‘The best parenting advice I’ve received is that it’s trial and error’ | #parenting


Edith, 47, lives in the Cotswolds with her husband Tom, a musician, and their two sons, Spike, seven, and Rudy, 12

Four month ago we got a new puppy, River. It means 6am starts, to the sound of his barks, but Tom and I alternate between who gets up with him.

Tom and I work from home at the moment, and until schools reopened, we’d been homeschooling the kids – so it’s all been about teamwork. One of us would get them ready for their virtual schools and give them breakfast: Rudy is into porridge, whereas Spike loves anything with egg. I’m bad with breakfast as I find it unlocks the eating door for the rest of the day, but sometimes I love a bowl of porridge with flaked coconut, crushed pistachios and a drizzle of honey.

I shower and wash my hair using a massaging brush – it’s fantastic – and at the moment, I’m all about dressing from the waist up, so I’ve run out of tops, but I’ve not worn a nice pair of trousers in months! I’ve been wearing lots of jumpsuits too and recently I treated myself to an Alexa Chung tank, which I mix up with a couple of shirts. Afterwards I head upstairs to my home studio-office, where I do all of my audio and video work during lockdown. The part of the room visible during live recordings is very tidy but the rest is a mess of cables and notebooks. The weird thing is that in 10 steps I can be back in mum mode, overseeing homeschooling and making sure that the boys have everything for class.

It’s been a bit of a juggle but I thrive on the freelance routine, plus Tom and I always help each other. I also love what I do and I know I’m a better mum for it. We’ve had nannies [in the past], and Tom’s parents, who used to be teachers, are keen to help but because of lockdown restrictions we haven’t utilised that. However, my Mum gave me some great parenting advice: it’s trial and error. So, we have good days and bad days [as a family]: some days, it’s plain sailing, others it’s tense and hard work. That’s not anybody’s fault, it’s from everything that’s going on around us.

My iCal is like the flight control centre these days. At the moment I’m working on a BBC Four interview series, Life Cinematic; I hosted a virtual supper event for the National Trust for Scotland to mark Burns Night in January (which was a little window of normalcy); plus I’ve been recording Soundtracking with Edith Bowman, a podcast about film and music that I make with my friend Ben. We’ve done 230 episodes and counting, and I love it. Before an interview, I’ll go down a rabbit hole of research – it’s amazing how many little nuggets you can pick up from watching YouTube videos. I write everything in Moleskine notebooks, which I get through like they’re going out of fashion. But then I try to make the interviews feel like conversations.

Tom [frontman of the band Editors] has his own home studio too. Recently he appeared on The Late Late Show and, because of lockdown, I ended up having to film it with a Steadicam on my iPhone. It was bonkers and terrifying but I just went for it.

One of the things I’ve struggled with during lockdown is finding the motivation to exercise at home. We just got a Peloton and I’m hoping that will kick my bum into gear. I haven’t had the concentration to read a book either, and me-time feels like something that’s right at the bottom of the list at the moment. But I do love wild swimming and one of the things I’m looking forward to most post-lockdown is going to the local lake with friends.

We’ve spent a lot of lockdown cooking and baking. The kids are really into it. Rudy made cinnamon buns recently, and we also do toad-in-the-hole and scallops. Saying that, I’ve lost my passion for it slightly as we’ve done so much cooking in the last year.

In the evenings, we like to snuggle up in front of the fire on our big couch. I’m obsessed with completing a jigsaw puzzle of our dog. It’s the hardest jigsaw I’ve ever done, but it’s therapeutic.

Recently my youngest son Spike has been struggling to get to sleep some nights – his little brain is working out how to compartmentalise things. To help, I’ve been doing Headspace meditation with him at night, and sometimes I’ll play a 45-minute Sleepcast.

I go to bed at 9.30pm and I like to watch TV as I drift off. I’m obsessed with sitcom Schitt’s Creek – it’s so funny, it makes me do proper belly laughs. It’s an early bedtime but having had two kids and done years of sleepless nights, I know how sleep deprivation can affect you mentally, as well as physically. So for me, it’s all about balancing that during the week.

My favourite…

…bedside must-have





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