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Tag: Family

#MumisBest Guest Post – Laura from The Breastest News

#MumisBest Guest Post – Laura from The Breastest News

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now, I will leave you in the hands of Laura from The Breastest News!

 

Finding the right balance for your family can sometimes be a juggle. I’ve personally worked all of my life so far and have been lucky enough to do so. Pre children I worked a normal Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm office job which suited me fine. It wasn’t exactly exciting but it paid the bills and brought a lot of different opportunities so I was happy plodding along. When my son was born back in 2009 that’s when things started to change for me. I didn’t want to be a Mum who worked full time. I felt like I would miss out on so much but unfortunately after 13 months of blissful maternity leave I returned to work and back to my usual Monday to Friday routine. This meant my son had to go into childcare some days but his Daddy looked after him most days.

As luck would have it (at the time I was pretty upset) not long after returning from Mat Leave my role was made redundant so I had to quickly find something else, bills to pay and all that. Working for such a large organisation meant it was a bit easier to find something within my current environment so no drastic company moving as a few months later I joined a lovely team in a new department. The team I joined were really quite flexible which meant I got my first proper taste of part-time working compressing my hours worked each day and cutting out a Friday.

I loved not having to work on a Friday. It meant I had more time for my son which was fantastic. As my son got older though the hubby and I noticed things weren’t quite right from a development point of view and in 2013 he was diagnosed with Autism. At this point in my life I felt cutting more hours at work and spending more time to help care and support my son far outweighed any financial benefit so I requested to work 3 days a week, 8 hours each day. This was quite a good arrangement as I felt like I was around more.

Roll on 2015 and my daughter was born. Her arrival into the world made me realise how precious time can be and after a fab 14 months of Mat Leave I put in a further request to only come back to work two days a week. The money might not be great but I can honestly say hand on heart it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made about my work life balance. I’m now able to juggle childcare between myself, the hubby and a childminder one day a week for my daughter. My son is at school but I’m now able to pick him up and take him to play dates/ after school classes without feeling rushed and stressed.

Working part time for me is basically the best of both worlds as I get to spend lots of time with my family but also get to go to work and be Laura, not just Mummy, for the day. I can enjoy a hot cuppa and food in peace without anyone trying to steal a bite and my clothes remain stain free! It’s great. I’m happy that I’ve finally found my work life balance. If only I could say the same about my blog life balance!

Bio:

I’m Laura, twenty something tea guzzling Scottish parenting and lifestyle blogger who lives in Fife, Scotland with my partner Kevin, cheeky son Logan, daughter Harlow and two lovely dogs. The Breastest News is my personal blog which I started back in late January 2011. As well as covering breastfeeding, as the name suggests, my blog also encompasses a wealth of family travel, autism awareness and fun reviews.

Blog: www.thebreastestnews.co.uk

Twitter: @BreastestNews

Facebook: /The Breastest News Blog

Instagram: BreastestNews

 

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Is the Key to Success Self Doubt?

Is the Key to Success Self Doubt?

Ever since I ventured into the blogging world I’ve been bugged by my own self doubt. Wait, who am I kidding? I’ve ALWAYS been troubled by my own self doubt. I suppose blogging has just resurfaced old feelings, now that I’m constantly tip tapping them down for all to see.

Becoming a blogger brings with it a lot to think about. Obviously there’s the workload, which you don’t realise is so hefty until it’s too late. Once you get the blogging bug, there’s no going back.  Then there’s the feeling of exposure, when you think about who might be reading your stuff. What do they think of it? Is it any good? At some point, every blogger I know has had a crisis in confidence and has thought about closing their laptop for good.

In a strange way though, blogging has also given me a much needed boost in confidence. I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would end up being a blogger and a writer when I was in the early days of motherhood. It took everything I had to function daily, never mind to consider building up a brand new business with very limited technical knowledge. As time went by though I knew I needed something more. I dipped my toes into blogging and quickly realised what amazing possibilities lay before me.

I think that living with a lurking aura of self doubt can be the unexpected key to our success. Apart from the drive I have to be a someone in the eyes of my children and husband, I want to prove to myself that my demons aren’t in control of my future. Every time I get the feeling that I’ve taken on too much or I get anxious about looming deadlines, I turn that negative energy on its head and convert it into ambition. OK not every time, but I try to ignore the bad feelings and replace them with good. I do my best to ignore the voice that’s telling me I can’t and I amplify the one that tells me I can.

I’ve never had a passion for my work life before I found blogging and writing. I’ve always just gone through the motions. Yes I’ve built up a business before, but I didn’t care much for what I did. Now each morning I get up with fresh ideas, ready to power through another day of doing what I love!

