Giovanna Fletcher opens up about loneliness, body image and how her new Cbeebies show, The Baby Club, is here to take the pressure off parents.
With a canon of books under her belt and a chart-topping parenting podcast, it might seem as though Giovanna Fletcher has mastered the art of a work-life balance. We caught up with the mum-of-three and all-round mega babe ahead of the launch of her brand-new Cbeebies show, The Baby Club.
Speaking candidly about the new show and her own experiences as a mother, Gi admitted she still struggles with some of the pressures of a being a working mum.
“It’s a balancing act,” Giovanna explains, “I still feel like I’m blagging it all the time.”
And let’s not beat around the bush, becoming a new parent can be tough. However, it’s also an exciting time. You’re navigating the world with a little human as they start to develop emotions and personalities – and baby clubs are a great opportunity for parents to explore this journey together.
“Baby clubs are really important, they’re great for a baby’s development and social awareness and also for parents to get out and meet other parents,” Giovanna revealed.
“But they’re not always easy to get to,” she added.
We quizzed Gi on how The Baby Club can take the pressure off and picked her briain for some pearls of parenting wisdom.
What do you think puts some people off attending baby clubs or groups?
Sometimes they cost money and people might not be able to afford them.
Also, it’s so overwhelming when you first become a parent and the thought of taking your baby out can sometimes cause quite a lot of anxiety.
Hopefully, what The Baby Club does is put the emphasis back on you and your child and having that bonding experience, playing, discovering, singing and just exploring together in the comfort of your own home.
Why is this project so important to you?
I connect so much with why it was made. When buzz was 10 weeks old I saw something about how great baby clubs are and so I signed up to about four in one go, but it was just too much.
I was more worried about the fact I was a new mum, whether Buzz was going to cry, were people going to judge me if he was crying and it became more about all of that than actually enjoying it the class.
With The Baby Club, the idea was to create something that would give people the confidence and the ability to just be with their child and to feel like they are enough and enjoy spending time with their babies. I absolutely fell in love with the idea.
It’s such a lovely idea, particularly as the first few weeks of motherhood can sometimes quite a lonely or daunting experience.
Exactly. I think the best thing about any baby club is that anything goes because children are so unpredictable.
It’s a group of people coming together – and when you’re not feeling up to it, that’s when we’re there to focus on you and your baby spending some time together.
What are your top tips for new parents who may be feeling lonely or dealing with anxiety?
It takes time. Don’t overwhelm yourself doing too much too soon.
Ultimately, you have just had a baby, it’s a massive gear change. Not just in your lifestyle but in everything. One minute you’re just thinking about yourself and the next minute you’ve got a baby, a little human that’s totally dependent on you. It’s going to take time to work out the new way.
I go to my local group to just talk to other mums. Sometimes I’ll even walk through the park and realise, I’ve spoken to everyone I’ve made eye contact with.
Through talking you never feel like you’re on your own. Because the likelihood is that someone else has felt that way too.
What about other pressures? Do you think there’s still too much emphasis on mums getting ‘back in shape’ after having a baby?
Yes, as if your body hasn’t done enough. But I do feel like it’s changing. Even when I think back to when I had Buddy. Now, it’s more about the woman taking ownership of that. Saying, ‘you know what I don’t need to lose weight, or use the term ‘snap back’ or try and get myself back to how I was before, for other people.
I know that sometimes doing exercise, it makes me feel really good. But I also know that I have had to wait to start doing that exercise.
The Baby Club starts weekdays on CBeebies from the 4th of March.
Read more of our interview with Giovanna Fletcher in the new issue of Baby Magazine, out on 27th March. Subscribe to Baby here.
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- Check out Giovanna Fletcher’s new Cbeebies Show
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