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Tag: working mum

Finding your Blogging Feet – Success Tips from Experienced Bloggers

Finding your Blogging Feet – Success Tips from Experienced Bloggers

Entering the blogging world can be extremely daunting. Not only is there immense amount of work to get through, but there are bloggers out there who just seem to be nailing it. For those that have just opened their social media accounts, seeing others with tens of thousands of followers can certainly stop you in your tracks. Initially, reaching those figures seems so out of reach.

All bloggers have to start somewhere though. A good following and readership isn’t handed to anyone on a plate. All of these people have had to work incredibly hard to become as successful as they are. They also have to continue grafting to keep up with the fast pace of blogging, if they want to stay at the top of their game. Considering just how experienced some of these great bloggers are, I thought it would be a good idea to pick their brains. To find out the one thing they continue to do that has helped them succeed and that continues to help them progress!

The one thing I always try to remember is that social media doesn’t always reflect reality. As a blogger, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by how successful someone else is. You just have to remember that they’re human too and that they’ve had to work damn hard to get where they are. It’s not sunshine and roses for everyone, all of the time! In my experience it’s best to use someone else’s success as something to aspire to, not something to be envious of.

 

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What makes those kick-ass bloggers, so kick-ass?!

 

Lyndsay from Fizzy Peaches: ‘For me, it’s got to be sheer determination and perseverance! It’s really a 24/7 job and you can’t take your finger off the pulse for two seconds. People think I’m mad for working on Sunday evenings and all the way through my maternity leave, but I’m really pleased I have as I’m seeing the rewards for it now.’

Jodie from Maidenhead Mum:  ‘I will always remember having a ‘lightbulb’ moment over photography. I’d always used smart phone photos and figured that was OK as blogging was meant to be a ‘quick and simple’ thing. Switching to DSLR quality photos has made a huge difference and opened so many doors for me. I’ve invested in a mirrorless camera which gives pro results but which is small enough for me to take everywhere.’

Beth from Twinderelmo: ‘Being surrounded by positive inspiring bloggers. Without some of my lovely blogging friends I would never have had the balls to believe in myself and ask for higher fees which has hugely benefited myself and my family.’

Pete from Household Money Saving:  ‘Focusing on SEO with the help of Yoast. It took me a while to realise the importance of keywords, so people can find you through search engines.’

Samantha from North East Family Fun: ‘Increasing the amount I post definitely helped (I have posted 5-7 times per week for the last 3 years) and teaching myself SEO. My blog can easily have over 2000 views per day if I do nothing at all thanks to good SEO on older posts.’

Laura from Edinburgh with Kids: ‘I’m definitely still working on this but having self-belief and not under estimating my own worth. I still sometimes feel like a fraud in amongst very talented people but realising that people do want to work with me (and pay me!) helps!’

Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies: ‘A good network of blogging friends who I can turn to for support and advice.’

Eva from Captain Bobcat: ‘Other bloggers. Without the knowledge they’ve shared with me  (and I keep learning something new every day) I could have never reached where I am now.’

 

A huge thankyou to all who made this post possible!

 

 

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Boost your Pinterest Views in Just a Few Hours

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Boost your Pinterest Views in Just a Few Hours

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!

 

When I first opened my Pinterest account, I was baffled. I didn’t really see the point to it and honestly, I found it a little confusing. That was until blogging became a serious profession for me, then I learned just how useful Pinterest can be. These days I’m a huge fan of the platform and I often find myself getting lost in its realms. The best thing about it though is that it’s a great source of traffic – if you’re getting it right!

During my first few months on Pinterest my views were always below 1K/month. This meant that referrals back to The Tale of Mummyhood were incredibly low, if any at all. Then I discovered Pinterest group boards! Group boards can be set up by anyone and that person can then invite collaborators to pin to said board, as well as themselves. The beauty of this, is that you can set board rules within the description to ensure that content added is being shared further than the board.

For example, the Blogstravaganza Group board has a rule that for every one pin you add, you have to repin one from another collaborator. Thus, increasing the views of your pins.

Once I’d established myself in a few group boards, I found that my views and traffic back to my blog went up immensely!

