Alex Jones: Y Fam Gymreig


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Alex Jones: Y Fam Gymreig

Alex Jones sy'n teithio trwy Gymru yn cwrdd â mamau eraill. Beth sy'n gwneud rhywun yn fam dda? Alex Jones talks to other mothers about the work/life balance and what makes a go...


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-I'm Alex Jones. I'm a TV presenter.

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-Since last year,

-I'm a first-time mother.

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-Life for women was more restricted

-100 years ago.

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-They didn't have the right to vote,

-buy a house or work while pregnant.

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-Things have changed significantly

-in the last century.

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-You're enjoying this!

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-Whoosh!

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-Most women now go to work.

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-I returned to work

-three months after Teddy was born.

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-That was difficult.

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-Finding the balance between my job

-and being a mother is hard.

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-Even finding time to feed Ted

-before I go to work is difficult.

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-Don't squish it. Eat it.

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-Nice?

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-Mami have one?

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-How do you find the balance between

-being a mum and holding down a job?

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-On this programme...

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-..I'm going to travel across the

-country to speak to other mothers...

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-..share experiences

-and get some advice, I hope.

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-This is the question. Is it possible

-for a Welsh mother to have it all?

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-And who or what

-is the Welsh mother today?

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-"The role of a mother

-is trying to be a bit of everything.

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-"It's impossible most of the time.

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-"I'm not sure

-if any advice or book...

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-"..can prepare you

-for when you first hold your child.

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-"You feel every emotion

-under the sun.

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-"Just don't mention the exhaustion!"

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-"The biggest struggle with being

-a mother in this day and age...

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-"..is trying to have that balance...

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-"..between family life

-and work life."

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-It's so important for us mothers

-to talk to one another.

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-We pretend we're perfect

-to the outside world...

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-..but there's no such thing.

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-I'm not sure if it's harder

-for our generation.

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-There might be more pressure

-because we want it all.

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-I'm on my way to speak to a mother

-who can be very honest with me.

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-Someone who can compare

-her experiences with mine.

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-The mother I know better

-than any other - my own.

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-Hiya!

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-Hiya!

-

-Hello, Al. How was the journey?

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-Come in for a cuppa.

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-I'm doing a programme

-on what it is to be a mother.

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-I thought the person who'd be

-most honest with me would be you...

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-..since you raised me.

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-How old were you when you had me?

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-How old were you when you had me?

-

-Twenty-five.

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-Jen is two and a half years

-younger than me.

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-Did you and Dad have a plan?

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-We planned to have two children.

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-You came sooner than planned!

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-Did I? Was it a shock?

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-Yes, it was.

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-I was going to work for two years,

-but no.

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-I had five years off to raise you.

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-That's how it was. I had nobody

-to look after you anyway.

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-That's how it was back then.

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-There was no creche

-or anything like that.

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-But you're glad now

-because you were a young mother.

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-It was fine. It worked out great.

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-Twenty-five...

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-I think 25 is very young now.

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-Yes, it is young.

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-Back then, it wasn't young.

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-I was an old mother.

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-You were an old mother!

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-You were an old mother!

-

-On the card they give you.

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-What am I? A geriatric!

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-What am I? A geriatric!

-

-I was an old mother.

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-Anything older than 23

-was classed as an old mother.

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-Gosh! As young as that?

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-Forty is the age

-considered old nowadays.

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-I was just under that threshold,

-being 39 when I had Teddy.

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-It's all changed. Everything.

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-Dadi didn't get any time off.

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-Dadi didn't get any time off.

-

-Not at all?

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-No, none.

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-Was he back at work the day after?

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-After you came out.

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-He was allowed to fetch you

-from the hospital...

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-..but he had to go in the next day.

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-You were born on the weekend

-so you did well there!

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-Same thing as Ted.

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-Planning.

-Giving birth on a Saturday.

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-You lost your mother

-when you were 16.

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-Yes.

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-That must have affected you.

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-It was very hard.

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-I'd have been stuck without you

-at the start.

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-You know

-I was hopeless at the start.

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-Everyone's the same.

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-But I was almost 40

-and I didn't know what I was doing.

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-What advice do you have?

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-You were there for the first

-three weeks after Ted was born.

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-What's Mary's top tip?

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-It would be to do it your way.

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-You'll work it out.

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-Everyone raises their children

-differently.

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-Do it your way, you and Charlie.

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-That's what we do,

-from week to week.

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-When we're stuck, we come here.

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-OK. See you before long.

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-Ta-ra.

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-I sometimes find it hard

-to look after one child...

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-..between working full-time,

-household chores and everything.

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-Others say it's hard with two.

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-Some friends say

-that having three is impossible.

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-But some mothers deal

-with a lot more.

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-On a small estate

-between Cwm-y-Glo and Llanrug...

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-..Jen and Rob

-live with their nine children.

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-The eldest has just turned 17

-and the youngest is seven months.

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-Hello, how are you?

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-Hello, how are you?

-

-Not bad. And you?

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-Nice to meet you. I'm Alex.

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-Nice to meet you. I'm Alex.

-

-Jen.

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-You're the mother?

-I thought you were the eldest!

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-You look so young!

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-Hello, everyone.

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-Introduce me to everyone, Elliw.

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-This is Poppy.

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-Alfie, Jasmine, Keith, Jac, Rob,

-Dylan, George and Dad.

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-Do you remember all their names?

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-Do you remember all their names?

-

-Yes. I write them down!

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-Wow!

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-It's so nice to come

-into such a fun and lively home.

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-For you as parents,

-it must be extremely hard work.

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-You get used to it.

