Bailey Bezuidenhout moved from New York back to SA about four and a half years ago, to marry her husband Jan-Jan. She was working as a brand strategist and then management consultant, until she fell pregnant with her twin girls. Now she is a full-time mama to 8-month-old Anna Clementine and Florence Willow. Jan-Jan is a private equity investment professional and together they’re raising these beautiful (and exceptionally stylish) baby girls in the city of Jozi. When Bailey isn’t juggling feeding, nap time, play time, she runs a blog with her sister Cheska called Kimmy & Bear – an inspirational site for stylish mamas and babes. Bailey is a creative spirit at heart, she writes, takes photos and dreams up a million things she’s going to do. Cities excite her, as do adventures to new places. But for now she’s thriving on family love and simplicity.
Describe a typical day for you?
My day starts around 6am when my babes join us in bed for their morning feed. And it is pretty much non-stop from there. I get up, wash my face, drink a smoothie, get dressed, while simultaneously changing two nappies (there are often four before 8am), make breakfast (we are onto solids), feed the babes breakfast, put one babe to sleep, put the next babe to sleep, I eat breakfast, one babe wakes up, I wake the other babe, I dress the babes (matching outfits of course), play time / outing / walk / chores and then the whole cycle starts again. In the evenings, once the babes are asleep, I have some time to blog and work on new projects.
What does your current job entail?
My main job entails bringing up two babies to be well-rounded, happy little beings that have kind hearts and curious minds. I am also working on Kimmy & Bear with my sister Cheska. It entails a variety of aspects from planning and writing content, to brand development, to sourcing products.
Who looks after your children?
I resigned from my job a month before my twins were born. Being at home with them has always been a priority for me. My mom is supergran and arrives at my house every morning at 8am to help me (and let me have a break if I need it!).
Who does the cooking and the cleaning?
I have a full-time domestic worker who looks after the apartment and me! She makes me lunch, and dinner too sometimes, but my husband is the cook in the house.
What do you like the most about your current set-up?
From the perspective of being a stay-at-home mom, time has just flown since my twins were born. In a blink they are no longer newborns but big babies halfway to one years old. This baby time is so fleeting and I like that I don’t have to miss out on a second of it. From the perspective of my job as a stay-at-home mom, things are in a good rhythm at the moment. I like the predictability of it and the calmness it creates in our home.
What do you find the most difficult about your current set-up?
Twins don’t allow much room for spontaneity. It is also difficult doing things on my own with two babes. I have a great big double pram but in general I need another set of hands.
When do you spend the most time with your children?
I am with them all day but it’s those intimate moments I appreciate the most. The soft warm weight of a baby against me as we snuggle in the morning, feeling a padded palm knead against my breast as I feed, watching my girls talk to each other in a way that only twins can, hearing a belly laugh in reaction to my crazy dancing.
Do you have any family rituals?
Out for coffee on Saturday mornings. Sunday lunches at my parents’ house with the whole family. Morning snuggles with the twins in our bed. I think our rituals will develop more as our little family grows up together and shared experiences are repeated.
How do you and your husband make time for each other?
We are not very good at this right now. We spend our evenings together but often I am catching up on emails or blog posts or work for Kimmy & Bear or showering while my husband cooks dinner. We are guilty of getting into a TV series and most often revert to this as our way of unwinding.
Do you find any time for yourself?
I manage to find the time if I need it – I have a nap while my mom looks after the babes, I take a long hot shower once they’re asleep in the evening, or I pop out to get a pedicure now and then. But in general I am with my babies most of the time.
Do you look at other working parents and wonder how they do it?
Definitely! The work/parenting juggle is something I gave a lot of thought to when I was pregnant and had to decide which path to follow so I do admire women who manage to have a career while having babes and small children. My friends with babies are in all different situations in terms of their work/parenting setup but I think you have to work out what suits you. Ultimately I would like to get Kimmy & Bear to a point where it functions as a small business, but one which I can run from home in my own time.
What advice do you have for other moms on how to juggle all these important roles?
What helps me get anything done is framing tasks in manageable sizes, that I can feasibly tackle given my time constraints. I won’t attempt to tidy the house, but will rather aim to sort out a drawer (literally and figuratively speaking!)
Thank you for the sneak peek into your busy life Bailey!