Welcome to the summer series of Mum vs Life. Each week we’ll bring you our favourite celebrity mum who will take us through their day. This week we feature award-winning radio and TV host Jackie O. This busy mum recently left her top-rating show on 2Day FM and she and co-host Kyle Sandilands will join Sydney’s Mix 106.5 early next year. Jackie is married to Lee and they have a beautiful little girl called Kitty.
I set my alarm for exactly 4.48am (and then snooze til 5.15am). I cut it pretty fine in the morning, I allow 10 minutes in total to do my hair, make up and get dressed. Another three minutes to get downstairs and make a coffee then be out the door. My radio show starts at 6am, so I can’t afford to be one minute late. If I got up just five minutes earlier I wouldn’t be in such a rush, but I cherish my sleep too much.
It’s really hard to find the time to eat during the show, so I can’t afford the luxury of cooking or making anything too fancy. I usually have a bowl of Carman’s fruit free muesli, or if I’m feeling a bit naughty I might treat myself to eggs on toast from the coffee shop downstairs. Breakfast is never at a set time, it’s whenever I can find a break in the show. Some days that might be 6.30am, but on busy mornings we don’t usually get a chance to eat until after 8am. I love my weekends because that means I can have breakfast with the family, which usually consists of scrambled eggs and tomato, or blueberry pancakes.
BATH vs SHOWER
I’m definitely a bath person, I rarely have showers unless I’m washing my hair. I have a bath every afternoon, it’s my way of winding down. I can sit in there for hours checking my emails and catching up on work stuff….ok that’s a lie, I’m on Facebook.
Because I have such limited time in the morning, I just grab anything out of the closet. There is absolutely no thought process behind this (and it shows). I wish I was the kind of person that was super organised and picked their outfit the night before, but I can never be bothered doing this. I am most comfortable in shorts, shirts, dresses and blazers. When it comes to work, I like to be comfortable. I’m actually in desperate need of updating my wardrobe, I keep wearing the same thing…so I feel a shopping spree is in order.
YOUR TYPICAL WORK DAY
The show finishes at 9.30am and even though a lot of people think we get to go home straight after the show, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a lot of planning involved for the next day’s show. Meetings, brainstorming sessions etc., The greatest thing about this job is it’s lots of fun. I have an awesome team and we have a lot of laughs in the office, which I think is important. We have an open plan office, so it’s very interactive and inclusive. I’m known as the disorganised one, my work space is chaotic, we get sent a lot of free products (which is definitely one of the perks), but my desk ends up looking like a garage sale. My assistant Sam has thankfully changed all this, she keeps everything in order and has been my lifesaver. Knock off time for me is usually around midday or 1pm.
FOOD AT WORK
Coffee becomes your vice when working in breakfast radio. Kyle and I couldn’t function without it. We used to have about 4-5 lattes a morning, but now we’ve culled it down to just 1 cup. If I’m still here for lunch time, the girls and I will walk down to the Happy Chef in Chinatown and get a Laksa. This is our all-time favourite dish EVER!! They do the BEST laksa’s you’ve ever tasted. I reckon I could live on these every day of my life. They are a bit indulgent, so on most days I try to stick to a salad.
Hmmmmm…..I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t exercised in a loooong time!! I’ve just recently joined a gym and incorporated into my routine. I try and do at least 20 minutes on the treadmill in the afternoon. I always used to exercise for weight loss, but now I’m doing it to be healthy, which means I’m not exhausting myself on the treadmill trying to burn a million calories.
CHILDREN AND WORK
Kitty knows that Mummy works every day but I don’t think she understands what that means just yet. She loves to pretend she works too, we always play games at home where we pack our bags for work and go on an imaginary bus. I always wonder what line of work Kitty will be drawn to, she’s very talkative and outgoing, so who knows, she could follow in my footsteps. I would just encourage her to follow her passion. Work makes up such a large part of our lives, why waste it on something you don’t enjoy.
Evening time we all have dinner together. This happens at 5.30pm which sounds really early, but Kitty is in bed by 6.30pm and it’s really important to Lee and I that we have dinner together as a family. We are lucky that we get to spend a lot of quality time together during the day. There’s a lot of fun and games in our house, Kitty loves to laugh and play crazy games. My husband is an amazing father, he’s so attentive and Kitty just adores him. She’s a real daddy’s girl. He is always chasing her around the house, playing hide and seek or reading books. I love that she will have a close father/daughter relationship with him. We don’t have a nanny, but we do have a house cleaner that comes a couple of times a week. When I think about what it was like for my mum who had no help and did everything herself, I sometimes feel guilty, but as she pointed the other week, she was never able to take a breather to just observe her kids and watch them play.
Once Kitty has gone to bed, it’s time for my guilty pleasure, wine and reality TV. My husband tries to watch it with me, but he’s not exactly a fan of watching Beverly Hills housewives. I can’t really blame him!! I’m in bed by 9.30pm and it usually takes me 2 minutes to fall asleep. I’m usually so tired at the end of the day that it doesn’t take me long at all. I try to average 7 hours sleep a night and if I’m lucky 8 or 9 hours on weekends.
TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS
Time is everything when you are a working mum. I buy most things online these days, it’s much easier than dragging a 2 year old in and out of change rooms. I always take meetings when I’m driving to and from work, being stuck in traffic is such a time waster, so I try and put that 30 minutes to good use. To save time in the morning, which is my biggest time crunch, I even make my latte the night before and put it in the fridge, that way all I have to do is put it in the microwave.
Jackie Henderson is an award-winning radio and television host who is famous for her style both on-air, and off.
Jackie’s career in radio began in 1993 when she joined Triple M as their ‘phone girl’. It didn’t take long for bosses to recognise her talent and she was soon invited to co-host the Hot 30 Countdown. Broadcasting across Australia every week night, the show was a huge success and after six years, she moved with Kyle Sandilands to present the Drive show on Sydney’s No.1 hit music station, 2DayFM.
Having built an army of loyal and fun-loving listeners, Kyle and Jackie took over the reigns on the flagship 2DayFM breakfast show in early 2005. Since then, the show has become the unrivalled destination for music, A-list guests, celebrity gossip, games and once-in-a-lifetime prizes. They have since left the Austereo network and have joined Mix 106.5 on the Australian Radio Network.
Keep reading Mum vs Life: Sophie Falkiner