This week we have the amazing Kate from @noahsarkfamily & @minifirstaid sharing her life with 6 children, which includes x2 sets of twins. I can’t thank Kate enough for giving us an insight into her life and all she has achieved. Please do follow her story on Instagram to continue to see more from this lovely family.
I look at pictures of me on our wedding day and wonder if someone had whispered in my ear “you’ll have 6 children” I’d have probably laughed. I have always wanted to be a mum, I’d had 2 children 20-months apart. For most, would be their fill. But I had this desire for number 3. There was still space on the backseat of the car for one more.
After a sad missed miscarriage where we learnt our baby had died at our first scan, it cemented the desire for me that we definitely wanted 3 children. Falling pregnant again was different, the anxiety that things could go wrong intensified. We booked in for an early scan. I just had to know my baby was OK.
Baby, one baby, it’s what we all think at our first scan, but there on the screen were not one, but two little heart beats. I’m having twins. I AM HAVING TWINS.
My mind was racing, now the car is overfull, where is everyone going to sleep? How do you birth twins, how do you cope?
A pretty tough pregnancy followed but hugely supported by specialist Twin midwives in Leeds meant I remained excited for the impending double arrival. Born at 37 weeks (which I’m told is no mean feat) were my two non-ID girls. The pram outings (when I had the energy) were full of oos and ahs, and questions about my fertility, whether I had had IVF, did I want twins, were they identical… and the list goes on.
Managing twins involves planning, and lots of it. Firstly you need so much stuff, from bedding, to nappies (oh my goodness the nappy volume) to mastering feeding, to carrying them both. It is literally double trouble.
The nights are long and the days are tiring, but that initial fog did lift. 12 months in, we felt that 4 kids were tough but we had our heads above water. We even started going out, and drinking a gin here and there…. And here lies the moral of my story. I’m clearly a very fertile lady (to which I know I am blessed). The fog had lifted, gin is consumed…. You can guess the rest.
Pregnant. It’s twins. Again. Shit.
I decide to start writing a blog and keeping an instagram diary. After all the jungle drums are beating so loud that everyone I meet has heard we are expecting again. Noah’s Ark Family was born – things come in twos. I continue to document our journey to satisfy the curiosity for folk wanting to know how we do it, and for me it serves as a journal for my kids, something we can look back on.
So how do we do life with 6 kids?
I’ve got better at asking for help and taking help. There is a fiery determination in me that wants to be able to just do this. But the reality is, my friends, and family are the props that keep our family functioning.
I am constantly tired, made worse by the fact that I still seek to maintain a small social life with my pals and dates night with the hubby both of which come at the sacrifice of an early night but SO WORTH IT.
I plan, the meals, the shopping, the activities, the diary… the mum admin is somewhat relentless, but if I’m planned I feel in control.
I put the kids toys away. I make the older ones tidy up their mess, and the middle twins attempt a tidy up, but that normally involves more mess, and the youngest twins adding to the chaos. I can relax more in the evening if the floor is clear of toys and the kitchen tidy. I am slightly obsessive, but with our manic lives I need clear space to clear my head at the end of the day.
I exercise when I can. I love Pilates, yoga and my PT class. I walk everywhere. I have no desire to be a size 6 its just that exercise makes me feel good, mentally on top. If I get stuck in the house all day, I feel it.
I work part-time; in 2014 I founded a First Aid company – Mini First Aid to bring accessible first aid classes to parents and carers. That was when I had 2 children. The business now has 65+ franchises and trains over 1000 families a week in first aid. With my husband Matt, Mini First Aid is our 7th baby. We love our business, it takes far too much of our time, but is the most rewarding job. We have the most inspiring group of people teaching our classes across the UK and the business is literally saving lives! We get frequent emails from families who want to share how attending our class taught them first aid they needed for their child, and had they not known life saving first aid the outcome could have been very different. I have to remember that when my brain is swimming with work and I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Monday to Friday the eldest 2 are in school, middle 2 in pre-school and youngest 2 with a child-minder. I work school hours and play Mum the rest of the time.
It is full on, and yes I do drop the ball (regularly in fact) and cry till the bogies are streaming that “I can’t do this” but romantic as it sounds, the 6 faces keep me going and my dream team partner in crime, my husband Matt makes it all OK.
People say I should write a book. I can confidently say, I do not have time!