Age at interview: 36
Background: Kahli is a single mother of twin boys aged 11 months and another son aged 7. Kahli and her sons live in a large city and share a house with her mother. She is from an Anglo-Australian background and is currently a full-time parent.
Kahli has found being a single parent of three boys challenging but rewarding. Practical and emotional support from her family has helped her cope with times when she feels frustrated. Her mother's support has been essential.
More about Kahli
Kahli grew up in regional Australia before moving to the city in her 20s. In her late 20s, she became pregnant to her partner at the time. The relationship ended after their son was born and Kahli brought up their son alone. Kahli and her son's father are still 'firm friends' and see each other occasionally.
Several years later, Kahli decided she wanted another child. Sperm donation was too expensive so Kahli approached a friend who she thought might be able to assist her. They agreed that he would help her to conceive a child, but have no ongoing involvement as a father. When Kahli's period failed to arrive and she experienced spotting, she saw her doctor. He did an ultrasound and told her that not only was she pregnant, but she was having twins. Kahli said she was 'shocked' by the prospect of twins and it took time for her to adjust.
Kahli described her pregnancy as 'uncomfortable'. Walking was difficult, and she experienced severe morning sickness. This was in contrast to her first pregnancy, which she said she had 'sailed through'. Kahli spent the final month of her pregnancy in hospital as she was experiencing daily contractions and liver problems.
Kahli's twins were born at 36 weeks via caesarean. Shortly after their birth, Kahli felt uncomfortable and told the nurses. The surgeon said that she had leftover tissue in her uterus and tried to push it out. After a few days in hospital Kahli went home, despite still feeling sore. On her first morning at home, she woke up in 'incredible pain' and was soon back in hospital. Kahli spent the next week in and out of hospital being treated with 'intense' antibiotics and finally day surgery to 'flush' everything out.
Upon returning home, Kahli struggled with lack of sleep and caring for her twins. She found that managing her twins was much easier when they were 'in sync', but difficult when they were not as it meant she had 'a baby all day'. Balancing the needs of the twins and her older son was also hard and Kahli said she felt her 7-year-old often got the 'raw end of the deal'. Kahli described her mother as a 'superstar' as she helped out as much as she could and provided essential support on difficult days despite working full-time.
At times Kahli has felt 'frustrated' caring for her three boys. She worries about finances but said they 'make do'. Kahli believes her willingness to ask for help has made getting emotional support easier. She feels positive about the future and would like to find a partner and go back to work. Her advice to others wanting a family and a career is to have children in your mid-20s, so you can go back to work in your 30s. She also said she has learned to accept there is 'no such thing as perfection' with parenting.