Tina O'Brien

Tina O'Brien

This summer, Tina is partnering with the Cartoon Network to help kids across the UK build a giant Ben 10 alien out of plastic bricks and break a Guinness World Record for the greatest number of participants. She took some time out from the Manchester leg of the Ben 10 alien tour to speak with us.

Why or what interested you in being part of this world record with Cartoon Network?

As a mum, I love events where families can take part together, so this just stood out as a perfect, fun day out. I was at the Manchester event and all the children taking part were so excited to be involved in a World Record attempt – plus they could go away and try and win some prizes on the website too. My daughter, Scarlett, loves Ben 10 so she came down on the day to add some bricks!

How do you find handling a successful and busy career with motherhood – where’s the balance?

I’m more balanced now than I used to be. I work things around my daughter so I can be there for her as much as possible. I do have to say no to certain things that come my way, but I feel that it’s important that she knows her mum is there for her. This will probably change slightly as she gets older, but for now it’s all at a good pace.

What are your top ‘back to school’ tips to make life easier for parents?

Scarlett is starting nursery in two weeks so we’ve just bought her uniform. My best friend is a primary school teacher so I’ve been asking her for advice, and her top tip was to buy elasticated clothing as children grow so quickly!  I’d also say label every item, as every kid in the class will have identical things. I’ve bought the labels you can simply iron-on to save me from hand-stitching it all! 

How would you describe your parenting style?

My boyfriend, Adam, will say I’m a bit soft, and I probably am! That said, I’m strict on manners and ensure that Scarlett always says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I think it’s really important that children are polite.

Now that you’re a mother, how fashion-conscious are you?

I’m rubbish! I see other girls all the time and think they look great, but if someone pointed out at an item to me and asked me whether it was ‘in fashion,’ I’d have no idea!

What’s more challenging – being a TV actress or a full-time mother?

Without a doubt, being a full-time mum. I can easily do a 12-hour work day, but looking after a child is surprisingly difficult if you haven't had your own before. I don’t think I realised how hard it would be before I had Scarlett, but it’s very rewarding.

Would you like more children?

I would love to. I think there will be a stage that Adam and I would like to have one together, but it’s early days –  we’ve only been together a year and a half. I think it would be so nice for Scarlett to have a little brother or sister to play with though.

What’s the best thing about being a parent?

There are so many things! Normally I’m not a morning person, but when I hear the little tap at the door and Scarlett comes running into my room, she’ll get into my bed and then give me a cuddle – it’s just an amazing feeling. I’m lucky that she doesn’t tend to have many tantrums either –  unless we’re leaving the play area! She’s also started to copy what I say, so I’ve got to watch my mouth! Being a parent is the most amazing privilege and I love every minute of it.

The Alien World Record challenge is running until 29th September visiting shopping centres across the UK.

The UK premiere of Ben 10: Omniverse will be on Cartoon Network at 10am on 6th October. A sneak peek of the first episode is available now at ben10record.co.uk   

FemaleFirst @FemaleFirst_UK

Shabana Adam @Shabana_FAM


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