Like most moms, for Kimberley Walsh, parenting is an almighty juggling act.
But the former Girls Aloud singer has found a new trick to juggling her various work projects and looking after sons Bobby, eight, Cole, six, and Nate, two, who she shares with husband Justin Scott .
The 41-year-old star says: “The older I got, the more I learned not to say anything anymore.
“It’s definitely a talent. I used to feel guilty if I said no to plans, but in the same breath I felt guilty if I said yes because it would affect the children.
“I want to be able to work and do things that I enjoy, but whatever I choose to do has to be geared towards that.
“Everyone is constantly juggling, trying to make the right decisions about what to do and what works for the family.
“It’s about learning to make the right decision for each and every job.”
Despite prioritizing her children, Kimberley, who lives in Surrey and hosts BBC One’s Morning Live program from a Manchester studio, is still struggling with “mother debt”.
“I don’t think mother’s guilt will ever leave a mother,” she says.
“Even moms who don’t work probably still feel bad about doing something for themselves. It’s the nature of motherhood.
“Some days are more manic than others as I now have to be away presenting live in Manchester every fortnight or so.
“For me it’s about making sure there are enough hours in the day for all the kids and everything else you have to do.
“A lot of times I’m like, ‘Okay, something has to happen,’ so the kid might not be able to do their homework tonight.
“You have to drop the ball sometimes to have a happy family.
“I’m trying to balance my mom’s guilt by knowing that I’m definitely a better mom when it comes to doing things for my life — and seeing work for me as something for me. I have a job that is fun.
“For me it’s a break and a change of scenery, so I see it as a form of self-care.”
But in the episode, Kimberley finds that her relationship with Justin, 40, the singer and now real estate developer husband, is no longer her main focus.
The couple, who have been together for 14 years and married for seven, know their relationship has taken a backseat since the children were born.
Kimberley says: “That’s the thing we’re really stupid about, because we put the kids so much first.
“It’s funny because when Justin and I suddenly decide we’re going somewhere, the kids are like, ‘Um, what!?’
“I say, ‘No, without you,’ and they say, ‘No, no, no’.”
“So we haven’t done much of our own dating, but Nate is two and it’s hard to leave her at that age.
“I think the first opportunity we get, it’s going to be nice to be away for a few days, to kind of remind us of who we are.
“But fortunately we love our children very much and that’s how we find each other in it. We’ll get our time again. I won’t whine about it.”
When asked if there are any more children on the horizon, Kimberley replies with a resounding “no” and adds: “The baby phase is over.” I pulled off a great hat-trick and I’m very happy with it.
“I think when you know you’re not planning on having any more of it, you just want to enjoy it because you know it won’t last long, and that’s it.
“I’m definitely more relaxed this time and the kids probably feel that too.
“Also, Nate has two older brothers who want to help him and play with him. My older boys are brilliant.”
Kimberley was also busy designing her own shade, Blue Haze, for Wickes.
“I’m all about interior design,” she says. “I’m not afraid to bang if I have to.
“I think it’s because of the way I was raised. My mother was a single parent.
“I always saw a woman doing all the manual work. When I got my own house, I thought, “Oh, my mom does this, so why don’t I do it?” I don’t find it daunting.”
Kimberley even has a trick or two to make decorating easier.
She says: “One coat of paint is the easiest way to complete a transformation. I have three sons who walk around the house with sticky fingers, and we moved into our house ten years ago, so it’s at a point where everything needs a little attention.
“Woodwork and such is a bit tricky, but painting walls? Anyone can do this and it completely changes the look of a room.
“I also paint on wallpaper. I’m not sure if this is the absolute right approach, but it saves a lot of time and usually works perfectly fine.”
The act of juggling is now part of her life and she shows no signs of slowing down.
“What I love about my job is that I literally never know what’s coming next,” says Kimberley, who has also starred in West End shows including Shrek and Big.
“I am already prepared to never stop working. I have a passion for it.
“No doubt I’ll be in my sixties and I’ll put a song on stage.”
- Kimberley Walsh’s new paint color Blue Haze is available now in Wickes stores and online.