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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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Four Easy ways to Make Money from Home

Four Easy ways to Make Money from Home

Ever since I gave up my first business back in 2015, I’ve made it my mission to find legitimate ways of making money from home. For a little while I was a stay at home mum, but like many others before me I needed something else in my life. I needed to feel the purpose that comes from having a business. I missed the excitement of building up my own empire and the rush from striking good deals and making money in my own right.

The good thing about working from home, is that you have the space to create multiple income streams. There’s the opportunity to seek out numerous ways to make cash, all from the comfort and warmth of your own four walls. I for one, have never looked back since I began freelancing. The fact that I make money from home means that I’m always here for my children, as well as constantly feeding my desire to be successful at work!

There are so many ways that you too can make money from home, all it take is effort and a lot of determination. Here are four easy ways you can make money from home;

 

Freelance writing –

Freelance writing is a great way to make money from home. If you love to write and have the skills to produce good quality copy, then this option could be for you. There are numerous online platforms that provide freelancers with work at their skill level, as well as giving them the opportunity to rise through the ranks as they gain experience. The beauty of this role is that you can take on as much or as little work as you wish and payment is usually made swiftly. If this is of interest to you, I’ve written about more about making money from freelance writing HERE! 

 

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Sell unwanted jewellery –

Most of us have jewellery in the house that we no longer wear. Whether they’re pieces that are no longer in fashion or they’re just not your cup of tea anymore, often they sit collecting dust. The fact is though, that you could be sitting on a pile of cash without even realising it! You can sell jewellery for cash with little to no effort, all you have to concentrate on is the reward. With gold prices currently at a record high, now is the time to get searching through your jewellery box. The best bit about it is that you can be paid for your wares in as little as 24 hours.

 

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Complete online surveys –

As much as completing online surveys is never going to make you a millionaire, there’s still the possibility to make a little extra money for a rainy day. A quick Google search will present you with a whole host of survey sites, some pay in cash, others in points that can be exchanged for vouchers and some in gifts. The secret to making money from home with these surveys is volume. They take very little brain power to complete, you can do them whilst sitting in front of the TV of an evening. Do as many as you can in the time that you have and reap the rewards!

 

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Sell unwanted household items –

As with unwanted jewellery, many of us have a house full of things we no longer need nor use. An easy way to make money from home, is to list these items on online marketplaces and auction sites. Someone else is bound to want what you have and you can use the cash to get something that you really need instead. Not only are you set to make a tidy sum from selling your stuff, you’ll also de-clutter your home along the way!

 

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*This post was written in collaboration with Post My Gold. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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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 – Zoe from Mummy and Liss

#MumisBest Guest Post – Zoe from Mummy and Liss

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 Zoe from Mummy and Liss!

About Zoe:

I’m Zoe from Mummy & Liss, I’m 18 years old and a young mum to Alyssia Grace, I’m a Stay at home mum and I am from Somerset. First of all I want to start by making it clear that there is no right or wrong way, but whatever way works for you and your family. 

Zoe’s Story:

As I said above, I am a Stay at home mum to my now 1 year old little girl, some would say that this is a ‘cop out’ as I am not actually going out to work and contributing to the ‘money pot’ at the end of the month however in my opinion, this can be just as challenging.

Before having my daughter last year, I wanted to be a midwife or a paediatric nurse, both in which I still really love the thought of. I applied for an apprenticeship in a hospital 30 minutes away from my home, but had to withdraw my application when I found out I was pregnant. I am a young mum, so I left school and was thrown right into the deep end of motherhood. I have always wanted to be a mother, and I have stepped in and played the mother role to my 2 younger brothers when my own mum fell poorly with extreme postnatal depression when I was just 11 years old, I was actually classed as a Young Carer at the time and went to a support group once a fortnight. I am now 18 years old (nearly 19) with a little girl who is now 1 years old.

