I’d like to welcome Karen to my blog as part of the Chaotic Goddess Swaps blog swap. It was fun to participate! Be sure to head over to Karen’s blog linked in her post below, where I’ve done a guest post as well!
Hi, my name’s Karen. I am 34, I work full time, have a fashion boutique and on line boutique, I am also a mummy to my two year daughter, Scarlett.
I’d like to thank Heather for hosting this guest post. I wanted to write about something that was common to us both. Even though our interests are different, it is glaringly obvious that we are very similar. We are both women, working full time and trying to also be an entrepreneur and turn our hobbies into a successful career. Heather makes things, unfortunately I am not quite so creative! My “day job” is working as a sales manager for an automotive company. I look after 14 countries around Western Europe. This involves alot of travelling. It was/is a great job as I work with my husband and we get to combine work with pleasure. We have had some great times and seen many places.
However, 2 years ago my world changed, that was the day Scarlett came along. I had thought throughout pregnancy that I would have 3 months maternity and then go back to work and put Scarlett in childcare. Of course as soon as she came along work was the last thing on my mind. Three months approached and I started to work from home, it was sometimes difficult to juggle, but she was quite a chilled baby with plenty of naps, so I managed to combine the two. After 1 year I had to return to the office and start to travel again. I just hated it. I felt a sense of guilt constantly. I felt guilty at work because Scarlett was being taken care of by someone else, I felt guilt at work as I knew I wasn’t doing so a good job as my heart was elsewhere, but at the same time I knew I couldn’t be a stay at home mum. Every time I had to travel and Scarlett would stay with my parents, it broke my heart, well still does… I decided that I needed to have my own business.
Easy to say, not so easy to do! I love fashion, always have since I was a little girl. I noticed a gap in the market where we live for a boutique aimed at women my age. So, with the help of my husband we opened a boutique. I employed a manager as I couldn’t give up my day job yet. I also started to sell on line. I found that this was really where I flourished. I really enjoyed learning about social media and how to achieve higher rankings on Google. I also started a blog which was great fun, and I loved meeting other bloggers and getting involved in chats about fashion. The website really took off and over took the boutique in sales by far.
My original idea was to spend more time with Scarlett, but as it’s worked out I have less time now as I am juggling the shop, the web store and my full time job. The dream does seem to be getting closer though and hopefully soon I can just run my business from home.
I know so many women like myself who try to do everything, combine successful careers, children, friends, hobbies along with being a great wife and home keeper. I think we all secretly aspire to be a Stepford wife. It occurred to me, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? It is like we have something to prove, and cannot fail at anything in life. We need to do it all. Men don’t think like this, men will concentrate one, maybe two things, but they understand you just can’t do it all, and more to the point really don’t want to. It is without doubt a woman’s disease.
But how do we stop it? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that. Perhaps we need to have more confidence in ourselves? Stop being sucked into this un-realistic image that the media paint of what women should be like? Maybe, we just need to take some time, love ourselves a little more and relax!