 

So, if living with self doubt is what I have to do to make a success of myself, so be it. I’m only human after all!

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls

#MumisBest Guest Post – Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls!

 

I am a Stay-at-home-mom. My husband works and, is the bread winner and head of our house-hold. I stay home, look after our daughters and keep the house running. 

Some feminists out there might look at my life at surface level and immediately label me a sell-out.

Call me what you like, but this is what works for our family.

All during my pregnancy I was adamant that I would return to work after four months’ maternity leave. Then in the 7th month of pregnancy and after months of us arguing about who would be suitable to look after our baby when I returned to work, I just decided that I had to do what was best for her. I quit my job.

Shortly after she was born we moved to be closer to my family. Life went on, and then I fell pregnant with my second baby.

By this time, life was very hard for us. We were living in Zimbabwe with a declining economy. My husband was working with my dad and they were doing well, but the income we were relying on fluctuated monthly. I couldn’t take the stress and uncertainty anymore and we decided it would be best if my husband went back to working for a company in South Africa.

When my baby was 5 weeks old we moved to South Africa. Hardest thing ever!

The visa I am on here is a Spouse permit which allows me to live in SA, but not to work. My permanent residence application has been pending now since November 2015 … “Never rush a good job” as the saying goes. I’ll just leave that right here.

My husband works in construction on large road building projects so we move around quite a lot, moving to where the work is, up till now. This will stop soon as my eldest is starting Grade 1 next year and we don’t want to uproot her and move them once she starts formal education. Not if it is avoidable. Me not working has also given us the flexibility of being able to ‘follow’ my husband around wherever the work takes us. Whilst it has its own set of challenges, I am grateful to have been able to do this.

In around August last year, I was feeling low and frustrated with life. I felt I had no purpose. My husband’s job was going great, the kids were thriving in school, we were done with babies, nappies, bottles, and had moved on to the next stage of kids – out of the toddler zone! Whilst I love being a mother and I love my girls, “motherhood” the job was not satisfying me and I thought to myself that there must be more than just this. I decided to start my blog.

It has been almost a salvation to me. It has given me a purpose, something to own, a creative space and an outlet for all my emotions. I get to interact with adults online and share ideas and learn about other ways of life. I am committed to sharing the reality of my mom-life. The highs and the lows, the ups and the downs. #thisisreallife. We are not an Instagram Perfect family. My home is a place where we can be ‘normal’ – whatever normal is. I can be quite sarcastic and ranty on my blog, but if I’m not letting my personality out on my own blog, where can I? I like to think I can be quite funny too if you get my ‘dry & sarcastic’ sense of humour.

Our days are pretty standard and routine. My husband is gone from 05.00 until 18.00. I get the kids up, take them to school, then run around doing all the chores, blogging and everything I can whilst they are at school. Afternoons are spent ferrying them from one after-school activity to another, swimming, dancing, tennis, football – to name a few. We try to eat at the table as a family most week nights. This is our time to just be together, catching up with each other. Then it’s tidying up, bath, a little bit more TV, and then bed. When the kids are in bed I get to chill and can usually be found with a glass of wine in hand watching Grey’s Anatomy or some other Shonda Rhimes addictive series. 

We often talk about if whether I should go back to work or not, and the reasons why I don’t are always the same:

·        I am available for the kids and my husband 24/7. This is important as we do not have any family support at all.

·        I don’t speak any other language other than English so living in a very Afrikaans area of South Africa, the chances of me finding a job that was worth sacrificing all the perks of me not working are very slim.

·        We don’t need the money – any income I will earn will be used to pay someone else to do all the jobs I do around the house, plus more will be needed for after-school-care for the kids. It really does not make any sense.

·        My sanity is no longer in too much jeopardy now I have my blog. I’m grateful my husband recognises this and supports me.

So, yes, whilst I am a SAHM, I’m so much more to my family. It’s not fair to them yet for me to go back to work. Maybe when they’re older … isn’t that always the answer. Not too sure what my husband will do if/when I go back to work, but I’m sure the kids will be fine when the time comes.

You can see more from Carly here:

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Freelance Writing – The Low Down

Freelance Writing – The Low Down

Freelance writing is a great way to earn a living from home. It often means that you can work flexible hours, this is especially convenient if you have children at home. I decided that I wanted to become a freelance writer and blogger soon after my eldest daughter was born. I left my old job behind and decided building my own freelance business was the best way to ensure the happiness of my family and I.