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-It's not come about all of a sudden,

-it's progressed over time.

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-You get used to it over time.

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-Did you plan on having a big family?

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-Did you plan on having a big family?

-

-No.

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-After three, you didn't think,

-"That's it."

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-No!

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-It's too expensive for you to

-eat out so it's sandwiches instead.

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-How many sandwiches?

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-An entire loaf.

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-How much bread do you buy a week?

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-Ten. We have toast in the morning.

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-And in the evening!

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-Yes, and for lunchboxes.

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-We go through eight pints of milk

-a day.

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-Eight pints a day?

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-People will ask this question.

-Why do you have so many children?

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-What's your answer?

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-I like a large family

-though I'm not from a large family.

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-You have fun with them

-and I enjoy doing things with them.

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-There's a nice atmosphere here.

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-There's a nice atmosphere here.

-

-It's great.

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-There's a lot of love in the house.

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-That's obvious. It's nice.

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-There's always someone to play with.

-Or to fight with!

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-Jasmine. Poppy. Coat.

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-OK? Shoes on.

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-For the whole family to go out,

-there was only one solution...

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-..buy a bus.

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-What's the reaction at the school

-when Rob turns up with the kids?

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-The kids say, "Wow!"

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-You work full-time, Rob.

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-You work full-time, Rob.

-

-Yes, I have my own business.

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-Who has the hardest job?

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-Who has the hardest job?

-

-Me.

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-You think so, do you?

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-You think so, do you?

-

-Do you want a swap?

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-I was going to say.

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-How many bedrooms are in the house?

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-How many bedrooms are in the house?

-

-Three.

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-And eleven of you.

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-Right. So how does that work?

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-It doesn't at the moment!

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-To be honest, it doesn't.

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-But we manage.

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-I've made beds for the boys.

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-It's a five-bed bunk bed.

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-Wow!

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-Wow!

-

-A five-tier bunk bed.

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-The boys think

-it's the best climbing frame.

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-They must love it.

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-They don't know any different.

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-No.

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-Do you and Rob

-have any time for yourselves?

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-Not much.

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-Do you miss that?

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-Do you miss that?

-

-Sometimes.

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-Would you change anything?

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-No.

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-No.

-

-No.

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-A larger house.

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-In an ideal world,

-we'd have an extension...

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-..so we could live more comfortably.

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-But the same number of children.

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-But the same number of children.

-

-One more.

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-And one more.

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-I've been writing a book called

-Winging It! for other mothers.

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-It's about my own experiences

-as a mother.

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-Doing it in the first year after

-having Ted has been challenging.

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-But the stories I've got from other

-parents has been an inspiration.

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-It goes to print next week.

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-Our unit here in London

-is very small...

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-..as Mam and Dad live in Wales,

-at the other end of the M4.

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-Charlie, my husband, and I

-share the burden.

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-But what about single parents?

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-A hundred years ago, a single mother

-would have been mocked.

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-But with the 1960s revolution

-and the feminist movement...

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-..more and more women had the

-confidence to raise a family alone.

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-This is exactly

-what Angharad does today.

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-You can think of bike rides as being

-an activity for the whole family.

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-Do you sometimes miss another person

-being there, a man?

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-Yes.

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-We might go past a park and see

-a mother, father and their children.

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-It makes you think sometimes...

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-..that it would be nice

-to have someone else.

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-They're growing up now

-and doing things on their own.

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-It would be nice to have someone I

-can do things that I like with too.

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-Plenty of time! Your time will come!

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-Do you think there's still stigma

-attached with being a single mother?

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-I've never experienced stigma,

-not to my face anyway.

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-People think of single mothers doing

-the school run in their pyjamas.

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-They go home, sit on the sofa, watch

-Jeremy Kyle and live off benefits.

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-I've worked all my life apart

-from maternity leave for both boys.

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-I work full-time

-to keep a roof over our heads.

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-So weekends are very important

-to you as a family.

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-They are.

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-We don't rush around.

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-We can take our time,

-have breakfast...

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-..go out on our bikes

-and do something we all enjoy.

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-It's an important time for us.

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-Shall we go back to the house?

-I'm freezing!

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-How did you become single?

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-I was in a relationship

-with the boys' father for 15 years.

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-I found that I wasn't

-living the life I wanted...

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-..and I couldn't see that changing.

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-I was becoming bitter

-because I felt I was stuck.

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-So I thought I had to change it.

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-It was a big step

-to go from a two-salary home...

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-..and someone who loved me

-to saying, "No, I don't want this."

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-After 15 years.

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-After 15 years.

-

-You were very brave.

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-People say that...

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-..but I had to do it,

-I had to get out of that situation.

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-Of course, we were all upset.

-It went on for many months.

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-The tears.

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-Trying to get used

-to another way of living.

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-It's almost six years

-since we separated.

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-It took two or three years for me

-to get used to being alone again.

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-But, yes...

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-Sorry.

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-It's alright.

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-How did the boys respond?

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-Ioan took it very badly that his

-father wasn't living here any more.

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-He was very angry with me.

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-He'd sometimes come home

-from his father's house...

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-..he wouldn't look at me

-or talk to me, which was very hard.

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-Llew was more supportive.

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-He was older. He could see

-that things weren't right.

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-It's a lot for a six-year-old child

-to understand.

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-Did you find it difficult that,

-from his perspective...

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-..he regarded it as your fault?

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-Yes.

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-He feels that I've removed something

-from his life.

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-That I've spoiled his life,

-taken something away from him.

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-I don't think

-he feels I did it on purpose.

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-I've tried explaining the reasons

-to him.

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-It happens to a lot of families,

-not just us.

