I was a teenage mum, I had my first baby at the age of 18 and my second a year later. When I was at school I was a high achiever, I was supposed to go to university and have an amazing career but that was not meant to be and my life took a different path.
Being a teenage mother is a struggle both financially and mentally, a task I was just not ready for. I look back now and the immense feelings of guilt I have for just getting through the days instead of doing all the things I should have consumes me at times.
All of my children, despite my shortcomings have been loved and I cared for them as best I could. I know that when all is said and done that is what truly matters.
By the time the children had reached the ages of 18 months and 6 months I went out and got myself a job. I trained at the dental hospital and qualified as a specialist dental nurse. I worked self-employed for an agency and I provided.
Although I made a small income and we got by it is not what I was born to do and I always felt like my career should have or could have been so much more.
I am also by nature hugely self-conscious of how others perceive me. For a long time I felt as though I was looked down on, not taken seriously enough and would worry constantly that I was inadequate. There is a stigma attached to being a teenage mum that is hard to shake and unfortunately society generally assume that you won’t make anything of yourself.
Then Mr T walked into my life and whisked me off my feet. I have spoken in another post about how he became my knight in shining armour but it really is so much more than that. We were married after a year by which time the children were 3 and 4.
Mr T was already a self-made business man and this offered an escape route from my day-to-day grind, giving me the opportunity to be the one that took the children to school and pick them up, a luxury that many other working parents do not have.
I worked from home for my husband’s business as bookkeeper-teaching myself all about VAT, tax returns and learning how to balance the books. Still not my ‘calling’ but I enjoyed it and over the years together we built his business up to what it is today.
When I would tell people I work for my husband they would remark that I must be a lady of leisure supported by my hard-working husband and thought that I didn’t actually do any ‘real work’ the reality is very different of course. Anyone who runs their own business will know that if you don’t stay afloat of the paperwork you will drown in it, my role was important, however from the outside it was and still is my husband’s business.
I am incredibly grateful and lucky to have an ‘out’ from working for someone else but still I felt as though I had to prove myself. I needed very much to achieve something just for me.
It was then that I started blogging, at first I wasn’t sure where it would take me but very quickly I was offered a huge campaign as a paid presenter for a City & Guilds promotional video. This consisted of a day at The Royal Opera House in London filmed by a full camera crew with a director and a producer as well as a whole team of other production staff in tow. I felt like a star and was named as ‘The Talent’ on the script! It was one of the most exciting (and exhausting) days of my adult life.
This campaign led onto the radio work I have done with the BBC and slowly but surely my professional portfolio has built up.
Fast forward 16 months and I have collaborated with some pretty major brands and best of all I have been paid to write not just here on my blog but freelance. My blog has given me such an amazing outlet to express my creativity, to hone my writing skill and perhaps most significantly, has given me a voice.
I describe myself as a memory keeper but I’m also a story-teller. My blog is a space to transcript our lives; significant or ordinary. A place to practice catharsis and sort through my feelings. Record a wonderful photolog of moments that might otherwise be lost in an archive idling away. I even make regular family movies and vlogs for my YouTube channel now-something I hope to develop over time. I take my blog extremely seriously, treating it like a business and moulding it into my vision of what I hope to achieve from it.
I have taken much inspiration from fellow bloggers, people who have been so incredibly generous, kind and loving towards me. I have formed friendships that will last a lifetime. These are people who without blogging I would never have met but now thanks to my blog they are a massive and incredibly important part of my life. Friends who I talk to daily, who are there for me both professionally and personally and I can’t thank them enough for their love and support.
My blog has given me an unbelievable confidence, self-belief and the opportunity to prove to others, but mostly to myself that I am capable of achieving something just for me.
Blogging has completely changed my life, I am so very grateful to everyone who reads my words, it really does mean the world to me.