Mum vs Life: ''I don't ever really switch off from work"

Welcome to the latest instalment of our brand new series Mum vs Life. Each week we’ll feature a prominent Aussie mum and take you through her day.

This week we talk to Nine newsreader Deb Knight, mum of two.

WAKE UP: "My alarm goes off at what I call 'stupid o'clock'...

When I’m working on the Today Show or Weekend Today my alarm goes off at what I call ‘stupid o’clock’ – around 4am. When I’m not working my two kids give me the luxury of sleeping in till around 7am. That sort of wake up is tough – there’s no getting around it, but you do adjust. I usually wear my comfy fluffy PJ’s to bed and when I first get up I roll into the car and head straight into the office – the hair and makeup pit crew get me sorted once I’m there.

BREAKFAST: "I need a couple of coffees to get me started..."

I can’t survive without brekkie! On work days I need a couple of coffees to get me started and usually have some sourdough toast with avocado and a fresh juice. When I’m not working it’s muesli. A bit of extra sleep would go down a treat.

BATH vs SHOWER: "Showers are usually all I have time for..."

I love a long luxurious bath, but I usually have to wait till the kids go to bed otherwise they want to jump in too. Showers are usually all I have time for though.

GETTING DRESSED: "I go for comfort and practicality over fashion..."

Being a newsreader the most important thing is that what I wear or how I look is not distracting. I want viewers to listen to the news I am delivering rather than fixate on what I look like. Keeping across new fashion trends is a full time job so I rely on all the help I can from the Channel Nine stylists. During the non-work days I go for comfort and practicality over fashion – that is obviously what I prefer to wear.


WORK: "I don't ever really switch off from work..."

4.15 is when I leave for work. A typical day involves reading all the papers and listening to the radio before the show starts, then working out story selection, subbing scripts, getting ready in hair and makeup and going on air.

I love my work – I’m always learning so much and having to role with whatever the news day brings. It can be very exciting. I got my current position after having worked at Channel 10 reading the Sydney 5pm news.

I don’t ever really switch off from work. I always have to know what’s going on news wise, so it’s lucky my husband is a news junkie too.

FOOD AT WORK: "I snack on as much fruit as I can..."

I’m usually home by lunch so I tend to make it there. I snack on as much fruit as I can but find it hard to avoid the sugar cravings in the afternoon. I drink soy latte’s and black tea.

EXERCISE: "I used to go to the gym regularly but I just can't manage it with my kids..."

I really struggle fitting exercise into my life. There are not a lot of places that have childcare so that is a struggle. When I can I like to do yoga or go for a run. I used to go to the gym regularly but I just can’t manage it with my kids.

CHILDREN AND WORK: "They do get a buzz seeing me on the telly..."

My kids don’t really understand my work but they do get a buzz seeing me on the telly. I hope they choose a career rather than just a job, and I hope they love whatever work they do.


EVENINGS: "I dream of eating out..."

I dream of eating out! Again with little kids it’s hard to manage, and we don’t have a lot of babysitting options so that makes things difficult. We try to eat our meals together which means for a very early 6pm dinner, but I have to go to bed early anyway so it works out quite well. I usually end my day with a quick scan of the papers online but sometimes wish I was out having a bit more fun.

HELP: "We don't have that family support that I wish we did..."

I think the best role-model for kids are happy and fulfilled parents, and since I enjoy my work, I think that is the best thing. Unfortunately none of my direct family or in-laws live in the same city, so we don’t have that family support that I wish we did. I’m really sorry my kids don’t have regular contact with their grandparents as that’s a lovely relationship, though we see them as often as we can. We have good friends though.

BEDTIME: "I try to have an afternoon nap..."

I love a good cup of peppermint tea before bed and I like to read a book for a bit before going to sleep. I try to be asleep by 10pm and if I’ve been up early I try to have an afternoon nap if I can manage it.

TIME MANAGEMENT: "I just try to be as organised as possible..."

I just try to be as organised as possible. Putting clothes out to wear the next day before going to bed, pre-preparing lunches – that sort of thing helps. Whatever works!

Deborah Knight is one of Australia’s most versatile and accomplished broadcast journalists. She currently works on Nine shows including the Today Show and Weekend Today. She lives in Sydney with her husband Lindsay. Their son Darcy was born in February 2009, and daughter Elsa arrived in October 2010.


Keep reading our Mum vs Life series here:

Meshel Laurie "My children are just starting to resent my work

Jackie O "My daughter loves to pretend that she works too"

Amanda Kellar "I have help and I choose not to feel guilty"

Mrs Woog: "I live my life in chaos

Lindy Klim "Two of my kids are fantastic eaters but my son is shocking"

Rebecca Judd "Gone are the days when I wear heels"

Lisa Williams "How I teach my son not to be afraid"

Miki Field "When Anthony is home, it is a little more chaotic"