My proudest achievement is having my girls

I grew up in Carlow and there were four of us in the family. We lived next door to my Gran and Papa and we lived across the road from my cousins ​​so we just had an incredible childhood. It was amazing because we lived outside the town, so we were constantly in the river fishing, running around fields and, basically, we just hung out with our cousins ​​all the time.

My mom, at one stage, had ten students living in the house with us because money was tight and my Dad’s business was going through a difficult time. I remember she had ten students from Carlow IT so we were all living in one room in the attic and my mom was looking after and feeding them and us. Now, as a parent I go, how in the name of all that is holy did she do that?

I remember a very happy childhood but what you don’t realize at the time is the hard work that your parents put in to give you that.

I was always a happy child and I always found myself jumping in with two feet first. I loved that feeling of being afraid and going into it, so I suppose that served me well in the line of work that I did which involved a lot of traveling and traveling on my own — that desire and need for adventure. I always loved people as a kid. I loved being around people, I loved entertaining people, I loved chatting to people, and I suppose that is who I am today.

My proudest achievement is having the girls, Ellie and Grace. Without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve had an amazing career and I love my job and I love the opportunities that working with RTÉ has ​​presented and traveling the world. I would have always said to have had the opportunity to travel to every continent on the planet and to have seen what I’ve seen and to have learned what I’ve learned, but really nothing beats being a mom for me.

Ellie (4) is very headstrong, she’s like her mother. It was 32 degrees in the car, and she insisted on wearing woolly gloves to her childminder’s because she thought that her hands would get cold, and I just went with it. I just love the way kids are so much themselves. I hope that never changes.

Kathryn Thomas

Over the years and especially in the world we live in now, I think society sort of pushes us to be the same as everybody else and a lot of us can lose our sense of identity and what makes us unique. I want my girls always to be uniquely themselves and not change for anybody.

The greatest challenge I faced was trying to have a family and I’ve been very honest and open about couples who go through fertility issues, and I think it’s very important that it’s spoken about. It wasn’t a straightforward journey for myself and Pádraig at all and we had many years of disappointment, loss, miscarriage, and that really challenged me because as a kid and generally in life, I’m someone who has quite a positive outlook, who is never afraid of anything, who would always go for it.

I always kind of say there are no problems, just solutions. That would be my general disposition. I think there’s nothing that’s too big that you can’t get over but that certainly was something that challenged that for me. I wanted to become a parent. I wanted to have a family and so many times it seemed that it would never happen for us. So, it was trying to stay positive through all of that.

The person I turn to is my husband. He is a great listener. We’ve been through so much together and at the end of the day, you’re really the only two there when you are parents, and the kids are in bed. I have amazing friends and my sister and myself are best friends as well.

Sometimes you need a woman’s ear and sometimes you need a man’s ear, so I have my sister and I have my girlfriends. But generally, the person in my life who is with me the most is my husband and that’s who I would share the most with, I’d say.

What scares me most in life is not having my health. I was always somebody who said nothing scared me. I would go jumping out of airplanes, I would go bungee jumping off the highest bungee jump in the world and I would go trekking through the jungle on my own at nighttime and I would do all sorts of stuff that gave me that adrenaline kick. But then you become a mom, or you become a parent and all of a sudden, it’s not just about you anymore.

You’ve got two little people who need you and rely on you and who you love with a love that you never knew could exist. It changes that urge for pushing boundaries and adventure and all that and so for me, the most important thing is to have my health and the health of my family and my friends.

The greatest advice I’ve ever been given would probably have come from my Dad. He’s a great man with the one liners and he’s genuinely a very positive person anyway. He always says: ‘you’re only here once so make the most of it’. He’s still saying that to me to this day.

  • TV and radio broadcaster Kathryn Thomas is Lidl Ireland’s new brand ambassador for their baby and toddler range, Lupilu. Visit www.lidl.ie/lupilu

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