Louise Minchin has opened up about balancing the demands of a flourishing career with becoming a mother for the first time.
The TV presenter, 53, said it was “heartbreaking” that – as the family breadwinner – she had to spend so much time apart from her young daughter Mia, now 21.
Speaking to The Sunday Times magazine, she said: “I presented my first BBC Breakfast programme on Christmas Eve 2001, when Mia was six months old.
“I’m hard as nails but I look back and think: how did I manage? When she first went to school I was working nights again [on BBC News 24].
“I’d take her in, then not see her until the next morning. Just heartbreaking. I was the main breadwinner then, so I didn’t have a choice, but it wasn’t easy. She cried every single day and a little piece of my heart fell away.”
Minchin – who is also mother to 17-year-old daughter Scarlett – recalled that while pregnant with her eldest child she was working night shifts for Radio 5 Live and could feel her kicking as she was presenting the news.
When Mia arrived as a “smiling angel” it was after an emergency caesarean section, during which she also suffered a burst appendix.
The TV star explained that she and her finance director husband David had always “done the baton” with parenting, with him doing the mornings and her doing the evenings.
The former co-host of BBC Breakfast said that “changes” took place after becoming a mother and she is now “full-on all the time”.
She added that she had become much more “motivated” and drawn towards “pushing boundaries”.
Minchin previously told The Times that she fell for sport in her mid-40s thanks to a cycling-focused TV challenge.
She did her first triathlon in 2012, and has said that it has “completely and utterly changed me in really positive ways”.