It’s so easy in life to be constantly chasing dreams, and believe me, I’m a big believer in dreaming big, working hard, and simply going for ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ might be, but recently I’ve had a little shift in thinking…
OK I suppose it’s not so much a shift, as I’ve always been grateful for the fruits of my labour and that goes for my number 1 successes too, my kids of course, but I suppose I’ve had some clarity of late, that quite simply, I’m just right where I want to be.
Wonderful if my businesses continue to grow, new opportunities arise etc etc but I’m truly content right now, right here, even if the aforementioned don’t happen, and well, I wanted to share it.
Looking at my beautiful boys, supportive family and the best (most gorgeous) friend I married, I feel very lucky.
Lucky because of them I have the blogging career I do and that it works for my family.
I spent so much of my twenties pursuing a filmmaking career, I got a distinction in my MA aged 21, went straight into the film industry after uni working for a major film production company/distributors then directed my own short films, TV documentaries, drama and commercials picking up a fair few awards on my way.
I loved filmmaking, when it came to the passion projects I spearheaded, but on reflection I’m not sure I was particularly happy for a lot of my filmmaking career that excluded those. Not really, not in that ‘heart-swelling, this is where I want to be’ happy in all honesty.
Creatively stimulated, yes, but also perpetually stressed, as inevitably 15 hour days on set are, then to the edit suite and back again to be all done again over and over. A tough slog where the addictive creative buzz was often outweighed by a whole lot of bureaucracy.
Me on set, running my team, bringing my words from the page to life on film was exhilarating but that amounted to a small percentage of my work life.
Like many female directors, I thought motherhood, something I desperately wanted to experience, might well scupper Oscar dreams (told you I always dream big) and the irony isn’t lost on me that parenthood actually ended up opening many new doors for me, doors that didn’t even exist at that time, not as they do now anyway (thank you technology) and led to my work as a full time professional blogger.
A traumatic birth with my first son Oliver saw me at my lowest ebb and led me to reach out and start a blog, the one you’re reading here, proving to be the perfect way to rediscover my voice and identity.
Although my first posts were escapist fodder and focused on the funnier aspects of parenting (when I personally felt far from happy), they helped me connect with like minded parents and creatives, those who truly ‘got’ this new world I’d found myself in.
I didn’t really monetise at the start, the odd post here or there but I went back on set as a director and only decided to became pro when Oliver turned 2.
This is a reflection of our digital times as much as my hard work, where parent bloggers are deemed and respected as the powerful digital influencers.
Knowing your worth and hustling comes in handy too.
This isn’t meant to be a brag fest of a post just one that I want to put out there because I’m content and I know other women reading this might well feel a little lost as I did in the start, unsure of how to make a career work around their kids or in need of getting their thoughts out there, a space to call their own.
Who knows, it might just inspire one more person to start a blog. And earn, because blogging pays, people.
My blogging career pays me more than my directing one pre-motherhood yet this one’s a flexible job that works around my young family, I always have at least 1 day off in the week and although I work hard, it’s manageable and I never miss dinner or bedtime.
All you need is a computer and camera phone.
Mothers everywhere, media backgrounds or not, like myself, are constantly honing our voices and skills, growing blogs (our second or third metaphorical babies) while raising families, many like myself who, during maternity leave at a time of identity-change, and for some, job insecurity, sat down and wrote and built businesses.
On our time and our terms.
We are entrepreneurs, influencers, mum bosses, whatever label you fancy (and there are of course many thriving Dads blogging too) with blogging/youtube-ing/social media a booming place to be. To channel all that creativity. To take control. To enjoy life to the full and be paid for it.
I’m still a filmmaker, it’s in my bones, but now I mostly make films for my family or I, or branded films for clients on my blog.
I also feature on camera for clients or in ad campaigns (bareMinerals, NIVEA) something I’d always wanted to do but wasn’t sure it was my place to being mostly behind the camera.
Blogging has taken me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to try out things I’d never had dreamt of, with dream collabs, modelling for brands like Nova Harley, appearing in British Vogue, being an ambassador for Yosa, and working daily with much-loved style, food, beauty and travel brands that mostly make me pinch myself.
My family and I have the most magical experiences we’re so very grateful for, holidaying all over the world reviewing resorts, attending film premieres and receiving review items we’re paid to feature. Can we pay to dress you? Erm, let me think about that one.
Blogging might just be the best job in the world.
A slice of Beyonce’s life but as a parenting blogger. Or something.
And I get to write and photograph and film for my career and as gushy and cheesy as it sounds, it makes my heart sing.