Award-winning actress and singer Kerry Ellis is best known as the star of West End and Broadway musicals 'Les Miserables' and 'Wicked'. She’s also mother to a baby boy. She took a break from rehearsing for her latest show to tell us about the challenges of balancing work and home.

Award-winning West End actress and singer Kerry Ellis with her baby son
Actress and singer Kerry Ellis with her baby son Alfie

What are the best things about being a mum?

Being a mum is the best job in the world. It's like nothing I ever imagined and you can't describe the love you feel for your child. I love it first thing in the morning, when I go into my little boy's room and am greeted by the biggest smile. It gets me every time.

What's the biggest challenge you face as a mum?

The hardest thing for me is juggling work and family time. It's really tough to get it right. I'm still working on that and probably will be for the rest of my life.

The one thing that would make my life easier? To be able to be in two places at once!

What advice would you give to other mums?

If I could go back to tell my pre-mum self one thing, it would be to sleep as much as possible and go to the cinema! It's amazing how little sleep you can survive on.

My own mother always told me “mum knows best..”! I don't know if that's completely true, but I do think we have great instincts about our own children.

Every mother and child relationship is different and we can only do our best. I think for me it's just about listening, doing all I can in my power for him to develop as a human being and loving him unconditionally.

How to support mums around the world

As Kerry said, managing home and work is a constant balancing act. Mothers often feel guilty about not getting this right. Raising a family is a full time job and it’s a struggle, wherever you live.

For mums in other countries around the world, this struggle is made worse by other factors out of their control – like lack of a basic income, crop failure, or living below the poverty line.

Sometimes these mums have to choose between eating and paying for their children to go to school. It’s a choice that no mother should have to make. So we’re asking our supporters – whether you’re a mum or not yourself – to help mums when they’re struggling.