When actress and radio personality Kate Ritchie became a mum to Mae in 2014, she couldn’t help but gush about her baby daughter.
“I adore being with her,” she told Australian Women’s Weekly. “She’s so happy and has the most mischievous infectious laugh.”
But the experience of being an expectant parent in the months leading up to Mae’s birth was particularly exciting for Ritchie.
“The excitement and wonderful anticipation that filled my every moment were feelings I’d forgotten. I don’t think I’d felt anything close since my childhood days of waiting for Santa Claus,” she wrote. It was these feelings that inspired Kate to write her new children’s book, I Just Couldn’t Wait to Meet You. Mamamia spoke to Kate about her book, her daughter, what it’s like raising a child in the public eye, and maintaining a busy career while being a mum.
Kate, 37, says that while she’s always been a “keen writer”, it was the anticipation of her daughter’s birth that “turned out to be the perfect inspiration to get [her] into gear.”
“The book began as scribbled notes to my unborn baby on loose pieces of paper,” she said. “I hoped one day to transfer it into a more traditional ‘baby book’, and today it’s a real life children’s book and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Kate's 'real life' children's book 'I Just Couldn't Wait to Meet You. Image courtesy of Marie Ramos photography.
And I Just Couldn't Wait to Meet You is undoubtedly a book to be proud of. Illustrated by Hannah Sommerville, the visually stunning and thoughtfully written book will strike a chord with any expectant mum. It chronicles a number of moments during the special time of waiting for a baby, including the ultrasounds, the anticipation about finding out whether you're having a boy or a girl, setting up the nursery, and choosing names.
Now that Mae is almost two, Kate says her favourite part of being a mum is "those very rare days when you don’t have to be anywhere in particular or tick things off your ‘to do’ list. Those days when you can just be with your baby. My favourite place is in bed. Under the covers, sharing big kisses, snuggling, talking and reading books."