The shape I'm in: Karen Koster, TV3 presenter

Karen Koster

 Karen is a First 1000 Days ambassador and recently launched a ‘breastfeeding welcome here’ mark to help normalise breastfeeding in public places.

TV3’s Karen Koster expected it would be easier returning to work last week after the birth of her second baby. But she found it even more difficult to say good bye to to her five-month-old son at the creche.

“JJ is younger than Finn was going in, so I did feel an extra sense of gulit leaving him,” she says. 

“He didn’t get those extra three months of one-on-one time that his older brother had.”

It helps that she has a good relationship with his minders.

“I feel less anxious because I know the girls at the creche well. It’s a home away from home for Finn.”

Being back at work means her time at home with the boys is all the more precious. And she is determined to make the most of it, leaving all the household chores until after their bedtime. 

“I’m not even washing a plate while they are awake. You have to be OK with the mess.

“If they are tired and want attention, you just have to give it to them,” says the 35-year-old who is married to businessman John McGuire.

* Karen is a First 1000 Days ambassador and recently launched a ‘breastfeeding welcome here’ mark to help normalise breastfeeding in public places.

What shape are you in?

I’m a little flabbier than I probably was a few years ago. But I’m the same weight as I was when getting married. I’ve never been to the gym less but I’m probably more active than ever, bringing up two little men.

If I have a spare hour it’s not going to be spent on a thread mill. It’s putting on the laundry, reading a bedtime story — there are too many things on my to-do list.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

Now that I’m cooking for a toddler, I am so conscious of what I put into him that I’m more considered about my own diet.

I’m not a great cook, so I have to do something simple but I always try to make sure there is protein, veg and carbohydrate on the plate. I try to be as balanced as possible with treats thrown in every now and again.

What are your guilty pleasures?

A couple of squares of chocolate, like Cadbury’s Carmel.

What would keep you awake at night?

A teething baby for one. I was never great for putting JJ in a routine, especially for the first three months. I really let him be the boss. I’m probably paying for that a little. Finn’s an amazing sleeper, so I take great comfort from the fact that I know it can be done.

How do you relax?

Getting organised for the next day. Little jobs, like packing their bags, a change of clean clothes; knowing I’ve enough nappies in the house, doing a bit of [grocery] shopping online.

What’s your favourite smell?

A freshly bathed baby — it’s addictive. That’s why I had another baby so quickly.

Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?

Joesph Byrne, my English teacher. He was a huge influence on me growing up. He was great for putting me forward for debating.

Also all the girlfriends that I’ve neglected over the last few years. And the Kardashians — I just want to see how they operate in real life.

When is the last time you cried?

Yesterday. They were happy tears. Finn is at that age when he is starting to string sentences together. With your first born everything is such a miracle.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’d probably like to give my face a bit of an iron. Apart from that, I give my body a break. I was so painfully self-conscious in my early 20s and starting to work in TV. But now that I can see what my body can do — I let it be.

I used to think ‘I want to be taller’ but now I am not even bothered. But I’d like naturally blonde hair so I could stop going to the hairdresser so often.

What traits do you least like in others?

When there is an absence of chivalry, regardless of gender. If I hold the door open for someone and they sail past me I’ll say very loudly, ‘You’re welcome’. It is so easy to be kind — it makes such a difference.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

Finishing other people’s sentences or guessing what they are about to say. It drives my husband completely mad. I can’t help myself.

Do you pray?

I try not to pray for anything in particular. There are so many people who need more than I do. So, I always try to say a quick thank you.

What would cheer up your day?

I don’t need much cheering up at the moment. I feel very lucky. Maybe, a little bit of unbroken sleep but nothing more.


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