Kelly Pegg: Christmas the crunch point for work and family life

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I can’t switch off, I can’t sleep, I can’t stop worrying.

I’m pretty sure I’m heading for some kind of breakdown and I don’t know how to prevent it from happening.

I take on too much, I think I’m superwoman, I believe I can do anything.

I forget I’m only human and I have limitations, I’m a mum and wife who works and attempts to juggle everything and succeed at everything at the same time.

My husband Chris says I’m my own worst enemy because I’m so tough on myself.

I never think anything I do is good enough and I always spend too much time analysing how I can do a better job next time.

Christmas is a busy time for everyone and I reckon every parent out there feels it gets too busy around this time.

As well as presenting six shows a week I decided it would be a good idea to be in a pantomime this year. I mean, how hard could it be, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong I’m afraid. Doing all-day rehearsals on top of my show at Radio Aire has been anything but easy.

Juggling all of that and trying to be a good wife and mum has nearly broken me and I’ve lost count of just how many times I’ve broke down in tears and told my husband “I can’t carry on”.

I hate not being the one who picks up my daughter Ava-Lilly from nursery. I hate the feeling that I put work first.

My husband has a different take on it, he say’s I’m lucky to have these fantastic opportunities and I need to embrace them.

He says “a few nights over the next few weeks of not seeing us isn’t the end of the world. We are so proud of you”.

He’s lovely, so supportive and encouraging about work commitments.

I, however, can’t seem to share his enthusiasm.

I am a mother and wife first before anything else and just lately I’ve really started to feel a real struggle with life/work balance.

My daughter was poorly on Thursday with a sickness bug, luckily I had told the theatre company that I couldn’t rehearse this day as I needed to be the one who collected her from nursery. Before I’d even left work I had a call saying she was being sick at nursery.

It may sound silly but it meant the world to me that I was the one who scooped her up in my arms and took her home.

I used to believe that you could have it all – a career, a happy marriage and be a great parent all at the same time.

Now I’m not so sure, as my daughter grows she needs me more and more. I feel I am failing her by not giving her 100 per cent of myself; I feel like there are little bits of me being shared out all over the place.

Then there’s my husband Chris – I may moan about married life sometimes, and I may tell embarrassing stories about him. However he is the love of my life and he’s worked so hard to forge a very successful career.

I often feel if I was at home more I could offer him more support and take the load off him.

As I write this I look across the room and there’s my man curled up with our daughter and our two dogs looking totally contented. That’s why I am lucky, for they are my world.

I’m not quite sure what the answer is, I just don’t know. What I do know though is my drive to be a working woman is becoming less and less and my desire to be with my two greatest loves all the time is becoming stronger and stronger.

Teach children to love animals

I love children and I love animals – and because of my job I’m lucky enough to be able to get involved and help different charities.

One such charity which is really close to my heart is Hope Pastures on Weetwood Lane. It’s a rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing centre for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. The centre does amazing work and I’m so proud to be part of it.

I have an adopted Shetland pony there called Cloud and my daughter recently adopted Banjo the donkey. We absolutely love going there. At this time of year the centre gets five times more rescue calls so they are rushed off their feet more than usual!

The adoption scheme is brilliant, it makes for a lovely present. It costs £15, you receive a special letter with a certificate and photograph and your adoption money goes towards food and vets bills.

It’s a wonderful place for children too. I think it’s really important to teach our younger generation about how important it is to be kind to animals.

Plenty to admire about Tess Daly

I’m getting fed up of reading what the haters have to say about Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly every week.

This is a woman who is beautiful, looks years younger than 47, she is a mother and has a career most of us can only dream of having. Yet every week Tess makes the national papers who seem to focus solely on her appearance and what the trolls have to say about her choice of dress.

I’m more than happy to admit that I would kill to look like her! There’s a lot more to this woman other than her stunning looks and northern charm. She’s a smart, successful businesswoman who chose to never hire a nanny.

All ‘those stories’ about Vernon texting other women must have been a real blow but she held her head up high, stayed tight-lipped, kept her personal life private and continued to work.

The negativity Tess Daly receives is based on jealousy and trolls who have nothing better to do with their lives apart from spread spite.

Alexandra Shulman. PIC: PA

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