The latest in my inspirational parents series is an interview with Amber who blogs at the amazing Goblin Child blog.
If you’re wondering why I use the word “amazing”, pop over to Amber’s blog and take a look at the photos.
Amber is one of two mums to the most adorable little twin boys. Amber and her partner Kirsty are fellow babywearing fans with Kirsty wearing both twins together.
Amber had a tough time of birth and breast feeding but she persevered in a major triumph over adversity. She then went back to work after her maternity leave whilst Kirsty decided to be a stay at home mum.
Amber’s blog documents their amazing parenting journey with photographs that are just incredible. Speaking of incredible photographs, here is one of Amber and the twins.
1. Tell me about the most unexpected change to you as a person or to your life since becoming a parent?
Well – my boobs have disappeared! I didn’t expect that in the least. I’ve always had massive boobs and now they’re… average boobs. I would have liked to have kept them.
2. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since having children?
Probably having to share my partner, Kirsty. We’ve been a unit forever, even as children we used to fall asleep on opposite sides of London with our ears pressed against the telephone to each other.
We’ve always been quite jealous of ‘our’ time together – we don’t have very many friends and the ones we do have we don’t see much, preferring to hoard our hours together.
I was nervous about bringing two strangers into our home and life, particularly such demanding strangers as babies. My biggest anxiety during pregnancy was that we would resent the babies for taking us away from each other to such an extent.
It has been challenging but not nearly so dreadful as I was fretting. Mostly we parent together; it’s just another thing that we do in each other’s pockets!
3. What do you regard as your greatest achievement?
As a mother? Probably the pregnancy. I gestated twins to 38+2 weeks very easily, in spite of reaching the equivalent of 47 weeks with a singleton toward the end!
Pre-term delivery of twins is not uncommon and a 35-week gestation is average; I had prepared myself mentally for an early labour and the delivery of premature babies. Actually, my full-term babies ended up being induced.
4. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What hasn’t killed you?
The birth and the aftermath. I had a horrifying experience and ended up rewriting my birth plan mid-birth when it became apparent that due to understaffing issues giving birth on the ward on that day would mean total neglect for myself and my high-risk infants.
I demanded a caesarean section and got one, which was the safest choice at that point but which I was – and am – devastated about.
Then we ended up back on the postnatal ward four days later after one of my twins’ became quite unwell and had another dreadful experience with a great deal of neglect.
I think that every medical personnel on the ward saw me cry! It was awful and seven months on I’m still quite heartbroken about what happened over the course of that week; it ruined the newborn experience for us.
5. Who inspires you?
My partner Kirsty. She is an incredible mother to my children and has become one of my parenting role models. I’m in awe of her seemingly endless patience and tireless devotion to our small people.
A friend of mine, Alexia. She has the biggest heart of anybody I know and never says no to a stray, human or animal. At one point she had an actual former racehorse living in her house!
She is fierce about her beliefs, open to possibilities and ideas, and gentle with those who are hurting. I hope very much to grow up to be a little like Alexia.
And fellow bloggers, of course. I’m inspired by the community as a whole, by their kindness and generosity in welcoming newcomers and sharing their knowledge.
In particular, I’m inspired by My Two Mums for the courage and openness with which they share their lives.
I’m also inspired by Katie of Mummy Daddy Me; she’s a ‘pro blogger’ with a massive following and yet she’s the sweetest, kindest, friendliest person with lots of time to support the ‘little people’.
She’s championed me and my blog from the start and often been exactly the encouraging voice that I’ve needed to hear.
Now that my blog is starting to do quite well, I hope to emulate her in the way that she shares herself and her time with the new folk.
6. I have just invented a time machine (and you thought you’d achieved something great). You can now go backwards or forwards to any point in time and deliver any message to any person, what’s your message and who is it for?
What a question! You’ve stopped me in my tracks now and made me think.
On a purely navel-gazing note I’d love to visit myself aged fifteen or so and tell me to FOCUS ON SCIENCE. That’s it. Just FOCUS ON SCIENCE.
I would have LOVED to be a doctor. I would have been a good doctor. I’m analytical and quick, but also very much a people-person and I’d like to have a job that entails meeting a lot of strangers.
But alas, at fifteen I wanted to be an English teacher and so I barely bothered with the sciences and didn’t take them further than GCSE level. Shame.
Now I have children and am the working parent and we just can’t afford for me to spend a good part of a decade studying medicine and then existing on a junior doctor’s salary after that.
7. You have the opportunity to influence the entrepreneurs of the future. What life changing invention would you like to see on the drawing board?
We’ve been really fortunate actually that our ‘life changing invention’ has already been invented – and is actually quite old-fashioned and traditional in some parts of the world!
Babywearing. My partner Kirsty has worn the boys their whole lives, from when they were less than a day old and she first wore them home from the hospital and every day since.
It’s made getting out and about with twins on public transport super easy and getting them to nap a dream as they just nod off in the wrap. I honestly don’t know how a twin mum would manage without babywearing.
8. I have waved a magic wand and all of your responsibilities have been taken care of for 24 hours. What are you going to do?
Can I take my responsibilities? Because it would feel odd if the twins and our dog weren’t with us. I’ll leave my office job in the care of the magic wand though.
24 hours isn’t long enough to get to and from any of my favourite escapes from reality but it is long enough to get down to the coast.
I think we’d find a dog-friendly beach with sand and a gentle tide for the twins and Josephine-dog and book a night in a hotel close by.
We would make a sand empire and splash in the water and eat dozens of those ghastly deep-fried, sugar-coated donuts (grown-ups, not the babies!). I would swim and Kirsty would watch anxiously from the shore.
And of course I’d bring the camera and document every last moment of our mini-adventure.
9. How can parents best be empowered to properly balance a career and a family life?
Honestly? I wish I knew. I work full-time but it’s only possible because my incredible other half gave up work when I was pregnant to focus on keeping our home and family together.
I think that if both parents want to work, they either need to have very well-paying jobs (to justify the expensive childcare) or a lot of family support.
10. You’re off for a girl’s night out tonight. Where will you go, what will you drink and what will be the topic of conversation?
I’m dreadful at these sorts of social occasions! Mostly I just hide in a corner with a book, which is an awful waste of a good frock and lipstick. It’s not that I’m shy – I’m a bit of an extrovert, actually – but I can’t bear competing for attention.
I do love those sugary, colourful cocktails though. Can I just have a lychee martini, a book and my iPhone?!