Like many other new mummies to be, when I found out I was pregnant, I panicked. I didn’t just panic at the thought of telling my parents or the pain of giving birth, but the worries about where we would live alongside the financial worries of how we would afford everything. As I said, when I found out I was pregnant I was just 16 years old. I was living with my boyfriend and his mum at the time (not ideal, but it worked for a while) Until she found out I was pregnant and kicked me out. My boyfriend got an apprenticeship and worked a job alongside college to help bring some money in for our soon to be ‘little family’. I battled for months with depression and with the help of the mental health team and the midwives, I got my own flat when I was 8 months pregnant. I applied for various jobs whilst pregnant but as soon as I told them that I was pregnant, they turned their noses up at me. Time flew by, and in February 2016 I had my daughter Alyssia. My partner had 2 weeks paternity leave and then had to go back to work full time. I was at home on my own, all day every day with a newborn baby who was at the time suffering with colic. It was an extremely tough time for me and my whole world changed when I had my daughter.

I was definitely very naive before having a baby, I assumed that when the baby sleeps I would get on with all of the housework and everywhere would be spotless. That wasn’t always the case though, I was exhausted and actually fell asleep with her alot of the time. My partner would work 8am until 5pm every night and I would always make sure his dinner was on the table and all of the housework was done by the time he got home, but I really did struggle to cope at times. I was so exhausted and in my own little bubble that I didn’t really contact anybody for days, didn’t leave the house and just got on with life. It wasn’t until somebody asked me when the last time I went outside was, and I couldn’t tell you.. It was over a week and I was getting really down in the dumps.

As I said above, Alyssia suffered with colic from about 3 weeks old – I breastfed for the first 2 weeks and she was then moved onto Aptamil formula which I didn’t realise at the time she was allergic to, hence the colic. Some days I felt like going to work would be much easier than trying to juggle everything else. I needed a break and this seemed to be the only way out but I decided that actually my baby needed me more than ever and I needed to do what was right for me and my family. My daughter is now 15 months old and usually at 1 years old alot of the working mums will be returning back to work and sorting out childcare. I absolutely love being a Stay at home mum, I have been able to watch my baby grow up and see all of her firsts which some mum’s may miss by going to work. However I can imagine its not always financially possible, for example: If you have a mortgage to pay off, both parents may need to work in order to be able to achieve this. I rent a property and all in all, it benefits me more to stay at home with my daughter than to go out and work and spend it all on childcare (earning next to nothing at all). I do quite often feel the pressure and feel like I’m not contributing enough but then I remember what I do actually do, and sometimes I feel like being a stay at home mum is actually much harder. 

I started blogging in January 2017 and moved over to a self hosted blog in March 2017 after my little girl had just turned 1 years old. My plan for this year is to build my platforms and then hopefully, if all goes well – in 2018 I plan to go Self Employed with my blog and become a “Stay at home working mum”. I plan to have my children and then when they are all grown up, I would like to maybe get back in the game and work for the NHS. 

I feel like the term “STAY AT HOME MUM” often gets read as, “somebody with children who stays at home all day doing nothing” I just want to clarify, that is definitely not the case. 

A typical day to day life of a Stay at home mum with a toddler would be: 

·        7.30 am – Daddy goes to work 

·        7.45 am – Wake up & Change Alyssias nappy

·        8.00 am – Breakfast 

·        8.30 am – Get dressed, Cuddles & TV

·        9.00 am – Alyssia plays with her toys while I pack last nights dishes away, I clean down the sides & tidy the kitchen, I also put a wash load on and fold any washing that has been dried and not yet packed away.

·        9.30 – I will sit down and spend some quality time with Alyssia, usually we will read books or just play with her toys together. She loves sitting on my lap and reading together.

·        10.00 am – Snack time, Alyssia will usually have some fruit or a biscuit with a drink around this time and If it is a blogging day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) I will post my blog post and update my social media.

·        11 am – Alyssia usually has a nap around this time but she is 15 months old now and we are slowly trying to cut out the nap times, depending on how busy we are and what we are doing. This is my time to crack on with the rest of the housework including packing the toys away for the 1000th time.

·        12pm – Lunchtime for both of us.

