Vogue Williams On Her New Podcast And The Politics Of ‘Sharenting’

'My kids getting older fills me with fear, because I know what I was like when I was 18.'

by Isobel Lewis |
Updated on

As a podcaster, model and influencer, Vogue Williams has made a career out of sharing her life online. Whether it’s sharing marriage stories on Spencer and Vogue with husband Spencer Matthews and My Therapist Ghosted Me, or posting funny pictures of her kids online, Vogue is not scared to get candid about family life.

Still, the mother-of-three - who shares kids Theo, five, Gigi three, and Otto, one, with former Made in Chelsea star Spencer - acknowledges there are good and bad sides of sharenting. Vogue knows parents tend to go ‘one way or the other’ when it comes to choosing whether to share their kids’ lives online. She loves it, but tells Grazia, ‘I am careful about what I post with them. I would never post anything that would make them feel embarrassed or be too exposing of them or anything like that.'

For Vogue, her Instagram feed is a perfect nostalgic diary of memories. She loves nothing more than when someone comments on a video of her kids from 100 or so weeks ago, and she gets to rewatch and revisit them when they were ‘really young’. ‘I'm hoping at some point you can literally go through your Instagram and download all those things and have all those memories of stuff. I love it for that reason,’ she says.

Despite starting out in modelling and TV, the 38-year-old is arguably best known now for her work as a podcaster. She hosts Spencer and Vogue, a behind-the-scenes look at their marriage, and My Therapist Ghosted Me with comedian Joanne McNally. ‘I've always been such a chatter and I'm quite nosy naturally, so I love hearing about other people,’ she says. ‘It feels like the perfect space for me to be in.’

Her latest venture is another podcast, although one with less of a comedy angle. The Apple & The Tree features honest conversations between parents and their adult children on conversations they have rarely, if ever discussed before. Hard-hitting topics, such as interracial adoption, single parenthood, life-altering diagnoses, abandonment and finding acceptance after coming out, are handled with empathy, with Vogue raiding the question of whether the apple really falls that far from the tree.

As the show’s presenter, Vogue found meeting the podcasts guests to be an often ‘heart-wrenching’, yet always inspiring experience. ‘You have to be so open and willing to do something like this,’ she says. Born in Dublin, Vogue was always close to her own parents, Sandra and Freddy, the latter of whom died 14 years ago. Yet she admits that she would ‘struggle’ to have such open and honest conversations with them.

Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams with their children
©Comic Relief via Getty Images

‘I don't know why,’ she muses, ‘I'm really, really close to my family, super close. I speak to my mum all the time, we're best friends, but there's just certain things that we wouldn't really discuss.’ When it comes to her own kids, Vogue – a self-proclaimed ‘worrier’ – is already dreading the day her kids start going out on their own. She knows Theo will one day want to do things like go to the shop on his own, and ‘that fills me with fear. I feel like I'm going to be hiding behind a bush, making sure he's OK’.

When they get older, will be a whole other ballgame. ‘The thought of them going out to nightclubs,’ she says. Some of her friends have kids who are 18 or 19, ‘and they say to me, “Wait until they're that age and you're waiting until four in the morning until they walk through the door.”’ That fills me with fear as well, because I know what I was like when I was 18 or 19.’ She takes solace in the fact that the younger generation are drinking less than precious ones, adding, ‘That is definitely a bonus.’

Vogue is the first to admit she was ‘tough work’ growing up. She was suspended from her Catholic school twice, and her mum kicked her out of the family home for a period when she was 17. But she’s quick to praise her parents, attributing her work ethic to them that she hopes to pass on to her own kids. ‘You definitely get parenting styles from your parents. I think my parents did a really good job with me, I think that I was definitely tough work… I would like to match my parenting styles similar to theirs.’ She pauses. ‘They were a little bit strict. Maybe I'd be slightly lighter than that, but I think that would be similar to them, I guess.’

Having three kids under the age of six is no easy job. But Vogue is super proud of the ‘respectful’ and ‘kind’ children she’s raised. She’s always speaking about them on her podcasts, and is aware that those recordings will one day be ‘a big part of yourself’ left for them to listen to. As with her mum, Vogue’s not too keen on the thought of her kids listening to My Therapist Ghosted Me, but she likes the idea of them being able to listen back to Spencer and Vogue.

The choice to share her kids on the podcast or on social media never felt like a 'huge decision' for Vogue as much as something that just happened. But it comes at a time when many are debating the ethics of parents posting their children’s lives and faces on the internet. Her children are by no means child influencers, although Vogue jokes that Theo is ‘currently going through the phase of wanting me to film absolutely everything’ and that ‘his Insta will probably be bigger than mine by the time he's 15’.

Eventually, she says, it’ll get to a point where she asks the kids whether they’re happy to appear on her page. ‘When they get a little bit older, they probably won't want to be on it,’ she says. ‘There might be a point where I'll stop because they don't want to be known to be on my Instagram or anything. If that happens, then obviously I'll completely respect their wishes.’

Vogue Williams' The Apple & The Tree is out now.

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