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Charlotte K’s story

In this hard year I kind of wanted to try and find the silver lining of it all. Yes, the pandemic has been terrible for our mental health and with the little one, but it’s also given us opportunities to be tighter as a family as well. 
My name is Charlotte, I am 33-year old Marketing Director living in South London. Mother of Quinn, 15 months old and wife to Matt, now part-time-stay-at-home-dad. 
I now work full-time in what was supposed to become Quinn’s nursery, while we wait for our extension to finally get underway, Quinn is still sleeping in our bedroom and creating havoc in our sleep pattern. 
If I have to be completely honest and selfish, this lockdown and pandemic probably came at the best time possible for us. When I was pregnant, I took the plane 15 times, including 6 long-haul flights to 
either the US or Australia – and although the expectation was for me to calm down on traveling, I already had a trip to New York planned in May 2020 for work. 
The lockdown happened when Quinn was 4 months old, and I had just gotten into the swing of maternity leave and recovering from post-labour PTSD. I had met friends, I had gotten into a routine, and then I ended up alone. It wasn’t great, and selfishly-again, going back to work did wonders for my mental health. 
Thankfully, my husband and I decided to do shared parental leave, so when I got back to work early May, Matt stayed home to take care of Quinn. That meant that I was at home, got to help with the transition, and Matt was able to create this amazing bond with his son. 
As Matt’s return to work was looming, he had also come to the realisation that he just didn’t want to go back to his work, and wanted to give his side-hustle a go. And he wanted to be there for his son and watch him grow, instead of being gone from home at 8am to be back at 7pm every day. 
So we did the maths. We looked at how much it’d cost to get Quinn into child care full time if he went back to work, and we’d end up with just £200 extra a month. Was that worth him taking the plunge,  quitting his job and taking some time to be a part-time-full-time-dad and give his dream a go? Obviously it was. 
We’ve been working in this configuration now since September: Quinn goes to an amazing childminder for a couple of days a week and spends time with daddy-daycare the rest of the week. I don’t have the 
pressure of having to travel for work, travel into work, or even the pressure of trying to maintain a social life as I figure out this working mum thing and this new balance. 
Yes, I still work from his nursery, I hate he’s still in our bedroom and I miss my parents and friends that I haven’t seen in over a year now, but this time with Quinn was invaluable and so precious, and for that – I am grateful.

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