·        1pm – Alyssia is usually full of energy after she has had a nap and some lunch so she runs around the flat with her pram and will quite often just sit nicely playing by herself while I wash up the lunchtime dishes and clean the kitchen again.

·        2pm – Rob usually comes home from work around this time, he is self employed so it can be anytime really. (Monday we do the dreaded food shop all together or we get it delivered)

·        3pm – Snack time again (On a Wednesday we go to my Grandad’s around this time)

·        4pm – I start to prep dinner 

·        5.30 pm – Dinner time

·        6.00 pm – Bath time 

·        6.30 pm – Cbeebies & Bed 

·        7.30 pm – After Alyssia has gone to bed, I wipe down all of the sides, sweep the floors, give the kitchen a quick 10 minute blitz with the anti bac & zoflora, have a general tidy up, tidy away all of the toys and sit down to watch the soaps.

Whether you label yourself as a Stay at home mum, Stay at home working mum, working mum or just a mum.. there is no right or wrong way and you need to do what is best for you and your family. 

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jo from Cup of Toast

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jo from Cup of Toast

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 Jo from Cup of Toast!

Being a ‘SAHM’

I am a stay at home mum, whatever that really means. I’m saying it here purely for context.

The reality is that I don’t stay at home very much. I whizz about on school runs, grocery trips and visits to parks, farms and pet stores. I organise our household, including any work that needs to be done to the fabric of the house, the decorating, the DIY, the ironing, meal planning and more. I arrange extra-curricular activities for our boys. I attend health related meetings for Munch, undertake voluntary work and read relevant government policies and initiatives whilst simultaneously keeping little people amused (although nowhere near as professionally as the likes of Licia Ronzulli!). I budget all of our variable expenditure to within a penny. Birthday presents and parties are all left to me to arrange. I’m as busy as I was at the height of my career, but is that what being a stay at home mum is all about? I wager that it’s not. Surely every parent whatever their working status undertakes these matters?

So this is what it means to me. It’s a label. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s about as important as saying that I’m brunette. Or that I have freckles on my skin. That I’m female. It’s just a label. A form of identification for those form hungry companies that need you to say what you ‘do’. To them, I’m a stay at home mum. Sometimes I’m a housewife. Often I’m unemployed. I’ve gone past the point of being particular about which box I tick or what I tell people. I’ve largely given up mentioning what I did before I had children, or pointing out that I worked part time for a couple of years when Chief was young. I even brush a lot of my pro bono work under the carpet. If other people want to focus on my stay at home mum status that’s fine, but please excuse me if to me it’s just a phrase.

For a while it did infuriate me. That people assume that my husband earns mega bucks made me cross. Comments along the lines of what I could afford were all based on assumptions, not reality. One person suggested that I could donate a large sum of money to a charity in need of help because I must be able to afford it as I didn’t work? Another questioned my priorities when it came to budgeting our income. Not going out for meals but being able to splurge on my family.

I have mum guilt just as much as the next person. I always put pressure on myself to work harder with our budget and resources, to manage my time smarter. At the moment it’s trying to find quality one to one time with each of my three children, to make sure that they know that I’m interested in them, and that I’m listening to them. That I am there to support them with their school work, their hobbies, their development. Others might be struggling to fit in trips to see extended family around their regular weekend commitments, or staying up until the early hours slaving over a hot oven in order to support their local school at a cake sale. Some might worry every day whether or not they’ll be able to escape the office in time to get home and put their children to bed. We all have various pressures, and seek to find a balance in managing them. So really, regardless of what we do with our waking hours, we’re all the same. We’re all parents.

You see, here’s the thing. I don’t wear a badge telling others that I’m vegetarian. I don’t say that I’m actively trying to reduce my dairy intake. I don’t have a stamp on my head to say that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So why make a big deal out of being a stay at home mum? Why make it into a ‘thing’? We’re all doing our best, whatever that might look like. Whether we work full time, part time or not at all. Day shifts or night shifts, we are all making compromises. But there’s one thing that we all definitely have in common. We are all lucky. Lucky that we are getting to make these choices, or consider them. Lucky that we are in this position as parents in the first place. And that, surely, is all that should matter.
Bio:

Jo blogs at Cup of Toast about her family life, food, adventures and everything in between. She is a mama to 3 boys (aged 6, 4 and 2) and several fur babies. Jo enjoys reading, writing and eating biscuits!

