This week's inspirational guests are Kate and Sharon, known for their award-winning parenting blog Lesbemums! Kate and Sharon are mums to handsome little three year-old son T.
Here, Kate talks openly about their journey to motherhood, family life in Brighton and what's coming up on the Lesbemums blog.
Welcome to Daddy & Dad! Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Hi! We’re two mums based near Brighton, East Sussex and met online nearly 12 years ago. We got married (well, civil partnered and then converted) 6 years later! It feels like a lifetime a go, chatting to Sharon on MSN!
Our son was then born in 2015 after two years of trying via at-home insemination. He’s now three (going on thirteen).
Your home-town, Brighton is well known for its tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people. What are your experiences living in Brighton as two mums?
We are incredibly lucky to be raising a child in and around Brighton. The city is incredibly diverse and is, therefore, a wonderful environment to raise a child. There are still some areas where it’s not as accepted, or certain residents are still living in ignorance, and visitors to the city aren’t always very pleasant, but the LGBTQ community is huge in Brighton so I’ve always felt very safe.
Did you always know you wanted children? Who instigated the conversation?
Before meeting Sharon I didn’t want Children, or at least wasn’t bothered by them. I didn’t melt when a baby arrived in the office, for example. But as time went on with Sharon my body changed and I suddenly became incredibly broody. I guess we one day just decided it was time!
Being a Lesbian couple, I guess the automatic route you think of is IVF, but when you find out how much it actually costs you soon start doing your research. We very quickly realise that there are so many other options out there.
How did you decide who'd carry your baby? Was it quite a natural decision?
I don’t think we really “talked”, it was more of a “Do you fancy it?” and see where we got us. I just decided to give it a go first. I guess if the years went by and we still hadn’t fallen pregnant then perhaps Sharon would have tried, but she wasn’t overly keen on the idea the more we discussed the process.
How did your extended families take to your son? Are your parents hands-on?
Both sides of the family adore him, including Sharon’s mum. I did wonder how they would deal with the lack of blood relation but it’s irrelevant in their eyes. He’s family.
What are your experiences of Primary School or nursery? How's T getting on?
T LOVES Nursery and has thrived since he started at the age of one – although I was pretty sad when he had started as he just looked so young to be leaving his mum. He’s not only grown physically, but mentally. His language is fantastic and he is incredibly sociable. As much as we’re excited about starting school, it’ll be sad to finally leave nursery after it being such a huge part of T’s life.
How do you manage the balance between work and family life?
Balancing work and family life is hard, although I am thankful my work has a good flexible working policy otherwise I don’t know how we’d manage it (or afford it!). I have the mornings “off” whilst Sharon goes to work, and then I work the afternoons into the evenings whilst T is at nursery. Sharon then collects him when she’s finished work. Because I have days off in the week, it means I work a lot of weekends, which sucks.
I have one full weekend off in six weeks, other weekends I might have a morning or afternoon with the family or either a Saturday or Sunday. It’s tough, but we think of the money! Plus, this way we each get some alone time with T (that’s me scraping the silver linings barrel there).
We have taken a lot of inspiration from your award-winning blog, Lesbemums. It's excellent! How did your blog come about?
Awww. You guys. Thank you.
Our blog, like most, came about with us wanting to document our lives – mainly our conception journey – but over time it’s developed into so much more. From our travels and adventures, to tackling issues that face us as a family or community. I’d be lost without my little blog.
Do you have any exciting collaborations or blog features coming up?
We’re working with Camp Bestival again this year, which we’re so excited about. This will be our third year at the festival and it already sounds amazing. I can’t wait.
What one piece of advice would you give to our female readers who might be considering a family?
Do your research! There are so many options out there when it comes to conception, not to mention donors. Patience is everything – don’t just jump in feet first with your heart on your sleeve.
If you're an LGBTQ parent (or soon-to-be parent) and would like to share your story with our readers, please get in touch here.