Vernon Kay needs very little introduction. As a TV presenter and a radio DJ, he’s a household name, but father to two girls is a side of him we don’t see as much. Though he’s recently launched his own parenting podcast Parenting Past the Pandemic, he joined Gi to chat about his own upbringing, the differences between a natural birth and a C-Section and the constant work-in-progress that is fatherhood.
Gi and Vernon spent three weeks together in a castle in Wales during I’m a Celeb, and after hearing Vernon speak with such tenderness and softness about his family there, Gi was keen to get him on Happy Mum Happy Baby to talk more.
Raised near Bolton by “Gladys and Norman”, Vernon described a family life that was without any “woes” or “issues” and a house that was full of “only love” but that he perhaps hadn’t appreciated that until he was older. He explained: “I think it’s only about your mid-30s where you start to reflect and realise how much hard work your parents put into your upbringing.” Did that realisation coincide with his own journey into parenting? Not necessarily – but he soon realised that despite the numerous parenting manuals that exist, the one that would work for him was the one his parents used. He quickly found himself turning to them for advice and guidance.
Vernon became a father very quickly after getting married. He and his wife Tess had been having “such a good time, going traveling, and doing mad stuff. We were still going clubbing, we were still partying and all the wild stuff that you do before you have a baby and it was really rock and roll. And then when Phoebe was born it’s like “oh man, we’ve got to go from fifth gear to first gear””.
The births of his two girls were totally different, with Phoebe delivered by C-Section and Amber delivered by a natural birth. During the first birth, the doctor was singing Whitney Houston songs and the second happened during half time of the FA Cup Final. But Vernon touched on the stigma around C-Section births, explaining: “Tess was a million dollars after the natural birth compared to the cesarean for obvious reasons. I think there’s so much around that isn’t there? C-sections have this stigma which they simply shouldn’t have because it’s major surgery. No one goes into that light-hearted. But people think that it’s easier to have a c-section than a natural birth but a c-section is major, major surgery and you can’t do anything for weeks after.”
But for Vernon fatherhood is “100% better” than he expected it to be: “It’s all it’s a constant work in progress. No day is like yesterday. It’s always different there’s always something that crops up, there’s always something that needs to be said and there’s a lot of fun to be had as well.”
For the rest of Gi’s conversation with Vernon Kay (and there is *SO* much more to get your ears around) check out the YouTube video below below, or listen to the episode wherever you usually find your podcasts. We’re in all of the regular places! Check out all other episodes of Happy Mum Happy Baby here.