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Is Female Success Only Judged by Achievements in the Workplace?

Is Female Success Only Judged by Achievements in the Workplace?

If you’ve been reading this blog of mine for a while, you’ll know that I’m in a constant battle with myself about work. The individual in me wants to hold down a full-time job, bring in a full-time wage and rise through the ranks. Whilst the parent in me, wants to spend every waking minute with my children, to make sure I’m bringing them up as soundly as I possibly can. What struck me and unsettled me recently, was the realisation that some people only judge female success on achievements in the workplace. Leaving being successful as a mother down by the wayside.

The reason this bothers me so much is that even though I go back and forth regarding my own work situation, deep down I know I’ll always be a mother first. I’m not prepared to go back into full-time work, outside of the home until they are old enough to look after themselves. I’m not ashamed of that, but sometimes I am made to feel a little insignificant. I was recently told that I ‘still have time to make my mark’, but what if my children are my mark? What if bringing them up to be happy, stable and respectful human beings is very best achievement of my life?

Am I privileged or lazy?

When I’m in conversation with working mums, they often refer to my situation as ‘privileged’. They think that because I stay at home, I am somehow married to a millionaire who keeps the little housewife. This just isn’t the case. Becoming a stay at home mother takes a lot of sacrifice. It’s a team effort. If i didn’t work hard in the home, my husband wouldn’t be able to work hard outside of the home. I don’t get to go out everyday and ‘do lunch‘, in fact some days I’m that busy I don’t get to eat lunch at all.

Others think that I just don’t want to work. That it’s easier to stay at home, rather than bring in the bacon. If that were the case, I wouldn’t have put all of this effort into building up an online business. One that means I can still be a stay at home mum, but also means I can still be recognised as a ‘worker’. As a side note, whoever thinks staying at home with children is for the lazy among us, is very much mistaken. Children are hard work.

You do get some people who understand what I do. They understand what it takes to bring up children and to give up a huge part of yourself to do so. Even though they seem to understand, I still feel my status as a female would be markedly higher if I had a working role outside of the home. Mother’s get judgement and sometimes empathy, whereas working mothers get celebrated.

Someone came up to me on the school run recently, handed me a leaflet and said ‘you don’t do anything once you leave here do you?’ It was for a group that I would obviously be able to attend as I’m not a ‘working mother’, I should surely be grateful for something to do with my time. I’ve no doubt that this wasn’t meant at all maliciously, but I have to admit that it cut me a little bit. I DO work hard, it just appears that all I am is a mum and you can’t judge success on that.

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The Worst Things you can Say to a Stay at Home Mum

The Worst Things you can Say to a Stay at Home Mum

Skipping back a few hundred blog posts, for those of you that don’t know. In 2015 I gave up my business to become a stay at home mum. It was always my intention and I didn’t hesitate to hang up my scissors once our eldest was born. There have been a few ups and downs since then, sometimes I want to work, as well as bring up our girls. I go around in circles on a regular basis, trying to work out what the best plan of action is. I suppose though, even as a blogger which very few people accept as ‘work’ – I beg to differ by the way – I am first and foremost a stay at home mum.

Ever since becoming a parent and homemaker I have come across many different reactions. Some would love to be in my position, some think I’m lazy and some think my husband must be some sort of millionaire – he’s not I can assure you.  There have been comments that I’ve laughed at and others that have cut me a little bit. You see no one really knows another person’s situation, so even though comments aren’t made maliciously they sometimes come across that way.

So just in case you were wondering, here are the worst things you can say to a stay at home mum;

‘You don’t do anything during the week do you?’ – 

This was one that really got to me. It was assumed that because I still have one child at home full-time that I can’t possibly be doing anything during the week. Actually I do a hell of a lot. Once I’ve watched Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women that is.

‘I wish I didn’t have to go to work’ – 

This often comes with being told I’m really lucky and that I don’t realise how good my situation is. I do realise that this isn’t an option for everyone, but I don’t think that makes me lucky. It’s just our situation and it works for us. It has its downfalls too, just like being a working parent does. It’s all swings and roundabouts.

‘It must be so nice to have a lie-in each day’ – 

I haven’t had a lie in since 2015.

‘You still have time to make your mark’ – 

These exact words were kindly spouted in my direction, by an ageing professional. With. No. Kids. Need I say more?

