Like all doting mums, Tamara Ecclestone had mixed emotions about her little girl starting school. The 34-year-old, whose daughter Sophia already had two years' experience at nursery school under her belt, admitted she would cry when her child starts school. In an exclusive interview with HELLO! in September 2018, the mum-of-one said: "It's crazy how quickly it's gone from her being born to now going to school. Nursery went by in a flash." She added: "The day she was getting measured for her school uniform I was getting really teary and the lady could tell, and she said: 'Oh don’t worry, all the mums get a bit emotional'. I will definitely cry on the first day of school – not because I don’t want her to go, but because I’m just so proud of her."
Tamara and Fifi are as close as a mother and daughter could be. The daughter of billionaire former Formula 1 mogul Bernie Ecclestone, who is married to businessman Jay Rutland, has never employed a nanny and she has been an outspoken advocate of breastfeeding. "Though I definitely think it's something that she's almost done with and it's phasing out. And I'm fine about that. It's happened so gradually and I've been expecting it," she explained. Fifi also still sleeps in bed with her and Jay. So starting school won't just be life-changing for Fifi; it will be a wrench for Tamara, too. But they've been gearing up to it; Fifi has been attending nursery and already has plenty of friends.
Tamara Ecclestone with her daughter Fifi
"She's become better at sharing," noted Tamara. "When she has friends or cousins over I see that she actually gives other people a turn with stuff. At the beginning everything was 'mine, mine, mine' so that's definitely been a good thing, the social education. There's no rush or race to be able to write your name: it's more important to be able to make friends and learn to share. Especially because she’s an only child."
Tamara revealed she was a shy girl at four yet Fifi is anything but. "She's good at singing and she was great at remembering her lines from the nursery school play at the end of term - she played Nala in The Lion King. She loves anything when she's on stage. She loves all the songs from the Sound of Music," she added, while Fifi started belting out a tuneful rendition of My Favourite Things from the classic Julie Andrews film.
While Fifi prefers performing to sports, Tamara confessed she "lived for netball" at school and was also on the hockey team. She left school with A-levels in French, Italian, psychology and sociology; languages came easily for her, having grown up speaking Croatian with her mum. She's still fluent and she and Petra often use their mum's native tongue together when they don't want anyone to understand what they're saying. "So I'll be able to help Fifi with her homework when she starts to learn French and Italian - though in Reception it'll just be reading, which Fifi loves," she added. "All this brings back memories of my first days of school. I was hanging off my mum's leg, crying. For years. My poor mum. And now I know what it feels like on the other side - and it's worse."
Tamara invited HELLO! into her London home
"So the mornings will be quite chaotic," she laughed. "We'll probably end up rushing to school in the car, though it's not far so we could walk. In summer maybe she'll go on her scooter." And what will Tamara do with more time on her hands during the day? "Well, it's going to be great for me to focus on an adult conversation," she admitted. "Then I'll get her at the end of the day and go back to being mum again. It'll be the best of both worlds. I'll be able to be fully present to dedicate my time to my businesses, including Fifi and Friends."
Speaking about her natural and organic babycare range, the doting mum added: "We're launching in more and more countries and more and more stores and we're on Amazon now, and we're developing new products such as a suncream. It's exciting. But Fifi starting school is going to make weekends even more special because it will be our time. I still want her to be a kid and enjoy life - go to the park, climb trees and just have fun. It can't all be serious."
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