Welcome to my blog!
Thanks for wanting to get to know a little bit more about me.
You may be surprised to hear that I have had many blogs in the past but just found that they were…. Well, never really me?! They were catered towards a product or business and being a person that seems to get bored of one thing far too quickly the idea of “my” blog was born!
So, a quick run down before we get to the “history” lesson. I am a Mum to five gorgeous girls currently 18, 4, 3, nearly 2 and 6 months old. Yes, I know there is a big age gap but after I had my eldest I was informed that I would probably never have children again…. Ummm apparently not so!
Fiancée to Mark (still working on those finances for the wedding!) as well as primary carer for our Miniature Labradoodle Roo.
Of course I also do the usual take care of the house, shopping, blah blah blah that we all do so basically this blog helps my sanity!
What is this Blog about?
Great question, basically in a nutshell it is the real, bare knuckles sharing of the tears, tantrums, joys, laughter, baking, crafting, organising and constant cleaning that a parent of five would go through. It’s real so you will find pictures of me with no make-up, hair unkept and genuinely looking as though I have been through a hedge backwards but hey some days it is just like that! I would love to say that I get up at the crack of dawn every day to shower, do my hair and make up and then put on my immaculately co-ordinated clothes…… yes I truly would LOVE to say that however, in this household that is just not the reality… it happens sometimes but it is more the ab-norm than the norm!
My History oh ok, story… It is really quite typical of so many others but maybe my ending isn’t!
Where would you like me to start? All the way back to the beginning…. Well I cannot say I was brought up with loving, caring and sharing parents, however I can say that because I chose to be the complete opposite I have a great relationship with my children. So I guess even way back then there has always been a part of me that knew life was meant to be different. However that reality was a long time coming and many mistakes and experiences were had a long the way. Some that were caused by outside influences and others that were caused by me taking the rather wonky path.
My greatest lessons
First one was from my marriage. I got married really young it was actually on my 20th birthday and at the time I thought I was the luckiest girl alive but I was young, naive and soon learned the error of my ways! So my first big lesson was to NEVER let anyone take your power away. You are always in control and always have a choice either let it effect you or don’t. However, I was then left as a single mum, no house, no car and no money!
I learned a lot during that time – I had three part time jobs that worked in and around my daughter and on Saturdays I would start work at 5:30 am on a market stall and my day would finish about 3am on a Sunday as I would finish up working in a nightclub. I took any job that I could that would fit around times when I did not have her. The determination I had to support her and make sure she had food, clothes and a roof over her head was fierce. That was how I learned about determination and that under the right circumstances I had it in spades!
The Self-Employed/Employed learning curve
As life progressed and I was in a new relationship things improved greatly but it was still so hard to find a job that would fit around a toddler especially as my partner always worked away. When my daughter was about 5 yrs old I tried my first network marketing job. It was disastrous and looking back there were two reasons for that; 1.) I had no idea what I was doing 2.) I was naive and did not realise that my upline was more interested in lining their pocket with their “marketing” sideline that was supposedly going to help make my business really successful. What can I say? You Live, You Learn but it really did put me off ever doing anything like that again.
I took an employed position at an Estate Agents but we paid out more in childcare than I earned!
So, I looked for a part time position that could fit around school hours… any of this sounding familiar?
I secured a cleaning position and soon my boss was trying to persuade me to go into partnership with her. I was so put off by my previous experience I kept refusing until…. I said yes.
I helped take the business from a domestic only to domestic and commercial cleaning business and it was booming. We employed more staff which in turn led to more problems. Some would not turn up. This created a high turn over of staff etc… etc… at one point I even had to hide my daughter under a desk so I could get the work done and that was the moment when I thought no… this is not what I was doing this for! So we stopped the cleaning company and I looked for an alternative.
