I recently published a post about working with brands. I have been really really lucky. All the while that I needed to be at home around the kids, I have been able to negotiate work from home gigs, and I've managed to slot all of my blogging and my writing and work at home commitments around the kids, the lovely husband, the gym and my Mum. Around baskets of ironing and writing
A great deal of this blogging has been lucrative - my blog has lead me to a lovely amount of writing work off my blog. I've never taken this for granted - but I have worked bloody hard. There have been too many evenings where I have gazed wistfully at the couch and my lovely husband, but I've not been able to join them - because I've been on a deadline.
My youngest, Lexie, is now very much settled into school. Charlie and Olivia are incredibly secure and settled. We have done the hard years of being totally absorbed with little children and their needs. We have managed on one income for over eight years, topped up by my part time income.
And now I am back at work, back to my career.
It is part time - about 30 hours a week - and it is intense. I am loving it. I am working in a marketing role, for a large property development organisation. I feel my brain exploding with the possibilities of the role, and the market I am in. My pride and ownership levels are growing daily - along with my enthusiasm to make things happen in the organisation.
I have, by chance or design I am not really sure, timed it all so that I am totally satisfied that the kids are all at the age and stage that I can work at this level. The past month or so have shown me that I can truly switch off from the kids when I am at work, and not fret. And, in turn, by the time I pick them up from school at 3 o'clock, I can happily focus on them entirely. It's early days, obviously, but I have demonstrated to myself that we can have it all - me and the fab five are making it work. I have no doubt the seams will show the strain at times, but I do not anticipate it all coming apart.
And the result of all this? My blog is no longer my part time job.
Earlier this year, when I was planning on my return to the corporate world, my blogging suffered.
Then I spent a weekend in the company of passionate bloggers - and some brilliant writers, and a lot of wonderful friends. This, as I anticipated, re-ignited my love for my blog.
I have been blogging for nearly ten years. Nearly a decade.
I am not going to stop anytime now.
But I will no longer be doing many reviews or giveaways. (I will, I hope, still be bringing you cool stuff from Kitchenware Direct, because they rock...)
I will no longer be doing PR stuff or sponsored posts.
The commercial stuff will be very much in the background.
I severed ties with Nuffnang ages ago, for a variety of reasons. I have now also taken myself off the PR Friendly lists. (I am still friendly - I just don't want to be bosom buddies with the endless PR pitches....)
I realise that I am being very long winded about this.
I love blogging. I don't mind the odd fling with Twitter too. Facebook is OK for the occasional one night stand.
Blogging - writing - tinkering with words - is what I like best of all. Sharing stuff with you, my lovely readers, and getting YOUR thoughts and your comments and feedback - that is the bit of blogging I really love.
So, from now on, my blog can go back to being just a blog. And I am very OK with that.
I hope you are too?