The constant whirlwind of life as a working mum can take its toll on most parents. Between the feeling of constant pressure and the desire to give your all to your family as well as your career, it's no easy feat to achieve.
New mum and BBC broadcaster Angela Scanlon makes it all look easy, and sat down with us to give us some sage advice on travelling with a young one, entering the career you dream about at any age, and balancing a home away from home in London.
We stopped by the launch of Aer Lingus and Bank of Ireland's collaborative project; Aer Credit Card, which has chosen Angela as it's ambassador. It's not hard to see why; she's their ideal target audience with her busy travelling schedule, family life and a successful career under her belt.
The card itself sounds like an excellent choice for mums; with two free lounge passes, two priority boarding passes and two return flights to Europe once you hit the 5000 euro spending amount as well as travel insurance on offer. Angela is certainly skilled when it comes to choosing brand partners.
The BBC Radio Two host and presenter of The One Show splits her time between London and Dublin while taking care of her daughter Ruby Ellen, who turns one this February.
She was drawn to the project between Aer Lingus and Bank of Ireland especially because of her experiences of travelling both solo and as a parent with a baby on board;
“It’s no secret that I love travel, both for work and personally so it’s lovely to be working with Aer Lingus and Bank of Ireland," she says, smiling.
“I’ve been travelling with a young baby recently, and the lounge is an absolute God-send. Sometimes if I don’t have the lounge wherever I’m going, I let her loose to roam around because it gets rid of the energy. She’s going to be confined for a little while, and actually it’s contained there. I can sit down and she can run her little legs off, she can’t walk yet, but you know. She’s tired by the time she gets on the plane.”
Between packing their bags, carrying them around various busy public spaces and silently praying for them not to cry while sitting beside other passengers, airline travel with a baby is stressful, to say the least.
What, in her view, is the hardest aspect of flying with a young one by your side?
“When you get on a car or a train, they’re sitting there for a long time so for me it’s that space issue. At least in a lounge you can let them run free. I’m a big fan of zip-lock bags, I try to have everything organised, and if you saw my bedroom you’d realise how unnatural that is for me. When all hell breaks loose, you need to be able to know what’s what and where everything is. Lots of snacks, distraction toys and a wide open space for them to get a little bit of exercise before they get on a plane is the best way, I think.”
Staying organised is key to a successful travel experience, but some things are simply out of your control. The Aer Lingus lounge would be absolutely ideal for a child, which is part of the Aer Credit Card deal. Very tempting, we must admit.
Angela gives some great tips, we'll definitely be putting those to use in the future. The former Xpose presenter and Off The Rails stylist has made the big move to the UK recently, but travels back and forth to Dublin to remain close with her family and friends, as well as working with well-known Irish brands.
Is there anything that she especially misses about being in Dublin full-time?
"I do a lot of work with the London Irish Centre, which has Kerrygold and Tayto Irish crisps and McCambridge bread and Cadbury’s chocolate which is better here. Most things you can get online, but it’s more the familiarity, the feeling of always bumping into someone you know in Dublin. That small-town-feel that Dublin has is really quite unique. Not just if you’re Irish, that’s how it feels if you come here. One of my girlfriends came over to Dublin for a five-day break and spent the last three days looking for a job here so she could stay.”
Join us to celebrate powerful Irish women for St Brigid's Day this Feb 2nd - hosted by the incredible @angelascanlon— (@LDNIrishCentre) January 15, 2019
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"I chose to move abroad because I was kind of doing Ireland and the UK at the same time, it was never a deliberate move. Different people move for different reasons. I certainly think the pace is very different, but I do miss the familiarity of having your mum or dad up the road."
It sounds like she's settling in beautifully to the new mum lifestyle, we have so much respect for Angela for how she maintains her travel schedule with a little bundle of joy by her side, let alone a presenting gig and radio slot.
How does she follow her rules of self-care now that she's a mum? Finding the time to prioritise your own relaxation can be challenging for the vast majority of parents, but especially for working mums. Angela's down-to-earth approach to parenthood makes her a woman worth following.
“It’s kind of about being really disciplined with yourself about giving yourself a little bit of time. t can be a bit of a luxury, but being in that for, whatever, 20 minutes, and using a face mask. That ritual of putting something on and for ten minutes just hitting pause, I think that’s really important. I’ve started running again, which I haven’t done for a long time. Everyone has to start somewhere."
Be it the start, middle or end, Angela's got it covered.
For more information on Aer Lingus and Bank of Ireland's new collaborative Aer Credit Card, click here.