Hi I’m Kate, and I’m a stay at home mum.

“So what are your plans about going back to work?”

I hear this a lot. People don’t think anything of it and nor should they. But for me it’s actually not that simple. For me there’s no “going back” to work because I never actually started working! I mean, I’ve obviously had jobs before when I was at college and uni but as I finished my degree I got pregnant and by the time I’d finished I was already heavily pregnant and had no hope of gaining employment!

So in August the girls were born and the last 10 months have been unbelievably intense. Yes, they would have been sweeter with a bit of maternity pay but I wouldn’t swap our time together for anything. Now the girls are coming up for a year, this would be the time to start looking to go back to work.

I’ve barely left the girls up to now. Other breastfeeding mums out there can vouch for the fact that when you’re breastfeeding, leaving your baby is way more trouble than it’s worth usually (hello lots of pumping, engorgement and leaky boobs!). The thought of putting them in to nursery scares me as they still feel so young to me. However I know they’d thrive with it deep down but the simple fact is I’d have to earn a heck of a lot to even make it worth putting them in childcare. Furthermore, I’d probably want to go back to work part time so I still got lots of time with the girls. I guess flexible hours are a lot easier to negotiate when you’re already employed rather than seeking new employment.

I want to have a career. In fact I never dreamed of having children but I always dreamed of having a career. But I don’t want to put my career above the girls. Right now, though it may seem self involved, I know the girls need me more than anyone. When they’re three years old they’ll go in to funded nursery and when they’re 4 they’ll be in school. I can’t bear to be parted with them so it seems when I add all these factors together that there’s only one option. Being a stay at home mum. 

If I’m honest I used to kinda look down on stay at home mums. That was before I found out just how hard being a parent actually is. Doing it all day every day with no break is relentless, frustrating and monotonous. But it also unbelievably rewarding, enjoyable and fun. The hard times are really, really hard but there are also the really good times of being able to just go out for coffees with people or take your kids for a picnic. The kind of thing you’d miss if you were working. I’m sure if you’re reading this and you’re not a parent you probably think “what is so hard about being a mum?!” Lol, well you just wait! I used to feel the same as you! I used to think being a stay at home mum was such an unfeminist option, so many women fought for the right to work and not have to give it up when they had children. But I see now that feminism is all about having the option to go back to work if you want to, and not if you don’t.

The way I see it is that this time with the girls is so unbelievably precious. It comes around once in a lifetime. Because the girls are twins I already kind of feel like I have half the time with them as it is and I want to treasure the time with them so much! 

I am still only 23, even if I wait 4 years to start working I’ll still be pretty young starting out in my career. I want a proper career that I love and not just settle for something because it’s what fits around nursery schedules! At least this way I haven’t had to have a career break, instead I can start my career in a really good position, knowing my girls are happy and settled!

In the future I may have to miss out on school trips, sports days or class assemblies and that’s why I’ve resolved to drink in these moments with my babies because they won’t last forever.

So no, I’m not going “back to work”. At the moment it’s not what works for our family. But I’ll keep on making my girls’ worlds go round and leave changing the rest of it for a few more years! 

STAYCATION: Our stay-at-home holiday together

As many people who read my blog will know, we love to travel! Last week we had a trip to Berlin booked Monday-Thursday, however on the Friday before, Dorothy was taken in to hospital by ambulance. She ended up staying in there until Sunday afternoon and we were advised against taking the trip. We were obviously devastated but we didn’t want to risk taking her and things got worse with the plane pressure or Margot got ill too. As it was, Margot did get ill on Monday night and we were able to take her to the GP and get her sorted on Tuesday morning. So we ended up being quite thankful that we didn’t go against the doctors’ advice!

As Josh had the week off work anyway, we decided to make the most of it. On the Monday we just got stuck in to tidying and cleaning and getting jobs done so we were free for the week ahead.

On Tuesday, we decided to head to Manchester. We went for lunch at the Anchor Coffee House in Moss Side. I used to park right by there in my second year for uni and walk down Oxford road to campus so we were very familiar with it! The food is amazing and we both had a lovely coffee called a cuban coffee which is made with condensed milk. The girls, of course, attracted a lot of attention!

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We then headed down Oxford Road to Whitworth Park and art gallery.

After that we walked past my old uni and then headed to Starbucks to feed the girls. It was that very Starbucks that Josh and I used to meet after I finished uni and do work together! It was nice to take the girls back to our old haunts and show them another part of Manchester!

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The next day, we decided to visit Chester Zoo. It was a pretty hot day and we were slightly worried about how the girls would cope. Unfortunately we stupidly booked holiday during half term. It was absolutely heaving there and getting a double buggy around was difficult enough without having to work our way through crowds of people! Nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves, although the girls were thoroughly fed up by the end!

 

The next day was another quiet one, we just enjoyed the sunshine at our local park and got a coffee from a little coffee shop nearby. Then Daddy was sadly back to work! Thankfully he only has three weeks to go until we move!

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Obviously we were gutted not to be in Berlin but we still managed to have a lovely week together as a family.

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