Monday, 23 July 2018

LIFE UPDATE: Leaving my job and becoming a SAHM/Blogger

LIFE UPDATE: Leaving my job and becoming a SAHM/Blogger
As I write this it is the day after my last day at work and it feels strange. I wouldn't usually work today anyway, yet I found myself going to set my alarm, dreaming about work and then feeling incredibly lonely when I wake up. It feels so final, so scary, such an unknown venture. The decision to leave my job wasn't an easy one, but to some extent the decision was taken out of my hands. I think any change is scary, especially when that change impacts your whole family life. 
If you're new here then here's a little back story to how I find myself where I am now...

In 2015 I had our first daughter and after a year of maternity leave I returned to work part-time (three days a week). Then in 2017 I gave birth to our second daughter and again went off for a year of maternity leave. After the year was up I had to decide what to do about returning to work. Having two children in nursery three days a week is expensive and on a part-time wage I would be pretty much working to have them in childcare, which seemed pointless. Isabella was born three days after the three year-old funding cut off point for the summer term, which meant she wouldn't be getting any free hours of childcare until September 2018. For weeks and weeks my husband and I deliberated about what the best thing to do next was - would I return to work? Stop working? Go back for a while, so that I didn't have to pay back the extra maternity leave I had received? Look for a two day a week job, rather than three?
After a lot of deliberation we decided that I would return to work for the 13 weeks I had to and then leave, so off my resignation letter went to work. That was a really scary decision, but one I felt comfortable with at the time. As my maternity leave with Poppy came to an end back in May 2018 I was nervous about returning to work and to be honest was initially counting down the weeks until I could be back off with my babies. However, after a few weeks of being back at work with the hustle and bustle, seeing my lovely work colleagues and having conversations that weren't all about children, my mind started to change. I was lucky in the fact that when I returned I didn't go back to the full responsibility I would usually have, which did reduce the amount of work I had to do at home by a lot. Though if I had carried on at work the workload would have dramatically increased, which would have influenced my feelings about the whole matter I'm sure. 

But the weeks passed and I really enjoyed being at work, the long commute was my time for thinking in peace and it reminded me how much I loved being around other adults. When I go to work it is the only time I leave Isabella and Poppy because guilt stops me any other time. It felt nice to have some guilt free time away from them and it made me a more clear minded mummy when I was with them. 
Anyway, the decision had been made and I was leaving whether I liked it or not. Although my opinion on my job had changed slightly I knew that leaving was the right decision for my family. I had to drive over an hour to and from work, which meant leaving at 6.15am and then also leaving work earlier than was ideal to get back to the girl's nursery for 5.30-6pm. They were long days and just not really sustainable now that we have two children. Also, having the opportunity to stay at home with my daughters is incredibly lucky and I certainly don't take it for granted. I know that a lot of people dream about being able to do this, so I am in a very fortunate position. 

Having said that, it doesn't mean that I'm not really scared, nervous and anxious about it all. How will losing my income impact our family life? Will I get really lonely? What will I miss out on staying at home? How will I keep the girls entertained? It's the finances that worry me the most, alongside the feeling that I won't make my loved ones proud. I don't want to be seen as a failure for leaving my career behind for a while; I just want to make my family proud. 
So where does that leave me on the first day of a new chapter? I am feeling ready for the challenges - I want to set myself goals and keep being ambitious. I hope to really focus on my blog, turn it into something more than a hobby I love. I need to work on my mental health and driving anxiety. I would like to get fitter and healthier. I want to prepare Isabella for school next year. I will teach Poppy how to walk. I'd like to take the girls to new interactive classes. I'd love to grow my Instagram, which is my favourite social media platform. I want to get better at calligraphy. I would love to travel more as a family. I am going to start weekend vlogs over on IGTV on Instagram to capture this time. I want to make this next year the best ever, as it's the last one before Isabella goes to school. 

I'm not sure how long I'll be a stay at home mum/blogger, but for now I'm really trying hard to focus on all those positive challenges ahead and push aside my fears. I'm not sure whether I can call myself a 'blogger' now - at what point does it change from a hobby to an official job? Either way I love it and will continue to do it for as long as I can. It's going to be an exciting year with lots of milestones reached and I will be lucky enough not to miss any of them. Really, what more could I want? I am one very lucky mummy.