Although it looks easy, writing for a living has its challenges. Doing so from home and around a family just amplifies those challenges. If like me, you too want to be your own person outside of being a mother. If you need to work for your own sake, to thrive and to be content then freelance writing could be for you.

There are a few key points to consider before you make any decisions:

Are you familiar with basic grammar?

You don’t need to be an expert but having basic grammatical knowledge is a must. We all make mistakes, that makes us human. However if you know that grammar isn’t your strong point, it might be worth rethinking your next career move or spending some time brushing up on your core skills.

Do you have a good imagination?

Writing requires a lot of imagination. Think about staring at a blank page knowing that you have to fill it, often with only a keyword to start you off. Are you able to think quickly, providing yourself with a clear direction. Research is a big part of this too, but being able to generate quality and engaging content from almost nothing is a required skill.

Can you type quickly and with minimal errors?

Freelance writing can be a great little earner, if you can type quickly enough. When you’re assigned projects, they are often worth a set amount. If typing is not your strong point, making your money as a writer may not be feasible, as taking more time to write than you should immediately devalues your work. For example, a five hundred word article should take around 30 minutes to complete. Any more than this and your hourly rate won’t reflect the amount of work you’ve put in.

Do you have good research skills?

When you’re writing articles it’s not unusual to have to do a little research along the way. Think about how efficiently you’re able to search for facts and to decide whether the source is reliable. A simple google search doesn’t always suffice. We all know that not everything we read on the internet has depth and so it’s important that you’re able to decipher the good from the bad. After all, you don’t want your work to be discredited due to poor research.

 

If you think freelance writing is for you, you can find out more HERE!

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jessie from The Spilt Milk

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jessie from The Spilt Milk

 Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Jessie from The Spilt Milk!

Working is therapy you get paid for!

Today I am not embracing the chaos. I cannot embrace the frustration of my newly clean jeans covered in smooshed pear because the baby won’t sit still.  

I am not able to take the needed deep breath to stay calm with my toddler punching me in the back because I won’t let him eat his stolen sweets from the kitchen cupboard. 

Today I just want to be somewhere else and not be called mummy for a few precious moments. 

I have been a stay at home mum since I graduated uni when Noah was 18 months old. Now he is 3 and a half and Oswin is almost a year old. I have moments of feeling like the luckiest person to have no 3rd world worries and that I can enjoy my little ones being little without needing to leave them. 

In the last couple of months I have had more moments of feeling like: 

“Oh my God I just want to sleep for longer than an hour without a mini boobaholic attaching herself like a joey” and equally:  “will I ever leave the house alone again except for doing the food shopping?”

This week I did get the chance to leave the house and even stay out by myself! To do some temp work inputting questionnaire data on a computer. A few years ago I would have cried at the idea of brain numbing computer work but now, good lord it was like therapy. 

I got the chance to talk to grown ups, well 21 year olds, no-one was in competition about how much their toddler could do or what age the baby starting walking. I didn’t even hear one person say how much they love Sainsbury’s 25% sale for kids clothes! 

It was official I was out of my comfort zone and I loved it. I made one awkward comment of “it’s so nice to have my boobs to myself for the day”. I got at least 3 strange looks before I explained that I breastfeed… Then they looked at me like I was old. Boo

I worked for 6 hours, honestly the longest I have sat still since before both babies came along. It was heaven. I missed them like hell after a couple of hours but it was a good distance for us I think. 

Yesterday I took them both to the sea side and I felt more grateful for the time I have with them. We played on the beach and I cuddled them more than I think I do on a general day. 

I don’t think I could be away from them every day but I am looking forward to working again next week. It’s good to feel needed for a really dull reason rather than to literally keep another human alive. Sometimes it’s nice to just blend in and not be so important! 

You can find more from Jessie here:

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Work Ethic – Seeing Mummy Work isn’t a Bad Thing

Work Ethic – Seeing Mummy Work isn’t a Bad Thing

Have you ever picked up your phone in front of your children and felt guilty? Have you ever spent time on your laptop, whilst your children have been in the same room? I have, a lot.

When I first started to call this writing lark my work, I tried my best to confine my working hours to when the kids were napping or in bed at night. It just wasn’t enough though. I’ve been self-employed for many years and I know what it takes to build a business. I know that an hour here and there will not suffice. Work does leak into the hours that my children are wakeful and do you know something? That’s OK.

At first I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. I thought that my children shouldn’t see me on my phone or laptop. They should have my undivided attention, no matter what. I was the one that chose to give up my business to bring up my children, who was I to decide to build up another in the mean time?

