herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

At times I feel guilty as a working mum, says Pippa

Showbiz

Brian Ormond, son Ollie and wife Pippa O'Connor
Brian Ormond, son Ollie and wife Pippa O'Connor
Pippa O'Connor

Pippa O'Connor has admitted she sometimes feels "incredibly guilty" as a working mum.

The former model has a two-year-old son Ollie with her husband Brian Ormond and says it can be tough to "get the balance right".

The last year has seen her website Pippa.ie take off and she often spends weekends away with her Fashion Factory days out.

"People ask me all the time how I juggle being busy and having Ollie and it is difficult," she said.

"It can be a struggle to find a balance sometimes and a lot of the time, especially if I'm away working for a couple of days, I can feel incredibly guilty.

"He does go to creche a couple of times a week and then apart from that he's at home.

Lucky

"But I have to remember that Ollie is in a very lucky position because if I'm working he's with Brian and if Brian is busy he's with me," she added.

The 31-year-old says she prefers being her own boss now as it means she can plan ahead and take days off.

"Now I know what I'm doing from week to week, whereas when I was modelling I never knew," she said.

"Now if I'm working in Galway all next weekend, I might take Monday and Tuesday off to spend with Ollie, so it's about what works for you as a parent.

"It's natural to feel guilty sometimes as a parent, but I think that it's really important not to beat yourself up.

"You do what you have to do because at the end of the day you're working for their future," she added.

Pippa also opened up about how her nephew Finn has cerebral palsy and her next event is a Fashion Factory to raise funds for his life-changing operation.

The event will be held in the Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow on November 1 and tickets will be going on sale by the end of the week.

"I'm going to be doing an event called Fashion for Finn, like the Fashion Factory, but bigger and better and with loads more on offer," she explained.

"Finn was the first baby born into my side of the family, he's my sister's son and he's my godchild too.

"Roughly after his first birthday we knew something wasn't right because he wasn't developing the way he should for his age.

"My sister Susanna and her husband Stephen were very concerned and after taking him to various doctors, specialists and physiotherapists he was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy."

Finn's condition affects his legs and the muscles are held constantly tight and rigid, which makes it impossible for him to stand or walk independently.

After lots of research Pippa's sister and brother-in-law applied for surgery at St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri and after "months of wishing and worrying" Finn was accepted.

The surgery, which is called selective dorsal rhizotomy, cuts some of the sensory nerve fibres in the spine that hold the muscles tight and permanently reduces the tightness.

It is not performed in Ireland, nor is it funded by the HSE and as such they have to raise funds for the operation.

Writing on the Finn's First Steps Facebook page, which Susanna set up to raise awareness, Pippa said the costs involved for the surgery and the intensive physio post-op "are huge".

They have also set up an online account where people can donate to his fund at www.idonate.ie/finnsfirststeps.

"Finn is a fantastic little boy and to see him become more independent will be a dream come true," she added.

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