Jeremy John wakes up at 2 am each morning, while most of the world is still sleeping, to get to work on the set of Breakfast Television Winnipeg. He leaves the house quietly as to not wake his wife and three sleeping children. When you see him on-air at 6 am, he is ready to go, with a big smile and with one of the many coffee’s he will be drinking throughout the morning to keep him alert and on his toes as he is live for three hours on BT.
Jeremy has three children, nine-year old Joseph, five-year old Isabella and four-year old Madeline. Being a father of three, a husband, a TV host and constantly in the spotlight can be challenging, especially when it comes to balance. I had the chance to chat with Jeremy about his busy life and how he finds ‘the right balance.’
How do you manage to balance family and work?
Finding balance is a constant struggle. Every weekday from 2 am – 8 pm is taken by work or the chores of daily life. We try to keep weekends for family, but that almost never is the case. Usually we are able to keep MOST of the weekend for family.
Even then when there are no planned work events, BT is part of my life everywhere I go. Every trip to the grocery store can turn into a chance to meet a viewer, every new experience is a possible segment on the show, even part of every Sunday is taken up by shirts that need to be ironed and shoes that need to be polished.
How does having to be at work so early impact your family life?
My mornings are very quiet because the rest of the world is asleep. The biggest issue is that I go to bed around 8 pm. My oldest, Joseph, is 9 and goes to bed after me. It’s strange to have a bedtime before your kids.
Also my wife is often very busy when I’m asleep, often on Kijiji. Once, I woke up to an armoire that wasn’t there the night before!
Being a host on a popular morning show puts you in the spotlight. How does being in the spotlight affect your family?
My wife has adapted. She’s learned that when I’m getting stopped in the store to just keep moving and I will find her later. She also knows exactly how to handle me when I am stressed or nervous about the show or a guest. She is confident, reassuring and calm. All the things I’m not but need to be.
As for my kids, they have only ever known me as a dad who works on TV or the radio. So to them, even the very strange things are normal. The oldest seems to be learning that I have a public job. He was bragging to his classmates about my interview with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield which for the record, hearing my son brag about me meeting Hadfield was even cooler than meeting Hadfield.
What kinds of things do you do together as a family?
Everyone in the family swims and has a bike to ride. We have a family membership to the YMCA and the Winnipeg Children’s Museum. We read with the kids a lot and love walking at the local park. I also coach t-ball for all my kids in the summer.
Having a family and a career can make life very busy and often put romantic relationships on the back burner. How do you and your wife Sally maintain your relationship?
Luckily for me she is the most beautiful and sexiest woman in the world so that makes it easy for me. We also try to schedule lunches, when we can, so we get some time during the week to actually sit down and talk. Monday to Friday most of our conversations are notes or e-mails or to-do-lists. Sometimes you need to make the time to actually sit and let conversation happen more organically rather than at a forced march.
Do you want to have more children?
Nope, we’re good. Grandpa always said that you need to have at least three kids. Less than three and you’re just replacing yourself. The world needs more good people, not less.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?
The hard part is that it never stops, you are always being called upon to be the parent. Even when the kids are asleep, you are a parent. Even when they are grown up or miles away, you are being called on to do what is best for them and putting everything else second.
That and the constant questions, always with the questions.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a parent?
Seeing them succeed. Even in the little things, when they read a hard word, do a somersault, catch a ball, use their manners and even being the nice kid on the playground. Things you never thought were important, fill you with pride as a parent.
What’s the best piece of parenting advice you can pass along to readers?
Make the time. Sure you are tired and busy but you may never get another chance to have that experience with your kids ever again. You will never sit around the old folks home saying you were glad you didn’t take the kids to the Santa Claus parade cause parking was a hassle and you had a really busy week at work.