‘When will you go back to work? – 

Well actually I do work. I earn a decent wage, from home, whilst looking after my children.

‘I would hate to look after kids all day’ – 

I’m not going to tell you every single day is a walk in the park, because it’s not. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to berate another person’s long-term situation, especially when your main point is that all they do is ‘look after kids all day‘. Just doesn’t seem like a nice thing to say, does it?

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jess from The Prosecco Mum

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jess from The Prosecco Mum

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 Jess from The Prosecco Mum!

The subject of this blog came at a time when I’ve been starting to realise how quickly my maternity leave is going and just how soon I’m going to be back at my desk working, whilst my littlest cub enters the big bad world of nursery and big cub starts a new term in kindergarten before embarking on her big school adventures!

As my bio suggests, I’m not what I’d call a maternal mum. I’m definitely not all Cath Kidston floral and home baking. If truth be told, quite often my kids drive me insane. Though that’s not to say I don’t love them an insane amount, I do. I just also like to keep a balance of ‘Jess and Mummy’ – personally, I could never be a stay at home mum (SAHM). I enjoy work, so with both children I have chosen to return to work when they were 6.5 months old.

That doesn’t mean that it’s easy juggling work and a baby…and I write this having only ever worked whilst having one child – October could be interesting when there’s two of them to get dressed, fed and out the door. That’ll be a whole other blog in itself I’m sure!

Pre-babies I went to work full time, I worked hard and then when I finished what I had to do I went home and chilled…sometimes that was on time, sometimes it was a couple of hours past ‘home time’. Hell, sometimes we just spontaneously went out for dinner when I came in too.

I often overindulged at the weekend, rolled in to work with a hangover on Monday, took every second of my lunch break and had frequent visits to the toilets perusing Instagram (on a friends recommendation.. never Facebook or Whatsapp, that’s too visible).

Anyway, that was then. Life BK (before kids).

Now, I work part time but continue to try to fit five days worth of work into three. I don’t roll in with hangovers, I barely take a lunch break and I don’t even have time for a poo. [If I could just get over the pooing at work phobia]. But these days there’s the mind battle of whether to work four days instead of three, a person who still wants a career as opposed to a ‘swan in, swan out’ part timer.

Every day is a balancing act.

But then, there’s the other side. The guilt of being, quite frankly, a shit mother. I don’t always take my daughter to nursery in the morning and sometimes I don’t even pick her up either, daddy will do it. I just can’t seem to get up and leave my desk at 5pm, so I get home just as she’s going to bed then sit racked with guilt that I’ve missed out on that precious hour with her before she hits the sack and I see her for thirty minutes the next morning before I go again.

But I’ve never been a maternal, earth mother, stay at home mum type. Quite frankly, one child at home all day everyday would drive me crazy, two of them would most certainly drive me to the bottle! Not only that but I’d spend far too much money on trying to entertain them and myself – SMP is dire and I’ve never really been one to stick within a budget so I’m often going cap in hand to my husband for a ‘top up’. I also fear if I became a SAHM then the hubster may expect that I’m going to run a tight ship with cleaning schedules, lunches and dinners planned and prepped and become an overall domestic goddess. That’s enough to get me back into the daily grind. Feather dusters really aren’t my thing.

Being a part time working mum is the perfect balance for me – and the children. I get to fire my brain up from 9-5 three days a week, have adult conversation, not have to listen to Billy & Bam Bam, Shimmer and Shine or Ryder to the rescue, Sir, earn my own money and drink hot tea. Meanwhile, the kids get to spend their days with their friends whilst being constantly entertained with painting, dancing, teddy bears picnics and trips to the woods instead of being dragged to do chores with me – food shopping and visiting the bank/post office isn’t high on their ‘must do’ list.

So what’s the best bit of my working day? Getting to relieve my job share (nursery/grandparents dependent on day) and do my other ‘job’ from 5pm-9am, so for me I really have the best of both worlds.

 

You can see more from Jess here:

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#MumisBest Guest Series – Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger

#MumisBest Guest Series – Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger

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 Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger!

