This week, in fact Friday, marks the two year anniversary of having left my career in advertising working as a project manager and becoming self-employed. In those two years I’ve been working as a social media manager and parenting blogger, as well as having another baby, moving house and undertaking a huge house renovation.
Even though I’ve been running this gig and working for myself for two years, I still struggle to know what to call myself. Am I a stay-at-home-mum, a part-time stay-at-home-mum, a work-at-home-mum, a social media manager, a blogger, a parenting blogger? Who knows. I guess I’m all those titles all rolled into one. 730 days later and I still don’t know.
However one of the things I still struggle with today is telling people what I do. I basically split my working time 50/50 between the social media side of the business and the blogging side. That obviously changes depending on my workload, but that’s what I try to do. Even though it’s a job, and it does provide an income, it still doesn’t feel like a real job, and I guess that’s because I’m juggling it all with bringing up two children at the same time.
One of things that annoys me slightly is that people expect me to be on maternity leave with Bertie, which makes me feel like I haven’t got a proper job. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been asked “So when are you going back to work?” In fact there has been no maternity leave this time round, I haven’t stopped. I continued to work whilst recovering from my second c-section, all made possible by the fact that I can work from the mobile phone.
I know that I am incredibly lucky to be in this position, to be able to work when I want, to make sure that my own deadlines and work deadlines are being met. I know that if I still worked in advertising my maternity leave would be over, or I would be preparing to go back to work imminently which quite frankly I know that I wouldn’t be able to do with two children. So in that respect I am really lucky.
Anyway I digress. It still leaves me with this feeling of what do I do. Is it the imposter syndrome sneaking again, or is the fact that I have multiple roles, or is it because I’m not really sure myself.
When I’m asked what I do I always start with freelance social media manager, followed up with parenting blogger. The parenting blogger gets the most comments as it’s not very often people meet one of these. I’ll then be asked if I get loads of free stuff. The answer is no, nothing comes for free.
It’s a tough one. I think it’s down to the fact that being a work at home mum with a job can be a really difficult role to define, and is often overlapped with the traditional roles of being at home. In my case I have many jobs – working for myself, looking after my children, looking after the home, being an interior designer, and on top of that I have my two actual jobs, actually three jobs as I write blog posts for my client too.
So as you can see from reading this blog post, two years down the line even I have trouble putting a job title on myself. However that doesn’t matter. What I do brings in enough money for me to comfortably live, for me to use all my skills that I have acquired from ten years working in advertising and completing the Digital Mums course, and for me to contribute towards the household and those dreaded nursery bills. Plus it gives me something to do and a means to escape the humdrum of being a full-time stay-at-home-mum, because right now until Bertie starts nursery in September when Freya starts school I am also a full-time stay-at-home-mum with a work-at-home mum title on top.
Does anyone feel as confused as I do about their job title as I do? I would love to hear how you describe what you do.