As MP Tracey Crouch prepares for the birth of her first child, in some ways she is just like any other mum-to-be, enjoying a baby shower, figuring out the car seat and buying booties.
But unlike others she is also planning how she will manage to join MPs in the Commons for a key vote on the country’s finances, when her son is just a few weeks old – a time when a lot of new mums struggle to even get dressed before midday.
It is Miss Crouch’s last day in Westminster on Friday ahead of her due date in mid-February.
After making history as the first MP called Tracey, she is making history again by being the first Tory minister to take maternity leave. But the 40-year-old said she does not see it “as a big deal”.
“Other MPs have been on maternity leave and every year, tens of thousands of professional women give birth. I will cope with motherhood as every woman does.”
Miss Crouch has been released from parliamentary duties until July but the self-confessed workaholic will be returning to Westminster for some key dates during her time off.
This will include the budget in March when she plans to take her newborn with her to the vote.
Miss Crouch said she had received a lot of support from fellow MPs and even made a few broody.
She added: “People were very aware I wanted a baby so the reaction has been incredibly positive from all sides of the House.