Hello Chemmy, tell us a bit about you. What do you do, how old are your children and what happens with your kids when you are at work?
First and foremost I am mummy to 16 month old Locki. An abundance of energy who despite looking just like his daddy has his mummy's vivacity and fierceness! I am also a retired 4 Time Olympian who now channels her energy into her own business CDC Performance, alongside her hubby, hosting on snow experiences to develop young people through sport. For 130 days (all school holidays and more) we live as mountain nomads, travelling around the world from NZ to Europe living out our 9 seater white van! Our youngest client is 8 and our oldest 78! To be able to channel your passions as retired ski racers (Dougie was too!) into a profession is amazing but it isn't all glorious days up the mountain. We spend many hours slogging away planning at our computers! I also do quite a lot of profile work, from cohosting the BBC Winter Olympics to Ski Sunday, to inspirational speeches (where i mention how i overcame 45 plus bones to continue to pursue my dreams and overcoming adversity) to quiz shows and a many charity hosting nights. Somehow the first six months of Locki's life we managed to rely on the help of family and friends and the great mothers of the athletes we coach! Since then though we have had continuity for Locki with someone who comes on the camps and acts as housemum for the athletes and also takes care of Locki. When I work nights at events Dougie steps up but also my mother in law, Jacqui is fabulous (but unfortunately she lives in Glasgow so this takes a bit of planning.) I really feel the loss of my mum at the moment. She would have been amazing with both my personal and professional life but Jacqui really does help fill the void left when my mum passed away 10 years ago.
1. One word to describe how being a WoMo makes you feel?
2. What’s the funniest experience you have had juggling kids and work?
I went back to work 10 days after labour. The family all travelled with me to Italy to film for BBC Ski Sunday. We booked with EasyJet but when we got to the airport they said we couldn't fly with Locki as he was too young. Thankfully we walked calmly over to BA and used our points! I was scheduled to arrive and be ready for a sit down interview with Lindsey Vonn straight away. I had one top to change into - a lovely silk shirt. I had been worried it would be creased. What I hadn't considered was that having changed in an italian service station loo, I would then have to change Locki's nappy. It was only wet but I thought I would quickly do it as didn't know how long interview would take. I opened the nappy and Locki projectile poo-ed all over my one and only shirt. Well good old wet wipes and copious sprays of Jo Malone and I am pretty sure we got away with it (but inside I was giggling the whole time thinking I may look glam now but you should have seen/and smelt me 20 mins ago!).
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
You will make mistakes. And guilt is the devil! You will feel guilty when you are working that you should be spending time with you baby. When you are with your baby you will feel guilty that you should be working. But you know what you are doing the very best that you can do and your little one needs to see their mummy continuing to follow her passions!
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
During the Olympic coverage this year I had a few all nighters due to the dreaded teething. I did get caught on camera with a Costa coffee on screen and people gave me hassle for advertising the brand and I wanted to say do you know how much sleep I have had. I need this coffee!!!
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
That being a mum is the most rewarding, satisfying, exhausting, teary job in the world!!
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
U2 Beautiful Day - my mum loved it, I love it. Embrace today. Love yourself right now!
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
Exercise. If i can somehow squeeze in early morning exercise then I feel so much better about myself.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Ooh we haven't had tantrums yet but they seem pretty tough to deal with. But I am great at methods of distracting. I find presenting can be quite empowering - holding a room.....
9. If you asked your child what your job is, what would they say?
She skis and talks!
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
How we all find it tough and so many people on social media glorify it!
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
That my son is so happy all the time and hugs and kisses me constantly!
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
That we are only living if we are bettering ourselves - every single day so we have to go out there and make mistakes and turn them into successes.