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Katherine Ryan Reveals Plans To Be A Working Mum And Shuts Down 'Sexist' Assumption She's Cancelling Tour

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Katherine Ryan Reveals Plans To Be A Working Mum And Shuts Down 'Sexist' Assumption She's Cancelling Tour

Katherine Ryan wasted no time getting back to work after giving birth to her second child.

In fact, the very day she returned from hospital, she sat down to record her podcast (albeit there were a few distractions from her newborn son, Fred).

The comedian, 37, welcomed Fred on the 13th June, just two weeks after announcing her pregnancy to her fans.

But amid all the well-wishes about the new arrival, she says a certain theme cropped up in a lot of the messages she received: people begun to ask whether her upcoming work projects were cancelled.

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Katherine is re-addressing society's attitude to being a working mother (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)
Katherine is re-addressing society's attitude to being a working mother (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)

Speaking exclusively to Tyla not long after little Fred's birth, Katherine says: "I think that feminism has come a long way and done wonderful things for us, and there are people who believe that we have achieved equality now.

"There's a huge portion of the population who say, 'What's the problem? Everyone's equal now'... and, I mean, even those little micro aggressions show that it's not equal.

"There was an assumption that I would not go back to work, and it's just about being balanced - you would never ever ask a guy that."

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The TV favourite - famed for appearing on prime-time shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Mock The Week and Taskmaster - explains that, in particular, people have been messaging her to ask if her upcoming comedy tour, Missus, would be called off.

"My tour is three months away!," she laughs, incredulously. "And it's fair enough if I did want to take some time off, I mean, whatever a new parent wants to do, I'm not gonna judge.

"But I do get asked [a variation of] that question all the time.

Katherine returned to working as soon as she'd given birth (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)
Katherine returned to working as soon as she'd given birth (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)
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"They'll say 'How are you going to explain your dirty mouth to your daughter?' or they'll say 'Do you feel guilty about being away fro your daughter?' or they'll say, 'Where is your daughter when you're at work?' and I work with so many men who never ever get asked that question".

Her comments come after she recently called out such assumptions on Instagram, sharing a video in which she told followers: "I'm just gonna let that sexism wash over me. I'm not gonna let it affect my zen.

"No, I'm not cancelling my tour. I've received a lot of really touching nice messages and a lot of rude messages... and a lot of messages - A LOT of messages - asking if I'm gonna cancel my tour. No I'm not cancelling my tour."

In her typical, sarcastic fashion, she then added: "Your dad is cancelling his tour".

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During her chat with Tyla, Katherine reflects that she is able to shrug off such sexist attitudes, but knows too well that there are others who aren't so fortunate.

"It's ok for me, but I do worry about people who are in a less powerful position just being looked over," she says. "Because theres an assumption that they won't be reliable, and mums are super reliable."

The mum-of-two knows the struggles of being in a less favoured social position, too. Born in Sarnia, Ortario, the former Hooters waitress moved over to the UK from Canada at the age of 24, and has been open about the fact she "barely scraped by" as she tried to pursue comedy in the years that followed.

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When she welcomed her daughter Violet - now 12 - she was a 25-year-old single mum with very little money. She was doing it alone, and even had to do her first gig on stage with her 21-day-old newborn in her arms.

Now, she's in a civil partnership with her childhood sweetheart, Bobby Koostra, and living in the nuclear family she never thought she wanted. Plus, she's got two successful stand-up shows on Netflix - Glitter Room (2019) and In Trouble (2017) - as well as her most recent sitcom, The Duchess (2020).

In stark contrast to her first time as a new mum, Katherine says that her son's birth and formative days have so-far been a breeze, but she's the first to admit her two experiences of motherhood have been "night and day".

Katherine is mum to Violet and newborn Fred (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)
Katherine is mum to Violet and newborn Fred (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)

"This time, it was the easiest birth, easiest recovery, easiest baby - that could change, but right now he's just like a really quiet, adorable lodger," she jokes.

"With Violet, it was really difficult. She was screaming; I felt like she hated me; [I wasn't] getting enough sleep and I really questioned a lot of my life choices.

"But Fred is quiet, he eats and he sleeps, and I'm older now, so it's a whole different experience - really calm. Plus, my husband is really hands on and really useful."

Given how proactive she had to be with her daughter, Katherine admits she had to make a conscious decision not to be a "helicopter mum" this time around, and give her partner, Bobby, a fair share of the responsibilities.

Katherine is now co-parenting her new son with partner, Bobby (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)
Katherine is now co-parenting her new son with partner, Bobby (Credit: Instagram/ Katherine Ryan)

"I have to teach myself to walk away and to not do everything, because I think it is my instinct to micromanage and do it all myself," she says. "But it's so calm now, and I'm going back to work to relinquish some of my control".

While the ease of Katherine's situation has meant she's been able to throw herself straight back into her comedy, she acknowledges that every mother's experience is different.

"Everybody just has to see how it goes because you can't plan for your recovery or anything, but it just so happened that Fred just kinda sneezed out and then I was fine... like, I didn't have any recovery.

"I was hopeful to go back to work, and that is because [I'm the one who works] in the family," she says. "A lot of parents don't have the option, though, and I did - I'm very privileged."

Katherine Ryan has teamed up with Veetee Rice to host #UpYourFluffGame, a social media series daring consumers to find something fluffier than its steam filtered rice. Head over to veetee.com to find out more.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Celebrity News

Joanna Freedman
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