File photo: British chef Jamie Oliver accompanied by his wife Jules, arrive at the Pride of Britain Awards, in central London. Picture: AP

London - She spends her time mostly as a stay-at-home mum. He runs a £240-million cooking empire.

According to mother-of-five Jools Oliver, however, her task is "ten times more difficult" than that of her husband, TV chef Jamie.

In words that will strike a chord with many women, she described her role as "brain numbing" and "hell on earth" and said no one respects her in the household.

Oliver, 43, lives in an £8.9-million North London mansion with Oliver and their children Poppy, 16, Daisy, 15, Petal, nine, Buddy, seven and River, two.

She said: "There’s lots of stuff going on with me. I feel like my life is ten times more difficult, which I often tell him [Oliver]. He’s like, 'Whatever', he’s just been to see the prime minister – but I’ve had an issue with a bra or something with a daughter and I think, 'Well you know what, mine’s worse than yours'. It’s brain numbing, it’s difficult. And no one really respects you in the house …

"He’s respected at work – anyone who goes to work, it’s a nice environment – but it’s kind of like hell on earth [for me]. I’m making it sound awful but in an honest way – it’s quite hard."

Speaking on the Made By Mammas podcast, Mrs Oliver, who is also a childrenswear designer, said she finds it hard to split her time between all of her children equally because her husband, also 43, "is not really around in the week".

She said: "It’s hard because I’ve got a girl doing GCSEs who needs my time, I’ve got another one who may have boyfriend problems and they need that time and I haven’t got the energy to talk endlessly because physically we’ve done all the other bit beforehand.

"And she’ll come to me at ten o’clock and say, 'Mum I have this problem I think'. I’ve got to be good, I must sit and I think, 'Yes, tell me the problem'.

"Then of course there’s a two-year-old that’s just kind of everywhere. I worry about him in the garden and falling over and so I’ll sit outside with him while they have their dinner. I can’t split myself in a million pieces."

Oliver revealed that she regrets having her older children so close together.

She said: "I think I’ve done it all wrong, to be honest. I’ve got a 15- and a 16-year-old girl and it’s kind of difficult because they share the same friends, boy friends, it’s a bit risky at that age being so close. I think another year would have been great.

"It killed me having two so close, I just thought, 'I can’t do that again', so I left it a long time. Then had Petal, then – didn’t mean to – had Buddy, which is basically what happened with Daisy.

"That kind of killed me for a bit. It is hard work because on Saturday the older ones don’t want to go to the park on the rope swing and then the younger ones don’t want to go shopping, so I do feel like as a mother that’s not such a good idea, I can’t give my love fully."

Asked if she and Oliver had planned to have such a large family, she said: "No … It’s not like he [Oliver] said no after one, he was quite keen to carry on. But I don’t think he meant this large".

Daily Mail