Sunday, 27 December 2015

Working mom

For the past 4 years my remit has been simple: mother, blog. No paid work to worry about,  no deadlines, everything I've done has been on my own time and in my own way. I've had the luxury of weeks and months and years living my life just how it suited me, with only children's needs challenging my plans. Actually, what plans. Everything has been spontaneous and "go with the flow".

Now I'm halfway through a diploma course, my life is marked out by fortnightly deadlines. I'm grabbing an hour here and there to study and research my business plan. I've a bigger self-imposed workload for 2016 which sees me finishing the course, launching my business and scheduling clients and talks.

To tell the truth I'm nervous about it all. I'm scared of failure, of financial commitments, of being a working mom with all that entails. The last time I worked I only had one child, now I have three and my youngest is only months old.

I'm scared of being successful, of having too much work, too many commitments taking my focus off my kids. I'm scared of being so busy that I'm not giving my full attention to them, and that I might turn around in a few years and realise they grew up while I was otherwise occupied.

Then again I'm looking forward to doing something for myself for the first time in a long time. I'm looking forward to earning money, feeling pride and achievement in my work. I want to be a role model for my children and have interests outside the domestic sphere.

And I feel guilty for just saying that, as if I should be content with mothering day in and day out. But I'm not, I always need to have something else going on.

Blah, that's just been running around in my head for a while now and I wanted to get it out. I thought of not publishing this, but I really want to hear from you all,  how do you reconcile it all? The work and the kids and the juggling. Please let me know how you manage.

Nee x


  1. Hello... I run 2 businesses and look after 3 kids. It's hard work! My eldest is at school (for now, thinking of taking him out for a bit, long story, might come to you for tips on that!). My middle one is at a lovely nurturing preschool run by lovely ladies who I totally trust him with, 3 mornings a week, and my youngest spends a total of 8 hours a week with a wonderful childminder who loves him like an auntie. I never have a minute to myself, often spend evenings working, but I get to be there for every school drop off and pick up, take all the school holidays off, and basically get to be a more or less full time mum whilst still having an income. So yes, it is very hard, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Hope that helps. Good luck xx

    1. Thanks a million for sharing your experience Sari. It's great to hear how you make it work, and that you can work around the kids school terms too. lol I've no experience taking kids out of school but could probably point you to someone who has experience in that. Happy new year to you all xx

  2. No I know, just not sure how I'd manage with him at home!! Happy new year to you too x

    1. Lol! it has its challenges, but on the upside there are no dark winter morning school runs ;)

  3. Hi Niamh! Congratulations on all you have achieved thus far! Writing down, saying out loud (or via a blog!)your goals will ensure it becomes reality.

    I don't exactly work for myself as such but do work around my 4 kids (lucky to be given flexibility but I work twice as hard to be able to maintain and justify my status) I used to work 21 hrs a week but now that has really increased (based on my results and achievements) and I work mornings and nights after bedtimes and a good few weekends. I don't mind my workload too much as I enjoy what I do and like you say it's definitely something for me and it brings in money to ensure my kids get the little extras in dance, music, art, etc.

    I won't lie and say that it all runs smoothly...with 4 kids it just can't - we've had a really bad spell of illness which threw everything but once I have a laptop and wifi I can still work, even from a hospital room😦😦 Sometimes I am just so bloody tired and want to veg out and watch TV on a Wed night instead of work but I just can't! I have to get my work done. My toddler has been BF like a newborn at night and that is hard work but...this too shall pass! My kids know that Mam has work to do and just accept it, they don't suffer or feel bad - anyway kids are adaptable but also soooo honest so you will hear exactly how they are feeling!!!

    Like the other poster Sari, I am so blessed too to have a really good, nurturing person as my childminder who is flexible and will be available even when they are sniffly. Two of mine are also in school (although this is not an option for you and I am in awe of your homeschooling) and one in an absolutely brilliant naionra where she would go every day, even weekends if she could!!! I don't have family available usually but do have other school mums who have been angels and I try to return the favour.

    It somehow works but one thing I had to do was introduce time out for me...usually a walk or run 2-3 times a week for an hour but I really needed that.

    Routine and schedules also work for us but boy I do sometimes hate all that!!!
    Housework is very basic but making healthy meals still has to happen and I sometimes need to batch cook. My hubby does alot too and while I work he is studying across the table from me!!!
    The truth is I would love to work for myself so I will be even more glued to your blog as you start this journey!
    Wow! Here's to a great 2016 and may all our dreams become reality!
    PS - my friend signed me up to daily messages from the universe and I love reading those first thing Mon-Fri ...something that sometimes helps me see the bigger picture!

    1. Dear Etta,
      Thank you so much for your comment, and I hope 2016 brings great health and happiness for you and your family. I love hearing how everyone handles the work/family balance, and I know everyone has to work out what suits their family best. But it's just brilliant to hear the practicalities too, like how you handle unforseen circumstances, like illnesses. It's great you have such a support network, and that you have found caregivers your kids are happy with. I definitely identify with needing the time out for me, I have had none since the baby was born in the summer, and I'm feeling a little hemmed-in, I think I'll take up yoga again in the new year, thanks for the reminder!
      I have always preferred working for myself, I hope you take the plunge too if it is your dream! What area do you work in?
      I'll check out, thanks, sounds like a nice boost to start each day with.
      Take care and keep in touch about how things are going for you.
      Happy New Year,
      Niamh x

    2. Thanks Niamh...looks like you started a great conversation here! I work at management in an NGO which isn't a 9-5 role all of the time anyway. I would love to still do what I do but in consultancy. I sure you have heard of Caitríona Ellis (another EBFer and HBer and maybe home schooler too I think!) and her coaching service? I have not fully signed up but Caitriona's emails have been a constant gentle 'reminder' in my inbox to keep progressing on my goals little by little. Good Luck!

  4. Hi Niamh,

    I worked part-time since I was 6 months pregnant on my 1st and have just gone back to full-time now my youngest is 15. What I learnt the hard way is that you have to look after yourself or you are no good to anyone else - once just after starting a new morning job my lower back went and I found myself on the floor calling my new job to say I couldn't go in but obviously I couldn't do anything at home either! Find what works for you health-wise and tuning in to what raises your energy levels as opposed to diminishing them.
    I also had periods of self-employment and made the mistake of being on/available all the time - setting boundaries for yourself, your clients and social media is important. Just the decision to stop and look at your child when they are talking to you, giving them full attention for that moment, can make a huge difference. To be honest it's easier now as when I'm home I'm home and my head isn't elsewhere any more. But we're at a very different stage to yours now.

    All the best with the year and the plans ahead - you're a great woman!

    1. Thanks a mill for the comment Aedin, great to get that advice. I think setting boundaries will be key for me, once I decide what they are! Great to hear from someone more experienced. I'm definitely going to begin doing more things for my health, ie yoga, walking, and scheduling it in my days rather than deciding to do it at the last minute.
      See you soon and thanks for your input,
      Niamh x

  5. You just said it: "I'm looking forward to doing something for myself for the first time in a long time. I'm looking forward to earning money, feeling pride and achievement in my work. I want to be a role model for my children and have interests outside the domestic sphere."
    I'm totally with you, it is the way I always felt and still believe it. I'm a mom of twin boys and full time worker, it is possible and you will get lots of help and support.
    A happy mother is a better mother :) Best of luck!


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