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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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#MumisBest Guest Post – Kerry from Don’t Drop the Baby

#MumisBest Guest Post – Kerry from Don’t Drop the Baby

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 Kerry from Don’t Drop the Baby!

We all know how much your life turns upside down when you have a baby. Not only do we have to come to terms with all the physical, emotional and mental changes that occur, but before we know it our tiny newborns are nearing that first birthday milestone. We then have to get our heads around the fact that we have to return to a full time job, use our actual brain, and, in most cases, hand our little ones over to a complete stranger to take our place while we go and earn some money. All completely guilt ridden and sleep deprived. No wonder so many women choose not to go back to work, or try to negotiate part-time hours.

I took a full year of maternity leave (the last three months were unpaid), and as the time grew nearer to returning, my anxiety levels were going through the roof. I just didn’t want to go back, plain and simple. The thought of leaving Molly with unknown staff at the nursery caused me so much stress I felt ill. My family and friends all live back home in Wales, so we had absolutely no childcare whatsoever. At that point we hadn’t even left Molly with anyone, so she was only used to me and her dad. I felt sick.

I had a meeting with my manager and she agreed that I could go back part-time, but I would have to downgrade my role as assistant manager to a senior support worker (I worked in a residential home for people with learning disabilities). I wasn’t bothered at all, as it meant that I only had to work two days a week. It just didn’t interest me at the time… as far as I was concerned my role was a mother. We worked it out and, as I was only working 16 hours per week, and after the nursery fees were paid, I was taking home about £50 a month!

But after a lengthy discussion with my partner John, we decided that it wasn’t about the money, it would be good for me to ‘have a little break’ from Molly, and that she would benefit from nursery. I reluctantly agreed. I should have trusted my gut instinct though.

The night before I started back I didn’t sleep a wink, not a single minute. I laid in bed with my heart thumping, thinking about every single dreadful scenario my anxious brain could conjure up. I was shaking as I handed my baby over to the nursery staff, and then cried my eyes out all the way to work.

That was probably one of the worst days of my life. I cannot describe the panic and worry that gripped me all day. I must have called the nursery about 10 times (Molly was fine), and I just counted down the minutes until I could get the hell out of there and go and pick her up.

I lasted about 8 months. 8 months of absolute hell. Molly was constantly unwell. Every single week she would contract another illness from nursery. Most days I went into work with no sleep after being up all night with her, and then had to leave my crying baby with strangers when she just wanted her mummy.

John and I never saw each other. He works a rolling 3 weeks of shifts (nights, mornings and afternoons), and I had to work shifts too. They begrudgingly agreed for me to work a permanent day shift on a Thursday (which most people moaned about), but then I had to work an afternoon shift on either a Saturday or Sunday. John would obviously look after Molly, but I lost count of the amount of times he had to call me at work to say that she had another temperature. Being as I had the car I had to rush home to take her to the walk in centre as inevitably she would always be ill on a weekend.

A few Thursdays I had to call in to say I couldn’t make it into work as Molly was ill – we had a few hospital visits during that time for croup/an allergic reaction plus 15 ear infections. If I had a day off it meant I didn’t get paid, but the nursery still took their fees even though Molly wasn’t there. We may as well have been flushing money down the toilet!

The final straw came when it was nearing to Christmas and I was expected to work on Christmas Day. The thought of not seeing Molly opening her presents while I went to a job that I had grown to hate just pushed me over the edge. The pittance I earned (it was even less when you factored in money for petrol/lunch) just wasn’t worth it. I handed my notice in and left in November 2015. I cannot tell you the relief I felt, it was like I’d been holding my breath for months and I could finally breathe again.

