To Blog or not to Blog: #The Prompt

To blog or not to blog, that is my question?

I haven’t posted for a few days now.  In fact I didn’t visit my blog once yesterday or check twitter.  Not once.  For the first time since its conception I’ve been having second thoughts about it.  I haven’t felt very inspired, and if I don’t have anything to say now, just 7 weeks in, what’s the future of this blog?

To be honest it’s been a crap few weeks.  I spent the whole of February juggling childcare to attend job interviews, to be rewarded with a job offer which was local to home & school.  Hooray…however, the job offer was then rescinded nine days later as the company had to “find ways to reduce its budgets”.  UUUGGGHHH!!!!!

It has just reminded me that I am not a natural full time Stay-At-Home-Mum (SAHM)

Yet since moving out of London that’s what I’ve become.  It wasn’t a role I intended to do, and not one that I’m instinctively made for (I’ve only made playdoh once in six years!!)  it’s sort of one I fell in to.

We meticulously chose our Oxfordshire location to move out to

1.  we plotted our commuter routes into the Big Smoke to allow us both the option of working

2.  we vetted the schools and read as many OFSTED reports we could get our hands on

3.  we targeted areas to ensure we were in catchment

4.  we selected a style of home & garden to give our children a better quality of life

5.  we elected to be a greater part of our children’s lives and reduce our childcare bills (!)

6.  …but on reflection what we didn’t factor in was the emotional impact of being the new kids in town.

We were strangers in a strange town. We needed to put down roots, make new friends and establish ourselves in our new environment. As DadTired was  back to commuting in and out of London two weeks after our move, this role fell on my shoulders.

On reflection, my role within the family structure was always going to change when we moved.  I had to take on more (family) responsibility but for less pay!

Travelling from London to our market town isn’t far in commuter terms, but when school calls asking you to collect your daughter early from school, for the little girl waiting that hour & a bit (depending on where you are in London) it can feel like a lifetime.

So I swapped London for Local and in return I get more of my gorgeous Thing 1 & Thing 2.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love – and I mean LOVE – being at home for our children. Being such a fundamental part of their young lives is priceless. I’ve been able to attend every school play & concert which starts at 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon, been on the sideline at every sports day, been a helper at the PTFA Christmas fate wrapping lucky dip prizes at 11am, and I’ve collected Mademoseille from school at 3pm every day.

But this isn’t quite what I had planned.

I was on maternity leave when we packed up our stuff and moved North. So my time was spent on the practical nature of being in a new place like finding the stop cock for the plumber, waiting for decorators/plumbers/tradesmen who promised to come round and never did(!) figuring out how to work the heating so we had hot water for bedtime, shooting back to London because I couldn’t find shops locally to buy school shoes *really, it’s true*

Then Mademoselle started school and the house/garden/garage is still no-where near being finished.  And we seem to have slid into a second year SAHM.

I want to be a SAHM for some of the time – just not all of the time!

Does wanting to be part of the working world and not be mummy 24/7 mean I am not a good mummy?

Is wanting to have my own space and income again so I can splash out on some extravagant shoes which I’ll wear only twice selfish?

I suppose I want it all – that elusive job that allows for work/home balance as well as be able to attend school plays and host playdates.

But in the meantime, until my elusive job is found, this blog was meant for some ME time, and I need to remember that.

So on reflection I do have something to say about my quest for family/work-life balance and change which can hopefully by symbiotic, and a strong desire to record the progress of my perfect, little family.

So to blog or not to blog?  On reflection, I think I’ll keep on blogging.

 For this post I’m linking up with Sara at Mumturnedmom and #The Prompt


This week’s The Prompt word is ‘Reflection’

Sara says “a piece of writing can convey information, knowledge, emotion; it can take us to places we’ve never been and change our world view. It can make us cry or it can make us laugh. It can challenge our perceptions, our misconceptions. It can teach us” – and I agree.  She ‘prompts’ bloggers with a word and they write what it means to them.  Some of the prompts do what Sara set out to do, they make me stop and think.