 

I’m a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. I’m sure most of you would agree that, by the third trimester, your pregnancy feels never-ending! Aside from constant nausea until about 16 weeks, my pregnancy was pretty uneventful until late into my second trimester. I ended up with symphysis pubis dysfunction (https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/symphysis-pubis-dysfunction), and more than once had to work from home for several days in a row because it hurt too much to walk (and couldn’t really move, in any case!). Pregnancy is a singular experience – yes, you are performing a miracle, but you’ve got to endure relentless symptoms and pressures along the way! Needless to say, by the middle of my third trimester, I was well and truly ready to go on leave. At the end of the Christmas closure at the office, I went straight into my maternity leave one month early.

After several years without a proper break, I was looking forward to some downtime. Retrospectively, I think I wasted most of that time sitting on the couch binge watching Downton Abbey and a bunch of other shows I can’t even list now. I wish I had done something more productive and rewarding with that time.

My labour was pretty intense: I was induced twenty-four hours after my water broke because I wasn’t getting enough contractions. Obviously I don’t have any prior experience to compare it to, but the contractions got really full on really quickly and there was barely any respite in between. After nine hours, an episiotomy, and a vacuum, my gorgeous little man came into the world. Despite the elation and boundless love I felt, I was still pretty knocked out by the birth and it took several weeks for me to start feeling somewhat normal. Coupled with the difficulty of breastfeeding in the first couple of months (that’s another story that I won’t go into here), my son was about 3 1/2 months old before I could really start doing “things”.

We’ve gone for a lovely walks in the sun, read books, played with a variety of toys (that I have to keep rotating because somebody is very inquisitive and gets bored playing with the same thing for too many days in a row), and even started baby swimming lessons! I adore my little man and I love spending time with him. But sometimes, I miss doing things that I did before, like reading a novel, doing a musical at the local community theatre, or even working on my uni course. Now that he’s almost 7 months old, I’ve started finding pockets of time here and there to indulge in some of my own hobbies. I’ve really enjoyed putting together my own mummy blog, and realised that I’m at my best when I have something productive and rewarding to focus on. That doesn’t mean that I don’t find taking care of my baby rewarding or productive, of course it is. I’m talking about something that is just for me, for my own satisfaction, and my own sanity.

While I wish I didn’t have to leave my son to go back to work, the cost of living and other things mean I do you have to. I’m lucky enough to have a job that provides flexibility and understanding, which helps; and I also don’t have to go back full time, which I’m grateful for. So, as I pass the halfway mark of my maternity leave and am staring “return to work” in the face, I’m forced to think about what that means for me. If being a stay-at-home mum was an option, would I actually want that?

If I’m honest, the answer is no. I’m the type of person who needs to be challenged in an intellectual environment, as well. I love writing and thinking and learning – in fact, I’ve barely stopped studying since I first went to university a good 13 years ago. I don’t just have to go back to work, I want to. There’s nothing wrong with staying at home to raise your family, if that’s what you want and if you can afford that option. My own mother was a stay-at-home mum until we were teenagers; that worked for us because we didn’t have much family around to help look after us kids, and my dad was able to support us on a single salary. But that just isn’t for me. And I’m lucky that my son has two grandmothers itching to mind him!

Equally, there’s nothing wrong with going back to work part time or full time, even if you can afford not to. Some mothers need to feel that they are contributing financially to their family, or like they are “someone” besides a mother. Every mum needs to do what suits her best, and fits in with her own circumstances. After all, if a mother is operating at her best, feeling confident and fulfilled in all aspects, she will be better able to care for her children.

I dread the prospect of walking out the door on my way to work and seeing my bub’s sad little face because his mummy is leaving him behind. But, such is life. My ideal scenario would be to have my own business, and be able to work from anywhere. The best of both worlds! It isn’t an option at the moment, but it’s in the cards. I guess I’ll just wait and see!

Bio:

Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

You can see more from Romina here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Louise from Lou-Ekai!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Louise from Lou-Ekai!

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 Louise from Lou-Ekai!

 

Motherhood can be challenging! Everyone tells you this but I suppose you don’t actually realise until you have your bundle of joy.

It’s challenging in a number of ways, emotionally it’s challenging because no matter how confident you are with parenting your child, there’s always that voice of doubt in your mind, questioning “am I doing the right thing?” It’s physically draining and also mentally when you haven’t had a full nights sleep.

I didn’t realise how challenging it would be, and becoming a single mother while I was pregnant, I didn’t realise that it would be much harder than I anticipated. Although I embrace being a single mum, I have so much anxiety and questions I wish I could ask someone, but nobody has the answers. This is our journey as mother and child and I hope to give him the best child hood I can provide.

