Thursday, 6 September 2018

Blog Detox - What Next?

Since my last detox post, I've struggled to blog because I couldn't work out what to do next on here...

I felt I was between a rock and a hard place in terms of buying clothes, working with brands and being on my social channels....'what about the detox?' I heard people saying.

 I cursed my honesty in declaring that I want to buy less, be online less and work with brands less. But then I was reminded that I never said I wasn't going to do these things ever again. I simply called them out because they are at unrealistic levels generally in the blogger space and it was affecting my head and my blog. I have changed my approach to all three in recent weeks and I can't believe the difference it's made to my wellbeing.

But bigger changes have been evolving in my head also. 

When I started blogging, I had 2 babies at home & a young child in school until 2pm. The blog was the perfect 'fit around the kids' kind of escape. I blogged when they napped or in the evenings when they were all in bed. It was a vital creative outlet away from motherhood, which can drive the best of us mad on a good day. It wasn't something I needed an income from but when it did start to create a small income, it meant I could continue when the kids were in nursery and then in the early years of primary school.

But now my kids are in school all day with after school activities most days. In fact, my son is away from 7.45 until 4pm...my girls will soon be on this timetable too. I can't sit and write blog posts or scroll social media all that time....I'm climbing the walls! I'm also not feeling the love of the self employed hustle - constantly looking for the next gig, invoices, tax returns...not a strong point for me.

What drove me to blog - to keep my mind active and my skills relevant in the first place - is driving me to want to be back in that pre-children corporate world. 

I'm probably mad - my husband certainly thinks so. But a desire to contribute to society and to the running costs of a family of 5 has me hunting for a 'real' job. It might take me a month, or a year...or I might never find that ideal role but I'm in the market and actively looking. 

And I'll share this experience with you too as I've had some interesting discussions with recruiters in the past month or so. There's definitely a blog post that needs written around the challenges of returning to the workplace in your 40's after a decade away.

 But in the meantime, while I look, I will keep blogging and creating content on social media and that blogging will include what you've told me you want to see - what's in the shops now, key pieces to add to your wardrobe this autumn/winter, capsule shopping, preloved fashion, profiles of local shops and businesses and reviews of more ethical clothing brands - something I feel very strongly about after reading 'To Die For - Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?' by Lucy Siegle.

To keep me afloat while I look for work, I will include some brand-let content in all this but it will be kept to a minimum and always relevant - I promise I'll never overdo it in that regard.

All that's left for me to say is a massive thank you to all of you for the encouragement to date...and if you know anyone who might employ me, please send them my way :) 

Ax


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8 comments

  1. Honest as always! Please don't change. I'm a 40+ mum of 2 who's let her career take the back seat for 11 years and to be honest I don't know where to turn or how to go about looking for a 'proper' job. I've been freelancing at home for 5 years now on a magazine for a great client which certainly keeps me busy enough whilst the kids are at school. BUT it will end one day and I do crave social/work status sometimes, and human company much more. Would love to hear about your return to work journey, warts and all, as you go along. Best of luck.

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  2. Good luck with the job search Avril! I stayed home once the children arrived because of frequent moves (including internationally) due to my husband's job. I was busy enough at home and also volunteering in all sorts of ways. Now, however, with the boys out of the house, I have lots of time to myself (which I don't yet hate!) and a very small amount of freelance work. I'm a decade older than you, so job situation is much worse for me. You still have many good years to give in the workplace, so, again, lots of luck. And I agree with Kathryn - love your honesty!

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  3. All the best on your job hunt Avril. I work full time and blog in my spare time. It's a great balance being able to provide for the family and do the creativity stuff on the side. I feel the balance is right for me with my two boys out from 8am to 4pm now too. Keep us posted and yes please continue sharing your wonderfully helpful tips. Always love watching your stories of local shops - especially Abbey Centre which is only a 10 minute drive! Ellen x

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  4. So honest and authentic (and this is why you’re one of only two blogs I read). I love your blog and seeing your outfits/style and never mind the occasional sponsored post because this is your job and you add so much value. But if you are ready for a new direction, and want to do something which better suits you and your family at this stage of your lives, then good for you and I wish you every success xx

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  5. Hi Avril, exciting times ahead!! I too can understand the need ‘for more’ once the kids are in full time education. Any chance of a fuller role at field day - if only for the office view!!! L x

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  6. As always love your honesty and how balanced you are, Avril! Good luck with your job search, don't rush it... you have a lot to offer to any employer and they will be lucky to get you. Im looking forward to following your journey.

    I returned to work part time last year, after 10 years at home with kids, which I realise I was hugely privileged to be able to do. Im loving using my brain again, having the social interaction and getting my identity back (not just somebody's mum). This week I was very pleasantly surprised to be given a pay rise (I hadn't asked for), which has been a lovely ego boost. Plan for 2019 is to step up my hours... small steps but nice to be a role model for my children and contribute financially too. X

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  7. Very best of luck with the job hunt Avril! x

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  8. I can massively relate to a lot of what you've written here - they are all things that go round in my head almost daily. My (teenage) kids all went back to school and as I work mostly from home it's been very weird to be back with a quiet house. I find it very difficult not to scroll mindlessly and have to actively put my phone away to try to be productive. I also blog and so I totally get what you're saying. Good luck in the job hunt, I'm sure you'll find something worthwhile.

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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