Claire Sweeney has opened up about her bittersweet return to work after lockdown decimated the entertainment industry.
After Covid struck, the actress and performer, 51, spent all her time with her beloved son Jaxon and has confessed balancing single motherhood with work has left her wracked with mum guilt.
Speaking exclusively to OK!, she said: “From being in lockdown and spending 24/7 with my son, the adjustment of having to go back out to work has been hard.
“Jaxon knows I’m a single mum and that Mummy is a provider so she has to work. It’s not just an ego ride, it’s a necessity, but I get mum guilt all the time.
“In lockdown, I was watching the news and Jaxon said, ‘Oh, Mummy, why is everyone saying this is the worst time ever? I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. You’re sat with me on the sofa watching Harry Potter and you haven’t got a suitcase packed to go to work.’
“I can get lost in trying to provide, but sometimes you’ve got to find the balance. The most important lesson I’ve learnt in the past few years is that it’s as important to say no as it is to say yes.”
Claire became a mum for the first time at 43 and dubbed Jaxon, who she shares with former IT professional Daniel Riley, her “miracle baby” after going through two miscarriages before his arrival.Claire and Daniel split just weeks before she found out she was pregnant , but have maintained an excellent co-parenting relationship.
She lives with Jaxon in afour-storey townhouse in London that she bought for £1.2 million in 2006. She also has an apartment in Pimlico and two in Liverpool that she rents out. Her success comes not only from her talent but from her determination to provide for her son. She earned just £5,000 during lockdown, but the formerBrooksidestar has started 2023 more in demand than ever.
Since turning 51 last April, her career has soared with an unrelenting schedule that included starring in 9-5 The Musical and Proud Cabaret’s Cabaret All Stars, hosting her BBC radio show Claire Sweeney Meets and filming Channel 5 drama The Good Ship Murder withShayne WardandCatherine Tyldesley .
She added: “I’m so grateful at 51 years of age to have had one of the best years of my life. “I’d sold my house in Majorca in 2019 a year before Covid so luckily had the savings from the sale to see me through, but it was tough. I’m just so proud that I’ve been in the industry for nearly 40 years and I’m still working and loving what I do.”
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