In the series so far we’ve heard from three amazing mothers who are making the work/life balance work for them and successfully building some fabulous blogs in the process. From the stories we’ve heard to date, it’s clear to see that the notion of a ‘perfect mum’, with an amazing career, perfect house, Mary Berry-esque baking skills and beautifully groomed children doesn’t actually exist, as there will always be compromises that have to be made. Being a Mummy is HARD and I’d like this series to demonstrate that we all get stressed sometimes but its OK to admit that!!
‘The Mummy Juggle’ is all about sharing stories to help and inspire other Mums through the more challenging times and provide comfort in the fact that we’ve all been there. Some may also have managed to make positive changes to their life that will lead to a better balance in the future…. and this months story is no exception!
In this months post we hear from Gemma, a working mum of two children who has recently changed career from accountancy to internet marketing. She runs Waist Trainer UK and writes a blog as Mummy’s Waisted, which centres around her attempts to fit healthy living and fitness around family life.
I found Gemmas story so inspiring as it really resonated with me. Working full-time myself in a career which I was pretty focused on before having my daughter, I empathise completely with Gemma in how it is hard to find that middle ground between pushing yourself at work and being ‘present’ at home. With an ironing pile the size of a small mountain and a weekend full of household tasks, I often feel like I am ‘missing a trick’ somewhere and there has to be more to life than this!! I loved Gemmas story because she is brave and has taken the plunge to improve her situation in a way which also gives her brain a decent work out too!!
Gemma I salute you and I hope others enjoy reading your story just as much as I did…
The Mummy Juggle: Gemma from Waist Trainer UK
I worked as a finance professional for over 15 years, most of those years for the same local company. As with many people, I worked long hours and enjoyed the mental satisfaction of having a career. For a long time, my husband and I live in a ground floor two bedroom flat with no garden, so housework was fairly minimal.
Then it all changed. My son came along five years ago and my life turned upside down. I was completely unprepared for life with a child and all the additional activities that came with being a parent.
I’d read all the stories about super-mums and the women who had it all, and I thought I would be a failure if I didn’t keep my career going as well as looking after my son. I went back to work full-time after maternity leave, and continued to work these hours when pregnant with my daughter (now two and a half).
By the time my son turned one, we had moved into a three bedroom semi-detached house with a large garden. I still thought I could do it all, and getting stressed about how to fit everything in. Weekends were not filled with idyllic crafting sessions with my children or long family walks in the countryside. Instead I was hoovering and putting on endless loads of washing (how can two small people create so much mess?). I began to resent my husband, who got to look after the children while I cleaned (because no super mum would let her husband help).
The cracks began to show – we still had boxes of unpacked belongings from when we had moved and the garden was overgrown and not safe for the children to play in. My daughter has been a poor sleeper from birth, so I was trying to cope with very broken sleep too.
All this came to a head at the same time that I was given more responsibility at work. I was drowning. Enough was enough and I resigned.
It wasn’t the magic cure I was expecting. I had plenty more time but no motivation. I felt like I had completely failed my family – why couldn’t I cope with everything and still have time to take beautiful Pinterest photos?
I threw myself into learning about internet marketing and blogging, and started working from home. It means I can get the chores done when the children are out of the house, and I’ve even delegated some of them to my husband (although I do find myself checking that he’s doing it as I would!). We co-parent, meaning that either of us can work at unconventional hours when we need to.
The time I have with the children now is much more ‘quality’, even though it’s probably not a lot more than when I was working. We’re still not at the long family walks stage, but we have ventured into crafts a few time (especially if there’s someone else to clean up). I’m not super mum, but that’s OK.
Thank-you Gemma, for such an incredibly real and inspiring story. Whilst its clear that ‘super mums’ don’t actually exist, by being brave and taking measures to improve your own work/ life balance and setting up your own company from home, I think we can all agree that you are actually pretty darn super!!
If you’d like to find out more about health and fitness and waist trainers in particular, you can check out Gemma’s amazing company website here: Waist Trainer UK and she also blogs about healthy living and fitting fitness in around family life as Mummy’s Waisted here: Mummy’s Waisted. You can also find Gemma on Twitter @waisttrainer_uk and Facebook @trainingyourwaist
If you enjoyed this post and have a story to tell that you would like to see featured in this guest series, please drop me a line at emma@. It would be great to hear from you x