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-I told him

-it's happened to his friends.

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-For him, it's been a major event.

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-I think it still affects him.

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-But you go from two salaries...

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-..and someone else to share the

-responsibility of raising children.

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-Everything falls on your shoulders.

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-You've worked full-time

-throughout this time.

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-Yes.

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-Everything falls on my shoulders.

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-So I have to go to work, come home,

-make dinner, help with homework...

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-..do the chores.

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-There's nobody else to sit down

-and read with them or do homework.

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-You have to be everything for them.

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-It is a struggle

-when you have to say no.

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-"Sorry, I can't buy that."

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-"We can't go there."

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-"I don't know where

-we'd get the money to do that."

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-But there's the argument

-that you're a better mother...

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-..because you're happier.

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-After about two years,

-did you feel that was the case...

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-..that you could be

-a better mother...

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-..because you weren't in

-a relationship that wasn't working?

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-I'm definitely happier.

-I enjoy my life. I have my freedom.

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-They see me now working hard...

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-..but also going out with friends

-and enjoying myself.

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-I'm a very different person now

-to who I was six years ago.

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-To be honest, since Dad left,

-it's brought us very close.

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-If Ioan goes to stay with Dad,

-Mam and I will go out for the day.

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-What about you, Ioan?

-What's the best thing about Mami?

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-When I want to talk about something,

-she's happy to talk to me.

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-All she wants is for us to be happy.

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-It's not all been easy.

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-We had to battle through

-some difficult times.

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-But the three of us

-have come out on top and are happy.

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-Yes.

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-The thanks goes to her because

-she's done everything for us.

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-Do you see yourself

-living at home for a while?

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-Yes.

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-It would be very hard to leave Mam.

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-Mummy's boy.

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-I'm sure there are lots

-of single mothers...

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-..or those going through

-a separation or a divorce.

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-What would your advice be?

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-Good friends.

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-You need good friends...

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-..to laugh with...

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-..and cry with.

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-My friends will tell you

-I've cried enough over the years.

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-The time when children are small

-is relatively short, isn't it?

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-It is.

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-You need friends

-for the next part too.

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-Yes!

0:18:440:18:45

-Or a man!

0:18:450:18:47

-Or a man.

0:18:470:18:48

-"The only advice I would give...

0:18:540:18:57

-"..would be to have as much fun

-as possible with children...

0:18:570:19:01

-"..while they're young

-before they can answer back."

0:19:020:19:06

-"Though it breaks my heart

-as they grow up...

0:19:070:19:10

-"..that they don't need me as much,

-it gives me great happiness...

0:19:100:19:15

-"..to see them growing up

-to be confident young people."

0:19:150:19:19

-Seeing your child grow, develop

-skills and become independent...

0:19:210:19:26

-..is an integral part

-of being a mother.

0:19:260:19:29

-But the mother I'm about to meet

-won't get that opportunity.

0:19:290:19:33

-Hiya. Are you OK?

0:19:360:19:37

-Sandra? I'm Alex. Nice to meet you.

0:19:380:19:40

-Sandra? I'm Alex. Nice to meet you.

-

-Come in.

0:19:400:19:41

-It's lovely and warm here.

0:19:420:19:43

-Is this your first photograph

-of Marie?

0:19:450:19:48

-Yes, the one in the middle.

0:19:480:19:50

-How much did she weigh?

0:19:510:19:52

-How much did she weigh?

-

-2lb 7ozs.

0:19:520:19:53

-She was premature.

0:19:540:19:55

-She was premature.

-

-Several weeks.

0:19:550:19:56

-Is this you?

0:19:570:19:59

-Is this you?

-

-That's me.

0:19:590:20:01

-Look, Marie.

0:20:020:20:03

-You're holding her in your hands.

-She was very small.

0:20:040:20:07

-During Marie's early years,

-Sandra and her husband Mal...

0:20:110:20:14

-..realized

-she wasn't developing properly.

0:20:140:20:17

-After she turned two,

-they took Marie for a scan.

0:20:180:20:22

-They discovered

-she had cerebral palsy.

0:20:220:20:25

-Life for the family

-would never be the same.

0:20:260:20:29

-How did you and your husband feel...

0:20:340:20:37

-..when you found out

-that Marie had problems?

0:20:370:20:40

-We were upset.

0:20:410:20:42

-It changed your life.

0:20:420:20:44

-Our lives changed completely

-after having her.

0:20:440:20:48

-When she was a baby,

-she was alright.

0:20:490:20:51

-I could carry her everywhere.

0:20:520:20:54

-But as she grew, she got heavier.

0:20:540:20:57

-I had to carry her into the car,

-into the house.

0:20:580:21:00

-Do everything for her.

0:21:010:21:02

-I quit my job then my husband

-got ill with kidney problems.

0:21:020:21:07

-Then he gave up his job.

0:21:070:21:09

-She wasn't sleeping either.

0:21:090:21:11

-So I'd sleep for an hour

-then he'd sleep for an hour.

0:21:120:21:16

-We did that all night.

0:21:160:21:17

-Has that changed?

0:21:180:21:20

-It's still the same.

-She's still up all night.

0:21:200:21:23

-We got a phone call

-when she was three...

0:21:240:21:27

-..asking

-if we wanted her to be adopted.

0:21:270:21:30

-Really?

0:21:310:21:32

-I said, "No chance.

0:21:320:21:34

-"She's my daughter

-and she's staying with us."

0:21:340:21:38

-Then I put the phone down.

0:21:380:21:40

-You knew straight away,

-no question.

0:21:410:21:44

-No question.

0:21:440:21:45

-She's my daughter, and my husband's.

