"Motherhood has really changed my outlook on life" – Kate Ferdinand opens up about parenting challenges and her new approach to fitting in exercise

We caught up with the presenter and author to find out how she makes exercise more fun and the lessons she’s learned from motherhood

Kate Ferdinand wearing the cream overhead scuba hoodie (£25) as part of her ambassadorship with Tesco F&F
(Image credit: F&F Active)

If you’re one of Kate Ferdinand’s 1.4 million Instagram followers, you’ll get the impression that family is everything – and you’re not wrong.

Unknowingly or not, the 32-year-old works hard to make us feel seen and heard too, like when she opened up about the complications which occurred with her daughter, Shae, or normalising the ‘non-traditional’ family dynamic with her podcast Blended that other mums in the limelight, such as Princess Beatrice, have admitted to struggling with. 

For me, the realities of a blended family entered my life when I watched their BBC documentary Rio & Kate: Becoming a Stepfamily in 2020, as they brought together Lorenz, 16, Tate, 14, Tia, 11 (Rio's children from a previous marriage) and their shared son, Cree, three, and parent them all under one roof.

But aside from juggling how to raise kids from two separate families (she should know, she's written two books on the subject), Kate is more than a mum. She’s a business woman, author, presenter and now, the new face of F&F’s new activewear range which she describes as “one of the highlights” of her 2023. Now, with five children between them (Rio and Kate welcomed baby girl, Shae last July), we get a snapshot of what life is like in the Ferdinand household, how she makes exercising fun with the kids and everything she’s learned from motherhood so far. 

What’s your daily routine?

"My daily routine has changed since I’ve had Shae. Before giving birth, I used to wake up before the kids to get a head start on the day. However, that’s not really happening these days! I occasionally manage to wake up before the baby, but most mornings are a whirlwind, it all depends on when the baby wakes as we aren’t quite in a routine yet. 

"Mornings and evenings are always super busy getting out of the house and then the different clubs after school. Since I’m technically on maternity leave, each day is different. Some days I do bits of work, but mainly my days consist of taking the dog for a walk, spending time with Shae and Cree when he’s not at nursery and organising the house. [I have] five kids with very busy schedules, [so] I’ve pretty much become their PA!"

How do you fit in exercise as a busy mum?

"My workout schedule currently revolves around the baby's sleep patterns. I try to get three Pilates sessions in a week and sometimes manage a weekly visit to the gym. Rio and I tag-team our child-care responsibilities, so I often go to the gym when he’s looking after the kids. If I manage to get a solid hour at the gym without any interruptions, that's a win for me!"

Kate Ferdinand wearing the Black Scuba Sleeve Jacket (£35) and Black Rib Legging (£14) from her F&F Active range

Kate says that the cosy sets with a pair of trainers works perfectly for the school run

(Image credit: F&F Active)

What can you tell us about your new collection with F&F?

"Working with F&F has truly been one of the highlights of this past year. Not only is it affordable and accessible, but it’s also designed for people of all shapes and sizes. Given that health and fitness play such a huge role in my life, I practically live in activewear – both inside and outside of the gym. This collection has become my go-to for comfort and convenience, especially when I’m on the move. I’m thrilled to launch this range alongside F&F, and I can’t wait for everyone to shop my favourite pieces!"

Has your approach to exercise changed since having kids?

"Prior to having children, I was very much an exercise enthusiast. Now, while I still enjoy exercise, it is not the be-all and end-all; I just try to fit in whenever possible. It is still a priority for me, and I try fit it in at least three times a week because I know how much it benefits my health and wellbeing. However, I’m not as crazy about it as I once was."

Now, while I still enjoy exercise, it is not the be-all and end-all; I just try to fit in whenever possible.

Kate Ferdinand

What are your tips on getting the kids active and do you have ways to make exercise more fun?

"We are quite an active family. The boys play football, Tia loves horseriding and Cree is in the gym with us all the time. He even wakes up asking, 'Mummy, are you going for a workout? Mummy, are you doing Pilates?'. I think it’s just become a part of our lives, and our children have watched us do it for a very long time. We try to lead by example, so hopefully that encourages them to enjoy exercise as much as we do. To us, exercise is not a chore, and I believe our children feel the same way."

A post shared by Kate Ferdinand

A photo posted by xkateferdinand on

What has motherhood taught you so far?

"Motherhood changed everything for me and has really changed my outlook on life. You never stop worrying, no matter the age, I think you worry about your children forever. However, the happiness and joy they bring into our lives makes it all worthwhile."

Do you have any advice for your younger self?

"Trust the process, trust your gut and everything will work out in the end!"

Shop Kate's F&F Active collection at tesco.com and discover her favourite pieces for the school run.

In other parenting news, Fearne Cotton said having a blended family prepared her for motherhood and Nadia Sawalha opens up about the difficulties she faced at first when becoming a blended family.

Daniella Gray
Family News & Wellbeing Writer

From building healthy family relationships to self-care tips for mums and parenting trends - Daniella also covers postnatal workouts and exercises for kids. After gaining a Print Journalism BA Hons degree and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism at Nottingham Trent University, Daniella started writing for Health & Wellbeing and co-hosted the Walk to Wellbeing podcast. She has also written for Stylist, Natural Health, The Sun UK and Fit & Well. In her free time, Daniella loves to travel, try out new fitness classes and cook for family and friends.