Emma Bunton, the singer turned radio presenter and entrepreneur on motherhood, new work and why she’s feeling broody again
This year saw the launch of your eco-friendly baby brand, Kit & Kin. Now your two boys are older [Beau is nine, Tate is five], what made you want to delve back into the world of babies?
Kit & Kin is something I’ve wanted to do for many years actually. My sons have always suffered with eczema and I hated the fact that I couldn’t make it comfortable for them. I remember telling this to a friend, who introduced me to Chris [Money; Emma’s business partner and Kit & Kin co-founder] – he’s been in the industry for 15 years now. We chatted, and agreed that we wanted to come up with a range of products that were certified natural, hypoallergenic and approved by dermatologists, all the while using sustainable materials and giving back by working with a charity in some way. That was two years ago! Now I love being able to use the products on my children and seeing the difference in them.
Did having children prompt you to start thinking about your impact on the environment?
Definitely. Something like using biodegradable nappies or turning the lights off when you leave the room – it all feels so small in the scheme of things, but actually, it makes a big difference. As parents, we are all busy. I felt we needed a brand that was safe, affordable, does good and has products that actually work!
There are some products in there for mum, too. Did you have enjoyable pregnancies?
I was definitely nervous the whole time, but I did love being pregnant. But then, I’ve always been very maternal. The products we included in the range for mum, such as the stretch mark oil and breast balm, were all products I felt I needed when I was pregnant with my boys. I still use the stretch mark oil every day.
So this hasn’t tempted you into having another baby?
I’m always broody! I haven’t had much of a chance to think about it lately, as I’ve been so busy with my two – but never say never!
One wonders how you might manage it, particularly with your work on Heart radio, your television and UNICEF work, and now Kit & Kin…
Like all working mums, it’s a huge balancing act, but I have an amazing partner in Jade. He’s so supportive, and we make it work. He does music, so tends to go out gigging or recording in the evenings. We’ve never had a nanny, but we are lucky enough to have my wonderful mum who’s the best babysitter in the world. I love working, but ultimately my kids will take priority. I always try to be home in time for tea, and in time to put them to bed and read them stories.
So what does a typical day look like for you?
I leave very early in the morning every day for my Heart breakfast show – but I know the kids are always listening on their way to school, and my friends too, so I often feel like I’m talking to them over the radio! Then I’ll have various meetings, but I’ll always try to get home to pick the boys up from school, because then we have homework, football or swimming. Family dinnertime is also important to me. Sometimes it’s perfect – other times they’ll just be yelling at me to put the TV on for them!
What about the weekends?
We live in Hertfordshire, and my weekends are usually spent ferrying the kids around. Tate goes to a stage group where he does dance and performance in the mornings, and Beau goes to football. Then there is usually a children’s party of some sort…
What about when you manage to carve out some time for yourself; how do you relax?
I love coming into London to have cocktails with the girls. And date night with Jade – we still try to do that as much as we can. Jade is a great cook.
What’s your favourite thing about being a mother?
Cuddles! I also love board games, although my boys aren’t quite as keen. They’re always like, “Mum, not again!” And making dens – generally just hanging out with them, being silly and having that downtime.
What’s the toughest part?
Having that responsibility to shape them into good, well-rounded kids. I’m lucky because they’re really good boys, but I still always hope they’ll grow up to be polite and respectful of the world around them.
Do you think you’ll expand the Kit & Kin range down the line?
Chris and I would love to expand the range – we felt that this year was the right time to release these products because these are the essentials; the basics that you need. But there will be more products. I’d love to do swaddles and organic clothing, but we don’t want to release anything unless we know it’s the best product on the market – for baby and the environment.