0:21:460:21:48

-We'll look after her

-whatever happens.

0:21:490:21:51

-What is Marie's mental age?

0:21:510:21:54

-12-18 months.

0:21:540:21:56

-It's like having a permanent baby.

0:21:590:22:03

-Yes.

0:22:030:22:04

-Is that the best way to describe it?

0:22:040:22:06

-Is that the best way to describe it?

-

-Yes.

0:22:060:22:07

-Neither of us goes out.

-We're here with Marie.

0:22:070:22:11

-This is our life.

0:22:110:22:12

-Do you think that your other two

-have received less attention...

0:22:130:22:17

-..than you'd have liked

-to have given because of Marie?

0:22:170:22:23

-A lot less.

0:22:230:22:24

-But they've grown up with it

-so they don't know any different.

0:22:250:22:29

-How often do you go to the hospital

-and the doctor's surgery?

0:22:310:22:35

-This year, she's been

-admitted twice, so not too bad.

0:22:360:22:39

-Right.

0:22:390:22:40

-The seizures are the worst.

0:22:410:22:43

-What causes the seizures?

0:22:440:22:45

-What causes the seizures?

-

-Stress.

0:22:450:22:46

-Any stress,

-it happens straight away.

0:22:460:22:50

-Do you know when the seizures

-are going to happen?

0:22:500:22:53

-No.

0:22:540:22:55

-She could be asleep.

0:22:550:22:59

-So it can happen at night.

0:22:590:23:01

-There's no wonder you don't sleep

-because you're on pins all the time.

0:23:010:23:06

-She died once, when she was four.

0:23:060:23:09

-A doctor came to the house

-and revived her.

0:23:110:23:15

-He went with us in the ambulance.

0:23:150:23:17

-But she's still here.

0:23:180:23:20

-Aren't you?

0:23:200:23:21

-She's always happy.

0:23:220:23:24

-She's still here...

0:23:240:23:25

-..because you do such a

-fantastic job of looking after her.

0:23:260:23:29

-We have to.

0:23:290:23:31

-She's brought us so much pain...

0:23:330:23:35

-I'm hopeless!

0:23:360:23:37

-It's fine.

0:23:380:23:39

-She's brought us so much pain for

-years but you have to keep going.

0:23:390:23:44

-We put music on for you.

-Whatever you want, you get.

0:23:460:23:50

-You're always happy and smiling.

0:23:500:23:53

-She makes us proud every day.

0:23:550:23:57

-She never grumbles.

0:23:570:23:59

-She's always happy.

0:24:010:24:03

-There's always a smile on your face.

0:24:030:24:05

-At the end of the day,

-it's your child.

0:24:070:24:10

-You'll do anything for that child.

0:24:100:24:12

-Pick your leg up. OK?

0:24:250:24:27

-Leg go.

0:24:270:24:28

-Leg go.

-

-Righto.

0:24:280:24:29

-I have no words to describe

-what it was like to meet Sandra.

0:24:350:24:39

-I'm full of admiration...

0:24:400:24:42

-..for what she and her husband

-go through every day.

0:24:420:24:46

-It goes to show that some mothers

-have it much tougher.

0:24:480:24:52

-They're stuck in that house.

0:24:530:24:55

-We have no idea.

0:24:570:24:58

-As she said,

-she's her mother and that's it.

0:24:580:25:02

-.

0:25:060:25:07

-Subtitles

0:25:110:25:11

-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

0:25:110:25:13

-The Internet with all its websites

-on how to be the perfect mother...

0:25:150:25:21

-..puts more and more pressure

-on us today.

0:25:210:25:25

-The mummy blogger fashion

-has exploded in recent years.

0:25:260:25:30

-These websites vary

-in terms of style and content.

0:25:300:25:34

-Some look at the challenges

-of raising children...

0:25:340:25:37

-..while others portray

-the ideal family life.

0:25:370:25:40

-These blogs are now big business.

0:25:410:25:44

-Mother Of Daughters and Mother Like

-No Other are the most influential.

0:25:440:25:50

-I want to find out more

-about how it all works...

0:25:510:25:54

-..so I've come to meet Heulwen, who

-has started a blog called Mam Cymru.

0:25:540:25:58

-Hiya, Heulwen. How are you?

0:25:590:26:00

-Are you OK?

0:26:010:26:02

-Are you OK?

-

-Yes, thanks.

0:26:020:26:03

-Where did the idea come from

-for Mam Cymru?

0:26:050:26:07

-There was nothing in Welsh online

-when I was pregnant with Elsi.

0:26:080:26:12

-I looked at English forums

-but couldn't relate to them.

0:26:120:26:16

-Raising children bilingually

-in Wales is very different.

0:26:160:26:20

-So I started it last July.

0:26:200:26:24

-I wrote my own articles

-and interviewed people.

0:26:240:26:28

-Other people then wanted to

-contribute and would send articles.

0:26:280:26:33

-I now receive articles daily from

-parents across Wales and beyond...

0:26:330:26:37

-..who want to contribute.

0:26:370:26:39

-It's very exciting.

0:26:390:26:41

-But it isn't your full-time job...

0:26:410:26:44

-..so where do you find the time

-to do the blog?

0:26:440:26:47

-That's true.

0:26:470:26:48

-Mam Cymru is a hobby.

0:26:490:26:51

-I get up early,

-between 5.00am and 5.30am...

0:26:520:26:56

-You don't!

0:26:560:26:57

-I do. My alarm goes off and

-I shift quietly to the spare room.

0:26:580:27:02

-That's the Mam Cymru HQ

-as I say on Twitter!

