Debbie Douglas - TV Personality
How many kids have you got?
There are 9 at the moment. There are 2 that don’t live with me, 9 in all.
What’s your relationship like with your children?
You have to be firm but fair and they need to see that you’re on their side and they need to see that you love them unconditionally. I’ve got really good relationship with all of them, but they’re all very different.
How did motherhood change you?
Massively. I actually didn’t have my first child till I was 29, which is actually quite late. I had my second at 30, my third at 36 and my last at 43, but before that I didn’t want children. I worked in fashion, I was always out partying! I was the original Essex party girl [laughs]. I was very independent; I used to travel the world. I didn’t really want children because I thought they would take all that away, but I did decide to have children.
I was never one who had a routine with my kids, they fitted into my life rather than the other way round. I don’t really over think anything, so when I met this woman who fostered I thought I’d quite like to do that. I started doing it 25 years ago and I’ve never wanted to do anything else.
What have having kids taught you?
That there is nothing more beautiful than family. They have taught me the art of acceptance and that everyone is different. I want different things for my children than my children want for themselves and that is a mother thing. It’s about acceptance – you’ve had that child, but they have to live their own lives.
What advice would you give new mums/foster parents?
We’re in a day and age where everyone wants everything and I think we over analyse things and want perfection. You’re losing the joy of the moment. Measure life by the family and love you have around you.
If you’re thinking about going into fostering it will change your life and you family’s life forever. I wouldn’t want anyone to go into it with rose coloured glasses because it is very, very challenging, but equally as rewarding.