Christine Lampard's goal is to have a nice home life and a happy, healthy child
Christine Lampard has opened up on the joys of motherhood as she prepares to celebrate her daughter's first birthday.
The former Newtownards woman (40) welcomed Patricia into the world last September with her husband Frank Lampard (41), and believes becoming a mother has steered her focus away from her career as a TV presenter towards her home life.
Despite being a regular host on ITV talk shows Loose Women and Lorraine, Christine is keen to step out of the spotlight and enjoy time with her family, including those back in Northern Ireland.
"Having a nice home life and a happy, healthy child. That's my goal," she said. "I'm really grateful that I have this lovely stint on Lorraine and then in September I can take my foot off the pedal and be at home more. That suits me. I don't want to have to be 'on' every day. I love what I do and I love having time at home and being able to go back to Northern Ireland when I want to. Those things are as important to me as any job and, touch wood, at the minute I've got that balance and I can't really ask for much more than that."
Motherhood has brought a new sense of contentment for the star, who is revelling in watching Patricia progress.
"Ach, it's been brilliant," she told The Sun's Fabulous magazine. "It's just the usual madness of getting the hang of surviving on less sleep than you thought you'd ever be able to, but she's great, I have to say."
Christine's lifestyle is a world away from her teenage years in Newtownards, when the effects of the Troubles led her to study politics at Queen's University.
Despite this, she doesn't believe a career as a political journalist was ever on her horizon.
"Standing outside Number 10 for most of the day is not quite for me," she added. "But I was always fascinated, because growing up in Northern Ireland, you're involved in politics whether you want to be or not.
"You had to be because it dictated whether or not your car got blown up. I remember many times being evacuated out of buildings, out of our house, shopping centres. And I did politics wanting to know more and thinking maybe I could change something.
"I find the whole political platform at the minute so crazy. And because it's so intense I wonder if a lot of people just back off and go: 'Oh, I don't want to hear the word Brexit any more and disengage'."
As the first-time mum enjoys life at a slower pace, Frank is returning to Stamford Bridge as the new Chelsea boss.
It hasn't been the best of starts, with a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United and a 1-1 draw with Leicester City yesterday.
Christine admits she was nervous about him taking on the role.
"It's an absolute dream job but a very pressurised one," she added. "You're suddenly very much in the spotlight - it's Chelsea, so the whole world will be watching. But he knows what it is."
Christine credits her mother, Mina, for the best piece of parenting advice she has had so far. "She said something really quite crucial after I'd had the baby -that there will be days when you think 'Right, I'm going to go out and do this and do that today or tackle the ironing which is the height of the ceiling...' But maybe Patricia will have a temperature.
"So there will always be days when everything goes out the window and that's fine. You've got to maybe do things at a slower pace. And that helped me.
"I have taken a step back and felt okay saying: 'I can't do that today'."