0:27:020:27:06

-It's the Mam Cymru HQ.

0:27:070:27:08

-I'm there for about an hour and

-a half then I go to my proper job.

0:27:080:27:12

-When Elsi's gone to bed,

-I do some more work on Mam Cymru.

0:27:120:27:18

-Blogs like yours...

0:27:180:27:20

-..are good at making young mothers

-feel they're not alone...

0:27:200:27:24

-..that there are people

-who can share their experiences.

0:27:240:27:28

-When I would feed Ted

-at three or four in the morning...

0:27:290:27:33

-..that's when I'd surf the Internet

-for these websites.

0:27:340:27:37

-The early hours is when

-a lot of people do go on Mam Cymru.

0:27:380:27:43

-Not just in Wales but abroad too.

0:27:430:27:45

-It's daytime then in Australia.

0:27:460:27:48

-I can see how many people in Wales

-go on it in the early hours.

0:27:490:27:53

-It's something to entertain them

-while the children are feeding...

0:27:540:27:58

-..or while they're screaming!

0:27:580:28:00

-Raising a child

-where there's family around you...

0:28:010:28:05

-..those days have gone,

-as you and I both know.

0:28:050:28:09

-I think people need services

-and places they can go for advice.

0:28:090:28:14

-Being a mother isn't perfect...

0:28:140:28:16

-..but it's the best thing

-that's happened to me.

0:28:160:28:19

-I reflect that in what I write.

0:28:190:28:21

-When mothers and fathers say it's

-made a difference to their lives...

0:28:220:28:26

-..and has inspired them,

-it makes me want to carry on.

0:28:270:28:30

-As you said, something was needed

-in Welsh as there was nothing.

0:28:300:28:34

-Congratulations to you. Fantastic.

0:28:350:28:37

-I'll be reading it

-in the coming years...

0:28:370:28:40

-..when I'll have lost the plot

-and will need something to help me!

0:28:410:28:45

-"Being a mother is missing your kids

-when you're not with them...

0:28:510:28:55

-"..and loving them

-when you're with them.

0:28:560:28:59

-"But you need a lot of patience."

0:28:590:29:01

-"What struck me after coming home

-from hospital with the baby...

0:29:020:29:07

-"..was the huge responsibility.

0:29:070:29:09

-"I was now responsible for this

-tiny person for the rest of my life.

0:29:100:29:14

-"There's no clocking off

-when you're a parent."

0:29:140:29:18

-When I was pregnant with Teddy, lots

-of people said I wouldn't believe...

0:29:220:29:27

-..how much love I'd feel

-for the new baby

0:29:270:29:30

-They were right.

-The love is endless.

0:29:300:29:32

-But these feelings aren't unique

-to mothers who've given birth.

0:29:330:29:37

-There are many different ways

-of feeling that motherly love.

0:29:380:29:42

-Hiya! How are you, Elin? Are you OK?

0:29:440:29:46

-Hiya! How are you, Elin? Are you OK?

-

-Good. Come in.

0:29:460:29:47

-Thank you.

0:29:470:29:49

-You'd struggle to find a closer bond

-between a mother and daughter...

0:29:510:29:55

-..than Elin and Caitlin's,

-but this is no ordinary story.

0:29:550:29:59

-Your journey to becoming a mother

-is different to most.

0:29:590:30:03

-Tell me the story.

0:30:040:30:05

-I became friends with Caitlin's

-mother when I was about 26.

0:30:060:30:10

-We both got jobs lecturing for

-a year at Cardiff Met University.

0:30:100:30:15

-During our time there,

-she fell pregnant with Caitlin.

0:30:150:30:19

-She gave birth to her.

-I was her godmother.

0:30:190:30:23

-After about a year...

0:30:230:30:25

-..her mother developed symptoms

-which turned out to be cancer.

0:30:250:30:29

-She died when Caitlin

-was about a year and three months.

0:30:300:30:34

-As a godmother, I wanted to help

-her father John to look after her.

0:30:380:30:43

-In time, a relationship developed

-between John and me.

0:30:440:30:48

-We weren't sure if it would work out

-as we had to think of Caitlin.

0:30:480:30:53

-It has worked.

-We've been married for ten years.

0:30:530:30:57

-We've lived as a family since then.

0:30:570:30:59

-So your life changed completely.

0:31:000:31:03

-You hadn't foreseen it.

0:31:030:31:06

-You hadn't foreseen it.

-

-Not at all.

0:31:060:31:07

-I was single at the time and

-hadn't thought about settling down.

0:31:070:31:12

-Suddenly, I was looking after

-a little girl.

0:31:120:31:15

-But it's the best thing

-that could have happened to me.

0:31:150:31:18

-Had you and Nicola discussed this

-at all during her illness?

0:31:180:31:23

-I'd visit her regularly

-and help with Caitlin.

0:31:230:31:26

-I remember one night

-when she was very ill in hospital.

0:31:260:31:31

-John was sat on one side of her

-and I was sat on the other.

0:31:310:31:35

-She held our hand...

0:31:360:31:38

-..and something in my head said...

0:31:390:31:42

-.."Oh, my gosh, I think

-she wants me to look after them."

0:31:420:31:46

-That's stayed with me.

0:31:460:31:48

-I've never felt guilty

-for taking her family.

0:31:490:31:52

-I just want to do the best for Cait

-and give her every opportunity.

0:31:520:31:57

-Your mother explained...

0:32:020:32:04

-..that you were a baby

-when you lost your birth mother.

0:32:040:32:07

-You remember hardly anything.

0:32:080:32:10

-Nothing.

0:32:110:32:13

-What's your first memory?

