I’m celebrating two years of Guilty Mothers Club this month. Two whole years, how on earth has that happened. So much has changed and there is also so much more change on it’s way….
Personally our lives are now very different to a year ago. GBK is now fully settled in to his stay-at-home-dad role (he is taking a year long career break) and for the most part really enjoying it. I mean there are obviously the times no-one embraces like the school runs in the rain and the tantrums around a supermarket but on the whole I think we are all happier.
I’ve seen a huge jump in my business, not, I don’t think, purely due to the physical hours I now work (which are around 30 a week) but also that I have passed on some of that emotional labour. It’s still a work in progress though, the pendulum has possibly swung a little too far the opposite way for me. I miss doing some of the school runs, I really miss my days at home (when I see GBK heading out for a trip with our littlest, and often one of my friends, it does feel a bit hard) and I do often find it difficult to switch off from work. More so than in the past when I didn’t have much choice because I had those more clearly defined timescales.
It is in my hands of course, one of the big pulls of working for yourself is having that autonomy and flexibility and I wouldn’t swap this for the world. I am not complaining one bit, things are really good right now. But I want to be really honest too and there is another side to it. Whilst we are solely relying on my income (from a small albeit growing business), we are not really in a position where I can hang back too much and not bring in the cash. I’d like to have one day at home in the week but until GBK is back earning this isn’t really an option. Hopefully in time.
It’s the never ending, juggling, questioning, trialling, embracing of parenthood and being a family. Working out how it can fit together, how we can make ends meet whilst also having time for that which is most important. We feel exceptionally lucky to be on the journey even if we are also exceptionally skint and have had to make some big lifestyle changes as a result.
I honestly think the key is talking about it and not being afraid to ask questions about how it can be done differently. There are so many problems with the current system, so many challenges and frustrations for working parents, so little support from the government and this needs to change.
In the mean-time I meet so many mums figuring it out in interesting and unusual ways. It fills me with hope and admiration at just how resilient and powerful women can be. Here’s to the revolution hey!?
When it comes to Guilty Mothers Club there are loads of changes happening here too, lots of exciting plans for 2018, I really hope they are going to give you even more of what you need. We really want to be a place where working mothers can define and create success and fulfilment in both work and family life, on their own terms.
- We have a website update
We’ve moved a whole lot online over this past year meaning we now have mothers in our community right across the country which is marvellous. I do miss some of the in- person events and I think they will remain at least some part of what we do in future but I’ve even surprised myself with just how powerful community can be online. The relationships I have seen built between us have amazed and inspired me no end. And of course it means that long term we can impact and support even more women, as much as I LOVE my home city of Manchester (proud Northerner) it is nice to spread further afield too.
Watch out for some further workshops and courses which are definitely on the plan for next year too (not least Rock your Return which I haven’t now run for over a year and want to give a complete refresh).
- The Mothership is coming
In January we launch our brand new membership programme.
This is for anyone who wants to develop really valuable transferrable skills (so think confidence, time management) and have a virtual office, come coffee shop, come project lab to hang out in. Self-employed mums who crave an antidote to the loneliness that can come when on your own all day, employed mums who want to skill swap and find more work / life alignment. Look out for tons more on this in the coming weeks when we open the doors to get on board (urgh to that pun) on the 22nd November. If you’re not on the mailing list then get yourself signed up here to hear first.
- The Facebook group > The Guilty Mothers Clubhouse
Our launch of The Mothership doesn’t mean that I am not still 100% committed and in love with our Facebook group so it is getting a minor makeover. New name and new branding. It will become more clearly differentiated to the generic GMC Facebook page and hopefully we can continue to build our lovely, safe, supportive community. THE place to chat, judgement free, run mini challenges, get advice and more. We’d really like you to use it for whatever you need, so please do feel free to post ideas, links, articles etc. (still no advertising of course, we don’t want to go down that road).
- We welcome a new team member
Launching a brand new shiny membership is no mean feat, in fact despite talking about it around 12 months ago I think I’ve held back due to the enormity of the task. However, earlier this year the incredible Anna (of Anna Hardy Photography) ran a photography workshop for Guilty Mothers Club and after a glass of wine or two we decided we HAD to work together in some way. Over coffee in the park with our little ones we found a shared desire to address the challenges faced by Mums in the workplace and started developing this idea of a membership. Anna brings so much to the mix having run a successful business of her own for the past 10 years and having mentored many other creative businesses. Not to mention being such a kind and funny and wonderful human being. We will be running The Mothership together so expect to hear a lot more from her now as she starts popping up on the Facebook page and Instagram feed. She is FAB!!!
And of course, we have welcomed hundreds of other new Guilty Mothers to the fold too. If you have recently joined us then welcome, I hope you will love ‘The Clubhouse’ (yep all over the new name) – our lovely friendly, supportive community and find something which helps you feel that bit more empowered to nail this whole working parent thing.
And to all you old timers (said with such affection), thank you so bloody much for being a part of this over how-every-many months. Happy Birthday to us!!!
You’ll know this business is about so much more to me than just work, it’s a project of passion and would be nothing without you.
Thank you for being a part of the change we want to see happen, thank you for every comment, every single piece of involvement in our community. The advice, the survey completions, the high fives, the articles you’ve shared, the events you’ve supported and more.
And personally thank you for every single piece of encouragement – especially for example, when I feel really vulnerable going on national radio to try and fly the flag. And thank you for choosing to spend YOUR hard earned money on the courses and workshops, choosing to support a female small business owner. It makes my heart sing to know that they making a difference.
Just a massive thank you.
If I could, I would now buy us all a massive cake!!!
Unfortunately I’ll have to refer you back an earlier paragraph describing austerity measures, so instead here is a nice picture of one 🙂