If you have children, did you/are you considering becoming a sahm or a blogger? 


Please feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)


Helen x
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16 comments

  1. Wow! What an amazing story, Onwards and upwards as they say is the only way to go once you make a decision like this I always say!

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  2. Argh! I just deleted a very long comment by mistake! Okay... I made the same decision as you almost but was far more convinced as my son needed me at home and my timetable was changed only a few weeks before I was to return to something I hated and that was the final straw that I needed to make what turned out to be the absolute right decision for us all. I hope that you enjoy your time with your children. Blogging keeps my mind active and gives me something to get stuck into but I love being at home with my boy. Have fun!

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  3. It is such a huge jump but it sounds like the sensible decision for you at the moment. The joy is that if it works, you will have a great work/life balance and it takes huge pressure off you worrying about childcare and taking time off when the children are ill

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  4. i think you are made for this , i love reading your blog and your time with kids is very precious
    kind regards pati robins

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  5. Ah a new exciting chapter! I love being a SAHM. It certainly is not an easy option but I feel so lucky to be able to be there for my kids and prioritise them. Really hope you enjoy this time making memories x

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  6. It becomes an official job the moment you register as self employed. So: the moment you earn any money from it. Good luck!

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  7. I think your famiy should be so proud. It’s not an easy decision and I’m sure you’ll turn this into a great success too. Spending time with our babies is something you will never get back. Enjoy it! They’ll soon enough be at school and you can always revise then. Good luck, you’ll be fab!

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  8. I became a SAHM when my second son was born nearly 17 years ago. I remember very well how scary it felt! I've been self-employed as a blogger for the last three years and really love the balance it gives me between work and home. Hope you enjoy the experience as well!!

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  9. I've been a SAHM of three for ten years, and a self-employed blogger for five (where does the time go?!). I don't think I could go back to a regular 9-5; I love how flexible working from home is, and that I can make loads more money blogging than I could working for someone else. Best of luck :)

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  10. Being a sham and a blogger are both worth while activities and a brave thing to do. Good luck with it all x

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  11. Make the most of your girls when they are little. I took time out to be a SAHM and have just returned to work now that Sebby is in FT school. It's lovely to be back with adult company but staying at home was the best thing for my family

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  12. Oh wow what an exciting time and it should like you have really thought it over and this is the right decision for you and your family. I am sure good things are going to come

    Laura x

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  13. Good luck with your new venture. I know exactly how exciting and also scary it is. I did the same thing myself a couple of years ago.I know what you mean about missing the you time though, the commute and having work colleagues. I do feel like bloggers are work colleagues now though, especially in some parent blogger facebook groups you find. Definitely join some if you are feeling lonely and if you're ever worried financially, do check out websites like freelancer and people per hour. Or ask other bloggers if they need a virtual assistant or small businesses if they need a social media help! You have such amazing skills, never be afraid to use them! These things are usually part time and flexible too and so good for getting a bit of an extra income. I loved doing this so much that I now get a full time wage from freelancing and blogging, but I do it all when my daughter is in bed! I hope you enjoy your time with your girls. :) Mine is off to school in September and I'm so grateful I got to spend the last few years full time with her.

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  14. Good luck Helen! I'm in the same position right now, having decided that I won't be returning to my part time job as it just didn't make sense with 2 children. I'm also trying to make a go of it as a blogger, and the great thing about it right now is that it fits in so well around the kids. Without nursery fees to worry about, I really don't have to earn very much to be making the same level of profit as before, so it's working out well, although it's definitely less consistent! Like you, I'm not sure how long I'll keep going down this route, but for now it's working out really well. I'm sure you'll make a huge success of it, you work so hard at it and I always love reading.

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  15. I didn't go back to work after having my second for very similar reasons. And I can tell you now it's the best thing I ever did!! I'm finally earning more than I ever did in my old job, where I would often work 13 hour shifts and not see my eldest for days. And we get sent a lot of our luxury items to review, so we don't spend anywhere near as much money as we used to. You can do this, mama. And you'll make everyone around you proud. I promise :)

    Louise x

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  16. I think you are incredibly brave and I am sure it will work out anmazing for you. Sounds like you are very focused and on control of your own destiny. Some exciting times for the girls too xx

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