I know, ridiculous right? Building up a business is an amazing achievement. The first time I did it, I literally had no choice. It was sink or swim and do you know something? I swam, exceptionally well. I put in the time and effort it takes to build up an incredibly successful business and that’s something to be proud of.

So you see, it makes no sense that I’ve felt guilty for working in front of my children. It makes no sense that I’ve tried to shelter them from witnessing the hard work that goes into making something of yourself. Surely this is something they should witness.

I’ve come to realise that the hours I spend working on my blog, the effort I put into writing for some amazing causes and brands should be recognised, not pushed to the side. So what if mummy is on social media, it paid for the last holiday we enjoyed as a family. So what if mummy is constantly taking photographs, it paid the electric bill last month.

The most important thing to take from this is that having drive and ambition is an amazing trait and it’s one that should be celebrated. Your children seeing you on social media, writing blog posts and replying to emails just demonstrates what it takes to be successful in the world of work.

 

 

 

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Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Working from home is the perfect set up for my family and I.  Doing so has so many positives for us. As is often the case though, things don’t always go according to plan. Here are three major lessons that working from home has taught me the hard way!

Life likes to get in the way –

I’m the queen of organisation. I have a diary and a set schedule that I try my hardest to stick to on a daily basis. I never have enough time, so the hours that I do get to work are valuable. The trouble with working from home without childcare is that I can plan and schedule as much as I like, but life always gets in the way! Being at home means I’m almost always the first port of call. Even if Dad’s at home, finding peace outside of nap time is a rare and wonderful occurrence! As I type this, I’m on a plastic phone to Peekaboo from the Twirlywoos. You get the picture.

You’re always at work –

There’s no break from work. I don’t get to leave the office on a Friday afternoon for a well deserved rest and I don’t get to shut the laptop, letting things wait until Monday. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do, but it’s definitely not for the faint hearted!

Having a work from home profession also means that a whole day can pass before I realise that I’ve not stepped out of the front door. For that reason planning a jaunt is essential, otherwise I really am always at work!

Early nights become a thing of the past –

Working from home whilst bringing up two young children, means that the majority of my working hours occur after they’ve gone to bed. It’s rare that I go to bed any earlier than 12am and if truth be told I could always fit a few more hours in. Luckily I accepted that sleep was a thing of the past when I had children. It’s amazing how our bodies adjust, that’s not to say an early night and a lie in wouldn’t be nice though!

 

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

As a blogger and a freelance writer, I’ve had more than my fair share of writers block. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to work and having words fail you. I’ve even found that writer’s block can hit when you have topics in mind. Often we have a million and one ideas whirring around in our brains, but none of them seem to land on the page!

Fear not! I’ve developed some great ways to get the juices flowing when writer’s block kicks in. No more staring at a blank page and no more procrastinating on social media, hoping that inspiration will hit. Here are my top tips:

Take a break –

This might seem really obvious but when work has been hectic, taking a break can make all the difference. When I’ve had a busy week, it’s not unusual for me to run of words towards the end of it. Even if it’s just a stroll around the block, it’ll give you time to clear your head. Everyone needs a break sometimes, taking one will have you back on top form before you know it!

Change where you write –

If you’re usually cooped up inside when you’re working, why not move into the garden? If the weather is rubbish maybe try a local cafe. Taking yourself away from the norm can give your mind the freedom it needs to explore, a bit of people watching is good for the imagination too!

Get your inspiration from Google –

If’ it’s blog post ideas that you need, there are numerous title generators that can be found through a simple google search. The algorithms aren’t always on point, but they can help to kick-start your thought processes. Even a search for ‘blog post ideas’ can get you going. The internet is full of content that can be inspiring to writers and bloggers, you just have to find it!

Quote yourself happy –

I’m a huge lover of the quotes that circle the web. There are some really inspirational and motivational memes out there that people love to share. Do a quick search and have a read, some of them really give you the kick up the bum you need to get cracking!

 

Don’t let writers block hinder your progress, get typing!

 

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#BabyLove My Toddler Life – Children’s Book Review

#BabyLove My Toddler Life – Children’s Book Review

We love reading over here at The Tale of Mummyhood HQ. We have a library to rival the the best of them, so when we get the chance to review the latest children’s books we jump at the chance!  This week we were sent #BabyLove My Toddler Life, written and illustrated by Corine Dehghanpisheh, not only was it fun to read to our girls but it also sends an important message to us adults!

