Hello, my name is Sara, and I don’t go to bed until 1:30 am.
It didn’t always used to be like this: up until two weeks ago, I had a 9-5 day job, plus a 2-hour daily commute. I’m mama to 2-year-old Orla, and was running my creative business, blogging and taking photographs, in my spare time. I was lucky if I could keep my eyes open past 9pm!
Then a fortnight ago, I left that day job – a position in Pediatric speech therapy I’d had for almost ten years – and took the leap into full time ‘content creation’. I’m still ridiculously busy – the backlog in my inbox will take weeks alone – but I’m no longer frazzled, feeling myself pulled in too many different directions.
It’s the dream for a lot of us, I think; before I had my daughter, I’d never really had any interest in being self employed or working from home. Even in those early months of maternity leave, I was itching to get back to work – to surround myself with adult company and hot cups of coffee.
While I was at home with her, I began posting to Instagram for a creative outlet and to connect with other people; I’d always dabbled in photography as a hobby, but since becoming pregnant, I found there was no time to pick up my proper DSLR. I began sharing one iPhone photograph a day to my 90-something followers.
Orla was born in February; by April that year, I had 35k followers, and that number has continued to grow. From there, the readership of my blog began to develop, and I started to receive offers for photography projects, blogging events, sponsored content and advertising.
Becoming a mother broke down so many of my preconceptions and prejudices, and it was really the first time in my life where anything felt possible. Orla was, and still is, demanding a lot of my time (& rightly so), so the time spent away from her became precious and important. When it came down to a choice between spending it sitting in traffic & filling in paperwork, or pouring that energy into my creative adventures online, it was really an easy decision.
When it came down to a choice between spending it sitting in traffic & filling in paperwork, or pouring that energy into my creative adventures online, it was really an easy decision.
It’s still early days, but so far things look good. Apart from my foolish new nocturnal sleep-pattern, I’ve got no regrets at all, and feel more optimistic and excited for the future than ever before.
How do you know when you’re ready?
What advice would you give to other mama bloggers?
Your one unique selling point is yourself and the way you see the world…..Be totally authentic to that and stick at it.
How do you balance your day/time?
My style is very natural and journalistic, and I still snap all my Instagrams on my iPhone, so this mostly just happens incidentally while I’m living the rest of my life.
Where and when do you feel your most creative?
I also find my brain starts buzzing with ideas at the most inopportune times – when I’m driving at 70mph, in the shower, or cooking a meal. It’s frustrating, as there’s no way I can make notes on my thoughts, and I’ve resorted to dictating things to the audio notes on my phone before just to get it down. Now that I’ve got some more time, I’m realizing that those moments were the only times I was ever alone, and so my only opportunities to think. With a fiancee and a clingy toddler it isn’t easy to make time out alone, so I’m fortunate that I now have my work days to devote to this.
What’s your biggest challenge?
I’ve lived all of my life afraid of what other people will think of me, and now I’m finally tackling those fears and chasing my dreams.
What do you love writing about most of all?
How was the experience of ending your job and how does it feel knowing you’re taking this leap?
The best analogy I have is that it was like breaking up with your boyfriend, then sharing the house for another month.