0:32:130:32:15

-I don't remember anything.

0:32:160:32:19

-I only know Mam

-through photographs and videos...

0:32:190:32:23

-..that Mam and Dad have shown me.

0:32:240:32:26

-But Mam is your mother, is she?

0:32:270:32:29

-Yes.

0:32:300:32:31

-What's great about Mam?

0:32:310:32:33

-I'm putting you on the spot!

0:32:350:32:37

-She makes me work hard.

0:32:380:32:41

-Does she?

0:32:410:32:43

-She helps me with homework

-as she's a teacher.

0:32:430:32:47

-So she is good.

0:32:470:32:49

-You look very similar.

0:32:500:32:52

-Do people say that often?

0:32:520:32:54

-Yes.

0:32:540:32:55

-When you were growing up, people

-were saying how similar we are.

0:32:560:33:00

-"She's the spit of you."

-We'd look at each other and smile.

0:33:000:33:04

-Nice. Are there things about Caitlin

-that remind you of Nicola?

0:33:040:33:10

-I've noticed

-when she looks a certain way.

0:33:100:33:13

-She looks the same as her mother.

0:33:130:33:16

-I say,

-"You looked like your mother there."

0:33:160:33:19

-Nicola was quite shy.

-She didn't like a fuss.

0:33:200:33:23

-I think you're like her in that way.

0:33:230:33:26

-She liked to do her schoolwork

-tidily as she was a teacher.

0:33:270:33:31

-You like your work to be tidy too.

0:33:310:33:34

-The older Caitlin gets,

-the similarity increases...

0:33:340:33:38

-..as she develops

-into a young woman.

0:33:380:33:41

-Are there things

-you want to know about your mother?

0:33:410:33:45

-Things you didn't think about

-before.

0:33:460:33:48

-I think more

-about her personality...

0:33:480:33:51

-..and what she was like.

0:33:510:33:53

-Yes, I want to know more.

0:33:560:33:58

-Caitlin's mother

-was a primary school teacher.

0:33:590:34:02

-That's what you want to do. There

-might be something in her nature.

0:34:020:34:08

-I don't know what it's like

-to have a child naturally.

0:34:130:34:16

-But I can't imagine our relationship

-would be any different.

0:34:170:34:21

-I'm so proud of everything she does.

-I'm sharing her journey.

0:34:240:34:28

-She does a lot of dancing,

-gymnastics and athletics.

0:34:280:34:32

-It gives me a lot of pleasure

-watching her.

0:34:320:34:36

-I feel proud

-knowing I'm doing an OK job...

0:34:360:34:39

-..and that Nic's

-watching over her too.

0:34:400:34:42

-"Dear Mam,

-Happy Birthday to you. 40!

0:34:430:34:45

-"You support me in everything I do!

0:34:450:34:48

-"Thank you very much

-for being there with me!

0:34:480:34:51

-"Loads of love, Caitlin"

0:34:510:34:53

-.

0:34:590:35:00

-Subtitles

0:35:030:35:03

-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

0:35:030:35:05

-The role of the Welsh mother

-has changed so much.

0:35:160:35:19

-Since 2002, same-sex couples

-have been able to adopt children...

0:35:190:35:24

-..and prove that a man or woman

-can be a mother...

0:35:240:35:27

-..like Alan and his partner did.

0:35:270:35:29

-Did you always know

-that you wanted children?

0:35:300:35:34

-Yes. I've always had

-a maternal side to me.

0:35:340:35:38

-Or paternal!

0:35:380:35:40

-I've always known I've wanted

-to give that love to a child.

0:35:400:35:45

-Mam is such an important figure

-to me.

0:35:460:35:49

-I want to do what she did.

0:35:490:35:51

-I was eight

-when I first thought I was gay.

0:35:520:35:56

-But you don't understand

-what that means at that age.

0:35:560:36:00

-I grew up knowing I wouldn't

-get married and have children.

0:36:000:36:04

-At the time, it wasn't an option.

0:36:040:36:05

-At the time, it wasn't an option.

-

-No.

0:36:050:36:06

-When we were going through

-the adoption process...

0:36:060:36:09

-..they said

-that dealing with gay couples...

0:36:090:36:12

-..was different

-to dealing with straight couples.

0:36:120:36:16

-The woman experiences grief in a way

-as she can't have children.

0:36:160:36:20

-She has to deal with that

-before she can adopt.

0:36:200:36:23

-They said that gay people

-don't have that.

0:36:230:36:26

-But they do. I was eight

-trying to deal with that.

0:36:260:36:30

-Women deal with it

-with a partner as an adult.

0:36:300:36:33

-I was a child dealing with it.

0:36:330:36:35

-Yes.

0:36:350:36:36

-What did your family think

-of the fact you wanted to adopt?

0:36:360:36:40

-They were delighted.

0:36:410:36:42

-Mam's been over the moon

-from the start.

0:36:420:36:45

-She loves coming down.

0:36:460:36:47

-He has bunk beds in his room.

-The bottom one is Nain's bed.

0:36:470:36:51

-Is it?!

0:36:510:36:53

-Can you describe the moment you saw

-your little boy for the first time?

0:36:530:36:59

-Just...

0:36:590:37:00

-We walked in.

0:37:010:37:02

-We'd stopped somewhere

-to buy a wooden toy to give to him.

0:37:030:37:07

-We walked in and he ran towards us,

-smiled and jumped up for a hug.

0:37:080:37:12

-It felt that he belonged to me

-and that's it.

0:37:120:37:15

-That's lovely!

0:37:150:37:17

-Oh!

0:37:210:37:22

-I'm hopeless! I'm a real softie!

