Welcome to #RealMumsWorking, a series dedicated to sharing the stories, experiences and advice of working mothers. Working mothers are a diverse breed with lots of challenges we can learn from.
Yes, that’s right two blogs! She also manages a third. That’s straying into superwoman status here, but it demonstrates that in our increasingly gig based economy, you can create a full time income from several, flexible sources.
Q: Tell us about your job and work pattern
Right now I am very lucky to be a full time blogger. I say lucky, but it’s not been luck really, but rather over five years of slog to get to this point! After having children I did not return to my original full time career as a retail samples manager at a clothing head office. I didn’t want to leave my new baby daughter for 40 hours per week. So instead I worked various part time jobs in the evenings and early mornings to fit around my husband’s work schedule so we didn’t have to pay extortionate childcare costs. Soon after my daughter’s birth I had a business idea and began my home business venture. I blogged for three years without making a penny, but after three years I decided to monetize and take it seriously as a career choice. One year later I was able to quit my latest part time job and blog full time. I now run two blogs of my own and also manage a third blog. I work in the daytimes 9-3 whilst my children are at school and nursery, then again in the evenings once they are in bed. I tend to work a 40 hour week. I used to work every weekend too, but now I try my best to have the weekend off unless it’s absolutely necessary for me to work. If I’m stacked with projects then I will work more, until the early hours of the morning if needed.
Q: How did you feel about going back to work after children?
I didn’t want to at all! So I resigned from my original full time job as it would have been too demanding and left me with no time to see my new baby. I’d have dropped her off at nursery at 8am and picked her up at 6pm, getting home in time for her bedtime as it was a 45 minute drive to my workplace. Plus the childcare costs were so high, I’d not have had any income left. I just couldn’t justify this. Instead I found a new part time job, but I still hated this as I had to work evenings and miss every bed time with my baby. I just knew I needed to reassess everything and find a career I could do from home.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a working mum?
When I had my part time evening job, it was missing my daughter’s bedtime. I just wanted to be there to do bath time and bedtime and I felt I greatly missed out on these precious moments with my first child. Childcare costs were also a challenge. I felt I had no choice but to leave my original career as the childcare costs were so high full time. It seemed pointless in me returning, that along with not wanting to leave my daughter for so long. Now I work from home which is amazing, but not without its challenges. Trying to work full time from home is difficult when the kids know you’re here, when you have deadlines to meet and need to work when the kids are in bed but they just won’t go to bed! As much as it’s fantastic I can be here when the kids are poorly, for example, it can be hard to try and work when they need your attention. There’s no one else to pass my work on to, so I just have to stay up extra late and complete it in these scenarios.
Q: What’s your top piece of advice for working mums?
Don’t feel guilty! Harder said than done. Even though I didn’t go back full time, I still felt guilty about leaving my daughter in the evenings and missing bath, bed and story time each night. It couldn’t be helped though and I saw her all day. It also allowed hubby to have some precious one-to-one time with her, so I should have thought more of the benefits than the negatives.
Q: If you could change one thing about your current work situation what would it be?
Probably to work from an office space instead. This is something I have been considering. It’s all very well working from home and most people dream of it, but after doing it for over a year full time now I can see the difficulties. If the children see me here then they think I am here to play, they don’t understand I’m working. It would be nice to have some spereration from home and work as it can all blur into one. Plus I get cabin fever being here so much!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully still working for myself and blogging full time. I’ve experienced working for myself and being employed in three different roles since having children and for me working for myself is definitely the best option. I hope I’ll have three very successful blogs that make me a good full time income and I have an office space too so I don’t have to work at home everyday and can choose to ‘go to work’ if I like
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