The importance of saying yes

AKA why I decided to take part in the Mumpreneur Networking Club Bus Tour Blogathon.
Tomorrow, I will be sacrificing a full day of work to get up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus to Waterloo and a train to Guildford to sit on a stationary bus all day, and then travel all the way back to Hackney. I have had to ask my other half to cancel some of his own work so he can pick the toddler up from nursery and, for the first time ever, we’ll have to waiting at the nursery door for it to open in the morning. Why?
As a self-employed mum, my time is precious. And I don’t give it away very easily. In fact, I would say that saying no has been one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt over the past 2 years since my son was born, and the one that has ensured I enjoy a decent work-life balance while still earning enough money to support my family.
However, sometimes it’s good to say yes, as long as the opportunity is the right one. And how do you know?
  • Step 1: Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve in the short, medium and long term. Write it down so you can keep referring back to it.
  • Step 2: Compare each potential opportunity with the list, and be honest with yourself about whether that particular opportunity is going to help you to achieve those goals, either directly or indirectly.
For me personally, after a couple of years of professionally blogging for businesses and parent websites, I have taken the plunge and launched my own personal blog. My goal right now is to network with other bloggers, promote my blog, increase followers and engagement on my social platforms, and pick up some tips and tricks along the way. One of the main themes of my blog is about the challenges involved in being a self-employed mum, so it will be great to chat to other mums in the same position and find out what their personal challenges are too. So when I was offered the chance to go and represent a business I work for on the Mumpreneur Networking Club Bus Tour, I said yes straight away as it’s the perfect opportunity for me right now. Now can someone remind me of that at 6am tomorrow morning..?
  • If you’re in Guildford tomorrow, come say hi. I’ll be at the blogathon in the morning, and then representing the Bubele app for parents in the afternoon.
MNC take the plunge

Forging a Career around Motherhood

To illustrate the person I was before becoming a mama, let me tell you a little story…

In my past life, I founded a translation agency. I worked all day every day. Throughout my pregnancy, I was sure that the birth itself would be a minor blip in my working week, and that I would be right back on it as soon as I’d pushed out the placenta. My waters broke at around 11pm when I was already one day past my due date and had accepted work from an important client. The deadline was the next day, so rather than go to the hospital, or even phone the midwife, I grabbed a towel, sat back down at my desk, and kept going until I’d finished the piece of work. Then we went to hospital. I didn’t want to tell my client that I was having a baby (I didn’t tell any of my clients), so I just said that I would be uncontactable for a couple of days, and turned on my out-of-office, for the first time ever.

Then little Beanie arrived, and everything changed. Not in a sudden lightning bolt kind of way, but in a subtle changing-of-the-seasons kind of way. I didn’t want to rush out to the office. I wanted to sit on my bum and drink tea and eat cake and hold my beautiful baby boy for just five minutes longer. So that’s exactly what I did. I was really skint for a few months, but it didn’t matter.

And then one day I got a Tweet from a local mum who was setting up an app for parents. Would I meet her for coffee? Jumping at the chance to go and have an adult chat with someone, and intrigued by the possibility of doing something different, off I went. And I never looked back.  Bit by bit, I took on a few hours here and there, taking on their Twitter account, and then their Facebook account too, creating blog posts for them, and helping to launch a local parent newsletter, which would eventually be rolled out to the rest of the UK. And it all fit neatly around my life as a mum. I even took my son to meetings!

Somewhere along the line, I heard of Digital Mums, and things really started to happen. In a nutshell, Digital Mums takes lost mums like me, and turns them into social media ninjas. It’s a pretty exhausting transformation, with so much to learn and do in five short months, but it was worth every single late night and mini breakdown (there were several).

Now, I work a very reasonable 35ish hours per week, for the original client, but also with additional freelance work in social media and content creation. I coordinate a team of mums around the country who are all trying to find work that fits around family life, and that complements their mum life. I meet and talk to incredible mums every single day, mums who have turned their lives upside down in order to find a more flexible way of working, and it’s the most supportive and wonderful community I’ve ever encountered.

And you know what? I’m a bit poorer, and a bit more tired, but I’m happy. I get to sit and watch Kung Fu Panda for the millionth time with my little boy, and play with Duplo, and read the Gruffalo over and over, but I’m also supporting my family and doing something that I really enjoy at the same time.

And so this is my new blog all about my new life. I really hope you like it.

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