Luckily we were in a position where I didn’t have to work. We could just about cover everything with John’s wage, but it did mean that he had to work overtime most weekends. Although it was hard at times being on my own, I absolutely loved being a SAHM mum. I relished the fact that we didn’t have to be anywhere at a certain time, we could get up in the morning with no stress and decide where we wanted to go, and if Molly was ill and had a bad night it didn’t matter.

After a while though I started to get bored. I missed working and having adult conversations, I missed having my own money in my bank account without having to ask John, and I missed using my brain! However, with the extortionate nursery fees and not qualifying for any help from the government we were pretty much stuck. So I started to think of things I could do around Molly. I looked at what I had – a car, a laptop and now an extensive knowledge of small children. There was only one thing for it – to start my own soft play hire business!

Tipple Tails launched in May 2016 and it’s been steadily growing ever since. I’ve had to turn a few jobs down as I’ve been fully booked. I did everything myself in the evenings when Molly was in bed – wrote a business plan and secured a small loan, researched all the other similar businesses in the area, purchased all the stock, designed my own flyers/business cards, sourced a graphic designer to design my logo and then I designed my own website.  I created the Facebook page and then marketed/promoted/advertised it to the hilt! I knew absolutely nothing about running a business (I failed Business Studies CGSE), and I am really just learning as I’m going along.

I absolutely love it though. Molly gets to come to work with me on the days when John is on overtime which she thoroughly enjoys. She helps me set up/pack away, and most of the time gets spoiled with sweets by my customers! I’ve had 5* reviews on my Facebook page and all of my customers have told me how much fun the kids have had.

The only downside is that it’s not bringing in a full time wage, and there have been some weeks where I haven’t worked at all. That’s the disadvantage of being self-employed I guess. So I have also just taken on another job as the online area manager for Families. Again I just do this in my spare time at home, and it basically involves researching everything that’s going on in the local area for parents/kids, uploading them onto my website and writing articles. I make money by selling advertising space to businesses ( a bit like monetising a blog I suppose). I’ve just started so am still finding my feet, but am really enjoying it so far.

Again, everything comes down to time. What with my business, my new job, my blog, and looking after Molly full time while keeping the house going, there isn’t much time for anything else! I can’t tell you the last time I actually sat and watched a tv show or had a proper conversation with John (we’re both too tired to speak anyway!), but luckily Molly will be going to nursery soon as she qualifies for her free 15 hours of childcare – I have big plans for those 2 days!

My main goal is to continue to be able to work from home as there isn’t another job that offers that kind of flexibility. I will strive to make a success of my business and with Families, and if I can eventually monetise my blog, then happy days! I know all this hard work will pay off in the end.

You can find more from Kerry here!

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Scheduling my Day as a Work at Home Mum

Scheduling my Day as a Work at Home Mum

The idea of working from home is appealing to many.  Choosing your own hours, working around the kids and being an all round domestic goddess is a common goal. I wish it were that simple!

Working from home can be amazing. It does mean that I can choose my own hours, but having two young children in the house generally means those hours are closer to bed time than I’d like.  As for working around the kids, I try but more often than not it doesn’t work out.

Creating a schedule has been essential in my quest to perfect a decent work/life balance, that suits both the children and I.  It’s hard to stick to it religiously, we all know kids and they often like to throw a curve ball our way.  Having a plan to refer back to though, means that I hit the ground running when it’s time to work.

One thing that really helps me is that our girls nap at the same time.  It took a lot of graft to achieve, but now they sleep for around two hours after lunch. This gives me a block of time to fit in as much work in as I can.  I’m not sure how much longer the biggest will nap for, but it’s great whilst it lasts. I usually spend this time writing posts, reviews and freelance articles. Having a solid amount of time means that I can write undisturbed, making it my most productive time of the day.

The rest of my work is usually crammed into a couple of hours after the girls have settled for the night. If there’s chance for five or ten minutes in the day whilst the kids are occupied, I’ll always take the opportunity to get a little blogmin done. These are usually jobs that don’t take up much brain space, but are essential to keep things running smoothly.

