Former Strictly dancers James and Ola Jordan debate the ‘babies at work’ issue and tell us about their busy week with daughter Ella
Former Strictly dancer and HELLO! Parenting columnist James Jordan is known for speaking his mind, and he didn’t hold back when addressing this week’s news about babies in the parliament.
MORE: Exclusive: Inside James and Ola Jordan’s luxury holiday with their daughter Ella
Labour’s Stella Creasy was told it was against the rules to bring a child into the House of Commons after she attended a debate with her three-month-old baby in a sling – her view being that it “has to be possible for politics and parenting to mix”.
WATCH: Ella learns Polish from her mum!
James and his wife Ola are parents to two-year-old daughter Ella, so would they let their toddler join them at dance rehearsals? It’s an emphatic no! “Can I give 100% concentration at work if I’ve got my baby with me?” says James. “No, I can’t.”
The couple share their full views on the subject below and update us on their week at home with their sweet daughter Ella…
Should we take our babies to work?
HELLO!: What do you think about MPs taking their babies into the House of Commons?
James: MPs should not be allowed to take their babies in, it’s ridiculous! The world has gone mad.
Ola: Why do you want children in parliament? It’s not the place for them.
James: Are we going to start taking kids to the construction site and stick little hard hats on them?! Will the government have to supply mini high vis jackets?! Where will it stop?
If I took Ella to work with me the way she is at the moment, it would not be good. My opinion is… don’t be part of parliament if you want to take your baby there.
At Strictly, kids under a certain age weren’t even allowed to sit in the audience. There was a special day for children. They weren’t allowed there on the live shows – and I get it.
Ola and James in their Strictly days
Ola: Even if we took Ella to a dance rehearsal, that’s not a place for her. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to take my baby to work. My mind would be with my child.
James: Sometimes I think people do things to prove a point that they can challenge the system and rules, but sometimes rules are in place for a reason.
HELLO!: What about pets in parliament, like dogs and cats?
James: No, no, no! Well, then I’m allergic to them and if you get rid of me because of my allergy then that’s discrimination – that’s what I’d say.
I love animals. I swerved my car to save a squirrel the other day. I would have cried if I’d hit it.
READ: Celebrities launch the GOSH Charity Play Date: how you can take part in July
The adorable Ella Jordan
The Jordans’ hectic flight with Ella
The Jordans have just arrived back from a holiday in Tenerife – so how was their flight home with Ella?
James: Ella didn’t sleep at all on the flight home. She was quite full-on, wasn’t she Ola?
Ola: Yeah, she doesn’t want to sleep at all in the day.
James: But she gets really miserable at about 2pm.
Ola: Yep – she needs a sleep but doesn’t want to sleep! There was a little girl on the plane a little older than Ella, and when Ella had a bit of a tantrum, the other girl gave her stickers to play with and that kept her quiet for a bit, which was really nice. We did everything on the plane! The iPad, stickers, drawing…
James: Ella’s fascinated with my Snapchat at the moment because it changes her face. She likes looking at herself – she always goes: ‘Show face!’ She laughs a lot.
Ola: Some of the faces are horrible but she’s not scared of it though. She will say: ‘Ooh, don’t like that one’.
The family on a recent holiday to Tenerife
The night from hell
Ola: We had a really tough night last night. I’d taken Ella out and she fell asleep in the car on the way back, and when I transferred her into the house she kept falling back asleep. I put her in my bed and I lay down too.
That was wrong though – I should have just woken her up. She slept over an hour but then she didn’t go to sleep till 11pm in her own bed because she wasn’t tired! We hadn’t even eaten our dinner because we were waiting for her to fall asleep. In the end, I put her back in our bed, which annoyed James. The whole thing is just ridiculous. Last night was bad.
I need to be really careful giving her naps during the day. But as soon as she gets in the car she’s going to sleep. It’s so hard to wake her up though and she gets really angry with me!
I’ve got a friend with a similar age toddler going through the same thing as me. They need their day nap but if you give it to them they won’t sleep at night. Maybe we should put her to bed earlier for the night?
One night on holiday Ella fell asleep early at 7pm in the buggy, then we put her in her bed and she slept until 8am the next morning. We couldn’t believe it. It’s hard to manage all this sleep and nap business!
MORE: 9 heart-warming photos of royals cooing over babies
Super brainy Ella
Ola: Ella had her two-year check-up with the health visitor. We hadn’t seen a health visitor since Ella was tiny due to the pandemic – everything was over the phone.
James: Once the pandemic hit there was nothing.
Ola: So we took Ella to see them and were told that she’s really advanced for her age! We were really happy. Ella did everything they asked her to do.
James: They did say her brightness also could be why we have sleep problems with her. I said I was struggling with potty training too. Apparently, because she’s so bright and busy with everything, her brain doesn’t digest she’s got to go to the toilet.
The Jordan family
Ella’s nursery upset
James: Ella talks a lot now. Her vocabulary is getting so much better. I feel like she’s progressed a lot in the last month, maybe that’s from nursery though…
Ola: Well that didn’t go well on Tuesday. Even on Monday when I was telling her about it she was saying, ‘No, no nursery’ and she cried. So I stopped telling her about it until the next morning. She was upset again but went in.
James: When I picked her up the teacher said, ‘Oh she had a tough day today’.
Ola: She’s out of the habit of going because we went on holiday. Two or three hours a day there is nothing really – she needs more of a routine to get her used to it.
It will be more holidays soon, but from September she’ll do three whole days a week. I can’t wait! I love her to bits and she’s the cutest thing ever, and she comes out with the funniest things but I am looking forward to her going more and getting more time to ourselves. I have some work to do and want to go to the gym. I need to do things now.
James: She’s very very needy. Even today, she was annoying me how needy she was. She was asking for cuddles non-stop – she wouldn’t let me go to the toilet, she wants to go with me.
Ola: You’ve got to do things with her all the time. She’s very busy so I think nursery can give her that more than we can at home. She’ll learn so much there.
Like this story? Sign up to the HELLO! Family Hub newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.