Corine Dehghanpishe is a award winning author and My Toddler Life is the second book in her #BabyLove series, after the first instalment My Social Life. My Toddler Life is based on a little boy who finds his mums phone and goes ahead and uses it without her say so. We’ve all been there right?  However when she explains quality time is for playing and having fun, not for using smartphones, it really hits home how much time we spend on our devices and how much we miss because of it!

 

Author & Illustrator Corine Dehghanpishe

 

Corine has illustrated the book beautifully. It’s bright and colourful, which is perfect for keeping the littles interested and wanting to find out more! I personally love that the book is so current, in that it’s based around our love for the hashtag and our technology. I also love that it relays the subtle message that even though we all use our tablets and phones, sometimes we just need to put them down and live in the present moment!

 

If you’d like the chance to win your own copy of #BabyLove My Toddler Life, all you have to do is enter our giveaway using the form below, please do take a peek at the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

 

#BabyLove My Toddler Life Children’s Book Giveaway

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Pam’s Bake and Baby Blog

#MumisBest Guest Post – Pam’s Bake and Baby Blog

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Pam’s Bake and Baby Blog!

Be yourself, Be happy.
When I got married at 24 I didn’t want a family, but as I approached my late 20’s I felt a pull to be a mother. Now at 32 I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. For a while I couldn’t quite believe that this was my life. In fact shortly after having my second child I freely admit I had a ‘what the hell have I done’ moment!

I went back to work after 9 months maternity leave both times. I work in the rail industry and the option for flexi time or part time hours wasn’t an option, so I went back full time – 48 hours a week. I work 12 hour shifts days and nights and although it sounds horrendous it actually means that I get a lot of time off and more time with the kids than if I worked a mon-fri job. It means that we need less childcare as I work weekend and evening so husband is able to cover a lot of it.

Before I had children I would complain about the shifts, about how tired I was working such long hours. Now I don’t have days off. I have two children and a house to look after but much less time to deal with everything. I won’t lie it can be a struggle. And after my first child I took a while to get into a routine. There were tears, arguments and struggles. But now me and hubby are on the same page. He is super supportive of my choices and pulls his weight at home (most of the time!). I can’t stress how important this has been and understand this is not the same for everyone.

I shock a lot of people when I tell them that I enjoy working. When I was at home on maternity leave I felt like a huge part of myself was missing. I struggled to find a happy place and (this still makes me cringe to say but) I felt unfulfilled. Being a stay at home mum wasn’t for me. There I’ve said it. It is the hardest job I can imagine. There is no salary, no bonus for meeting targets and no appraisals to let you know how to improve.

I recently wrote a piece about ‘mummy guilt’ and what everyone thinks about everyone else. Working mums tend to look at stay at home mums with envy. They falsely believe that the mums at home are in their pjs until lunchtime, watching telly then doing incredible crafty, fun mum stuff with the kids every day. They are jealous that the stay at home mums get to attend school events and can seemingly do what they like. Stay at home mums look at working mums and are insanely jealous of their freedom. Freedom to have  a break, go for a pee in peace and get an actual lunch break. They would kill to be wearing something other than mum gear and to have something else on their minds.  Then you have the part time working mums. They have a bit of both sets of guilt. Guilty that they feel they aren’t able to give their all at work in the hours available. Guilty they aren’t doing enough at home. Guilt is a bitch!

We are also bad at hating on each other. In the last year I have heard stay at home mums say they can’t believe that a mother would want to work full time – why bother having kids? Is a statement I hear a lot. Working mums are similarly as bad at dishing out the insults, branding stay at home mums lazy. Why can’t we respect each other more!

Last year I had a breakthrough after I admitted that I enjoyed working. Instead of apologising for doing what was best for me, I am embracing it! Being a working mum makes me happy. But I have also came to the conclusion that we will never ‘have it all’. Whatever you choose then chances are you will have to sacrifice something. And that can be ok as long as you accept this.

To the working mums out there, feeling torn in two I salute you. To the stay at home mammas rocking motherhood, I salute you. To the mothers not having many good days with the littlies, they will get older and leave home someday so I salute you. To the mums waddling though with their eyes half shut I salute you!
There’s no need to be superwoman – that role is old! Be yourself, be happy.

Bio.

Pam Lorimer
32
Wife of 8 years-been with hubby for 15 years since i was 17,my first love!
Mother of a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl.
I work in the rail industry and have done for 11 years now. Previous jobs include a chemical technician in a cheese factory, a mental health support worker and a waitress.
I started blogging last year as a way of getting some writing out there. I have written on and off since I was a teen but never seem to have enough time lately (never dedicate any time to it!) So the blog has been the perfect platform to express myself and I have met so many supportive men and women through it.

You can find more from Pam here!

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