We photographed our last wedding until March this weekend and I can't tell you how relieved I am. I'm 32 weeks pregnant with twins, and since the first day twins were mentioned almost everyone has delighted in telling me how often they arrive before 32 weeks. The people who haven't been revelling in telling me that they often come before 28 weeks that is. And if it hasn't been tales of early delivery it's been assurances that most women with twins are prescribed bed rest at 28 weeks. At 28 weeks we still had four weddings to go. Needles to say, I've been shitting myself.
But we made it. And now all I've got to do is sit in front of the computer editing photos until Widdle and Puke decide to arrive. (Please to the God of unforgiving desk jobs, let it be long enough to edit 7 weddings, please please please). Because although Lillian and Leonard is a joint business and in theory N and I share the work evenly, in recent months our household has had a dramatic shift in labour division. Business-wise, I have been doing everything except photographing weddings and bookkeeping by myself while N battles a ticking clock to make our house habitable for our expanding family. I edit photos and answer emails and design albums while he climbs ladders and plasters walls and hangs wallpaper. Other stuff like cooking and cleaning is dealt with by whoever is still standing at the end of the day. It works for us. For now.
Once the babies are here we still have to keep the business ticking over, answering emails and designing wedding albums for this year's couples but no more actual weddings until March. MARCH! That's six months from now. SIX MONTHS! By March I'm pretty sure we'll be missing it (we do actually kind of love our job) but in the meantime we're so looking forward to six months off, six glorious months to prepare for and then spend time with W&P, trying to figure out what the hell we're doing and how to look after TWO BABIES.
Every day I am grateful that we are able to do this, that we are able to take this time together to readjust to our new family, because I know that most people can't. That even if you're lucky enough to be able to take time off your work, you're likely going to be doing it alone. Alone and unpaid, if you're lucky enough to live in The Land of Opportunity. And my heart aches for you.
While we won't exactly be paid (I might be eligible for a tiny amount of maternity 'allowance' from the government, there's no such thing as paternity allowance) and we've had to live a frugal existence over the last year so that we can save enough money to keep living a frugal existence through winter this year, I know that we're damn lucky to be in a position to do this. Damn lucky and damn determined. Because it's what we've been working for, since we started the business. In fact it's why we started the business - a life where we can make our family our priority. Our family that started with four, shrunk to three and now becomes five.
*photos by Rummey Bears