kids

The kids' TV rule that has changed Natalie Bassingthwaighte's life.

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A celebrity has changed my life. And no, it wasn’t Kim Kardashian.

Interviewing the very lovely, very busy, very honest Natalie Bassingthwaighte about the eternal juggle – mixing motherhood and career, ambition and boundaries, she dropped a tip that I took home THAT VERY NIGHT and implemented in my house.

Listen to Natalie sharing her tips, here (post continues after audio):

Nat Bass, as the world likes to call her, is a proper popstar (Here come the drums, here come the drums…),  a TV host (X-Factor, and the ever-glorious, now-departed So You Think You Can Dance), an entrepreneur with a kids’  clothing line so cool, so cute, you will never look at polyester Elsa dresses the same way, and an actress (yes, Neighbours, and soon-to-be the mini-series Brock).

She also has two kids under six – Harper, five, and Hendrix, two-and-a-half  – and a hands-on approach to parenting. “We don’t even have a cleaner,” she says. “It would be so much easier if we had full-time help. But that’s a big thing financially and I want to go to swimming lessons, I want to go to gymnastics… passing it on to the nanny, that’s not how I want to a mum.”

A photo posted by @natbassingthwaighte on

Nat has also has taken a couple of Amish turns lately, in the interests of keeping her crazy house as calm as she possibly can. And it was one of those that I decided to adopt.

“We decided to get rid of our TV out of our main living area…. We still have a TV in the house, don’t get me wrong,” she says. “I just found that in the morning we were all getting up and were all sluggish and we’d chuck the TV on and potter around but not have any get up and go. So we chucked the TV out and put music on…  It has been one of the most amazing things we have done. It has brought this level of fun and laughter and energy. So we put different music on, it could be chill, or classical or pop… They’re just into the day a lot more.”

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Back at my place, I haven’t got another living area to put my gogglebox, so we just turned it off. And Nat’s right, it changes everything. Some mornings the kids are building cubby houses. Some mornings they’re drawing and looking at books. All mornings, they’re dancing.

Nat at the launch of Chi Khi. Image via Getty.

Now, if only I could adopt her next Amish manouvre.

"I was one of those mums who would look at my phone and my emails in the mornings... and then I'd be so stressed out," says Nat. So now she doesn't check her emails until 9am. And then she also doesn't check her phone again betweent 5-7pm, while the kids are around for the evening.

"It's changed everything. It's changed my stress levels. When I'm not checking my emails all the time, it's sooooo much better."

Listen to the full episode here:

The fact that Nat's phone is buzzing so much is a comfort as well as a stress. "I was worried that I wouldn't be offered jobs after having children," she says. "I think most women worry that people will think that after having kids we won't be giving 100 per cent."

In actual fact, she worked right through her first pregnancy in heels and sparkly dresses on So You Think You Can Dance. And then right after Hendrix on X Factor. Now, she's running a fashion business spawned by her desire to find cool clothes that were kind to her son's skin, and now her hallway is piled with Chi-Ki boxes. The anxiety has eased, but now the exhaustion has kicked in.

Luckily, she has a trick for looking awake as she heads into her day. "A ponytail," she laughs.

Do you have the TV on in your house in the mornings? 

You can follow Holly on Facebook, here

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