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Tag: mummyblogger

#MumisBest Guest Post – Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog

#MumisBest Guest Post – Vicky from The Mummy Bubble 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 Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog!

When hubby and I were first discussing if it was the right time to start a family one of my biggest worries was a work-life balance.

When I’m not dashing around as the cook, cleaner, drink-pourer, bum-wiper and all-round dogsbody for my kids, I work as a journalist for a tabloid newspaper.

I work from home, but my job can be extremely demanding, involves a lot of driving and drops extra hours in my lap at short notice.

I’ve also been asked to travel abroad at the last minute to cover a story with no guarantee of when I will be back home. I’ve known colleagues who have been stuck abroad for weeks on a job, it’s just the nature of what we do.

And don’t get me wrong, it is a very exciting career, but my big worry was when you bring kids into the mix, how can I possibly do both?

I want to work. It’s a valuable break, it makes me feel good to do a job I can take pride in and, let’s face it, one income doesn’t cut it these days.

However I also do not want to be a mum who isn’t there for bedtime. I don’t want long chunks of time away from my children where I don’t see them for more than a week.

A couple of nights away from my kids every now and then is the maximum I’m prepared to do when they’re this young, that’s just how I feel about that.

Every mum is different I know and some are happy to concentrate solely on work in the week and then find time for their kids at the weekend.

We all have to find our own way, but this really wasn’t for me. How could I have the best of both worlds?

In the end we decided that we couldn’t let this worry influence when we start a family. You can get too bogged down in perfect situations for when you should have your first baby.

There is no right time.

So I got pregnant, suffered terrible morning sickness which disrupted my work days hugely, and finally had our first child.

As my year of maternity leave went on, we discussed what we would do next.

There were a few factors in play here. We couldn’t afford for me not to work, we wanted a second child and soon, and how would things like the nursery run work?

I was very lucky to have supportive managers who were willing to discuss my concerns and offer me the chance to return to work full-time with hours that would work for me.

My daughter was put into nursery four days a week and spent one day with my mum. My hours were adjusted so I could always pick my daughter up from nursery on time.

This meant never missing a bedtime.

But after all that,  just two days before I was due to return to work I found out I was pregnant again.

When we started trying for our second baby I had no idea it would happen so quickly, but there you go!

I now faced a huge amount of guilt as I went back to work with improved hours, knowing that soon I would be buggering off again.

When I did come to tell my manager, he was nothing but supportive. Phew.

I went back to work for just seven months. In that time we got in a good routine that I felt really happy with.

I dropped my daughter off in the morning, then went home to work and before I knew it, it was time to pick her up again. What really helped was that she loved going to nursery.

And now I’m back in that return to work situation once again.

Except this time the nursery bill will be doubled. To put both kids in to nursery four days a week would cost more than my monthly take home pay.

So, why work? Because I want to. But I also want to be a mum. Can I achieve the holy grail of “having it all”.

The answer is no, I don’t think we can have it all. You can’t be a full-time mum and have a full-time career. But we can find a balance.

My balance is my children will be with my mum one day a week and I will work Sundays in exchange for taking Fridays off to be with the kids.

This means both are in nursery for three days. It’s still going to cost more than a monthly mortgage payment to send them but it’s more manageable.

Also my eldest will get some free childcare hours from April next year and this will help.

I return to work in January, so that’s when we will find out if I have managed to get the balance right.

So after rambling through my story, I thought I would share some tips with you from what I’ve learned over the last three years of trying to find a good work-life balance:

Talk about it with your other half. Having a discussion and deciding what the ideal solution for both of you would be is a good start. Then you can go into the practicalities of how it would work.

Do the math. How much as your bills and how much would childcare cost? Can you afford it with your salary? Would it be more affordable if you worked just three days a week? Can a relative help out one day a week so you can save a bit of money?

Be honest with your boss. If you can be upfront with your manager from the start about what your concerns are then you can hopefully meet in the middle. Most good employers will offer flexible hours as an option. Remember just because you’ve had a child doesn’t mean you’re not a valuable asset. If anything you’re more of an asset now as you can juggle like a total boss after having kids.

Let go of the guilt. Just because you have a job you love, doesn’t mean you can’t have a life outside of that. Having a child is no reason to feel guilty.

 

 

Bio:

I’m Vicky, a mum of two gorgeous girls – aged two and eight months. I live in the South East with my hubby. I love food, travel, a good walk, a decent movie and a compelling TV show to get hooked on. I’m on maternity leave at the moment but work as a journalist when not chasing around after little people.

