Natalie Anderson quit Emmerdale for her son
Natalie Anderson sometimes went a week without seeing her son while working on 'Emmerdale'.
The 33-year-old actress has admitted she regrets going back to work so soon after giving birth to her and her husband James Shepherd's first child, son Freddie, in 2012.
Speaking about her decision to quit playing Alicia Metcalfe in the ITV soap, she said: "It was easily a year in the making. It wasn't something I just woke up one morning and decided.
"The main thing was my little boy. I went back to work really soon after I had him. He was 11 weeks when I went back to work which was throwing myself in at the deep end.
"I didn't expect to feel the way that I felt as a mum. It reallt does change you and he just became, and is, my everything really.
"It was doing those hours you know? Starting at seven in the morning and then finishing at half past 7 and prepping for the next day. I think a lot of people don't realise, you get home and there's ten scenes to prep for the next day and if you're in a really heavy story I was easily going a week sometimes without seeing him and it just felt like I was missing out and he'd be going, 'Where's my daddy? Where's my daddy?' because he was with his dad most of the time but I was like, 'I want a bit of that!' "
Natalie confessed part of the reason she felt she had to go back to work so soon after giving birth was because she's always thought of herself as a career woman.
She told ITV's 'Lorraine': "I think it's really quite difficult when you've been career driven as a woman, you're kind of brought up with everything being quite equal and to go out there and be a power woman, that's kind of how I grew up."
However, the raven-haired beauty is now enjoying being able to spend more quality time with James and Freddie, who is now three-years-old.
Natalie added: "It's nice to have the time now that I've left 'Emmerdale' to be able to do things with them even if I have been working or been on trips. If I've come to London they've come with me so it's just nice to have a bit more family time."