A little while ago I was featured in Sew Now magazine as part of their "Sewing Start Up" series. It was the first magazine publication for me, so you can probably imagine how chuffed I was when I received an email from them!
Magazines like to polish things up a bit and make them look more glamorous than they are, which is why I thought I'd write my first blog post about the everyday reality of being a Work At Home Mum.
Many people think it must be the best of both worlds, being able to work from home and spend time with the children simultaneously. The truth is that it is a real challenge! Don't get me wrong, obviously I think it's brilliant or I wouldn't be doing it. However children don't look after themselves and merely getting any house jobs done is a bonus when you're also clearing up bathroom accidents, administering first-aid, being an on-demand waitress service, you name it... Add to that running a one-woman business and you have a recipe for chaos!
My children are in nursery 2 days a week from 9-3, which gives me about 10 child-free working hours a week. As and when needed, I also have a child-minding arrangement with my neighbour whom my kiddies adore. This peaceful quiet time is what keeps me sane and my orders flying out the door. Still, there is always more work to be done. On home days, the monsters often play quite happily together in the morning which gives me a chance to catch up on some emails, check on orders etc. Then we go out, playgroups, weekly shop, playground. When we return in the afternoon the kids are usually tired out and happy to play by themselves or watch a film, which means I can squeeze in some cutting, photo editing or work on my product listings, before cooking dinner.
Evenings bring the usual bedtime monkey business. Once we have both kids in bed and soundly asleep, often all we have left in us is planting ourselves on the sofa for an hour or two. Although I have to admit that at least one evening a week is also spent working.
Sometimes I think about how life would be if I didn't have my business, how we'd probably have the same amount of money and more free time, how I'd be a better and less pre-occupied mum. But I always come to the same conclusion, I can't imagine life without it, just like I can't imagine life without my children. My kids and my work co-exist in some kind of symbiotic relationship, growing up alongside each other. Without my business and the time it gives me to be alone and make things, I'd not be able to keep my sanity. Without my children my life would be void and my business would have no inspiration and no reason for existing.
So actually, I do have the best of both worlds... Chaos for life!