 

A Day in the Life

7am – 12pm: The littles are awake, so this time is spent being an all round servant to them and the house.  If I get chance I’ll comment on blogs, do a bit of scheduling on my phone, engage on Instagram.  Everything that needs to be done, but that can be achieved with one eye still on the girls.

12pm – 2pm: Nap time. Write, write, write!

2pm – 7pm: Again, this time is spent with our girls. Heading out, crafting, swimming and the like.  If Hubs is home often I’ll get chance to fit an hour of work in, but on a normal day I do what I can, when I can workwise.

7pm – 10pm: Writing, editing, scheduling,

In between all of this find time to hit the gym, just to keep me sane!

 

 

Working from home with no childcare has its challenges, but it can also be incredibly rewarding once the right balance is achieved.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Ali from Instant Mum of Two

#MumisBest Guest Post – Ali from Instant Mum of Two

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 Instant Mum of Two!

On June 2nd 2016 I left work feeling sad and happy in equal measures. Work has and will always be my first baby.

I have worked in the Early Years sector for 15 years. I’ve been a nursery nurse, a deputy manager and in my current role as a manager for 6 years. 

I love my job. I love early years. I work with great people. 

But I was leaving to be something else I’ve always longed to be. A Mum. 

As we met the children and they moved in and we began our lives as a family, I thought about work a lot less than I thought I would. 

And as we grew together as a family I was so happy that everything was going so well, but alongside that happiness was a feeling of loneliness.

But why was I feeling lonely, I had plenty of support from family and friends and lots of people to chat through things with about the children. 

So maybe that was it. Children are amazing but let’s face it they are all consuming, your time and your thought process pretty much revolves around them. 

So even though I was talking to people I was always talking about the kids because they were pretty much part of every moment I was awake! 

So I missed me, and that was pretty much work me! Because I then realised that work was pretty much my social life (geez that sounds sad!!) but having relocated for work many of my local friends are through work and I believe that as a manager you have to be a part of the team and value each and every member of that team.

So a large part of my day was spent interacting with the team and chatting through ideas and challenges.

I missed that type of conversation. Conversation that wasn’t always loosely based on either; poo, snacks or Paw Patrol. 

I’m pretty good at once I realise something getting over it and adjusting and I also realised that I would never get this time back

with the children. So frankly I got over myself and focussed on the children. 

We’ve had an amazing 10 months. We have made unbreakable bonds, we have laughed, cried tears of joy and sadness. We’ve been on adventures. We’ve visited family and friends and they have stayed with us.

We have made so many memories that I will treasure for ever.

And I have this gut sadness, every time we do something during the day, or when I drop my son off at school that I’m going to be missing these things, these everyday beautiful things that yes can be bloody stressful but they are also the nuts and bolts of family life and I’m going to miss a lot of them.

Blinking heck I’m a contradiction! But isn’t parenting?

So do I want to go back to work? It’s not a simple answer. I have to go back to work for financial reasons but yes I do also want to go back. 

When I asked my friends how they felt about returning to work they all pretty much said the same. That the first few days are tough but you do get used to it and that you have to think about why you are working, to give the children the life you want them to have.

I’m lucky I get great holiday so I will be able to still spend a lot of time with them.

I feel guilty though, so guilty. Is that purely a Mum thing or is it the constant pressure to be this perfect Mum? 

I’m not perfect far far from it. I shout on occasions, I drink a bit too much vodka and I sometimes eat my feelings (fizzy Coca Cola bottles and cadburys fruit and nut are my thing). But I am a good Mum. I love them more than I ever thought was possible but I also want some time to be me. 

And that’s ok, it’s ok to be you, you know the you you were before you became Mum. It’s ok to look forward to peeing on your own without any interruption, or having a meal in one sitting, or having conversations other than ones about the children. 

I’m going to miss them though, as I write that I can actually feel a pain in my chest. But we will all adjust and hopefully it will make the time we do spend together even more special. 

Bio.

Mum to Big Pig and Piglet. I’ve not always been their Mum but we tell each other that we grew in each other’s hearts. They are my chaos and my calm. I blog about parenting first and foremost. The highs and lows and the in betweens. I’m so happy that we are a “normal” family whatever that is. But as we travel along on our adoption journey I’m consistently finding out that we share the same joy and struggles as other families, however they came to be. 