0:37:230:37:26

-Did it feel natural from the start?

0:37:270:37:30

-Totally natural.

0:37:300:37:32

-A lot of what they discuss

-beforehand...

0:37:340:37:37

-..is if you have a feeling

-that "he's not my son"...

0:37:370:37:41

-..how do you bring about that love?

0:37:410:37:43

-We prepared ourselves for

-not having an immediate connection.

0:37:430:37:47

-But I did have that connection.

0:37:470:37:49

-Even parents who give birth

-might not have that connection.

0:37:500:37:54

-But it felt totally natural.

0:37:540:37:55

-But it felt totally natural.

-

-Immediately.

0:37:550:37:56

-I was a father

-the moment he looked at me.

0:37:570:37:59

-When you came back,

-the three of you...

0:38:100:38:14

-..how did you define who did what?

0:38:140:38:17

-My partner took time off.

0:38:170:38:19

-At the beginning, I was more

-the father who comes home...

0:38:190:38:24

-..who hasn't seen the child all day.

0:38:240:38:27

-The stereotypical father.

0:38:270:38:29

-That was the only time

-where we had more traditional roles.

0:38:300:38:34

-I'd give him a bath and put him

-to bed - I hadn't seen him all day.

0:38:350:38:39

-You have preconceptions.

0:38:400:38:42

-I thought I'd be the best

-at keeping discipline.

0:38:420:38:46

-But not at all. I was so soft.

0:38:470:38:48

-But not at all. I was so soft.

-

-Like me. Hopeless!

0:38:480:38:50

-What does your little boy

-call you as parents?

0:38:520:38:55

-Dad and Dadi.

0:38:550:38:56

-Did you decide beforehand

-which was which?

0:38:560:39:00

-We said, "Let him decide

-and see what comes."

0:39:000:39:04

-People thought that was weird

-as children aren't used to it.

0:39:040:39:08

-I had Nain and Nain.

0:39:080:39:10

-You're right. Of course.

0:39:100:39:13

-It isn't anything new.

-People just look for differences.

0:39:130:39:17

-Yes. Did you get

-any negative responses?

0:39:180:39:22

-You like to think that everyone's

-open-minded but that's not the case.

0:39:230:39:28

-Some people still believe that

-a child needs a mother and father.

0:39:280:39:33

-Nobody's said anything to my face.

0:39:330:39:35

-Great.

0:39:360:39:37

-There were a couple of times when

-people thought they were being kind.

0:39:380:39:42

-A couple of women have hugged him

-saying...

0:39:430:39:45

-.."It's nice to have a hug

-from a mother sometimes."

0:39:450:39:49

-That must hurt.

0:39:490:39:51

-It doesn't hurt.

-It angers you more than anything.

0:39:510:39:54

-What do you think

-you as two fathers offer your son?

0:39:550:39:59

-I think we show that from being

-the type of family we are...

0:40:000:40:04

-..we show you can do anything.

0:40:050:40:07

-It's OK to be different.

-It's OK to be yourself.

0:40:070:40:10

-We give him pride.

0:40:100:40:12

-You are the modern family.

0:40:120:40:15

-We've pushed the boundaries!

0:40:150:40:17

-It's quite complicated.

0:40:180:40:20

-There are four fathers

-in the picture.

0:40:200:40:24

-We've gone from a time

-when we couldn't get married...

0:40:250:40:29

-..to having got married

-and then we divorced.

0:40:290:40:32

-We have new partners now.

0:40:320:40:33

-The little one divides his time

-between the two of us.

0:40:340:40:37

-It works for us

-and for him, more importantly.

0:40:370:40:41

-As long as the parents are open

-and put the child first...

0:40:420:40:46

-..it might not affect the child

-too much.

0:40:460:40:49

-Of course.

0:40:490:40:50

-You have a child...

0:40:500:40:53

-..and your current partner

-has children too.

0:40:530:40:56

-So it must be chaos around here

-sometimes.

0:40:570:41:00

-Most of the time!

0:41:000:41:02

-You've gone from no children

-to three.

0:41:020:41:05

-How does that work?

0:41:050:41:07

-It's great!

0:41:080:41:09

-It gives a foundation to your life.

0:41:090:41:14

-In your 20s, you're happy doing

-whatever you want.

0:41:160:41:20

-You reach a point when you want

-something to take over.

0:41:200:41:25

-I think you want to stop

-being selfish.

0:41:250:41:27

-You want to have to put

-somebody else first.

0:41:280:41:31

-What's nice is it's not

-that you have no choice...

0:41:320:41:35

-..it comes naturally -

-you can't help but put them first.

0:41:350:41:39

-You can sit down,

-look around the room and think...

0:41:410:41:44

-.."If I do nothing else in my life,

-I've done something worthwhile."

0:41:440:41:49

-"My advice is not to be concerned

-about what anyone else thinks.

0:41:550:41:59

-"If you listened to everyone,

-you wouldn't know what to do."

0:41:590:42:03

-"There's no right or wrong way

-to raise children.

0:42:040:42:07

-"Everyone has a way

-that works for them."

0:42:070:42:10

-"What's the biggest struggle?

0:42:110:42:13

-"I think it's the guilt,

-especially when you're working.

0:42:130:42:17

-"You feel that whatever you do

-isn't right."

0:42:170:42:20

-As I work in London...

0:42:240:42:25

-..I miss having my family

-and Charlie's family around.

0:42:260:42:30

-It was important for me to find

-a group of Welsh-speaking mothers...

0:42:300:42:34

-..for support

-and to chat with over a cuppa.

