Fiona Phillips on letting go…

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For the launch of our #LetGo film, we’ve been spending time with TV presenter Fiona Phillips who famously left the GMTV sofa to spend more time with her young family & sick parents around 7 years ago.

“I think women are under so much pressure these days, which is why I got involved with the Sanctuary #LetGo campaign. We all think we have to be a brilliant wife, daughter & professional, but the campaign challenges the perception that success equates to being a superwoman. I’ve learned to step back a lot…” 

Credit landscape FP photo

Fiona on balancing her to-do list…

“I was coping with both ends of the age spectrum, trying to keep a marriage and family going, travelling constantly to see them, as well as having to stay on top of my game for my job and getting up at 3.30 most mornings.

As a woman, you try to be all things to everybody. We have a built in compulsion to care for others, but having it all comes at a cost. With hindsight, I realise I had a breakdown during that time, suffered from constant shingles, was totally exhausted and always irritable. It was madness but, thank goodness, it’s all behind me.”

Fiona on being the ‘perfect Mother’…

“Stepping away from the relentless GMTV work schedule hugely benefitted my relationship with Martin and the boys. Tough times make you value the family unit even more, and focus on ensuring it stays strong.

“Women often feel so guilty, but we can’t keep all the plates spinning all the time. When the boys were younger, their school would have cake sales every five minutes, but I never had the time to make one, and I felt as if they would think I was an awful mum. The other mums would be bringing in cakes and I opted out. I just thought, ‘No, I’m not doing it, that will send me mad and I’m sure the children would rather I was at home, not mad! 

Life is too short for cake-oneupmanship, or even school project-oneupmanship – one kid at school brought in an architect’s model of London’s Globe Theatre for a project on Shakespeare! Who’s got the time!?”” 

Fiona on being the ‘perfect Wife’…

“Marriage is a funny thing. You can lose who you both are as the years go by, so you have to make an effort to keep things on track. Martin’s hugely supportive of me, as I am of him, and as the boys are older and more independent, we can really make time for each other.”

“Now the children are older, Martin & I go for breakfast at the same café every Saturday. We always walk there & we really linger over it, usually wondering what the boys are up to at home! It’s important to make that time, rather than always charging off somewhere saying “I’ve got to do the shopping” – all that can wait. We’re really enjoying ourselves at the moment.”

While we missed seeing Fiona on the GMTV sofa, it’s even better to see her #LetGo & spend more time ‘being not doing’. She describes herself as ‘so much happier & fitter’ & that she’s now ‘got her life back & has a lovely balance between work & home.’

“It’s time for women to stop stressing about the little things and try to just Let Go … I know I have!”

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