Now the lovely summer weather is out I like to get out and about with my son. We either go to the park some point in the day, or we go to a stay and play group.

I’ve been looking into swimming lessons recently, and art and craft groups specially for under 5s. I think he’d like that. I think what’s important is that he gets a lot of stimulation and experiences, he loves messy play, older children (it fascinates him that they can ride bikes, can run so fast and can do things such as jumping or skipping) and he loves different environments, so I try to do different things every week if I’m feeling up to it and if he’s well within himself.

I’m a 20 year old single mum who isn’t currently working, but I go to study at university this year October which I’m nervous about because it will be the first time I am leaving my son.

Even though he is staying with family, when he’s 2 I would like to put him in nursery one day a week just so he has social stimulation and endless play. I’ve been trying to look for a Play-based nursery but can’t seem to find any in my area.

Every day seems like it’s on repeat. I wake up, do breakfast, get him and myself dressed and then we end up going out doing activities or sometimes we stay in. By the end of the day my carpets are obliterated, there’s food smashed everywhere, toys in every room and I need to clean up every inch of my home ready for it to be destroyed again tomorrow.

Because I breastfeed and didn’t introduce a bottle for expressed milk, on the night he doesn’t sleep unless I’m feeding him. He won’t settle when my mum has had him in the past so I rarely get a break. If it’s one of my friends birthday or an event, I have to plan in advance and whenever he wakes up, I have to come home because he just does not settle without my breast milk.

He’s currently 17 months coming up to 18 months, and my plans for breastfeeding is to continue until he self-weans himself which he is showing signs of. He doesn’t want the milk during the day if he’s very active, it’s just the night where he’s dependent on it. I went on a breastfeeding course and learned a lot about self-weaning. They normally do this above 18months although there’s stories of babies self-weaning before that.

Even though motherhood is challenging on every aspect, and your life changes for this beautiful human being, it’s worth it. We can’t deny as mothers that some days are harder than others, but speaking to other mums and realising that’s completely normal to feel that way, is a huge weight off your shoulders.

We are only human, and we must realise to not be so hard on ourselves. All we can do is try our best!

 

You can find out more from Laura here:

Twitter – https://mobile.twitter.com/Louekai/

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Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/louekaixo/

And check out my blog – https://louekaixo.wordpress.com

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Potty Training Made Easy with Dry Like Me

Potty Training Made Easy with Dry Like Me

Over the last few months we have been on a potty training mission. The eldest of our two has been showing signs of being ready for some time, so we decided that we would bite the bullet and go for it. Luckily, the guys from Dry Like Me sent over one of their smarter ways to potty train packs to help us on our way!

Dry Like Me was created by two mums; Jude and Di, who were both experiencing difficulties when potty training their own children. With nothing available on the market at the time, these amazing mums decided that they would develop their own potty training aid. With limited funds but buckets of passion Jude and Di created this great product to make potty training as easy as can be!

 

 

Potty training made simple –

Potty training really is a learning curve for everyone involved. It can be so frustrating from both sides, as we try to read the minds of our children and they try their hardest to get it right. So I was really impressed when I found out that our Dry Like Me pack included a potty training book, filled with information for parents and incentives for children. It walks you through each step of training and includes a reward chart with stickers to keep the littles happy along the way.

We found the pads really handy when we first started going out without nappies. It’s one things going nappy free at home, but heading out where there may not be a toilet nearby is really nerve-wracking! The pads took away any anxieties we had though. They made it so easy for our girl to head out in big girl pants, whilst catching any little accidents without fuss.

 

 

We did find that the pads are only for small accidents though, they’re not to be used as an alternative to nappies. Especially if you’re heading on long journeys or if there won’t be a toilet nearby. Having said that, you have to make the jump at some point and they’re a great product to soften the blow!

I must admit, the past few weeks have been quite eventful. No-one expects potty training to be easy, but I don’t think anything can fully prepare you for the roller coaster that is training a toddler to use the toilet. We’ve had so many highs and lows. Needless to say when number two child starts showing the tell-tale signs of being ready to use the potty, we’ll be ready for whatever she throws at us. Hopefully not literally. With the Dry Like Me pads to help us out, it’s sure to be a complete success!

 

Feeling like you need a little extra help with potty training? You can sign up for the free Dry Like Me academy HERE!

