Posted: Sat 29th Nov 2014 15:56
As a 'work-at-home' Mama (I work whilst baby sleeps!) I am constantly looking out for ways to earn an income to help our family. I have been self-employed for 13 years now, although when I worked in China, I was still registered in the UK but I was 'employed' for the time I was there. Some people look at my life and say 'WOW! You are living the dream!' Well... in some ways, yes. I get to spend a lot of time with my family. My husband is studying at University and we have a 5-month old babe at the time of writing and a 7 year old. Life can be a lot of fun and there is a tonne of love between us and we laugh out loud every day (LOL!)
Here's the thing though! Yes, it is amazing in many ways but it means I have to be switched on all the time to think about how to grow my business and how to make it work. I am super lucky (well, I say blessed!) as my husband is totally supportive and I am totally supportive of his choice to study for a degree. But when I make a sale, it is fabulous. I get a little buzz just thinking that someone out there in the world is using my expertise and knowledge, or listening to one of my songs or reading one of my books. But one sale or a handful of sales does not pay the bills!
So as a Mama who really wants to make this work but also care for her babe full-time, I need to pull out all the stops. I do not have time to clean the home as when baby sleeps, I am working, not cleaning. In the evenings, I am often at my laptop, typing away or staring into space and dreaming up a new way to promote my business. I can see why so many people give up at this stage and go 'back to work' but for me, it is not an option. I want to stay at home. I want to see all my baby's 'firsts' and I know that as my own mother didn't get to see a lot of my 'firsts' it is really really important to me. Plus I enjoy this time of nurturing baby... I believe it is my role as a primary carer to raise her. Some of my friends chose not to do this... that did not make them any less of a mama! But you might be surprised to know that I never had questions for any of my friends who went back to work but I have had a load of questions and comments about me NOT 'going back to work'! Hmm! We can champion all ways... yes?
I am really going for it this time as I would like this to work. And this is where I put out a plea to everyone who has friends who are parents (and friends who are not parents too!) and who are trying to make their business work! DO share their efforts... they work really hard at what they do. (this is why I have included a large pic of me holding one of my friend's awesome raw chocolate bars! I WANT her to succeed! The more people that know about her, the more people will buy her chocs!) Give them ideas. Support them. Realise that...they are tired and want more downtime. They are not lazy and avoiding work. Raising babies IS work and a full-time job! My babies were ill this week so I did everything I usually do in the day with school drop-offs then back with babe, trying to catch some sleep when she slept as I was ill too then I would try and fit in a couple of hours in the evening with a pounding head whilst tending to older not-so-well child in between and then having a not-so-great sleep due to coughing away and tending to poorly babe with snuffly nose...
In the past I have often stopped doing what I do just when I am about to enjoy some kind of success. I don't know why this is...but what I do know is that I (and this is personal to me so I am not saying you should do the same!) enjoy being a mama who stays at home and I also want to earn an income. A good income. One where that husband can work at Uni and get the degree he deserves (and which will help his job prospects in the future). One where we can go and visit friends and not worry that we need to spend £20 - £100 in petrol money. One where we can live in a house that is suited to all our needs and where we can continue to nurture our dreams. There are no more 'things' that I want or need (well, apart from a piano!) and being of service in any work I do is important so I need to keep myself in check to make sure that what I DO do at home is helping others in some way. Is it all possible? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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