Katherine Ryan has admitted there’s one piece of advice she regrets dishing out (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)
Katherine Ryan has admitted that she regrets dishing out one piece of advice, but isn’t afraid of ‘the mum police’.
The comedian, 40, keeps fans updated with all the ins and outs of her personal life, from how many times she has sex (twice a month exactly, for those wondering) to her parenting secrets.
However, she has some regrets over how much she gives out, admitting to Metro.co.uk that she wishes she hadn’t spoken openly about co-sleeping with her children while not sharing a bed with husband Bobby Koostra.
And she’s now sharing what life as working mum-of-three is really like, including not sharing a bed with her husband, in new reality series Katherine Ryan: Parental Guidance.
When asked what advice she regrets being so open about, she told Metro.co.uk: ‘I’m not so sure about the co-sleeping. I feel like, I really believe in it. I think that you respond to your children’s needs immediately, and you’re very patient with them learning to feed themselves and learning to walk. But in a lot of homes, we’re not patient about them learning to soothe themselves to sleep.
Katherine shares two young children with husband Bobby Koostra, and teenager Violet from a previous relationship (Picture: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com)
Katherine and Bobby married in a civil partnership in 2019 (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Virgin Voyages)
‘So like, it’s difficult for me, I’m still struggling with this. I believe in it so strongly that I’m still doing it. I sleep in a room now with Fred and Fenna and Bobby sleeps in the master bedroom.
‘But you have to have such a rock solid marriage and so much patience because I do miss sleeping next to him, and I do feel like my skin has suffered from not sleeping a full night in the last two and a half years, not even once.
‘And I have friends who sleep train, and even though I think that’s wrong, I think they’re benefiting from better skin, a stronger marriage, a more peaceful day.
‘I might be wrong about that one but I believe in it personally so much that I’m willing to sacrifice other things in my life.
‘There’s no perfect answer, but does co-sleeping has a negative effect on your marriage? Probably.’
But after speaking to an expert for the new reality programme, Katherine revealed she has a six-month plan to get Fred and Fenna sleeping on their own, and returning to her marital bed, despite still not being so convinced.
She said: ‘The trouble is when people, especially experts, speak knowledgeably about a subject, in the room I really believe them, I’m like, yes, yes, you’re right, I get really pumped up. It’s very different putting it into practice.
Katherine is open about the reality of her life as a mum-of-three (Picture: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
‘At the end of the day, I think the best thing that children can have is a peaceful caregiver and if you need your children to be in a room for the night so that you can sleep so that you are functional in the morning, then you should absolutely do that. That’s what I’ve taken away from that.
‘Whatever you need to do to be a calm and peaceful caregiver, that’s what you should do.
‘I just feel like I can take a lot more damage than most people and my mental health doesn’t suffer, I suppose. I feel like after speaking to her, she’s absolutely right. But I feel like I’ve got few years to go before a breakdown so I’m going to keep doing it until I’m like on the edge of a breakdown.’
And while she thinks she can cope for another few years, Katherine admitted that she’s currently working on a six-month plan, saying: ‘Fenna just turned one and I feel like she’s still up maybe four or five times in the night. Fred’s only up once in the night.
‘When I’ve got them both once in the night, I will take the screen and go back to my marital bed and I’ve got the finest sheets, a lovely duvet, like I’m so excited not to be sleeping on the end of a bed like a dog.
Katherine currently co-sleeps with Fred, two, and Fenna Grace, one (Picture: kathbum)
Meanwhile, Bobby is in their bed (Picture: kathbum)
‘But also, this is the thing, having a teenager, I have the perspective that they only stay little for such a short time.
‘And the reason that this has gone on so long is that we had a little one and then we had another little one, so I think the danger is that I have yet another little one, and then… my mom said she didn’t sleep for seven years, and I don’t know if she’s fully recovered.’
Despite regretting sharing her methods of co-sleeping and sparking controversy over her potty-training wizardry, Katherine has reiterated that she’s not afraid of the mum police, and ‘welcomes and encourages’ them.
She told us: ‘I think that we’re very passionate about issues that are meaningful to us, so that’s why people have so many opinions surrounding their children, because they’re the most meaningful thing when you have them – it’s fine if you choose not to have them – but I think that I’m very comfortable being a catalyst for discussion and I think growth and understanding only comes from discussion.
‘So if someone wants to point out, “oh, Katherine’s breastfeeding, and she’s had a glass of wine,” then we can talk about how there’s less alcohol in breast milk than in a banana.
Katherine opened up about ‘mum guilt’ (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
‘And then if people want to say, “co-sleeping is really destructive to your marriage.” Yeah, absolutely correct.
‘”Potty Training is not possible at that age.” We wouldn’t have the discussions if something wasn’t sparking that discussion, and I’m impervious to criticism for some reason.’
And while she can ignore all the trolls, Katherine admitted she does suffer from ‘mum guilt’ and working whilst also supporting her children.
Instead, she adapts and finds ways to overcome the feeling, which in practical terms also means she’s having breast milk couriered from her gigs to her home.
She said: ‘I think community is so important because I think I’ve found a lot of encouragement speaking to other mums like I even saw my wonderful friend, someone I admire tremendously, Oti Mabuse was back hosting Dancing on Ice, and she just gave birth of a Christmas to her daughter.
‘And I just thought, you know what, we’re entering this generation of women who do things in different ways, whatever suits your family.
‘And I feel like with a network of support, my kids will be okay if I go to work, and I have to go to work to maintain my career.’
She’s sharing the realities of being a working mum in a new series focused on their family (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images for WFTV Awards)
Over time, as her kids have grown, Katherine has become ‘a lot more comfortable’ with a babysitter, but still faces difficulties when they ‘vomit with rage when I go into another room’.
‘It’s not just like they cry a bit, it’s like they flip out, and so it’s difficult to see them upset.
‘But the older they get more self-confidence they get and the easier it is, so I’m navigating it all the time, but I see little nuggets of encouragement.’
As well as any tantrums, Katherine has been careful around which sensitive issues to leave out of her reality programme, despite teenager Violet being on board and the most ‘ready of anyone’ from the family to star on TV.
‘In terms of me as a mother and our dynamic in our marriage and as a family, no, I was keen on showing all of that, even when it’s not positive, even when we’re sleep deprived, even when we’re having frank discussions about whether or not to have another baby, that was all fine,’ she said.
Katherine admitted Violet was on board for filming and the most ‘ready of anyone’ (Picture: Instagram / Katherine Ryan)
‘I think the only thing was if one of the children were to be crying, I didn’t want that filmed, or kicking off.
‘Also, we’re always potty training from birth, so it’s difficult because my sister calls us the Donald Duck family because we’re very often naked from the waist down around here, so we just had to be be careful.’
She added: ‘We never wanted to show the children distressed or without any pants on. But other than that, no, because I feel that I connect with people so much in my stand-up, and in my podcast, when I speak about the difficulties of parenting as much as the joys of parenting.
‘I know I’m very privileged. In the show, I have a stay-at-home husband, I have a nanny, I have loads of money.
‘I was a mother on the other end as well, where I was very financially insecure and I was a single mom.
‘And I think it’s good for people to see that even though I have all this support, it’s still hard for me sometimes, and hopefully that can make them feel less alone.’
Katherine Ryan: Parental Guidance airs Monday, February 5, at 9pm on W HD.
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