WHEN I speak with Sharyn Ghidella, I am sitting in the car outside my seven-year-old's guitar lesson. Her four-year-old sister is colouring in the backseat while sucking on a lollipop at 9.30am (don't judge me), and I have my phone on speaker so I can record our conversation on an iPad. While I wait to be connected through to the 7 News anchor, I am answering emails and paying bills on the laptop balanced precariously on my lap. I am speaking to Sharyn about the juggling act that is modern motherhood. The irony is not lost on me.
A mum to Austin, 7, and four-year-old Darcy, Sharyn's day is an interesting, crazy, chaotic mix of school drop-offs and laundry, Lego-building, superhero cape twirling and of course that other by-the-way activity - bringing you the news.
"I don't think anything can really prepare you for the reality of having children," she says with a hearty laugh. "You cannot comprehend the workload, what it will all mean, the day-to-day stresses and what to do when they are sick and you have to go to work.
"It certainly was a steep learning curve for me, as it is with anyone who has kids. Nothing is as you think it will be. Life isn't scheduled and you often have to contend with things you haven't even thought of, but the life I lead now is a lovely reality. It is a different reality than long lunches and late nights out, but my boys are just delightful."
A job in journalism means no two days are the same, and you often have to drop everything at a minute's notice to go off and cover a breaking news event.
"I am careful not to build up their expectations and I certainly don't make grandiose promises I know I may not be able to keep," says Sharyn.
"My kids are pretty resilient, and I think most kids are, and if I do make a promise, I say to them, well, if mummy has to work, I may not be able to do that with you. And you know life is like that - you are not always going to get what you expect on the day, and they have to learn that for later in life. But I always try to make it up to them by going to the park or something the next day so they still don't miss out."
Unlike her boys, who are accustomed to the rhythms of the city, Sharyn grew up in a small country town with a stay-at-home mum but says she tries to instil in her children the values and morals her parents taught her.
"Sometimes I find it difficult to balance the scales. Which mother doesn't have guilt of some kind? But I think we are often just too hard on ourselves. It is not easy. We live in a modern, fast-paced society, but I look at my children and think they are pretty well adjusted, they are happy, they know we love them dearly, they know they can come to us at any time, and I think that is the most important thing - to let them know you are always there for them no matter what is going on in this crazy world."
Sharyn Ghidella presents 7 News each Sunday-Thursday night with Bill McDonald.