Angela Griffin

Angela Griffin

Birds Eye is helping mums to take a day off from the daily teatime challenge as other family members don their aprons to impress in the kitchen.

And British celebrity and champion of mums, Angela Griffin, has jumped on board to help families treat their Mum to an extra special teatime occasion.

Here, the soap star talks to FemaleFirst about parenting, her favourite teatime food and why she wouldn’t encourage her kids into the showbiz world. 

Hi Angela! What attracted you to the Teatime Handover campaign – why did you get involved?

I got involved with this campaign because I believe that mums should be celebrated more than once a year. This Sunday’s a very lovely day – I do love Mother’s Day – and I do get treat, I do get spoiled, but I think that maybe we could push that – to maybe once a week (laughs).

And it’s not asking very much, to ask the husband and the kids to just help out one night with teatime. I just think it’s good for them, but also, it’s really good for me!

And how has family teatime changed from when you were a child?

In our house, because of my job and sometimes I’m working away, our teatimes doe become quite precious, especially on weekends – generally weekends is when we do all get to eat together. When I was growing up, my mum was pretty much there each night, she would work ‘til 5 and at 6 o’clock she would be there, and that would be our chance to catch up.

I think that’s been lost a certain amount nowadays with people’s busy schedules and work lives, and children’s fussy tastes – it just makes teatimes a bit more stressful and a bit more pressured. By getting the kids involved in making their own dinners, that helps them eat foods that maybe they wouldn’t normally eat. It also takes a bit of pressure of mums and makes it more of an event.

What are your favourite foods to cook at teatime?

In our house, if it’s all of us together, it’s got to be fish fingers, chips and peas – it’s a winner, every time! With gravy as well – I have gravy and the kids have ketchup.

What are you plans for Mother’s Day?

Well, I’m actually in the middle of a little “conversation” with my husband – he wants to go and play football on Sunday! Yes he does. It’s slightly fractious in our household because I’m not telling him he can’t (laughs). I’m saying, ‘you do what you want, you do what you think is right and obviously I will go with that.’

But I know the kids have got all sorts organised for me, they’ve already been talking about whether I like to have breakfast in bed. They can’t keep secrets kids!

Like my five-year-old keeps coming home and saying, ‘Oh mummy I might have something to bring home for you on Friday, but you won’t get to see it on Friday, you will have to wait ‘til Sunday!’ And it’s like, ‘please, come on just try and keep a secret, just try it.’ (laughs).

You’re a mum of two and you also have a successful career - how do you find managing parenthood with a busy work life – where’s the balance?

The balance I think comes with support really – I need help. I think if I tried to do without any help, it just wouldn’t work for any of us. I love my job, I love what I do and I can’t ever give it up.

And I also want my girls to see me going out and enjoying my career and doing something that will encourage them to do the same – lead by example and all that. But I need my husband’s help and he is really supportive, other than on Mother’s Day when he wants to go out and play football (laughs).

But generally he does take a share of the housework, he has no qualms about childcare, it is very much shared. And when I’m around, I’m there, I’m around – but when I’m not, he’s kind of there on his own, so I think the only way to juggle it is by having supportive people around you.

How would you describe your parenting style?

My parenting style is very strict, I think. I’m the stricter of the two us, there is a little bit of that [good cop, bad cop routine] although my husband is starting to turn into a bad cop. As the girls get older, they’re harder to deal with. When that cuteness goes then it’s just plain old naughtiness isn’t it? So yes I do really try very hard to say something and stick to it.

What’s the best parenting advice you’ve given?

Ooh. The best I’ve given is, ‘never think you know it all’. Just when you think you’ve cracked it, something will happen. Never be smug, never rest on your laurels, there’s always something going to happen.

We were really smug with our first daughter when she came. She was really well behaved; she ate, she fed, and she breastfed, and it all seemed very easy. She ate everything that was put in front of her and she slept through the night after four months.

And me and my husband went, ‘oh my God look at us, we’re brilliant. We’re just so brilliant at this, let’s have some more – let’s have loads of children because we’re just the best at parenting’ (laughs). 

And then my second daughter Missy came along and it was just awful – because we were smug! So maybe the best piece of advice is, ‘don’t be smug!’

She reads far too much Malory Towers so at first I was saying ‘no you don’t...because she’s really bright, she’s really clever and I want her to be an architect where she has the control over her life

What has been the most challenging aspect of parenting for you?

It’s all challenging, the whole thing is challenging. It’s the hardest job in the world, it really is - but it’s one of the most rewarding too.

It’s just never ever easy from trying to get them to eat their peas, to trying to get them to do their homework to trying to make them get dressed by themselves in the morning - and they’re only eight and five at the moment – I know those troubles get harder.

It [parenting] is one of the hardest jobs to get right, I think.

Can you tell us your one top mummy tip…

Pick your battles. There’s just no point getting hung up on something small or silly because there are bigger battles where you’ll need to do the very strict voice. So, don’t do the very strict voice on something like, ‘make sure you move your shoes and put them in a right angle by the front door.’

Save the strict voice for ‘no you are not going out because you are 13-years-old, and I don’t care if all the 18-year-olds are staying out until midnight’ - that’s what you kind of need to save the strict voice for.

Would you ever encourage your children to get into the entertainment world like you did?

No, a hundred percent no. No encouragement whatsoever, but my goodness, my eldest is desperate; she wants to go to boarding school, she’s actually found a boarding school that does performing arts!

She reads far too much Malory Towers so at first I was saying ‘no you don’t [want to go to boarding school for performing arts]’ because she’s really bright, she’s really clever and I want her to be an architect where she has the control over her life and people will always need them!

But the more I push her away from it, the more she wants to do it. So now I have to go, ‘whatever you want to be baby, I’m there, I’ll support you, you do what you like – apart from going to boarding school!’

And stepping away from parenting… the last time we spoke to you, you were getting ready to launch Pigs And Dogs – how is that going?

Oh yes! You know what, it’s going really well. In fairness, it’s kind of my husband’s now. I set up all the website stuff and kind of the business side, because I’m a bit weird and I love typing (laughs). But he’s the one who goes out and does all the serving up, but you know what, it’s brilliant!

I mean we are obsessed with food. Food in our house is so important, and we’ve just kind of expanded on that [with Pigs And Dogs], but the girls come on and help us sometimes as well, it’s such fun. That whole street food market and scene is really exciting, and we’re just kind of dipping our toe in.

Finally, what’s coming up next for you, for the rest of the year?

For the rest of the year, well because I can’t sit down and do nothing, I’ve started a production company with my friend who was an executive producer on Waterloo Road. We’ve started Mulberry Films – so we’re going to start making things for me to be in!

Angela Griffin has nominated her family to take part in Birds Eye's Teatime Handover. Families can pledge to take part and get fantastic teatime suggestions from Birds Eye at www.facebook.com/BirdsEye

FemaleFirst @FemaleFirst_UK


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