Footballer’s wife and former Emmerdale actress, Sheree Murphy is mum to Matilda, 1, Ruby, 6, and Taylor, 8. She talks to Prima Baby about big families, wobbly bellies and coping with a husband who works abroad.
Did you always want a big family?
Yes, absolutely. I grew up with four brothers and I had a wonderful childhood. Of course we all fought and argued like mad, but we’re incredibly close. Harry (husband, Australian footballer Harry Kewell) has always wanted loads of kids, too. His ideal is four, but I don’t think we’ll be going there just yet!
Have you found a big difference between having two and three children?
It’s definitely harder, but not as hard as it would have been if I’d had Matilda when Ruby was still a toddler. As it is, the eldest two are now quite happy to go off and amuse themselves, and they’ll even keep an eye on the baby for me if I need them to, so things aren’t so bad.
How have Ruby and Taylor taken to the baby?
Ruby is always fussing over her and being a proper little mother, while Taylor, being a boy and also that bit older, has his own agenda! But of course, he loves her. As for Matilda, she absolutely adores them both. In the morning, she squeals with delight when she first sees them. Thankfully, the age differences being what they are, there’s no jealousy.
Are you doing anything differently this time round?
I’m not working, which I’m really enjoying. After Taylor and Ruby, I went straight back to Emmerdale, and as a result I missed out on the baby phases. I was simply never there. This time though, I’m at home and really appreciating spending time with my baby. I’m also way more relaxed about everything. With your third child, you do take everything much more in your stride.
Is pregnancy something you enjoy?
I was really, really sick with all of my children and those first few months were always totally horrific, so no, I can’t say that I enjoyed being pregnant. But I love the end result, so you just have to put up the nausea, heartburn, swollen ankles, and things like that.
Did you put on a lot of weight in your pregnancies?
With Taylor I ate like a pig, while with Ruby I tried to be a lot stricter. But by Matilda, I’d had enough of always dieting and decided to relax. If you can’t eat when you’re pregnant, when can you? But consequently, I did get huge, and I’m still struggling to lose the weight. I’m not old, but I sometimes feel like I’ve got the body of a grandma!
Do you exercise?
I breastfed Matilda, and didn’t do anything for ages, but one of my New Year resolutions was to get fit and shift the baby weight. So I’ve taken up kickboxing, which is incredibly hard, but gives a great all over workout, and I’m also on the Weight Watchers diet. I’m feeling better, but I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my wobbly belly and big bum.
Does Harry help out a lot with the kids?
Well Harry’s in Turkey on a two-year contract with a club over there. It has been tough, as he was such a hands-on dad with the first two, taking it in turns with the night feeds and everything. So for Matilda, I hired a maternity nurse for the first few months, which was brilliant. Now though, I’m on my own, and it is hard. I miss Harry so much – he’s my best friend and partner. We’re waiting to see how things go. He might be home soon, but if not, we’ll move out there.
So who offers you support?
I’m lucky that my family are there for me, and I’ve also got lots of great friends. It’s part of the reason that I’m involved in the Pampers Village Parenting Panel, where mums can go for help and advice. It’s something I feel very passionate about. Everyone needs support, whether a first-time mum or a mum-of-three like me, and having a panel of parenting experts readily available is so handy and reassuring.
Sheree Murphy is the celebrity mum on the Pampers Village Parenting Panel – a group of experts specially selected from all areas of pregnancy, birth and beyond to help provide advice and information. For more details visit the Pampers Village website at pampers.co.uk