It's been a month since I arrived in London to welcome my first grandchild and it has been one of the more amazing experiences of my Iife.

Everybody told me I would never know love like that for a grandchild - so much so that I began to be a little concerned.

What if I didn't love the little guy as much as everybody said I would?

What if he didn't like me?


What if I didn't know how to be a grandmother?

As it turned out, everybody was right.

As soon as I saw him, one week old and absolutely divine, as soon as I held him in my arms and inhaled that newborn baby scent, I was head over heels in love.

There is nothing I wouldn't do for him and to be able to comfort him and nurture him and protect him has been one of the greatest privileges of my life.

I feel very lucky my daughter and son-in-law wanted me to come over and live with them and help them out in those first early weeks - not all new parents welcome a grandparent being around 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I am also very lucky I have great employers.

I was able to take leave for three weeks, but last week I was broadcasting from the lounge of my Airbnb in London and I'll be doing that this week as well.

Because of the time difference, I am working from midnight till 5am London time and I'm not going to lie - it's gruelling.

I always vowed and declared I would never work overnights. In my early years of broadcasting, I was offered a couple of overnight radio shifts and I turned my prospective employers down flat.

It's unnatural to be up when the world is asleep and to all those incredible people who do the graveyard shift working far more important jobs than broadcasting, full credit to you.

But it's a no-brainer.

To be able to spend the afternoons and evenings with my little London family, to be able to do the housework Kate can't do, to be able to go for long walks around Richmond Park with my daughter and grandson, to be able to prepare meals for my daughter and son-in-law and give them the time to just simply be with their son, is such a wonderful, wonderful gift that a few sleep deprived days is neither here nor there.

I am so lucky to have been a part of my grandson's first precious weeks.


I leave next Friday.

It will be six months before I fall in love with my grandson all over again.

I am storing up every smile, every cuddle, every opportunity to be a part of his life.

But by crikey, I had forgotten just how hard those first six weeks of parenting can be.

Even with a very easy baby and a pair of devoted and intelligent parents, even with enough money coming into the household to be able to provide for everything a new baby needs, even with a mother who finds breastfeeding easy, raising a newborn is tough.

The lack of sleep knocks everybody around and without adequate support, any household with a new baby struggles.

My first night back on the radio and the breaking news story was of a 17-year-old stepfather who'd been found guilty of the manslaughter of a wee 2-year-old.

Another dead baby to add to New Zealand's roll call of shame.

Nobody should be around a baby - or a toddler - unless they are absolutely committed to protecting that fragile little person with every breath in their body.

Nobody should be trying to raise a baby without the appropriate support and encouragement.

I am so lucky to have been a part of my grandson's first precious weeks - and all I hope is that he has every opportunity to fulfil his potential and he knows how much he is loved right through his life.

And that's something I wish for every child born in this country.

How on earth do you put that most fervent desire into a rescue plan for every child at risk of abuse?