As of the 14th June I was made redundant from my day job as a Receptionist for a local company.
I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason and I very much enjoyed my time with the company. However, I had felt a little stifled. I’d been with the company several years. It was a lovely job in the sense that it meant I could study and work around my family. However, here I am with a very good Honours Degree in English Literature. A Degree that I worked very hard to achieve while facing adversity and still working. I knew I wanted to do something else, something a bit more challenging, but I also very much love being a mum. I like having a job that fits around my family. And, I’m not ready to give that up.
I’ve taken a few weeks to apply for jobs which has resulted in being offered a job. But the job I got offered was a Post Graduate Job as an English Teacher – in China!!! Lovely opportunity for somebody without a family.
The job market isn’t proving easy. For many jobs in the area (small town) I’m seen as over qualified. The part-time jobs don’t seem to be catering for somebody with high qualifications. It made me think about something my Nan said to me when I was a teenager.
“The problem is that we encourage our girls to have a decent education, you get that decent education and then you have children and if you stay at home it all goes to waste.”
Her words haunted me. I do disagree to a point as no learning is ever wasted and we never know just when it might be useful – children and teenagers do grow up. Plus there is such a thing called learning for passion. But yes we don’t appear to have too many skilled jobs that work around our children. I thought how we do live in the age when we do have more choice, more options to go out and keep our careers. These normally involve working full time. But throw in a health condition into the mix and you do have to realise your limits in how much to push your body – working part time and parenting three is enough. Becoming ill again is not an option. Plus as a parent I’m more of a let the heart rule the head type of person. I genuinely adore being around my family. I like the challenge of being in employment but I love to be home being mum. I have never and don’t want to start now missing a thing.
I’ve been told many a time. But you have teenagers..
But and there is a but…
I’m a single parent of teenagers and a tween. Teenagers and Tweens still need parenting and I can’t be in two places at once. Teenagers still need a routine, Drs appointment, Dentists etc… Teenagers still get poorly. Employers or colleagues are not always understanding. The dilemma for most of us. Worse if you don’t have a back-up.
I’m making money writing which is very good – opinions in magazines. But as a wise business person once told me “you need more than one leg to your stool.” Besides, as most of us are aware it is only the lucky few who can make a very good living out of writing. That’s not to say I’m not confident or think I can’t do it. I think I can. But Writers are like Rock Stars – for every talented person who makes it there are many talented who don’t. Yet Writers can’t give up, if it’s something you do no matter how hard you try you just can’t give up. Believe me I’ve tried several times. I’ve actually boxed up my work and said I will never look at it again. But it always comes back out. So we write and we write for very little.
I’ve been accepted with Nottingham Writers which is proving to open doors. But to start with those writing projects including having short-stories put into anthologies are done without profit. And of course, writing a book is a lengthy process.
And I’m living now. I’m living now with three dependents. The pressure is on. So I need a job, a job that means I can still earn money while pursuing my writing goals. Something with flexibility. Something fun. Something opposite to writing. Something that I’ve always liked other than writing. Something that will give me the ability to socialise and give me a sense of purpose and enthusiasm.
Then Holly and Phil made a great show on ‘This Morning’ talking about the mums who are making money for a living by working at home. Using social media. If they work hard, quite a sustainable income.
I looked at the options. My own mother worked selling Tupperware. I myself worked as an Avon Rep before the birth of my daughter. It was before social media and internet shopping really took off – so door to door canvassing was successful back then. I was in the Presidents Club, I had a very good round and my hourly rate was not bad at all. But Avon in the area is saturated. As is Younique, Herbal Life etc…
Then I thought about Body Shop at Home. How I’ve always like the product, how I can easily enthuse about products that I actually buy. How my daughter will see it as fun and something that she can join in with. How I nearly signed up years ago but the town still had a shop. The shop has now gone – same as many of our town centre shops.
Today I’ve had my talks with a Body Shop Manager and decided I have very little to lose, fabulous products to gain and the experience to see whether I really can build a business to fit around my writing commitments, my family and one that will enhance my health. 30th July I will be open for business.
I will keep you posted on whether you really can make a living while balancing the home. Whether you really can make a living having fun.
As the saying goes “A change is as good as a rest…”
And whether I fall or whether I fly – it’ll no doubt be a new experience.