Baby on board: Aoibhín Garrihy on being changed by motherhood

Baby on board: Aoibhín Garrihy on being changed by motherhood
TO HEALTH: Aoibhín Garrihy on the farm of Avonmore farmer Larry Hannon from Ballitore, Co Kildare. Picture: Robbie Reynolds

MOTHERHOOD has been lifechanging for actress Aoibhín Garrihy. “It has taught me to appreciate and enjoy the simple things in life and the meaningful moments,” says the 32-year-old Dubliner.

Taking care of daughter Hanorah, who was born in June 2018, has taught her “not to sweat the small stuff” and to trust her instincts. “Generally what seems like the end of the world now is just a phase and this too will pass.”

She’s also more in tune with her body. “The human — in particular the female body — is truly remarkable and if I listen to it, it will guide me. I have a whole new appreciation for my health, and for what my body has done for me and given to me.”

Married to John Burke, their second child is due in December.

- Aoibhín Garrihy is supporting Avonmore Fresh Milk to promote its Farmfulness campaign. The company has created an on-pack mechanic bringing three soothing sounds of the farm direct to consumers. See: www.avonmore.ie/our-story/our-farmers

What shape are you in?

The best shape of all in my opinion — my body is creating a little miracle and it never ceases to amaze me how incredible the female body really is, in particular during pregnancy. Before I became pregnant with Hanorah I used to mourn my ‘Dancing with the Stars’ body when I was probably in the best shape of my life and I knew I would possibly never return to that level of fitness ever again. But now, that’s a distant memory and I have a whole new perspective on what my body is really capable of.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

When I’m organised my breakfast is packed with superfoods and it’s the perfect start to the day. A green juice, a power porridge with seeds and berries and, to finish, avocado on sourdough.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

I have the sweetest tooth, particularly during pregnancy. Orange juice is my main craving but when that sweet tooth strikes the only answer is a white chocolate Magnum. It’s incredibly sinful but divine.

What would keep you awake at night?

One word. Hanorah! She’s not a bad sleeper but still wakes and definitely has her moments of interrupted sleep. To think round two with baby number two is only a matter of weeks away is a petrifying thought.

How do you relax?

I only fully relax when we get away because despite moments of self-care during the week, there is always a to- do list waiting when I get back! We love trips to Kerry and recently rented a camper van and had the best family road trip making memories. I felt fully recharged afterwards.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Ann Doyle, for her quick wit, humor and sheer divilment.

What’s your favourite smell?

Lavender. It’s an incredibly calming scent and very potent for me. I wore it on my wedding day and it reminds me of my nana. It’s also sleep enhancing. I also love the smell of my baby’s head. There’s nothing quite like it.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

Ageing is inevitable for all of us but it doesn’t make it any easier. I wish I wore SPF every single day a lot earlier in my life. I also suffer with pigmentation in my skin and would happily be rid of it.

When is the last time you cried?

Watching Laura Brennan’s incredibly moving documentary on RTÉ One recently. What an amazing woman and what a legacy.

What traits do you least like in others?

Negativity, in all its forms but particularly online. The idea that someone can solidify negative thoughts by writing them down or typing them baffles me.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I tend to put things on the long finger too often and it creates problems in my life, be it chores, communication with friends, pressing admin.

Do you pray?

Yes. I’m not overly religious but I certainly turn to my faith in times of stress, anxiety, celebration or gratitude. I feel a connection to deceased loved ones through prayer.

What is the quote that most inspires you?

‘Life is a marathon, not a sprint’ — I don’t know if it inspires me but it certainly reassures. It reminds me not to compare myself to others and to stay in my own lane.

What would cheer up your day?

A dip in the sea or time in the outdoors surrounded by my nearest and dearest. That’s therapy for me.

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