I blog about all aspects of parenting young children – it’s  what I do all day every day after all. I like to write about the funnier side of having kids, because you’ve got to laugh sometimes! I’ve also been known to get a bit soppy about my kids. I love to share my parenting SOS tips, highlight my favourite child and baby products, and big up fun and fabulous places to visit with the family. News is a big part of my life so I’m also bringing you the latest news for parents with young children.

You can see more from Vicky here:
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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 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/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/louekai/

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

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

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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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#WorkshopWednesday – Three Easy Ways to Monetise your Blog

#WorkshopWednesday – Three Easy Ways to Monetise your Blog

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!

Not everyone who writes their own blog wants to monetise and that’s OK, but some people do. Some people have a desire to make a little pocket money from their musings and others aspire to make blogging their full-time job. Whichever one of these categories you fall into, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the easiest ways to make money from your blog.

Sponsored posts –

Sponsored posts are one of the easiest and most lucrative ways to monetise your blog. Before you begin accepting this type of work though, it’s essential that you know what you’re willing to offer the client. Determine whether they require a ‘follow’ or ‘no-follow’ link and do they want social media exposure? Only do what you’re comfortable with and make sure you’re compensated fairly!

Sell a product –

Maybe you’re a crafty individual who could make and sell beautiful keepsakes, or maybe you have an area of expertise and could write an eBook to help others.  Whatever the product, offering it to your audience is a great way to make money from your blog. The best thing about this is that once the product exists, you don’t have to put too much extra effort in – apart from promotion!

Brand work –

This is one that a lot of bloggers strive to achieve. Working with brands can be a great earner and lots of fun. From sharing their products with your audience, adding advertising banners for them and so much more. Brand work is one of my favourite ways to work as a blogger, it makes all the graft worth it when you get to work alongside some of the best household names!

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama 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 Ali from Mummy Mama Mum!

Before I had kids I would have definitely described myself as a workaholic. In many ways this hasn’t changed, but the nature of what I do most certainly has!

When I fell pregnant with my first child, Amelia, I knew that I definitely wanted to return to my full time job running a busy retail business, and I knew that I wanted to return full time. I mean, my business was my baby, and even the thought of handing over he reigns to someone else for 6 months brought me out in a cold sweat. Even during the first week or two after Amelia was born, I was itching to get back. When the time finally came around, I was eager to get back to real world, and eager to get back my salary and main breadwinner status. 6 very long and painful months later, I called the regional director on Friday and told him I wouldn’t be back on Monday.

It was both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever made. I felt like I was giving up on a part of myself, and I suppose in a way I was. But I was also creating a very new story for myself and my family, mainly one that actually involved weekends together! I didn’t last long being out of work completely, and ended up taking on a trainee position at the nursery that Amelia was enrolled at. The training has now ended, and I am now a fully qualified Early Years Teacher, which has opened up a whole host of new doors I hadn’t even considered previously.

I worked part time while Amelia attended nursery, until I very suddenly fell pregnant with Wills. I knew that I would return to work again after he was born, but I have to say that this time the lead up to my return was very different. I felt an actual desire to stay at home full time, especially as maternity leave the second time around was when I had started my blog. But return I did, and I must say it wasn’t as catastrophic as I had feared it might be. The washing still gets done, the dinner still gets cooked (batch cooking is most definitely my friend), and we still have lots of time together.

But it is all set to change again! At the end of July, we are moving over 100 miles away from our current home! While Mr C is able to take his job with him, I unfortunately cannot bring the nursery with us! This means that, as things stand, I will once again have no out-of-the-home paid work. I will be a SAHM once again, and while I dreaded it the first time around, this time I’m ready!

I have my blog to keep me focussed and driven, which is what I feel was missing after Amelia was born. And I think that just about sums it up for me; it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as what you choose works for you. After 3 years of trying out pretty much everything, I have finally worked out that it’s not necessarily work that I need, but something that keeps me driven to succeed (aside from the kids, obvs!) That has now taken form in my blog, and I’m suddenly much less interested in dragging my un-makeupped face out of the house in the morning!

Work, no work, SAHM, WAHM, running around the forest barefoot mum! Just do whatever works for you and yours! Forget all the titles that came before; forget about being a stay-at-home-mum or working mum, or any of the others – focus on being a happy mum with happy kids. That is all that matters in the end.

 

You can see more from Aleena here!

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Tailwind Tribes to Boost your Traffic

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Tailwind Tribes to Boost your Traffic

 

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!

 

Pinterest is a major source of traffic for bloggers, but it’s one that a lot of us aren’t tapping in to. If you want to grow your audience, boost your traffic and maximise your reach, then you should be using Tailwind Tribes alongside Pinterest!

