Bec Judd is busy. Actually, busy is an understatement.
The 35-year-old is a mum-of-four, radio and TV host, and a newly published author.
Lately, she’s also been working as a presenter on Postcards, a localised travel show, and she says it’s the “perfect job” to fit in with her hectic lifestyle.
“The best thing is, I like travelling, but I also like being home with my four kids by the end of the night. I’m in my own bed most nights, which is great. It’s perfect for me,” she tells Mamamia.
So, what does a typical day look like for one of Australia’s most on-the-go mums?
“Today I did school drop off, and then I’m hitting up two new cafes in Melbourne [for Postcards], then I’m travelling across town to a beauty bar that’s opened, and then it will be three o’clock, and I’ll be back home by four,” she says.
“That’s a typical day. We’re really efficient when we shoot, and I’ll usually be home for school pick-ups and drop-offs.”
Bec jokes that she’s “seen more of the world with my Postcards crew than with my family”, but she says it’s important for her to be at home as often as possible.
As for staying on top of it all, it helps that she’s super organised.
“I schedule everything for the week in my diary, and it’s a watertight schedule. My husband and I share our calendars, so we’re just on top of everything,” she says.
“I make sure that I have enough time to be a mum, I make sure I have enough time to do a little bit of exercise, because that keeps me sane, and then enough time to do life admin. If I work too much, some of those other things go out the window a little bit and I become a little bit stressed. I always make sure I have time for everything, and not just work, work, work.”
She admits it also helps having an extra set of hands to help out with the kids – especially in those early years.
“My mum has just moved home, but she lived with us for 12 months to help out with my twins in their first year,” she says.
“The kids also go to my husband’s parents’ house on a Wednesday, and my two eldest kids are at school, which helps a lot, and I have a babysitter who helps out with the twins when I’m at work.”
Ultimately, it takes a village.
“We rely on this big network of friends and family, and then Chris and I have time at home as well,” she says.
But Bec admits it wasn’t easy finding the right balance, and she soon realised she needed to quit her job as a weather presenter after giving birth to twins Tom and Darcy in September 2016.
“I never work weekends anymore, but I used to work weekends back when I used to read the weather, and then once the twins came, I thought, ‘Okay, I need to schedule weekend time at home,'” she says.
“I think we’ve got the balance right. Finally.”
While most parents would balk at the idea of having twins, Bec says it was actually “easy”, given she’d already done the whole parenting thing twice before with son Oscar, six, and daughter Billie, four.
“I knew what I was doing by the time I had the twins, so they were actually pretty easy. Going from two to four was easier than going from zero to one, because I knew what I was doing,” she says.
“And if you’re changing one nappy, you can just change two. If you’re feeding one baby, you can just feed two. They’re on the same routine, so I just do everything at the same time, but do it twice.”
She is thankful she didn’t have twins first time around though.
“If I’d had the twins first, I don’t know if I would have had more babies,” she admits.
“Babies are such a shock. When I had Oscar, my eldest, I found it really, really hard. I found him definitely the hardest. If I’d had two to begin with, I don’t know if I would have gone back for any more.”
And while she may have parenting down now, Bec says it was hard at first to accept that life, as she and husband Chris Judd, 34, knew it, was over.
“I think just going from this self-absorbed life where it’s just you and your husband, and you can go out and go to a cafe every morning… That existence where it’s just you and your partner, and that’s all you’re thinking about and nobody else, that shock of being fully responsible for another human being,” she says.
“People say, ‘Oh, nothing can prepare you,’ and they’re right. Nothing can prepare you. All of a sudden, there’s responsibility.”
She says she also had to learn to let go a little bit.
“Also, being a control freak – not being able to control what Oscar was doing – I’ve always been a perfectionist, a straight-A student, all of that, and having this baby who I couldn’t control freaked me out a little bit,” she admits.
“I was trying to do a routine and he wouldn’t do it, I was trying to feed him and he wouldn’t feed, he was screaming… Just feeling out of control for the first time in my life shocked me. But by the time he was six weeks old and I got some professional help, he was perfect, pretty much from that day on.”
That’s something she encourages all new mums to do – ask for help.
“Getting help when you’re a first-time mum is key to staying on top of things,” she says.
“Get help. Don’t try and do everything yourself. You don’t have to be Super Woman… It doesn’t make you any less of a mum if you have to ask for help.”
Helping out other mums is also what inspired her to write her new book, The Baby Bible.
“I think just having four children and having so many people ask me, ‘What did you pack in your hospital bag?’, ‘What routines did you use?’, ‘What happens in this month?’, ‘What test is this for?’, ‘Where did you shop for your nursery?’… Everything about the whole pregnancy and baby experience, I have been asked,” she says.
And although she says she’s “pretty on top of it”, Bec admits she has her share of bad days, just like any other mum.
“There are days though when I’m just like, ‘Far out!'” she admits.
“The other day, I’d just cleaned up, and then the twins spilled all of this stuff all over the floor, so I had to vacuum it again, and then they go into the cupboard and they open a packet of pasta and put that all over the floor, and then I have to clean it up again, and then I find them in the bathroom and they’ve pulled the toilet rolls off and they’ve ripped all the paper up, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’
“But I’m lucky. I’ve got four healthy kids, a great job, we live in the best city in the best country in the world. I don’t have any complaints. I’m all good.”
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As for what she knows now that she wishes she knew before having kids, Bec says she wouldn’t have put quite so much pressure on herself.
“It’s a huge adjustment, and it’s okay if you don’t get on top of everything for a while. It’s an adjustment and it’s going to take time,” she says.
“It is the best thing you’ll ever do. But don’t be too hard on yourself to get everything perfect at the start.”
Just don’t ask her if she’s planning on having any more kids.
“No. God, no! God, no,” she answers, without missing a beat.
Cut the crap.