With daughters who hashtag their pics of their mum with ‘#mumgoals’, clearly Jools Oliver is doing something right as the wonderful woman holding her own as a mother, wife to one of the busiest men on Earth and Award Winning clothing designer of
‘Little Bird By Jools‘.
Jools is as sweet as you would think and I adore her! Grab a cup of tea and read my interview to learn more about this inspiring woman.
Leigh: You are popping up on Food Tube and it is great to see you in action! We know you are a bit camera shy, so what made you decide to put yourself out there and share your cooking with us?
Jools Oliver: I’m really not that comfortable behind the camera hence why I only pop up in the family shows saying very little and smiling along to the accompanying music!! But I really feel passionate about ‘Food Tube‘. I personally use it a lot as there are so many great contributors who are so knowledgeable about food and feeding children so I was happy to help out and give a little bit of my cooking ideas to other parents. I love to do it with my kids as they take the heat off my nerves and make me feel more relaxed! It generally takes a few hours to film me and I am not easy to pin down as I am usually on the school run, working or running boring errands but we have a great team who film us, make me feel relaxed and try and be speedy! Clearly it’s all in the editing as the end result makes me look a twenty bit professional!!! But that doesn’t stop me totally cringing whilst I watch it!!
LV: Over the years you have really inspired many women, worldwide. Have you had to work on your self confidence or has it come naturally as you have grown older?
JO: I have definitely grown in self confidence as I have become older. There are certain things I can do no problem like dance in front of 100 people at my 30th birthday dressed as Britney Spears with two swim suited cladded male dancers!! But almost collapse if I have to stand up and speak publicly to anyone. I have a major problem with blushing so most people think I am extremely shy! But I am getting better. I just think it’s so important to make people feel comfortable and relaxed as that’s the way I like to be treated and generally it all falls into place.
LV: How do you manage to stay so humble? Do you credit your upbringing for keeping you level headed?
JO: Really I do not feel any different to any other mum. Most of my days are pretty boring and centre around the children. Their after school activities, food and play dates. It’s Jamie I feel a bit sorry for as it’s hard for him but for me, we keep ourselves to ourselves, hang with our friends and pick up at the school gates in running gear!
LV: If you weren’t designing your gorgeous childrens range ‘Little Bird’, what would be your dream career and why?
JO: My dream career would definitely be a Midwife. I am absolutely fascinated with everything to do with their job. Whilst having my children I only encountered wonderful nurturing sweet women who brought my babies in to the world with such love and calmness. I know that job would have made me so happy everyday. Maybe one day I could make that dream a reality!!
LV: You SO should! I think you would make an awesome Midwife! Now, let’s talk ‘time management’ for busy mums. How do you prioritise family over work?
JO: Everything is always a juggling act! I always try and make sure I can make the children’s concerts, sports fixtures and school runs. I am very lucky that I can work my schedule a little bit around my job with in reason and now they are all in full time school that makes it so much easier. As Jamie is away a lot and so stretched I think it’s important that I try and represent the children with my dodgy video camera skills and make my self present at every little show or accomplishment as that time will never come around again.
LV: Last year you turned 40. Was that huge for you personally? Did you reflect back on your 30’s and if so, do you think they are a decade for personal growth? What are you most proud of from the last 10 years?
JO: I loved turning 40 mainly because I thought it was a bit of a privilege. To have made it there happy and complete was brilliant. I’m maybe not so excited to get to 41 but that’s just stupid worries about life going to quickly! I loved my 30’s and was so proud of everything Jamie and I had achieved together especially the children. We are very supportive of each other and proud of everything the other does so I think I am pretty proud of how our marriage has grown and remained so stable and happy. Also ‘Little Bird’, our clothing range was fantastic and so rewarding and I am proud everyday of all that myself and my partner George have put in to it.
LV: You lost your father at a very young age (due to a stroke). I imagine that experience has made you super close to your mother and sisters. What life lessons have you learned from having to grow up knowing about loss.
JO: Unfortunately losing my dad relatively young has taught us a lot of lessons. Some good, some bad. I think the fact that our lives stopped and changed forever when my dad became ill when I was about 9, we will never get over. We had a fantastic happy life before he became ill and then spent 15 years with a completely different father who we really had to get used to and understand and care for in a way which was really not the norm for most happy care free children of that age. It was a struggle but we got through it. I am immensely proud of my mum who was incredible and I think her loyalty and love for my dad was so visible to myself and my sisters at such a young age that our life’s lessons were given to us very early. We are a very tight unit us girls and I probably talk to my mum and sisters 3 times a day! If one of us is engaged on the phone it’s generally to another one of us which always makes me smile!
LV: Who inspires you?
JO: Jamie, my mum and sisters and my children inspire me full stop! My mum for all the reasons above and Jamie as he has the kindest soul with only good intentions and is ALWAYS happy and has very clever ideas! My kids just make me laugh and with out realising teach us little lessons every day.
LV: Tell us something about yourself that we may not know..
JO: I’m a very keen runner! I was county champion when I was 16 for the 1500 metres!!
LV: Christmas is sooooooooo close! Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
JO: We have lots of Christmas Eve traditions … It’s generally the most favoured and exciting day of the year for us. Daisy always goes food shopping with Jamie in the early morning at around 6am to avoid the crowds. They take a little flask with hot chocolate and croissants and he always gets her a treat of a magazine to read later in bed! We always visit my mum and have mince pies and tea in the afternoon then to our church to light candles with the children in honour of our Dad. We also all visit his grave and lay a Christmas holly wreath and little Christmas notes from the children. We always have new Christmas Eve pj’s and have an easy dinner. We then get the kids to bed early and snuggle up by the fire waiting for Father Christmas to arrive!!!!
LV: What is on your Christmas list this year?
JO: Nothing yet but I really don’t care. I never do a list as Jamie is pretty good at getting me little surprises but it’s all about the children and a cosy relaxing time by the fire!
LV: Finally, please share your top 5 current loves…
JO: Taking pictures. I love trying to capture moments with the children or just things I see. I would quite like to learn a bit more about photography.
Barrys Boot Camp! I love training after dropping the kids off at school. It’s pretty hard core but I love the music, the teachers and the positive vibes you get during the class.
Surfing ! We go every summer in Cornwall. I am not great but I love the challenge and the exhilaration you get when you catch a wave. I am so frightened of the sea but we have an amazing teacher and with us all in the water as a family it’s a pretty cool place to be.
I absolutely love Sarah Chapman night oil. I have been using it for about a year and it totally nourishes my dry skin and I really feel it hydrates my skin over night.
I love Rescue Remedy! My kids use it to if they feel a little overwhelmed and I certainly use it before I do filming as it really seems to calm me down.