Firstly tell us what you do and a little about your family and background as a work at home mum!
I am Katie, mum to Alana aged 15 (16 in October!) Josh aged 12, Nick aged 3 and Micheal who is nearly 4 months. Up until 2014 I was working full time as a senior housing support worker, working with young people, young mums, learning difficulties and mental health tenants. I was working 24 hr shifts, and juggling uni studies for my degree as well. When I went on maternity leave and removed the older children from school to trial home ed for 6 months following issues with bullying, ill health and anxiety, the whole family benefited so much that we made the decision for me not to return.
Instead I became a Slimming World consultant. I had lost 4 stone with Slimming world and this opportunity allowed me to work on a Saturday morning while my husband was at home with the children, and allowed me to be at home the rest of the time with them. It led to a much more relaxed and closer family.
What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?
Feel the fear and do it anyway. The most worthwhile steps are the hardest ones to make. Also, to have that holiday, have that night out, take that opportunity and share those experiences.
Can you give us 3 tips for juggling motherhood, life and business?
1) Look after you, if you have a spare 30 minutes, have a soak in the bath instead of doing the washing up or laundry every now and again. Other stuff can wait sometimes, youre no good to anyone totally run down!
2) Get up earlier, I used to lay in until the children made me need to get up, but I have felt happier and so much more productive since getting up before the children and allowing myself the chance to have breakfast, a cuppa and a wash before my real day begins.
3) DO YOUR TAX RETURN. Dont leave it till the last minute. It ends up in a mad rush and a stress about paying your tax bill. Get it in and submitted early, and breathe your relief the rest of the year when you are able to pay your bill in installments.
Tell us something no one ever warned you about being a work at home mama!
No one ever told me that there would be times that I would still hate the responsibility of having to work. That even being self employed, sometimes I wish the money would magic into my bank account without me having to people. However much I love my job, sometimes life gets in the way of my head and nothing is a super easy quick fix.
What is the best thing about being a WAHM?
Being able to have my children at home with me without having to rely on childcare and mainstream schools.
Can you discuss something you are working on right now to improve your work/life balance?
Currently I am in the process of a housemove. Hopefully more space will allow me the room to have an office space which will stop work stuff from filling every available surface.
The best advice anyone ever gave you?
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." Albus Dumbledore.
What WAHM has inspired you lately?
Danielles custom creations. She is a wonderful WAHM who makes childrens clothes. She is currently heavily pregnant (unless baby has arrived) and yet she has been working hard still making beautiful and wonderful quality clothes to order.
What are you reading right now?
Currently I am nearly through Constance Halls Like a Queen. I have Ross Mountneys Home Education Notebook to read afterwards.
How do you practice regular self care?
1) Pole Dancing class each week, that little bit of me time.
2) Watching what I eat without depriving myself of what I want. Awareness is key.
3) Relaxing baths, no quick showers unless absolutely necessary.
You can find Katie via her blog At Home With The Grays