2017 has been a big year for TV presenter Alex Jones, from Ammanford. On the 22nd of January, she gave birth to her first child, ‘Teddy’ and in March she turned 40 (no, she doesn’t look 40!). Alex has previously admitted that being a Mum isn’t easy, but Mam Cymru was keen to find out more about how this celebrity Mum juggles her busy TV career with being a new Mum, and how she manages to look so amazing throughout!
It was obvious from the outset that Alex’s life is pretty manic. Trying to find a twenty-minute slot in her busy diary was quite a challenge! After three weeks of planning, we managed to arrange a phone call during her journey from her home to the studio, and it became apparent straight away that this woman is equally as lovely off screen and that she’s very open to discuss her experiences as a new Mum. We wasted no time at all and went straight in to ask about her first pregnancy…
The pregnancy was fantastic. I felt really tired in the first few months, but I really enjoyed being pregnant.
Watching you on the One Show during your pregnancy, you always looked amazing and energetic, how did you manage that?!
It wasn’t easy in the first few months as I hadn’t told anyone. I remember having several naps before going in to make up, and everyone was thinking ‘what the hell is wrong with her?!’ With regards to the clothes, I didn’t buy any maternity clothes, only jeans, I just adapted what I had.
What advice do you have for women during pregnancy?
What worked for me, was to stay active. I stopped running about 4 and a half months into my pregnancy, but I walked a lot throughout, I walked 3 miles the day before I gave birth. Lots of women lie on the sofa throughout their pregnancy, but I find it hard to sit still, so this wasn’t an option for me. Having lots of fresh air helped me feel more awake and helped keep my heart beating, I’m sure that the exercise is the reason why I never had any swelling.
I also stopped drinking alcohol, but if someone was celebrating something I would have a small glass of champagne, it’s up to everyone to decide for themselves, but for me, being able to join in meant that the pregnancy went really quickly and it didn’t stop me from enjoying my life.
How was the birth?
My husband, Charlie, was with me and everything went well. He was so supportive, I don’t need or want any fuss, but having him there and having his support meant a lot. We had a few problems but nothing major and I had a natural birth, I didn’t have any drugs, and although that meant that it was extremely painful, I’m glad, because I remember everything, and I recovered really quickly after the birth.
What’s the biggest shock you’ve had since becoming a Mum?
Charlie and I love this baby so much, but sometimes it’s hard to believe that this experience will never some to an end, this baby is with us forever, life has changed forever! Teds is almost 6 months old now and we’re still in that stage where you have to carry him everywhere, and sometimes, just trying to carry him and juggling something else is hard, I tell him ‘I don’t know where I’m going to put you!’ Having said this, he’s brought such an enormous amount of love into our lives, everything is more mature, more settled and we enjoy our lives so much more. I think we were both ready to be parents, and although we really enjoyed socialising a lot with our friends, both of us really enjoy being at home and having a simpler way of life.
How did you decide on the name Teddy?
We were hapless to be honest with you! We decided not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl, and we hadn’t discussed any names or made a list, as we are both so busy, we just thought we’d know straight away after seeing the baby, but we didn’t, as he just looked like a new baby! Charlie comes from a traditional family, and I wanted a name that worked in Welsh and English. I read a book and the little boy in the story was called Teddy, and I loved the name, so that was it – but he didn’t have a name at all until the day before we had to legally register him!
Was it difficult returning to work when Teddy was three months old?
It was a big shock. Everyone kept telling me to take my time, but I decided to return part time, and I’m still part time, but as always, employers soon forget that you have a young baby. Without much warning, the hours change, the call time changes without much warning, late last night I received a call saying that my call time for today is at 9am instead of in the afternoon, I’ve got a whole day’s filming ahead so I have to change the plans with Teddy all the time. In this type of job, I can’t be off screen for a long time as people will forget you and it’s really competitive, you don’t get maternity leave or pay when you are self – employed, so if you do have this luxury, don’t go back to work until you have to! If I had another baby, I would find a way of making it work and have more time at home with my baby.
What do you enjoy doing as a family?
We go out for lots of walks, sometimes Charlie and I forget how small Teds is, and we’ll take him to the zoo, but it’s like an excuse for us to go! The time we have together, just the three of us, is very rare, so we’ve had to be really strict and tell our friends that we can’t invite them round on the weekend, as we’ll never have this time again. Family is different, my parents visit as often as they can and this is lovely, but the time we have together as a family is really important to Charlie and I and we love this quiet time together.
What kind of Father is Charlie? (Warning – I cried during this answer!)
He’s besotted with our little boy! Someone asked him the other day if he was a ‘hands on’ Dad, this really annoyed him, as if Dads had a choice! No one would dream of asking us Mums if we were hands on! From the moment we found out that we were having a baby, he’s been amazing and so supportive, we share everything 50 – 50. I thought he was amazing before we had Teddy, but seeing him as a Father has taken it to another level.
Have you changed since becoming a Mum?
I was 39 when I had Teddy, and I’m glad I waited as I would have never had this much patience when I was younger. I feel a lot more grounded, happier, more tired of course, but I still wake up every morning and look at his face, and I don’t care if he’s slept all night. The more I get to know him, the more I fall in love with him, it’s a bizarre but amazing feeling.
You are in the process of writing a book for Mums, how’s it going?
The ideas are there and I have noted everything in my diary, but the truth is I haven’t started writing it yet as my life is so manic at the moment! I still remember everything and I’m not worried, I’m looking forward to starting it very soon. In the meantime, I’ve been asking people for their stories, and lots of Mums and Dads have sent in their experiences which is brilliant. I’m keen to hear from parents in Wales, so if you want to get involved, contact me via the link on my Instagram page.
You are one busy lady! What would be your ideal day?
A quiet day at home. Going out for a walk with the pram, sitting on the grass and getting to know Teds, this is what I miss due to my busy working life. I had such a happy childhood, me, my sister, my Mum and Dad, a close family living in a close community in Rhydaman. As a Mum, I want to create that same happy experience and all those lovely memories my parents gave me. I love my job, I’ve had some amazing opportunities, but a career can only tick so many boxes and I if I had to choose between my career and being at home with Teds and Charlie – it would be the easiest decision ever.
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru.
Mam Cymru would like to thanks Alex Jones for her time and for being so open and lovely! Pob lwc Alex X