Where can you find group boards to join?  One of the best places to find boards to join, that are relevant to your niche is the Pinterest Group Boards Facebook group.

 

Things to remember –

  • Always find and use boards that are relevant to your niche, that way you are targeting the correct audience.
  • Always stick to the rules of the board, it’s only fair to all of the other collaborators!

 

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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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Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

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

Life likes to get in the way –

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

You’re always at work –

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

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

Early nights become a thing of the past –

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

 

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

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

 

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

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

Take a break –

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

Change where you write –

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

Get your inspiration from Google –

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

Quote yourself happy –

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

 

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

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Why you Should be using Canva as a Blogger

#WorkshopWednesday – Why you Should be using Canva as a Blogger

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!

 

Whether you’re a newbie blogger, or a seasoned contributor you need to know about Canva. We all know that blogging is about writing and releasing your content into the world, but great content isn’t fully dressed without great graphics by its side. Welcome, Canva!

Canva is a great platform, with an extremely useful free version that meets all of your graphics needs perfectly. Once you’ve spent some time familiarising yourself with Canva, you’ll notice that there are numerous design templates to choose from. That’s the amazing thing about Canva, you choose the template you need including Pinterest graphics, Instagram posts and blog titles. Once you’ve chosen, you’re free to design it to suit your needs. Adding images, text and illustrations could not be easier! In very little time you can create unique graphics to suit the theme of your content.

When your documents are ready to go you can save them directly to your hard drive, Canva usually does so in the recommended format to rid you any extra bother. There’s also a share button, proving you with the document URL which you can add straight to your posts. Lastly, there’s the option to share your document using the HTML code, that you can add quickly and easily to your posts.

Canva has all the inside knowledge when it comes to the correct images sizes for different social media platforms. For example, it knows that Pinterest loves vertical images with added text. Meaning that making pinnable images is no longer a chore. It does the same for other channels too, ensuring you get the most out of each document you produce.

If you aren’t using Canva already you really should be, standing out on social media has never been easier!

 

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How to Maintain Drive and Ambition when you’re Self-Employed

How to Maintain Drive and Ambition when you’re Self-Employed

Self-employment is the dream of many. You get to work when you want, stay in bed until brunch and still earn enough money to keep you and yours in the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to, right? Wrong! To become a success in the self-employment game you need drive and ambition by the bucket load. There’s no staying in bed and often working when you want means longer hours than you did before.

The beauty of being self-employed is that it often means you’re doing something you love. It’s making your dreams a reality, so the extra hours and workload are more than worth the effort to build your empire. The difficulty with being your own boss is just that. You don’t have someone watching your every move, making sure you’re meeting deadlines and hitting targets.

So what can you do to maintain the drive and ambition you need to rock at self-employment? Look no further!

Set realistic goals –

Setting yourself goals is vital to continue to achieve. Think about where you are now and where you want to be in the future, even if you can only see as far ahead as next week. Think about the steps you need to take to reach your goals and how you’re going to implement them. Write your ideas down if it helps, but make sure they’re realistic. Setting unrealistic goals often means you won’t reach them. This will knock your confidence, meaning your drive and ambition to stay self-employed will suffer, along with your work.

Set yourself deadlines and stick to them –

With no boss to keep you in check, it’s up to you to set yourself deadlines and make sure that you stick to them. Setting yourself deadlines means that your workday will have structure, you know what needs to be done and when.  Every time you meet a deadline you’ll feel satisfied in your work, fuelling your drive and ambition to achieve! Having no deadlines and therefore no structure in your work life is a recipe for disaster!

Don’t be too proud –

Often being self-employed can mean you’re working from the ground up. Just because you’re now your own boss doesn’t mean the work will automatically start flowing in. Don’t be too proud to start small and take the little jobs as you build up your business and reputation. Completing projects whatever they are worth, puts you one step closer to the bigger jobs. Rome wasn’t built in a day and work is work when you have bills to pay!

Allocate yourself time off –

Give yourself a break. Self-employment can be all-consuming and after a while this can take its toll. Allocate yourself time off to rest, spend quality time family or see your friends. Doing so will see you refreshed and ready to tackle what the world throws at you when it’s time to get back to work!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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