Whether you’re a seasoned Pinterest user, or you’re just beginning to grow your presence on the platform, Tailwind Tribes can help give your profile a boost. Not only does using Tribes increase your Pinterest views, it also helps to drive traffic back to your blog. Once you’re regularly using Tribes the chances are you’ll gain more followers as your content is shared more and more!

When you sign up to Tailwind, it can all seem a little complicated and daunting. Don’t be put off straight away, it does get much easier once you’ve spent some time familiarising yourself with the platform. To start using Tribes, first of all you need to find relevant Tribes to join. I found the Pinterest Tailwind Tribes Facebook group invaluable for finding new and established Tribes. Not all Tribes will be relevant to you, so it’s worth having a good look through all of the different Tribes invitations before you join them,  to make sure you’ll be able to share your content within them. Once you’ve joined a few Tribes, you’re ready to start sharing!

Tribe rules –

The first thing to do before you begin sharing your content to Tribes, is to make sure you understand the rules of each one you become a member of. For example: some Tribes request that you only share content with vertical images and some request that you share more than one pin, for each of your own that you’ve shared. The rules can be found on the left of the screen, above the list of members.

 

 

How to add content to a Tribe –

If you’re using a Chromebook or the Chrome browser, all you have to do is install the Tailwind Chrome extension. That way you can hover over the pin you’d like to share and click the blue flame, which will add the pin to your drafts.

 

 

If you’re using a different browser you can create your pins within Tailwind, which will add them to your drafts and you can schedule them from there, or pin them manually to one of your boards. As well as add them to Tribes.

 

 

Whilst in drafts, there’s a little button underneath the preview that says ‘Add to Tribes’. Click on this button and then check the boxes of the Tribes you wish to add the pin to.

 

 

When you visit each tribe you’ll notice there are five tabs across the top of the Tribes content. These include: ‘All’, ‘New’, Yours’, ‘Shared’ and Skipped’. These tabs refer to the pins in the the Tribe, all that you have added will be in ‘Your’s and all that you have scheduled/re-pinned will be in ‘Shared.

How to share other people’s content from the Tribe –

Once you’re sure how many pins you need to share from the Tribe, in relation to the amount of pins you’ve added, take a look through and pick out the pins that are relevant to your boards on Pinterest. From here, type the name of the board you’d like to pin the content to in the box under the preview.

 

 

To finish, click the green ‘Add to Queue’ button. This will add content to your schedule, if you have Tailwind PLUS these will be pinned automatically at specific times. Otherwise you’ll have to manually pin your selections, this can be done by hovering over the pin and clicking the ‘Pin Now’ button which pops up to the right of the content. Once this is done, the process is complete and you can go ahead and add more content to Tribes!

 

This brief introduction to Tailwind should will you the knowledge to get started and improve your traffic over night. If you need anymore Tailwind help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the form below!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

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!

It’s after you get into blogging, that you realise the sheer amount of work that it takes to keep your corner of the internet running smoothly. Most of the bloggers I know are up until the wee, small hours on a regular basis, often there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why it’s essential to develop a few time saving tactics to help you on your way. If you can save a few minutes here and there, it all adds up to time better used elsewhere!

During my time as a blogger, I’ve developed a few key time saving tactics. It makes my life easier and saves me a tonne of extra work in the long run!

Email Templates

Having templates saved on your laptop or phone is a real time saver. More often than not emails from brands and PRs will command a similar reply, so I have a draft email tucked away ready to copy, paste and tweak when I need to. This is especially useful when the girls are around, as I simply don’t have the time to spend on typing a fresh email each and every time I need to reply. Obviously this isn’t always the case, some emails do need a little more thought, but when I can I use a template!

Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m a huge lover of keyboard shortcuts. There are so many you can use, some you will find useful and some you won’t. Have a play around with a few and get used to using them, honestly it makes blogging so much quicker and easier. My most used shortcuts are ‘ctrl + c’ to copy and ‘ctrl + v’ to paste, simple yet incredibly effective in the time saving game!

Store Commonly Used Hashtags

If like me, you’re an Insta lover, the chances are that you’ll have a set of hashtags that you commonly use alongside your image and description. The hashtag limit on Instagram is thirty and there’s absolutely no way I can remember that many – especially as I use a variety of different combinations depending on the image I’m posting. That’s why I have a few different sets of hashtags stored in the notes app on my phone. Copy, paste and voila! Done in seconds!

 

Do you have any time saving tactics?

 

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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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