0:42:350:42:38

-At the same site as the

-London Welsh School in Wembley...

0:42:400:42:43

-..a group of mothers

-meets every week.

0:42:430:42:47

-Talking in this cosy atmosphere,

-in Welsh, has been a great help.

0:42:470:42:52

-Who is next to you?

0:42:530:42:54

-Lois.

0:42:550:42:56

-Good morning, Lois.

0:42:570:42:59

-It's fantastic for people like us...

0:43:010:43:03

-..who've come from Wales and who

-don't know many Welsh people here.

0:43:040:43:08

-I never thought I'd live in London.

0:43:080:43:11

-I never thought I'd leave Wales.

0:43:110:43:13

-I never thought I'd leave Wales.

-

-Neither did I.

0:43:130:43:14

-To come to London and find a group

-of Welsh-speaking mothers...

0:43:150:43:19

-..and for the children to be able

-to play with other Welsh speakers...

0:43:190:43:23

-..did us the world of good

-as a family.

0:43:240:43:26

-It meant so much to me.

0:43:270:43:29

-As a mother, I enjoy coming here

-and chatting in Welsh to friends.

0:43:300:43:35

-Doing so in the centre of London

-feels like an honour.

0:43:360:43:40

-You feel as if you're home.

0:43:400:43:43

-Yes. For me, it was also an

-opportunity to practise my Welsh.

0:43:430:43:49

-I don't live with a Welsh speaker.

0:43:490:43:51

-I don't live with a Welsh speaker.

-

-Neither do I.

0:43:510:43:52

-I try and speak Welsh to Monty.

0:43:520:43:55

-It's nice to have a chance

-to hang out with Welsh speakers...

0:43:550:43:59

-..and to speak Welsh with them.

0:43:590:44:01

-Three, four, five.

0:44:010:44:04

-Five of us!

0:44:050:44:07

-You're in a situation where

-you're about to return to work.

0:44:070:44:11

-How do you feel about leaving little

-Lois, who's almost a year old?

0:44:110:44:17

-That's when childcare

-becomes so important.

0:44:180:44:24

-If you have someone

-that you trust...

0:44:240:44:27

-..who's almost

-like a second mother...

0:44:270:44:31

-..that's great.

0:44:310:44:33

-I moved to London just over

-three years ago to work as a nanny.

0:44:360:44:41

-As we depend on Jess,

-Cian's family depends on you.

0:44:410:44:46

-Are the hours long sometimes?

0:44:470:44:49

-They are long hours.

0:44:500:44:51

-It depends what day it is.

0:44:520:44:54

-Between ten and twelve hours.

0:44:540:44:56

-But I do enjoy looking

-after children, especially Cian.

0:44:570:45:01

-You've known him

-since he was eight months.

0:45:010:45:04

-Yes. We have a good relationship.

0:45:040:45:07

-The hardest thing

-is knowing it'll end.

0:45:070:45:11

-Cian's going to school so I'll be

-finishing with them in September.

0:45:110:45:16

-Thinking about that is quite tough.

0:45:160:45:18

-# I saw a jackdaw

0:45:190:45:21

-# Sitting on a rooftop #

0:45:210:45:23

-I know from experience that you can

-maintain a career and have children.

0:45:230:45:29

-I think I've come to the conclusion

-that there's no perfect solution.

0:45:290:45:34

-You compromise in some way

-whatever you do.

0:45:350:45:37

-You make compromises every day.

0:45:380:45:40

-You make compromises every day.

-

-It's hard to get everything perfect.

0:45:400:45:43

-"Try your best to strike a balance

-between your work and your life.

0:45:480:45:54

-"All you can do is try your best."

0:45:540:45:57

-"It can be difficult at the start

-but it's also a lot of fun.

0:45:580:46:04

-"So, ride the wave."

0:46:040:46:06

-How are you?

-You've got nice aftershave on.

0:46:060:46:10

-"My advice for any mother

-would be not to be hard on yourself.

0:46:110:46:17

-"Do your best and enjoy it.

0:46:170:46:20

-"It's a responsibility

-but it's a special, special honour."

0:46:200:46:24

-I couldn't agree more -

-it is a special honour.

0:46:250:46:28

-I dreamt of being a mother

-for years. I've been lucky.

0:46:280:46:33

-The first year has been challenging.

0:46:330:46:35

-But having Ted in my life

-is so precious.

0:46:360:46:39

-My superhero sidekick for the night,

-faster than a speeding autocue...

0:46:390:46:43

-..Jeremy Vine.

0:46:440:46:45

-I also enjoy my work.

-There's no shame in that.

0:46:450:46:48

-I know how lucky I am

-to do a job I love.

0:46:480:46:52

-But family will always come first.

0:46:520:46:55

-So, can we have it all?

0:46:560:46:58

-A career and time with family.

0:46:590:47:01

-Well, it's not a simple answer.

0:47:010:47:04

-Every mother I've met on my journey

-copes in their own way.

0:47:040:47:08

-What works for one mother doesn't

-necessarily work for another.

0:47:090:47:13

-The image of the Welsh mother

-isn't the reality any more.

0:47:140:47:18

-Our role's expanded.

-Families have different needs.

0:47:180:47:23

-But what's certain is that us women

-try and succeed every day.

0:47:230:47:29

-Perhaps the spirit

-of the Welsh mother is still in us.

0:47:290:47:32

-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.

0:47:550:47:58

-.

0:47:580:47:59

Alex Jones sy'n teithio trwy Gymru yn cwrdd â mamau eraill. Beth sy'n gwneud rhywun yn fam dda? Alex Jones talks to other mothers about the work/life balance and what makes a good mum.