So here I am back to my blog at last, and I simply cannot believe that a whole two months have gone my since my last post. In January I wrote of my intention to post better and more frequently this year, and there I went not a month later, on an extended sabbatical. I don’t know if any of you have been wondering what happened to me, but I’m afraid I’m going to bore you with it anyway.
The Good Stuff
So on the one hand, my little baby digital marketing/VA business has gone into overdrive this year. I picked up a couple of new clients at the start of the year, and one of them was so overjoyed with my SEO efforts, she actually asked me to stop posting so much social media, as she couldn’t keep up with the enquiries she was getting. She then recommended me wholeheartedly to a few friends, and things have started to grow.
At the same time, my main client asked me if I was able to take on another part of her business as well as the social media I was already doing, so her husband could step back a bit. This was exactly what was in the plan since my youngest went to secondary school in September – I want to get to the place where I am earning enough money to justify staying at home, as I really don’t want to leave my dogs at home and head back to an office environment.
So far so good – I’ve got so much work that I’m neglecting my own website. I’m sure that many small business owners tell a similar story – in fact that is exactly why I have picked up the new clients this year.
The Bad Stuff
The main spanner in the works has been my husband’s redundancy and ‘garden leave’. I can remember when I was working in the corporate world, and first came across the idea of garden leave – a period of months after employment is terminated, when the company pays you to stay at home so that you don’t immediately go to work for a competitor. I can remember thinking how truly wonderful that would be and how much I would relish having 3-4 months at home with no need to work – just think of all the lovely things I would do!
So having my husband at home for 4 months could, I suppose, have been a lovely time. But as it coincided with the increase in my workload and his inability to accept that my ‘working from home‘ really means that I have a real job and work that I am contracted to do, and that I actually sit at my desk and work for most of the school day, it has been a huge distraction and really a bit of a pain.
Not only that but he has felt a bit hard done by since his redundancy (which I do understand), and made it very clear that he thought I was neglecting him at home, mooning around the house and throwing catty comments around at every opportunity. He moaned about my lack of housework but made no attempt himself to cook or to clean anything. I work from home because I am an extereme introvert – I love and need the solitude and time in my own space – and having a disgruntled other around the house has not helped me to focus at all, so my increased workload has taken even longer than it might have.
After that my lovely man (who is a whizz with spreadsheets and all things financial) decided that he would tackle some large scale decorating and DIY jobs in the house and garden (please, never again!). He wouldn’t hear of us paying somebody else to do it – oh no – he had to make himself useful, which meant a lot of purchases of tools and equipment and lots of huffing, panting and swearing around the house. If I offered to help I got “I’ll manage!” through gritted teeth, if I didn’t offer to help it was “nobody ever does anything around here….” For quite some time the whole family haven’t quite known where to put ourselves (and whatever we do we know not to touch the fresh paintwork…….)
So I guess it’s fair to say that since Christmas there has been a fair amount of stress in the house. and given the time of year, I guess it was inevitable that we would all get sick, pretty much all at the same time.
My husband came down with a heavy cold, which turned into a nasty chest infection which took 2 lots of antibiotics to clear. We all had another cold (or it might have been the same one) which caused my daughter and I to have severe sinusitis. Then we all came down with various versions of the diarrhoea and vomiting bug – again. I’m not sure we had a whole week in the spring term when all children went to school on all days, and now I have the school attendance people chasing me. And of course, sick days mean even more small people at home, with more needs for me to care for them, more distractions from work and even less time for myself.
And then my dad had another couple of mini strokes and I had to look after him for a couple of nights while my stepmum went into hospital for a day procedure. I absolutely love my dad, but on top of everything else, having an extra person to look after has been the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was almost at the point of going to the doctors and asking for some antidepressants because I wasn’t sure if I could go on alone.
So there you have it – those are the reasons why this poor blog has been neglected, and with it my general health and welbeing, because as you all know it is the job of a mother to put the needs of others above her own.
But, we struggled on to the Easter holidays and finally I have been able to have a break and regroup myself a bit. A week by the seaside in our lovely holiday cottage allowed me finally to rest, recuperate and plan.
I’ve also had a trip to Legoland, the chance to review a MiFi device and a parenting book, a new hairdo, a new beauty regime and all sorts of other stuff. But these are all items which deserve their own separate blog posts, so expect to hear more from me in the near future.
I’m back to my blog with a huge quantity of posts which are brewing and need to be written. I’m back to the gym and a competitive health and fitness programme, as I have neglected my health for too long. And I have searched online for natural ways for us all to improve our immunity at home, and will be telling you all about what I have discovered in later blogs.
It seems that holidays are good for me – I don’t think I have ever been so rejuvenated after a week’s rest. So now I’m back and I can’t wait to get back in the blogging groove and also helping my clients to thrive. I vow to clear my inbox too, so if you have emailed me in the last month I’m sorry. I’m not ignoring you but just got overwhelmed and someting had to give.
I did go back to the doctors for a general check up as I take regular medication. But I don’t need the anti-depressants after all. It seems that the seaside can heal all things….