herald

Friday 15 December 2017

i believe that women can do it all -- and do it really well

Caroline Grace-Cassidy (35), from Knocklyon

Caroline author, actress and mum to Grace (four) and Maggie (five months)

When my sister had two babies in less than two years it put me off for life! My boyfriend (now husband) Kevin and I took care of them once, and after that we agreed -- children were not in our future. Then as they grew into toddlers I started to get slightly clucky.

However, I just concentrated on my relationship. Then we got married and one day it just seemed right. I enjoyed every moment of my 20s, but I would never have been ready to be a mother.

My 30s have seen me pull myself together a lot more and focus on what I want from my life.

I believe women can do it all and do it all really well. I found that after Grace I was pushing my career harder than ever. Nothing annoyed me more than "Ah sure you're a mammy now, you'll have to give up that ole career."

I wanted to be a really good mother and have a successful career. I am lucky, I have a very supportive husband, but I am extra motivated since the babies.

I wrote When Love Takes Over during my pregnancy with Maggie as I could no longer work as an actor. I had Grace in nursery three days a week and I sat and wrote eight hours most of those days.

It's also very important for me to show the girls that it's okay to work because you want to and not only because you have to. Overall, my girls have given me an amazing sense of fulfilment, achievement and calmed me down a lot; I am so much more content.

I totally understand women who don't want kids. However, for me, the weirdest thing about this question is this -- isn't it impossible for anyone to know if they want something they have never had? It's such a tough thing for a woman to make a decision based on this fact.

If I hadn't had children would I have known what I was missing? No. Is my life better because of my children? Yes.

Caroline's first novel, When Love Takes Over, is available in bookshops now

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