The mum of three explained: “When they first got me in to cover Ciara’s job as the anchor, that was hard; you really had to be on top of news, reading all your newspapers and I was getting up at 4.20am.
“And after a few weeks of it, I thought 'I can’t do this any more, I’m going to have to throw in the towel and walk away'.
“I could not survive those early starts with three young kids in the house.
“Eve hadn’t even turned one at that stage. I would be dizzy going to collect the kids at the end of the day,” she told the RTE Guide.
The Virgin Media host also told how the shock axing of Xpose helped her make her decision to stick it out.
She said: “I knew it was just a maternity cover and that once Ciara was back I could go back to Xpose, but then that was cancelled so I knew I’d have to make it work.
The Virgin Media Ireland host has been working from home during lockdown and said work life has been much better now that her colleague and friend Ciara is back.
She said: “But when Ciara came back, it was much easier for me.
“It was almost like I could stop trying to be like she was; she’s so good at her job and she’s naturally a news junkie, whereas I wasn’t.
“I was probably trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The job was getting the best of me to be honest and I was horrible then at home with the kids.”
Karen has come full circle in her career, having started in Ireland AM straight out of college before landing her dream gig on Xpose in 2007.
But despite the show coming to an end last year, Karen revealed the shine had already started to go off the gig for her after she became a mum.
“I absolutely adored that job. But it got complicated once the kids came along and there was the travel involved for interviews and premiers,” she said.
“So to be honest, the shine sort of went off it in last couple of years as the kids started to arrive and I found it really hard getting away, logistics wise.
“It was definitely the job for me in my 20s.”
“In a way I felt less attached to it because I had my own maternity leave and then I was filling in on Ireland AM, so it was kind of a long goodbye for me.
“It was probably easier for me because I had just been watching it as a viewer and not a host.”
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