After Matt Farquharson and Anna Whitehouse had their two daughters 6 years ago, they realized something important: it isn’t financially viable to actually have 2 young kids in the United Kingdom.
Farquharson had already run the numbers: “If you are the most average couple in the UK, living in an average place, with average bills, on average wages, and you add a child a month for childcare, you’re in debt before you’ve even gone to work. You’re in debt just by existing.”
This particular realization drove them to start a campaign called Flex Appeal in order to push for more flexibility for parents who are employed so they wouldn’t be “forced to make a choice between earning a living and having a family.”
Whitehouse blogs as Mother Pukka about the basic realities of parenthood, and Whitehouse was able to build a big following. The couple are both journalists, and they have also written parenting books together.
- Parenting the Sh*t out of Life, and
- Where’s My Happy Ending?
But the basic realities of attempting to hold it all together led to their separation only earlier this year. They have now also managed to publish a couple of books – one book focuses on the influence of kids on their personal lives, and the second one is a kind of guide on how to look after these kids post-divorce.
In the context of their divorce, Farquharson said, “There used to be so many points of ridiculous domestic tension. Everything runs a bit more smoothly when you’re just doing it yourself.” Whitehouse had much to say as well. She said, “The breakdown of any relationship comes with pain. But yeah, if something breaks on my watch, I just fix it.”
They do not want to appear or sound blase, but their books are like written evidence for successful co-parents post-divorce. It is incredibly useful since it manages to create an expectation that you can stay civilized always, and it also gives you the space to not turn everything out there into drama.
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