Kym & Jade have been together for 11 years and married for 4 of them. In some ways they are very different, but in many others very alike. After a couple of (not hugely successful) pet-owning attempts they decided it was time to get serious so they got married in a room full of loved ones, got a mortgage and had a child. Here is their story of an unconventional family.
Can you tell us about how you became parents?
K: Like any other young couple we had decided that there was more to life than nice restaurants, travelling and lie ins (note we were wrong!) so we decided to introduce a sprog into our little world! We visited our doctor to find out exactly what the options were for lesbians to have a baby together and from there we spent a lot of time browsing donor sperm catalogues, yup it’s a real thing! We then spent a year or so visiting clinics and so on until we got a positive result on a pee stick. Fast forward 9 months and we welcomed our beautiful baby boy into the world.
J: It was something we have always discussed, we both wanted to be parents eventually. I guess we were at that point in our relationship where we knew it was the right time for us. The process was obviously a very clinical one and unlike most heterosexual pregnancies, we took months planning and screening donors and picking which process would best suit us at that time (IVF, IUI) it was all very new to us and everyone around us. We got there eventually and after what felt like the longest pregnancy ever (because you find out so soon with IUI due to the scheduled testing etc) we took home our greatest achievement yet.
“My biggest consideration and still is, is society’s perception of our unconventional family. I guess I just don’t want my child to suffer the consequences of our choice to bring them into the world.”
What were your biggest considerations before making your decision to embark on parenthood?
K: I didn’t have many considerations pre-pregnancy, I tend to run away with a plan without always thinking it through. But during the pregnancy I did consider a few times if we were really “ready” for it. And by it, I mean giving up the luxury of not being responsible for keeping a whole human being alive, fed, loved and looked after. Turns out we’re managing quite well.
J: My biggest consideration and still is, is society’s perception of our unconventional family. The world is so hate-fuelled and when things go against the so-called ‘norm’, that becomes heightened. I guess I just don’t want my child to suffer the consequences of our choice to bring them into the world.
What have you learnt about yourself along the way?
K: I have a lot less patience than I thought I did! And I care more about “developmental milestones” than I thought I ever would.
J: That sleep is a God given gift, don’t waste it! But seriously, I think I’m learning more about myself all of the time since becoming a parent, that’s the beauty to teach your child, yet learn from them too.
“I sincerely believe that there is no better starting ground for a new life than it being truly, truly wanted.”
What advice would you give to anyone else who is considering embarking on a similar journey?
K: Do it. If you want to be a mum or a dad. Do it. Being in a same sex couple doesn’t make a difference, I sincerely believe that there is no better starting ground for a new life than it being truly, truly wanted. In our situation you don’t fall pregnant by accident. No amount of drunken nights of passion will result in a baby for us. Our baby was well planned for.
J: If this is truly what you want then go for it! Life is too short to have regrets and although having a child turns your life on its head, you will gain more than you will have lost.
Would you do anything differently?
K: Probably avoid moving house whilst 5 months pregnant. Maybe save some more £s too. In terms of being a parent, I would enjoy those early newborn days way more than I did. Everyone told us it would go fast and it has. I really miss the snuggly, snoozy, totally dependent on their parent, newborn days.
J: No I’m not sure I would have really. The only thing I can think is that I would have liked to ask the donor a few questions because in situations as big as this you will always have questions (as will our child) but other than that I think we did alright for first timers!
What inspires you and your parenting?
K: Instagram and Pinterest give me loads of inspo for meals and educational activities. But mainly our son inspires my parenting. Watching him learn a new skill or say a new word really keeps me going through the long and if I’m honest, sometimes boring or mundane days of parenting stuff like cooking, changing nappies and watching yet another episode of the pink, bratty pig also known as Peppa.
J: My family, my mother and grandmother are two of the greatest (barring my wife) mothers that I know. It takes a village to raise a young one and I learned how to parent from instincts that I have picked up from them.
What keeps you up at night? (if anything!)
K: Our kid! He’s not a great sleeper. He doesn’t seem to have read the memo that says “you feel heaps better after a solid night’s sleep”!
J: I second that! I think I have definitely become more anxious as a parent, so in all honesty I do worry about things that haven’t and possibly will not happen but that’s parenthood, it’s my job to worry.
“Be a mix of the parents that you had/have and the parents that you wanted to have.”
What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
K: Enjoy them whilst they are small. It’s hard, it really is. But even at 23 months there is so much independence oozing out of this small human that it scares me to think one day he won’t physically need us anymore.
J: Be a mix of the parents that you had/have and the parents that you wanted to have.
What is the biggest challenge that you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome this?
K: Managing being a working mum/stay at home mum means I often feel guilty about something or other. If he’s sick one of us has to try to get time off of work or gauge just how ill he is and decide if he can go into nursery or not. If he’s crying and we’ve exhausted all options I feel awful that I don’t “just know” what it is that’s upsetting him. Mum guilt is a constant battle.
J: I work full time and miss out on a lot of his day. It would be ideal to be home earlier and get to spend family time on the weekdays.
What are you most proud of?
K: My family. Every day my son learns something new and blossoms into a new person. Every day my wife gets up and commutes into Central London to afford us luxuries such as a nice home and holidays. Through the sleepless nights and toddler tantrums we are doing it. We are parenting. And doing it well, if I don’t say so myself!
J: I’m proud of us (Kym and I) for cracking on and dealing with this parenthood thing. I am proud of my extended family for being a support network and accepting our family as the norm. I’m proud of my little guy for being such a bright beacon of light and bringing so much into our world.
Do you have any tips or habits for happiness?
K: Lower your expectations. Chase your dreams. Eat your veggies.
J: Meditate, communicate and don’t procrastinate
Right Now I’m….
SO much Netflix including Stranger Things and Queen of The South as well as for a bit of balance and all that, Tiffany Haddish and Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy specials.
K: Michelle Obama “Becoming” – what a woman!
J: I’ve just finished Akala’s book Natives: Race Class in the ruins of empire. Brilliant read!
Listening to: Beyoncé is always on the list, H.E.R as well but we’re also big on U.K music like Ella Mai, Wretch 32 and Dave.
Pass it on:
Who would make brilliant guests on the Muse? Please suggest up to 3 people with their Instagram and Twitter handles and we’ll invite them to join us.
Caprice Fox @the.fox.family
Bee Adamic – @mamabossgirl