You can see more from Ali here!

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Pass the Prosecco…Please

#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Pass the Prosecco…Please

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 Lisa from Pass the Prosecco…Please!

 

I jumped at the chance to write this guest post for The Tale of Mummyhood as #MumIsBest is something I feel very passionate about.

When you give birth to a child, however they are born or indeed in some situations come into your life through surrogacy or adoption, you become a mum.

You have a small person who occupies your every waking thought and you love them more than anything else in the world.

When my son was six months old I knew I had to make a decision about when I returned to work; statutory maternity pay was rubbish and we could barely afford to pay our bills.  I knew I did not want to return to my former career in IT; the stresses and strains of a corporate lifestyle was not of interest to me; as nice as the pay was my outlook changed as soon as my son was born.

I found work in a local supermarket and thought I would be happy – I was earning good money and working hours that fitted around my husband so we had no issues with childcare.

Unfortunately I was employed on a ‘flexi’ contract and the terms of it didn’t fit well as time progressed.  Finding a job that fits around childcare is more of a challenge than childbirth I swear.

But I wasn’t happy; I always thought once I became a mum I would throw my everything into motherhood and being a housewife and my career and job would no longer be important.  This wasn’t true for me – I needed stimulation and work gave me that; I didn’t want to stay home all the time, I wanted to go to work and earn some money for my family.  I could have gone back to my previous job but extreme stress had destroyed me before and I didn’t want to go there again, I wanted and needed a clean break.

I found a job at a local dental practice working on the reception desk, and loved it straight away.  I qualified as a Dental Nurse in 2005 and I loved being back in the health sector.  I expected to go back to nursing but I sustained damage in my hands from carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy and have been unable to return to dental nursing.  I figured it’s probably best not to be trusted with sharp implements when my grip has a mind of its own…

I work roughly 18 hours a week over two days, Monday’s and Tuesday’s.  I’m lucky to have my parents living close by and my mum is off the same days I work to look after the wee man.  My dad is retired and wants a quiet life bless him – but William and him are like chalk and cheese and have such a wonderful bond.

I enjoy reception and administration work within my job and although I am unsure where my career path ahead lies, I enjoy adult conversation and being called ‘Lisa’ and not just ‘William’s mum’.

I have to work and I’m really lucky to be in the situation I am in, we qualify for no benefits despite our income being fairly rubbish and there is no way we can afford childcare, we wouldn’t even make any money after paying for it.  William is 3 in November and the next step for us is preschool, which I’m keen to start but not able to afford currently.

Unfortunately when your child reaches 9 months to a year and maternity leave officially finishes you no longer become ‘mum’ and you have to be tarred with some other god awful title.

Stay at home mum, full time mum, working mum, career mum – you HAVE to be one of them.

I’m a part-time-working full-time mum.  I don’t conform and I refuse to – it doesn’t matter if you work 2 hours or 60, when work ends you still have to go home and be mum, and lets face it, even at work you never stop thinking and worrying – it’s a huge juggle.

Hats off to stay at home mums(there was no avoiding the term – sorry) – I could not do it.  Being at home is stressful, I will happily admit I can’t hack it.  As tough as it is working two days and fitting chores in, being at home all day every day is hard and you mums don’t get enough credit.

So what do I think is best?  Personally when I meet another mum I couldn’t give a damn whether she works or not; I couldn’t care less if she wants to work or not, has to work or not.

She’s a mum and mum’s do whatever is best, who are we to judge.  We are one big sisterhood after all.

A mum is a mum and whatever she thinks, decides and ultimately does; it is always in her child/children’s best interest.

 

Bio:

Hello! I’m Lisa, a 30-something mum of one, wife, undomestic goddess and blog-brains behind Pass the Prosecco… Please.

I love to write and I generally blog about parenting, my mental health issues and food.  Expect the good, the bad and the downright ugly!

 

You can see more from Lisa here:

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