I have always been creative and I was selling my handmade embellishments on ebay, this progressed to me opening an online Craft Store (against many peoples advice). The company went from strength to strength and I was one of the first companies to have video tutorials and newsletter videos. This was well before youtube was even thought of! I became the third most popular crafting website in the UK which I have to say I was pretty chuffed with….
Then we entered into 2009, the recession was announced along with the eternal doom and gloom on the radio, TV and newspapers about how the country was in the worst position it had ever been, that many would lose their jobs and homes etc… and my business went from doing alright to bankrupt literally in a matter of months. I was devastated. I had put my heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into that business and was then left with nothing. To make matters worst my partner was then also made redundant.
The Continued Frustration
We moved back to Devon. I went to work full time for a large organisation but the toll of everything was too much on my partner and he suffered from depression and left. It was so hard on my daughter and myself as it was unexpected and at the time he needed help the most, he shut everyone out, which is an unfortunate side affect of depression.
I was then left with pleading with the company to change my hours just so I could be home at a reasonable hour to even have dinner with my daughter. It was awful. Luckily I got a job as a trainer with the firm which meant more money and better hours.
I then met Mark, we moved to Paignton and I continued to commute etc… For awhile everything seemed to be settling down, accept for my ex whose depression got worse and worse (despite the break up we still remained very close) and this also took it’s toll on my daughter so much so that we discovered she was self-harming. Over all the things that have happened I have to say this for me was the worst. My daughter and I have always had such a close relationship and knowing that I could not ease her pain was… well to be honest there are no words that can describe it. We tried to get as much help as we could but it also made me realise that even though at this stage (13) she needed me to be around more. We moved to a smaller property to try and help ease the financial constraints we were under and it was at this time we discovered a rather shocking miracle – I was pregnant shocking because by this stage my daughter was 14 , miracle as a few years after having my daughter they said I could not have any more children! So, we were in between disbelief, ecstatic happiness, shock and well a whole host of other emotions!
It was during my pregnancy I revisited the idea of working for myself. The company I was working for like many others was demanding more and more from me while providing less and less. I tried out a few more network marketing ventures and they were ok but not really getting anywhere. I was getting very disheartened so I decided to get involved in one in the crafting industry, after all that was an industry I knew inside and out.
I was doing really well, I had a team, I was considered one of the most successful etc… but I just did not feel I was getting the financial reward for time spent – I received loads of free product which was great but that was not putting food on the table.
No – I don’t accept it there is more!
I refused to believe that now I had been blessed with more amazing children (Kiesha is now 18, Nevaeh 3, Grace 2, Alina 1 and the next is due on 2nd march 2016) that I would have to sacrifice either money or time – NO!!!
- So, I found something that would fit!
- Something that would pay and give time freedom.
- Something that would easily fit around my now extended family!
- Something where I could collate all my skills and hopefully make a living
Being a Mum and a Blogger became my CAREER…. Oh and then another business!
For all the effort, hours, tears and tantrums every time I tried working something would inevitably suffer. Mainly towards the end, that became me… My health and my sanity. I genuinely felt as though I was banging my head against a brick wall!
So, I stopped…. yes very scary I know but my children are my world and are my focus and they were feeling the strain as well. Now, the attention is back on them, loving them, educating them, being with them… and family life has improved.
Bills still have to be paid though so I do have various links throughout my blog and if using them I do earn a small commission. All items are products I do recommend (after all it is my reputation on the line!) and whilst I will not be signing up for a mansion or yacht, in a very small way it is helping to pay for the bills and so therefore I hope to do that more. All whilst entertaining you with my words and let’s face it sometimes obscure life and whilst also sharing useful and helpful information that I hope will make your life easier or better.
Latest Up date…
So April 2016 I helped to be part of the launch of Jamberry in the UK. Jamberry give you a DIY solution for pretty nails and well who doesn’t love pretty nails that you can easily do yourself and at an affordable cost! I’m looking forward to seeing where this part of my journey leads…
Once again thanks for taking the time to get to know more about me.