On 15 July 2020 we were delighted to announce the return of Leah Markham, one of Church House Westminster's Senior Event Coordinators, from maternity leave.
After having been away for a year or so, we couldn't wait to find out what Leah has been up to in the recent months. So, we caught up with Leah in this interview and asked her a few questions about her two adorable children and what tips she can offer mums-to-be preparing to go on maternity leave. As a meticulous event planner with a keen eye for detail, Leah is so organised and calm, that we are in awe!
Our interview with Leah
Question: This, of course, was maternity leave round #2. How are the kids?
Answer: Cameron is 4 and his sister, Keira, is 1. How time flies...they are doing great!
Question: What were your highlights of maternity leave this time?
Answer: Second time round was much easier as you know what your doing, right? I brought less and re-used all of my son's baby furniture for Keira. I now also had a little helper, big brother Cameron, to help me and his little sister with all the small tasks. I joined baby classes when she was two weeks old. This might seem odd, but it was just to get out the house. I managed to get a proper night's sleep after 3 months when Keira started sleeping through the night and I did not feel like a zombie any more. I did more things than I usually would do. We went to the cinema to watch the new releases, we visited the theatre and ventured out of London for spontaneous days out too.
Question: I never leave the house without...?
Answer: A bottle, formula and hot water in a flask. It is the only thing that puts Keira to sleep when we are out and about.
Question: Do you have a food recipe that is your go-to, absolutely fool-proof and so easy to make when you are pressed for time?
Answer: A quick recipe that is a favourite of mine is puff pinwheels. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes before it's ready.
The ingredients are:
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1/3 cup tomato or pizza sauce
- 6 slices cooked deli ham
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
The beauty of this recipe is that you can change the filling to something sweet, fruity, meaty or vegetarian.
Question: What are some of your favourite kiddy-friendly hangouts in London?
Answer: We visited the Southbank Centre that had a lot of sessions for under 5s. Sky Garden is free to visit with children during the daytime, Discover Children's Story Centre in Stratford is always a hit and so are Deen City Farm in Merton and the Transport for London Museum in Covent Garden. Here's a little tip, if you can try to scout for all the kids eat free restaurants to save the pennies.
Question: How was your lockdown 'experience'?
Answer: Homeschooling was a fail during lockdown. We tried the first month and ended up improvising when we found the time, but I did sign up to a pre-school art class for Cameron which he joined two days a week. We enjoyed our online baby classes and zooming friends and family. Other highlights included celebrating a few lockdown birthdays, experiencing Keira's firsts and spending quality time together as a family.
Question: What are you most looking forward to now that you have returned to work, albeit remotely at the moment.
Answer: I am looking forward to re-connecting with old clients again and meeting new clients. It's also comforting in a sense to return back as lockdown is slowly easing. It allows me to gradually get back to picking up from were I left off, after having over a year off as my baby brain will still be in an active state for some time.
To contact Leah Markham or any other member of our team, please do get in touch via our contact form or give us a call on 020 7390 1590.