 

 The guys over at Dry Like Me would like to offer my readers the chance to win a smarter way to potty train pack of their own, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

 

Win a Dry Like Me Smarter Way to Potty Train Pack

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

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 Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

 

Mum is best – Can we have it all?

When you get pregnant, you mentally make lots of decisions about how life might be with a family.

You may decide that you want to follow some kind of “written” guidebook of how life will be (the likes of Gina Forde). Or you might like the idea that you can fit the baby into your life and it’ll be easy to have it all.

Of course, you know it’s going to impact your life and there’ll be sacrifices, but you have no idea what they will really be until that little face pops out and drains every last smidgen of energy you have left. The chances are that the naive decisions you tried to make during pregnancy will turn out to have been a pipe dream.

For most mums I know, even though they may have been super ambitious prior to pregnancy, changes happen. Priorities change. Energy levels change. Work changes. They change.

Priorities

For some Mums, they continue their career path and choose to return to work full time. That’s fine. For a lot of us (me included) they seek a more flexible working pattern because their job is suddenly not the ‘be all and end all’ that it once was. That’s fine too. Many may not be able to change their work situations financially. Equally fine, although I’m sure they’d prefer not to. Whichever it is, that good old “Mum guilt” will go into overdrive.

I am self employed so I didn’t really take a break at all, as I’d work around the clock. I mean, I was up anyway, so I thought I may as well sneak a bit of work in whilst she was feeding. I now have a more organised structure working only during childcare or at night time if I need to.

Energy levels

Once your offspring is sleeping more, you’ll most likely feel more tired. You might now be doing those extra jobs you didn’t get around to during the day well after little one is down for the night. Or you may still be up throughout the night. In short, you’re still going to be knackered most of the time and that’s likely to influence whatever work situation you have.

Work

You haven’t been around for a long time, and in most businesses, a lot changes in a short space of time. So it’s likely that work won’t be the same place that you left.

So what does that mean?

It means that “having it all” might actually not be the easiest thing to achieve. There is a strong possibility that you’ll constantly feel as though things aren’t quite right and you could do something better. You will probably always feel as though you are letting someone down.

So here’s the thing… you’re not.

You’re doing something amazing.

Whether you’re back at work, a SAHM or somewhere in between, you’re showing your child the realities of modern life. It bloody hard and we think we can do everything. Very rarely do I say ‘no’ to much, hence working with a newborn, but seriously, it’s knackering.

There is no perfect solution that won’t make you feel as though you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

It’s an ever-growing debate, and there is certainly no right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for your and your family.

The way I work, I feel like my daughter knows that I am always around for then important things, but she also knows that Mummy works too. That’s her time to have fun with her friends at nursery.

So my advice is, don’t try to have it all. Try to have a good balance and continue to be uber awesome, because Mum, you are.

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#MumisBest Guest Series – Vicki from Mumma and her Monsters!

#MumisBest Guest Series – Vicki from Mumma and her Monsters!

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 Vicki from Mumma and her Monsters!

 

Being A Half And Half Mum

 

I love being a stay at home mum, but I also need that time for me, when I’m not mummy, I’m Vicki, So half the time I’m a volunteer at the local library, talking with actual adults for proper conversation that doesn’t include boogers is amazing and so refreshing! I volunteer mostly to help my mental health, I really struggle to get out and make friends so this makes me feel 10x better. Sometimes I do get that moment where I feel like I’m missing out on special moments or ‘firsts’ but ill always get to see it another time there is nothing they only do once, ‘Working’ is fun for me, not matter how stressed I get sometimes I know my babies will be waiting for me when I get home and it makes my day worth it.

 But being a stay at home mum brings me so much joy! I love spending time with my children, I mean who doesn’t? we love doing activities or playing board games or even just random adventures to the beach or park, being able to see them grow and learn is an amazing thing! I get to blog and write in my journal and enjoy making memories to cherish forever at the same time, even doing the washing or cleaning is okay, I mean its not everyone’s favourite thing to do but it has to be done and when they’re at school its so peaceful (until the toddler wakes up).

For me there really isn’t a preference between the two, It fits our family dynamic perfect, mike stays at home with Olli (our 1 year old) and I volunteer for a few hours, its brilliant and it works for us, I know not everyone will fit in the same category as me but being a half and half mum works so well!

You can see more from Vicki here:

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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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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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