Measuring success; #IAmABlogger

A few weekends ago I was finally lucky enough to get my hands on a ticket to a ‘Lucky Things Meet Up’ event in London – a seminar and networking event organised by Sunita from ‘Lucky Things Blog‘.  The theme of the event was ‘Career confidence’, and whilst I planned my journey and my outfit it occurred to me that this perhaps was the worst themed event I could have gone to. After all, I’m on a career break, being ‘just’ a stay at home Mum, doing ‘not much really’ as I so often respond to the question ‘What are you doing now?’.

I decided to go anyway, in all honesty because I needed a break from the potty training before I lost my mind. I figured I might get some insight about how to tackle the time I need to return to work, whenever that may be.

And, just a matter of hours later, it dawned on me that this of course was exactly the event I needed to attend at this juncture of my life.

You see, what I realised is that it’s time I stopped telling everyone I’m doing nothing, whilst I spend my days working my socks off as a Mother, and six evenings a week or so working my socks off as a blogger.

I have created my own business, I have cultivated a career that works around my family, and although it’s hard work, it’s working for us.

But does this make me a success?

Well, that depends what success looks like to me, or to you, doesn’t it?

As I’ve mulled this over since the event, when we were asked to think about what success means to us, and I realised that success isn’t necessarily a destination, but an ever moving goal post, depending on your dreams, aspirations and circumstances at any given point in time.

Looking back over my own life experiences, what I deemed to be success has certainly evolved as much as the person striving to achieve it.

As a young girl and teenager success was all about being popular. Having the right stuff, the right friends and fitting a mould. Not that I always achieved these things, but that in itself at that time in your life is enough to make you feel like a failure.

Fortunately, as the focus shifted to academic studies, success was all about exam results and the pathways they opened up. A university place, a college course, a decent job. At this stage career progression wasn’t really a focal point – not yet anyway…but that would soon come.

As careers were carved and the initial excitement of a monthly income faded, being successful suddenly took on a new shape. Career aspirations blossomed and suddenly each grade rise or pay rise was just a stepping stone to wanting the next one. Constantly pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones to achieve the next jump, our twenties were the time we chased the promotions, built up our CV experiences and reaped the rewards.

But once the careers stabilised and the dizzy days of partying lost their appeal, suddenly the friends around me and I were striking a new norm – the world of ‘settling down’ and buying houses. Success suddenly felt about who had what property under their belt, how many bedrooms, and whether this was your much coveted ‘forever home’.

With rooms to fill came weddings and babies, lots of them. For us, for our friends and our family. Suddenly, this bombshell made success as we knew it take an entirely new shape.

For many of us, including me, success in career terms just took a totally new form. It no longer comprised working long hours and high end business trips with a tasty salary to match – it had a whole new much longed for factor; flexibility. Finding a career which accommodated your new and growing family suddenly becoming the deal breaker.

Many of those of us who have chosen to continue with their successful careers have had to find a way to achieve some kind of flexible working around their family – be it working from home, a reduction in hours, or perhaps any of these things for their partners work, should that be the better option.

As my career is no longer recognisable from it’s 9-5 office days of  formal attire and scientific reports, it’s time to respect the fact that it is a career nonetheless.

Being a blogger brings on a whole new measure of success… followers, page views, events, networks, chart rankings, awards and accolades, and yes of course…earning money. It’s not a big thing to everyone of course, but every blog and blogger is different – some are doing it for fun around a great job, some as a form of therapy, some may not need the money, and some, well let’s just say for some writing about your ten favourite baby purees isn’t going to put food on the table.

Having started a blog as a hobby, I never expected to turn it into a business, but sometimes life takes a path you don’t expect. I now see my success as a blogger not as stats, not as rankings, not as followers, but as a way of doing something I LOVE as a JOB that WORKS around my FAMILY.

Striving to succeed in this game therefore isn’t about fame, or even about fortune, but about having a sense of pride that I have carved something out of nothing, and hope to continue to do so until the day it dries up, or it’s no longer giving me the work-life balance and job satisfaction that it is giving me right now.

