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A UK FAMILY LIFESTYLE AND BEAUTY BLOG

#MOTHERHOODMONDAYS FEATURING BETTER TOGETHER HOME

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Motherhood is a complete whirlwind. Sometimes finding the joy and smiles is easy and sometimes it's a little harder, but amid those times it's not so easy we owe it to ourselves to savour those moments forever


Hello you lovely lot and welcome back to another instalment of the #MotherhoodMondays guest post series; a  weekly feature for mothers to share their stories about their incredible journeys of motherhood in all kinds of forms. Don't forget to get in touch if you want out get involved, we're always looking for some more mamas to guest post for us.
 
For this week's feature we have the lovely Alex from Better Together Home. Last week Alex kindly tagged me in The Sunshine Blogger Quiz and so it worked out well that she has been scheduled in for #Motherhood Mondays this week as she has been waiting a few weeks to become a feature and finally it's here. But before we get into the post shall we get to know Alex a little better? Over to you Alex... 
 
Hiya everyone! I’m Alex and I’m a mum to seven *going on 17* year old Lily-Rose, a wife to my super patient husband Scott and I blog over at Better Together Home; a lifestyle and parenting blog. I am making a move towards living a simpler lifestyle, am focusing on saving up to travel and my mantra is ‘experiences not things’ which I’m hoping will curb my shopaholic tendencies! My dream would be to refit an Airstream or trailer, buy a pickup truck and spend the rest of our lives travelling the World! Aside from blogging I also write short stories, the first of which was published in 2016, sell hand-crocheted and knitted gifts, and I work full time in an incredibly stressful corporate job. When Kelly-Anne got in touch I was thrilled to join in with Motherhood Mondays as I love to read about how other mums feel and handle everything life throws at us, and so with that thought in mind I thought I’d share with you how life is when you have a million ‘jobs’ and have to juggle working full time, part-time and spare-time with raising a family!
 
 
 
 
First up – I do not have my sh*t together.

I am not going to sit here and say ‘oh if you make your kid’s lunches and get your clothes ready the night before working life will be so easy’. Yeah that’ll help but I honestly don’t think any working mum gets the balance 100% right, and if they ever do it’s a fluke not something that happens with ease. As you can see this isn’t a guide on how to have it all because I’m not sure you even can, or should want to ‘have it all’.

My job requires me to be super organised and is centred on lots of deadlines – its high intensity, high stress and it can be so easy for me to feel the burnout from that alone. Most other people in my role are, funny enough, a lot older than me (so their kids are grown-ups) or don’t have kids which means I never had somebody to look at and model my life balance on. I work in a 24/7 corporation and unfortunately they seem to expect people to work the same hours that the company does, and I’m guessing that’s the same world-over. I’m *relatively* good at my job but it was only last year that the organisational skills I have at work started to leak over into life – I now have a planner, a family calendar and various other ways in which I can ‘organise’ our lives. That being said its life – its living and you can never really plan it out in a way that would make it simpler and easier – life always throws you curveballs!

In all honesty if I could pack in my day job tomorrow I would – I pretty much hate it and last year came so close to burnout it’s a wonder I didn’t leave scorch marks whenever I sat down! But keep at it I will because I know I’m working towards a better future for my little family.

Organisation

Like I said above it’s only last year that I started to make a conscious effort to be more organised at home and it started with a move to actually working from home. Suddenly I needed to have a space in which I could work in our tiny London flat – we were given a foldout dining table by my parents and that became my ‘office’. I invested in two planners – and I am completely anal about filling the, in - one is for work and one is for life and the only time work infringes on my personal planner is when I need to travel for work. We found a family calendar app online too – both me and my husband have synced our phones to it and we add in appointments that are colour coded depending on who or what they are for and that has been really great.

There are a million blogs out there listing ways to get organised but honestly it’s all about finding what works for you. For me if I don’t write something in my planner then it ain’t happening!

Stuff

Another thing that really has been working for me but I know isn’t for everybody is clearing out stuff. I can’t focus on anything when the flat is a mess and my shopaholic tendencies mean it’s full of stuff and clutter which we are now in the process of getting rid of. I want a simpler life, less stuff means less stuff to clean and tidy, less need for organisation, less money being spent and above all means our tiny flat feels a million times more spacious. This applies to clothes too – less clothes means less time spent on decisions (I’m developing a kind of uniform a la Obama!), it also means less washing and ironing yay!

Prioritise

I’ve had to learn to prioritise – what is truly more important at this precise moment? Do I need to go to the supermarket? Wouldn’t it be better to order my food shop online and spend that time on doing Lily’s homework with her instead? I multi-task when I can so for example my 'me-time' is socialising with friends (it keeps me sane and means I get to spend time with my friends!), writing (either my blog or short stories) and having a nice long soak in the bath (after Lily is in bed or I inevitably end up with company!).

Reality

Reality as in real life. Not the selection of life that you see online, on Instagram or even what people say. Everybody struggles, it’s perfectly normal. I have friends who are stay at home mums and they have daily struggles just like me – they say the same things ‘there’s never enough time’ or ‘I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job’. There is no such thing as a super mum and regardless of your working situation we are all going through pressure and trying to juggle it all. I think it’s really important to recognize this and to get support wherever you can - also to stop judging other parents! The amount of times I've had people make digs at me for being a working mum; it's not ok and I wouldn't do it to SAHMs - think everyone should just follow that saying 'if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all'!

Community

I’m a big fan of people building each other up and helping each other out – there have been times when people I know have stepped in to help me look after lily when my childcare arrangements have fallen through, and likewise times when I’ve looked after their kids in return. In 2017 I hope to develop my personal community more – I’ve removed people from my life who were negative influences (don’t worry I didn’t go on some kind of killing spree I meant more metaphorical removal!), and I have chosen those people who are my priorities to spend time with. And community doesn't just mean the people who are family or live near you - I have an incredibly supportive group of friends through Instagram and Facebook groups who are really helpful - giving advice, providing inspiration or simply just being there to let me rant. I’m also lucky that I have a very supportive husband and family as without them I wouldn’t be able to get through the days let alone the years it has taken to build my career. If you have the right ‘team’ you can accomplish anything I’m sure of it!
 

Thank you for your post Alex. If you liked this post don't forget to share, share, share. I'm sure that it will be more than appreciated. Remember sharing is caring. You can find Alex over at Better Together Home and I will link her social media platforms below.
 
 
4 comments on "#MOTHERHOODMONDAYS FEATURING BETTER TOGETHER HOME"
  1. Wonderful to read with some great tips and advice. Being organised really is key to life, especially with children involved. Prioritising is also crucial. I used to beat myself up for having a box of washing sat unfolded in the corner. Now it sits there until I have time to do it (usually in front of the TV!) and I drag clothes out if they are needed!! #MarvMondays

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  2. great read! I definitely agree with alex that having less stuff is simpler, i love a good declutter! #MarvMondays

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  3. I really love what Alex says about community. Since moving to Jersey we have a really supportve network of people who will step in and help us with childcare and pick-ups when needed. It makes all the difference if you don't have family close-by

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  4. This is such an amazing post. Alex is so right, there can never be a one size fits all approach to organisation, nor is there ever enough time. I have been a full time working mum and a stay at home mum - and I can honestly say that I always manage to both fill the time and to end up running around like a headless chicken. I think it's great to read about how other mums manage, and to know that there are many of us muddling through without necessarily having it together - just doing the best we can on a day to day basis. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at #PostsFromTheHeart

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