Please use #ThePrompt as a springboard to discover more parents who blog.

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  • Michaela

    There’s no doubt in my mind you have something to say! I really enjoyed your reflection, and related to it on a number of levels. The questions you ask are questions I also grapple with in my blog posts. I also made the move out of London and it took years and so many adjustments before life, work and parenting started to look like something I could actually enjoy. And no doubt those adjustments will continue as the kids get older, and they change and I change. I look forward to reading more from you…..

  • Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!!

    My first visit to your blog via #MBPW but yes I agree with everyone, carry on blogging

  • Kathryn (@katgrant30)

    Hi – I’ve just found your blog via britmums #mbpw and I would echo all the comments above – keep on blogging! I would add though not to put more pressure on yourself so if you need a few days off, then do it! 🙂

    Good luck in your quest to find the right balance, it’s not easy. I’ve been SAHM since my son was born 16 months ago and I definitely haven’t found my balance yet. It doesn’t make us “bad mummies” – just human. 🙂

    • Tracey

      Thanks so much for stopping by and more importantly for leaving a comment. It means a lot. You’re right, getting the ‘balance’ is all important and I’sppose it all just takes time. Really really appreciate you’re time to comment xx

  • Nicola

    Really enjoyed reading this post – please keep blogging!

  • The Reading Residence

    Blogging takes time to hit a stride with, I think, so stick with it. And I think you’re being too hard on yourself by imagining this ‘SAHM’ domestic goddess! I’ve never made play doh, frequently doubt myself and think I was better at the career, but I’m still here, 4 years later, and I know I wouldn’t want it any other way! #MBPW

    • Tracey

      Thank you for leaving a comment, sometimes its just good to know you’re not alone questioning how you got here and if it’s the right thing to do. Will keep at it 😉

  • Kate Charles

    Hi Tracey – this is your best blog yet as it is so refreshingly honest! I really enjoyed reading it. We all struggle with work/life balance but I firmly believe that we don’t need to completely sacrifice ourselves to be good mums (dads don’t!) Keep at it girl x

    • Tracey

      Thanks so much for your comment, and it’s good to know I’m not the only one going thru layers upon layers of guilt-making decisions…no matter where you are in the world!! And more importantly, thanks for reading xx

  • Nicola

    Please please please keep blogging! I agree with the other comments – a fab piece of writing and stirs up emotions. I have come back to work after the longest possible maternity leave – stretching out the time and the finances (beyond) the max! And now I wish i was back being a SAHM – is the grass ever greener where you are?? Time and space for self is sacrificed to slave to the job and house, and guilt feeling there is not enough time for the kids!! I completely relate to what you are saying. Perhaps SAHM co-ops
    would be the way forward to share the caring and to build some self time space xx

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Oh, I can relate to this, on every level! I still don’t think I’ve quite reconciled the new me with the old me. It’s been two years since I gave up work and I have good days and bad – and my blog definitely helps me stay focused and sane 🙂 I find the 24/7 thing really quite difficult at times, and while I wouldn’t change it, for the moment anyway, I don’t think I quite have the balance right yet. Please don’t stop blogging, I really enjoy reading 🙂 Thanks so much for linking to #ThePrompt xx

  • Emma

    Probably your best bit of writing yet Miss Mummyshire, it actually made me cry! xxx

    • Tracey

      OMG, what a lovely comment and it is so very very very much appreciated. It means so much to me, as this blog is harder for me to write than I ever thought it would be, and it’s taking me on a journey which is challenging on every level. Thanx for reading *wiping away a few tears myself* xx

  • Mel

    Do not stop blogging! I really enjoyed reading your post. I can really relate… I am currently working for less than I am giving for childcare but I am also scared of stopping working. We have tough decisions to make when we become mothers. Mel

    • Tracey

      Aww, thnx for your comments. You’re right, becoming a mummy brings with it so many choices that they don’t prepare you for at the NCT classes!! ;)x

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