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SARAH Harris isn’t easily phased. In fact, she says she’s becoming quite good at going with the flow while juggling her co-hosting gig on the popular morning TV show Studio 10 with running after her 21-month-old son Paul — all while six-months pregnant.
And when it comes to her and husband Tom Ward meeting their next baby boy, due early December, she’s ready to relinquish control and let things fall into their natural order.
Including the labour.
“I’m not one of these people who get caught up on birth plans. I’ll do exactly what my doctor says to make sure the baby gets out safe and sound, because he has the experience, not me,” she tells BW Magazine.
“I had a natural birth with Paul, but I didn’t think a lot about it leading up to the labour and I’m glad I didn’t, because it can be pretty hairy.
“It’s not just the pain, there are a lot of variables. You need to trust your doctors.
“I think sometimes we get caught up trying to control what happens. But that’s the thing with motherhood, being a parent. You can’t control a lot of what happens. You ride it out and go with the flow and hope for the best.”
As she enters her third trimester, Harris says things are looking pretty good, though admits it’s far more tiring when there’s a toddler — whose favourite things are climbing, swinging and finding his way into all the things he shouldn’t — in the mix.
But as Paul becomes more independent, she’s looking forward to having a newborn again and is eagerly anticipating their bonding time when she takes three or four months off work after the birth.
“I’m getting excited about holding another newborn in my arms. I love the newborn phase. It’s a snugly, beautiful age. A lot of people say you don’t get much from newborns. The first six weeks, it’s this weird treadmill of feeding, changing nappies and sleeping, but I love how cuddly and tiny they are and it goes so fast,” she says.
“But it all depends on the baby you get, right?! I might have a little boy who is a terrible sleeper, or who doesn’t feed well, but I’ll have to roll with the punches and I know it does get better. Motherhood, birth, raising another child — you can’t control it.”
While she enjoys a successful career, Harris leads a very different life to that of her own mum who raised her and her brother alone. It’s an upbringing she’s not quick to forget, which taught her a lot about social justice and sparked a passion to see all children be given the opportunity to find a better life for themselves through education.
“I think the middle class is definitely shrinking and you have two very distinct classes emerging, the haves and the have nots,” she says. “I think more and more people are struggling just to get by, to turn the power on at home and put food on the table.
“Because I came from Housing Commission houses and I saw how hard my mum worked to make sure there was a roof over our heads and that we mostly had a full tummy. You never forget that and you’re always very conscious of those sorts of struggles people are facing.
“I think one of the key ways of bridging that divide is to make sure this younger generation is educated, that’s what can move you forward. It certainly was the case for me.”
The experience drives her passion working with children’s charity The Smith Family, who work with underprivileged children.
She is especially supportive of their Student2Student program which pairs struggling readers with older students who act as mentors and assist them where needed to boost their reading skills.
Currently about 1,300 students take part and Optus helps to support roughly half of those by providing mobile handsets and credits so the pair can staff in touch. And she says anything that helps kids to be excited by education can help change their lives.
“Working hard put me on the path to where I am now. Education is something I strongly believe in can completely change the direction of a child, as it did for me.”
Originally published as Sarah’s labour of love
Source: entertainment dailytelegraph