RTE presenter Lottie Ryan says sleep deprivation with a baby is a ‘form of torture’

LOTTIE Ryan is on top of the world thanks to a happy confluence of caffeine and circadian rhythm.

new mum says she’s learned a lot since giving birth to son Wolf eight months ago, mostly to ‘drink more coffee’, but it’s the afterglow of eight hours of sleep that makes her shiver in the spring morning.

“I got a full night’s sleep last night, so life isn’t really looking up right now,” she laughs over the phone.

“I would say it’s the first time in eight months. I’m not going to get my hopes up – I’m sure it was a one off, but I’ll take it.

The 2FM presenter and her husband Fabio Aprile saw their world turned upside down in the best possible way with the arrival of their first child last June.

Finally out of the other side of the baby mist, the 36-year-old now laughs at how she thought she was sleep deprived before making a name for herself on red-eye radio.

“Sleep deprivation is a form of torture,” she recalled of the beginnings of the new motherhood. “I worked at breakfast radio for years, so I would walk into things thinking, ‘I know all about sleep deprivation, I’ve worked crazy hours for so long.


Proud mum Lottie with her husband of five years Fabio Aprile and their baby, Wolf

Proud mum Lottie with her husband of five years Fabio Aprile and their baby, Wolf

“I didn’t know anything! It’s a whole different ball game. It was just a huge shock to the system, because it’s not just sleep deprivation, it’s someone depending on you. You must be fully with him and awake.

“Besides, you know each other, especially if you’re back at work – like I was – the smallest things when you’re sleep deprived can seem so important. But you learn to fend for yourself, and you learn to drink more coffee, and you keep doing things.

After a decade of hard work, Lottie’s instantly recognizable voice is now heard on the daytime airwaves throughout the week.

But the avid entertainment journalist has made no secret of her aim to follow in the footsteps of radio legend father Gerry Ryan, recently publicly telling 2FM boss Dan Healy: “Give me a show.”

The first step was to overcome the ‘working mother’s guilt’ that inevitably hit her when she returned to Montrose four months after giving birth to Wolf, whose middle name is Ryan in a touching tribute to her late father, who died in 2010.

“It took a while,” she admits, “because I guess there’s this little person that I was completely physically attached to, and then handing them over to someone else for a game. of the day, it’s an emotion that I have ‘I’ve never felt before, I didn’t know how to deal with it.

“But once I realized he was very happy at nursery and I was very happy to be able to do things on my own again, I was able to get over it and move on. .


Lottie and her late father Gerry Ryan

Lottie and her late father Gerry Ryan

Lottie and her late father Gerry Ryan

“At first I was nervous about coming back, but once I was back in about two weeks it was so good to do something that made me feel like myself again I guess. The just talking to adults during the day made such a difference,” she jokes. “It just made me a better person at the end of the day, being back at work. I needed it I think.”

Not everyone agreed, however, as Lottie found herself targeted by ‘mom trolls’, who separated everything from her son’s unusual name to her decision to return to work after sharing what should have been some of the happiest moments of his life on social media. .

Although she’s been in the public eye since childhood, it’s one aspect of stardom the podcaster says she still struggles with.

“I don’t know if I can filter it for the moment”, considers Lottie, who presents the new RTÉ Dancing with the stars podcast, two years after winning the show with her dance partner Pasquale La Rocca.

“I definitely wasn’t capable of it at first and that’s why I let it happen.


Lottie on the red carpet with sisters Bonnie and Babette and mom Morah.

Lottie on the red carpet with sisters Bonnie and Babette and mom Morah.

Lottie on the red carpet with sisters Bonnie and Babette and mom Morah.

“You just have to learn to develop a thick skin about these things because I don’t want to feel uncomfortable posting a picture. And I don’t want to feel uncomfortable talking about my life.

“I speak for a living, so I need to be able to speak about the things that are going on in my life. If it means talking about my mother’s guilt or putting my son in day care or asking me to go back to work, I need to be able to talk openly about those things and I can’t be afraid of other mothers judging me.

“I think it’s a horrible thing to do anyway, for a mother to assume she knows about another mother’s situation. I would never do it myself, which is probably why I couldn’t figure it out,” she shares.

“What did me good was the women who texted me saying, ‘Oh, you’re setting a good example for your son, it’s good for him to see a hard-working woman, whose career is important and who wants to provide for his family.’

Fans also praised the host as a “natural” when she replaced Jennifer Zamparelli on DWTS at the last minute in January, after the presenter tested positive for Covid.

And though she says “radio will always be where my heart is,” Lottie can also foresee a future on the small screen.

“I definitely have the live TV bug after being a host Dancing with the stars rrecently, so I would love to do more live TV,” she says. “It’s a very addictive adrenaline rush – it’s kind of like what I would get when I’m on the radio – so I think I’d like to explore that avenue a bit more.”

It’s been five years since the star married Fabio in Italy, but love was still in the air for the Ryan family as her younger sister, Bonnie, married longtime boyfriend John, more early this month.

Now Lottie is looking forward to continuing the celebrations by toasting her first Mother’s Day with her mother, Morah, and nan, xxx, 94, next Sunday.

She has teamed up with One4all to help honor mother figures across Ireland, encouraging people to show their love this March 27 with a One4all gift card, loadable from €15-€150 and usable at over 11,000 retailers across the country and online.

“The first thing I said to [my mum] after I had Wolf, it was like, ‘Are you crazy, have you done that five times?’ she jokes. “My second thought was all the sacrifice she had to make for us, especially because my mom was a stay-at-home mom.

“It completely changed my perspective on everything,” Lottie concludes after joining the club herself. “The funny thing is that I feel a lot more relaxed, which I didn’t expect. The little things don’t really upset me like they used to because I feel like they just don’t matter.

“He’s my whole world and it just changed the way I look at other things. I just feel a lot happier and a lot more settled.

For more information visit one4all.ie

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