The One Show star Alex Jones has said she feared she would lose her “place on the sofa” while she was on maternity leave.
The TV presenter, who gave birth to son Ted in January 2017, said she was worried she would be replaced if she did not get back to work quickly.
She told the Mail On Sunday: “I was worried I’d lose my place on the sofa, because in television you can’t take anything for granted.
“I’d like to stay on The One Show as long as possible, but this is a fickle industry and in two years’ time I might be at home with Ted every day, so I have to make the most of it.”
TV presenters Angela Scanlon and Michelle Ackerley temporarily replaced Jones while she was on leave.
Jones, 40, said she also felt financial pressure to get back in the studio, adding: “People outside our bracket tend to be a little bit judgey: ‘Oh, you’re going back to work?’
“‘Well, yes! I need to! I’m a freelancer and we couldn’t survive on one wage – we just couldn’t.’”
However, Jones said the first months back at work, just three-and-a-half months after giving birth, were “horrific”, adding: “I was completely deluded to go back so early.
“My bosses are incredibly supportive of parents and asked me if I was sure I wanted such a short maternity leave; that pressure came entirely from me.
“On my first day back I felt like the new girl. I remember going through my wardrobe and thinking, ‘Oh my God, nothing fits!’
“But the familiarity was lovely. I take my hat off to women who are full-time mums because working is so much easier than being at home.”
Jones said the arrival of their son put a strain on her marriage to insurance broker Charlie Thomson and described the pain she suffered while trying to breastfeed, saying she nursed her newborn son while crying.
She said: “I tried really hard to breastfeed, but I had no idea it would be so excruciatingly painful. Often I’d be feeding with tears cascading down my cheeks.
“Charlie is a fantastic support and now I think our relationship is a lot stronger because of Ted, but we struggled to find a way to even like each other sometimes in those early days.
“Once I sat upstairs in our bedroom for about four hours trying to feed Ted, feeling so upset and isolated. Or there would be nights when I was waking to feed Ted every two hours; Charlie would be snoring beside me while I felt murderous.
“It’s not your partner’s fault he can’t breastfeed, but it’s tough.”