A new year, a fresh start and 352 days to turn into dreams into reality. Right? It's cliche but I'd like to still think that it's true, nothing feels more full of possibility than a fresh year ahead of you. I know they're only dates, days and months and we should be reinventing ourselves whenever we feel like it but I don't think I ever feel as ready for that any other time of year, as I do now. 2017 was a year of huge changes, when I cast my mind back to January last year, it feels as though it was centuries ago rather than a mere 12 months - I guess that means a few things, firstly that we have come so far and secondly a lot has happened. This time last year I was someone who had to repeat the phrase 'I go back to work this year' over and over in order to believe it, I dreaded that day for every single one of those 14 weeks before it arrived, ultimately it wasn't that bad, but a mere two weeks ago I waved goodbye to the security of a 32 hour working week wage, and said hello to self employment. So, 2018, please be kind to me.

I wont lie, I'm probably as nervous starting this year as I was last, but the reasons behind the nerves couldn't be further apart. Last year I felt the pressure to return to my day job, a Nursery Nurse, after all that's what you're meant to do when maternity leave is over, aren't you? I love being a Mother don't get me wrong but I longed for something a bit more than that, and it felt as though my job would fulfil that urge, I wanted to be more than 'Mum' and for a moment when I returned back to work it seemed as though I was. I guess I was a little naive, perhaps because I didn't struggle as much first time around after Noah, and hindsight is a wonderful thing because with two children everything just is that bit harder, which is fine, but it just wasn't for me. I was naive in thinking that whilst I was at work I could switch off the Mum-ometre and be me again, wrong. That button never turns off, because instead of feeling pride that I was out, setting a good example for my children, working my ass off and earning money, I felt guilt, the biggest dump of Mum guilt you can imagine, in any form. If we left the house before seven - which was often the case, I felt awful, being the first car to leave a driveway on our street, driving past the houses with lights off and curtains shut, so many children weren't even up out of bed at this time, yet my boys were on the road on there way to nursery. We'd sometimes even arrive so early, nursery wasn't even open yet but it had to be done to ensure we got to work on time. Shifts are a double edged sword, you either wake early and they suffer with that, or you're finishing at 6pm and we don't get home till almost bedtime. Life felt rushed, my evenings spent playing catch up, packing bags and laying out clothes for the next day so that we could all eat our breakfast a little slower in the morning. It was hellish, not for me, I don't mind and I'm sure deep down the boys were oblivious to everything, but I knew it was unfair and those thoughts were enough to torture me.

Patrick, oh Patrick. Perhaps I'm a little softer on you because of everything you went through, I don't think there is anything like the vision of your life without your baby to scare you into wanting to wrap them in the tightest cotton wool. Noah really made life a walk in the park for us, he lulled us into a false sense of 'this parenting shit is easy', of course, Patrick hit us like a brick wall and suddenly I was that parent that has the screaming child at Nursery drop off. Between a midst of dairy allergies and sickness bugs, I became expectant of a call to collect from childcare, as I'm sure my workplace were of the 'I wont be in today because Patrick....' kind of conversation. Enraptured in a tunnel of guilt, I didn't want to feel guilty for having to leave my colleagues up shit creek to take care of my baby, and it doesn't matter how understanding and amazing they were, I still couldn't shake that really horrible feeling that you're letting everyone down, you're half arsing things and it's someone I didn't want to be. I hoped and longed for the day he'd start to be better, but how unfair is that? Patrick was and is Patrick and I didn't want to be wishing him away for the sake of me and everyone else around us. I needed to nurture him, get by baby back and have the quality time together he so desperately needed.

So here we are, at 2018, in the self employment pool and currently swimming with my head well above water. I'm so thankful this is a possibility, because I know for certain that without Babies and Beauty I would still be working full time. It wouldn't be enough for me to just be at home, existing with my boys and it's terrific that people make it work for them, but that's not how I see my life. I'm my own boss and though it feels like another cliche it also feels pretty amazing. I made this work and I made it work for them. When John gets home from work there is a home cooked meal on the table, I have time in the evenings to sit and practice phonics with Noah, build train tracks and squish play dough. He can stay up a little late to watch a film all snuggly on the sofa, because there isn't an alarm clock in the morning forcing his precious eyes open. And if Patrick is poorly, I'm the first to notice the signs, I know what he last ate and I know what ingredients were in it, we can cuddle all day and I can tend to his every need. 2018 is our year.


  1. Ah I’m so glad you are feeling positive about 2018. I dreaded going back after maternity last year so handed my notice in and it’s the best decision I’ve made. Although I’m lonely and scared I might never make any money without a ‘proper’ job I am feeling so much better about being able to be around for the kids when they need me, and being able to focus on what I’m truly passionate about - my blog x

  2. I love this Emily! You are making me feel so much better about deciding to stay working from home and not go into a full time job. I don’t know how Reuben would even cope with early starts with how much he sleeps in!! I agree with you though, I would get so bored without working from home. What would I do whilst he has his 3 hour afternoon nap? Just watch TV?! Not the life for me... I like to be busy x