Broadcaster Síle Seoige is proudly supporting the Sightsavers Ireland's 'Missed Moments' campaign. She speaks to IMAGE.ie about her involvement with the charity, trying to find a work/life balance and why, when it comes to parenting, women need to be kinder to themselves.
It is a hectic Síle Seoige who comes to the phone; grabbing a pocket of minutes in-between an extremely busy filming schedule for a new series on TG4. She does, as ever, radiant warmth; she is a natural talker, happily opening up about her work schedule and the plate spinning act that intensifies when you become a mum. The early starts, she says, aren't as easy as they used to be but it's all the in-between moments with her family and 20-month-old son Cathal, which made the latest Sightsavers campaign - of which she is an ambassador - really resonate.
The 'Missed Moments' campaign, taking place in Galway, asks the people of Galway to reflect on the impact visual impairment could have on their own lives and the special moments they might miss without their sight. It aims to raise money to save the sight of 250,000 people living in some of the world’s poorest countries – equivalent to the population of Galway city and county. The simple act of a small donation goes a very long way in restoring someone’s sight and changing their lives forever.
I'm delighted to team up with @SightsaversIE to launch their #MissedMoments campaign in Eyre Square this morning. The never-seen-before campaign comes to Galway on August 11th with a Digital Pod in Eyre Square SC where people can use their bank card to donate just €2 #ad pic.twitter.com/hJHUEKoJwm
— Síle Seoige (@SileSeoige) July 5, 2018
"I started thinking, what if I hadn't got my sight? I couldn’t even begin to imagine not seeing my little boy Cathal's gorgeous face every day”
"I loved the concept of the missed moments," Síle says of her involvement with the campaign. "Having gotten into wellness in a big way, I believe in appreciating the simple things in life because we're all going to have bumps on the road and challenges, but that appreciation can bring so much more into our lives. When you stop and think, what if something so big - like your sight - was taken away and how little it costs to give something to Sightsavers to restore a person's sight, I knew it was something I wanted to get involved with."
As a working mum, there's no doubt that days can be stressful, but Síle says thinking of the little things; of what she already has goes a long way towards making her feel at ease. "The more I think of the good things, the more my mood shifts and changes. I don't think the power of positive thinking is just talk - it actually works."
And having it all? It is, agrees Síle, the million dollar question.
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"I think we're always asking ourselves that, particularly when we become mums. The mammy guilt is always brought up. But having children is so life-changing, I think all we can really do is take each day as it comes and try and not get too caught up in over-analysing - we need to be nicer to ourselves because we're never going to be a perfect mum or a perfect dad."
"It's about asking yourself, are you doing your best? Is your intention good and that's all you can do - all you can do is your best. And the majority of the time, we're doing better than we think we are - we're so super-critical of ourselves. Often, we just need to tell ourselves, 'do you know what? I'm doing okay'"
Since having Cathal, Síle says her career has been impacted in a positive way, in that she is more focused now than she has ever been. "I would have been the ultimate procrastinator before my son was born. But you adapt and I've improved so much in that sense."
"He has brought more focus into my life in that way," she continued. "There would have been periods of my career before, where I was so laid-back, I was practically horizontal. It was, if I'm busy, I'm busy but if I'm not sure isn't it grand. But I think when you become a mother, you do realise it's not just about you anymore and you want to provide for your little one as best you can."
"And I love my career, I'm very grateful and thankful for it but my priority is my partner and my son - our family unit. Whatever can benefit and enrich our lives all while doing something I love is great. But it has changed me in that respect. I'm now asking myself, what do you really want to do? I'm learning to say yes to the right things and no to the projects that don't work for our family. I've become progressively more assertive as I've gotten older and becoming a mother has a lot to do with that."
If you’d like to give the gift of sight, look out for the Sightsavers interactive digital display unit, which will feature in Eyre Square in Galway until April 7 or share what would be your own #MissedMoments on social media.