Welcome back to Mama You Can, a series started to started to share inspirational stories of Mama’s who have changed career direction, started their own business or negotiated a more flexible role to fit in with family life.
This week we have Sarah Pool who runs the blog Tammymum. I found Sarah when I first started blogging through a linky she runs which helps bloggers share their content. I loved her blog and her Instagram feed so when I was looking for people to feature Sarah was a natural choice!
Sarah also changed careers to be a blogger, I always love hearing how people get into blogging so I’ll hand over to Sarah to tell her story…
Mama You Can: Sarah Pool
I am legally trained, I spent many years in education working very hard. I studied law and managed to obtain a first class degree I then went on to complete my Legal Practice Course to allow me to practice law which I went on to do the summer after I completed my 4th year of uni…after taking 3 months out to live in Cyprus that is. I was a practicing lawyer less than 48 hours before my daughter was born and then everything changed.
I can’t say that I necessarily choose the change rather it chose me. I had every intention to return to work and continue building a career I had worked hard to start. In fact I agonised over the decision constantly. It was made easier as we had a second child some 11 months after our first. He was two months early and really rather poorly for a long time. The first 12 months of his life were hard and it took its toll on everyone. Ultimately it came down to finances and logistics. For me to undertake and pay for an hours commute each way, daily, to also pay for two lots of childcare for the 2-3 years and then to have to factor in the days out of the office, to client meetings, court hearings, settlement meeting etc returning to work started to seem unfathomable. Also with Mr Tammy being the higher earner if one career was to take priority it would just have to be his. All of that coupled with the one of chance to be there with my babies before they start school, well I guess it seems obvious now, but trust me when I say it was not an easy decision and it has taken a long time to get my head around it and adjust to the change.
The change has seen me go from full-time lawyer to office mum. My income and my ‘work’ is now all derived from Tammymum.com. It has undergone a lot of change in the 18 months plus it has been live. From a hobby to get me through the dark and sometimes lonely days (and nights) of parenting to a fully fledged family lifestyle blog. It is busy and I am often so pushed for time but it allows me the chance to write, be creative and indeed operate as my very own business. I have had to learn skills I never thought I would have a use for. It is a career change that just kind of happened. I didn’t leave my career to carve out this one but whether intentionally or not I have. It is my work, it is my income and I love it. I still have days where I yearn to leave the house and mix with adults but equally I know I am incredibly fortunate to have embarked on this ‘labour of love’. Even if some days my office looks more like this
I do still sometimes wince when I tell people what I do. I know people don’t understand it and I play it down. I am not the biggest and best blogger out there and I am not in it for the fame. I do however work hard, put the hours in and reap benefits that a person in any other sector would consider employment.
Tammymum.com has plans for the future. Plans that reach beyond the blog. Plans that require more time than my ‘office mum’ hours allow. One day the children will be at school and those hours will open up. I have seen what I can do working from home 1 day a week and then again in the evenings after bedtime or in any stretch of free time I have. So with the right ethos I would like to think it can only get better as time becomes more available once again.
To anyone considering a change in career, it is frightening. As I said the change just kind of happened to me, but, the success of the change is something I work. Although taking that plunge was not something I necessarily had to consider I can understand why people would be reluctant or hesitant I most certainly would be but I can quite honestly say, for now, it was the best thing for me and my family and that makes it all worth while.