a huge dairy eater (other than during pregnancy when all I wanted was cheese, pizza and cheesy pasta!) but with restrictions on what I can eat, it means I have to choose unprocessed, clean and natural foods, which is ideal. I have a lot of nut butters and 85% dark chocolate for treats, but on the whole I try to eat a colourful diet with lots of veggies fats and protein. During pregnancy I really went off healthy food but the second I gave birth I craved raw vegetables, nuts and nothing greasy or sweet – which helped get me back on the healthy track. The more I read about gut health and how immunity starts in the tummy, I realize how important it is that we eat nutrient dense good quality food, which is definitely something I will be instigating when Ozzie starts food. I think it’s just as important to put organic food inside our bodies, as it is to wear organic clothing on them.
"The products are of a superior quality to most other brands. I adore the grey long sleeved body suit that Ozzie wore endlessly as a newborn, as it was cosy, comfy and chic."
With that in mind, organic cotton is so important. Not only does it feel soft and luxurious but also to know that it is grown ethically, both for the farmers and the environment, is hugely important. I really appreciate knowing that my baby is wearing clothes that are toxin-free, made from sustainable materials and hypoallergenic. These are the things you only really start to focus on perhaps when you are worrying about dressing your pure and untainted bundle of joy, and I really value MORI products for these traits. The products are of a superior quality to most other brands. I adore the grey long sleeved body suit that Ozzie wore endlessly as a newborn, as it was cosy, comfy and chic. I tend to only dress Ozzie in grey, cream, white and navy and I find MORI has a similar aesthetic, which I love. The material washes so well and stays soft even when air-dried. Ozzie was bought a personalised hooded towel by my brother when he was born, and it honestly is the most snuggly towel we have. Even after numerous washes it has retained its softness and it is the only towel he goes in after his bath where he doesn’t cry!
There are times though when Ozzie does cry and I find it particularly tricky to calm him down. Only one person has an instant positive impact on those situations and that is my husband Zeb. Zeb is an incredible father. He is so hands on, so selfless (often staying up until all hours of the night so our sleep-resistant babe will get some good quality sleep by resting on his daddy’s chest), he has taken to fatherhood with amazing ease and confidence and it has made me realise how fortunate I am that he is the father of my child. As a music producer and DJ, he works at odd hours of the day (or night) as well – but unlike me who struggles to stay up late, but can rise with the larks, Zeb can stay awake until 3 or 4 in the morning no problem which makes all the difference when Ozzie is awake and needing cuddles or rocking to sleep. Zeb discovered the lunge movement, which is the failsafe way to send Ozzie to sleep, and he can often be seen lunging round the house. I think we both didn’t realise just how huge an impact having Ozzie would be on our lives. We didn’t appreciate how incomplete we felt until he arrived, and just how bursting with love and pride we are at all times, with every smile, gurgle and burp! The last four months have been the most incredible of our lives, and on Mother’s Day I will remind myself that I am the luckiest girl in the world.
For more thoughts, opinions and mothering, you can follow Olivia Wayne on Instagram and Twitter.