Success at this moment in time, to me, means being at the school gate, the nursery door, and the class assembly. Being at the park, the supermarket or the garden centre when I choose to, and being hard at work at my kitchen table, my garden, on the sofa in my PJs when I choose to. Which sometimes, means not at all.

Success certainly takes all sorts of shapes and sizes to each and every one of us, and who knows how it will look in another, five, ten, twenty years from now…

But for now, I am Sarah, and I am a blogger.


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29 thoughts on “Measuring success; #IAmABlogger

  1. Sunita Reply

    Love how you’ve described how success can mean so many different things! I totally agree that through the different phases in our life success looks different. Having left my corporate city career last year success looks very different for me now. Also with our IVF journey and the ups and downs with my husband’s health last year those seriously redefined success for both of us.
    I’m so pleased you enjoyed your first #luckythingsmeetup. It was amazing having you there as you’ve been there from the start of my blogging adventure.
    I think it’s important we talk about our work/businesses whether they’re a blog or something else. We should be proud of running our own businesses. It’s bloody hard work!!!
    As I’ve always championed if you’re a so-called Stay At Home Mum (TBH not sure if I like the label!) you’re effectively the CEO or leader of your household. This is still a hardcore career. It’s also a job lots of people don’t have the skills to do.
    Love the MMT brand and business.
    Thanks for the fab shout out. Hope to catch up again soon
    X Sunita #coolmumclub

  2. themummybubbleblog Reply

    This was a really inspiring read. I love that blogging has become a flexible career for you. Sounds like you’re working your socks off fitting it all in! Well done x #coolmumclub

  3. The Squirmy Popple Reply

    I think you should be really proud of what you’ve achieved – carving out your own career on your own terms is a difficult thing and not something that many people are brave enough to attempt (like me!). I’m firmly in the blogging-as-a-hobby camp, at least for now, but I have a lot of respect for the people who have worked hard to make their blog their career. #coolmumclub

  4. justsayingmum Reply

    Oh I flippin’ love this!! What a point to have got to and what a closing line. I think to get that feel of acceptance of who we are brings such freedom Striving and looking at what others are doing and trying to fit in is just so exhausting. Being you and proud of you is wonderful! Love! #CoolMumClub

  5. franbackwithabump Reply

    This is such a fab post and you’re so right. it’s not about being popular or having the fanciest job title, it’s about a job that works for you and your family. You’re doing something you enjoy and getting pad for it, which is something not many people can say about their jobs!! #coolmumclub x

  6. Tubbs Reply

    That was really inspiring. It’s great to see how different people have made blogging work for them and their lives.

  7. Lisa - Little Orange Dog Reply

    I really enjoyed this post. Honestly, I have never been one for a career; I gave up on that one when I realised girls from council estates didn’t become the Royal Ballet’s next Prima Ballerina. I now have a job I love and am fortunate to be able to work from home, allowing me to also work on my little blog and whilst I have yet to turn the blog into a business, let along a viable business, I love both my jobs. We really are lucky to do what we enjoy #coolmumclub x

  8. beautybabyandme Reply

    And you my love are an amazing blogger. You were the first blogger I really followed and very much aspired to be like! Your success is unprecedented and I love that you are still inspiring me to write and blog. You my love are fabulous xx #coolmumclub

  9. mamagrace Reply

    Cool. Success is flexibility and that world you described beforehand seemed like couldn’t fit a family in it. #coolmumclub

  10. So Happy In Town (@SoHappyInTown) Reply

    What a fantastic post which completely defines success for us all now which as you say, is so different from pre-kids when working ridic long hours and travelling around the world was, I guess, then what I defined as success. Just like you, now success for me is being around with my children, and being able to take them to school and pick them up and be around in the holidays. I’m very lucky that I can do that as I know it’s not a possibility for many other mothers. #coolmumclub

  11. mealsandmakes Reply

    This is a lovely post. Yes, success definitely changes with life. It sounds like you are in a very positive place- well done! #coolmumclub

  12. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Yes to this mama! But really I think having a job you love that you can work around your family is a huge success….and basically gold dust in my book xoxo

  13. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Can you believe I actually forgot to add #coolmumclub though….pre-summer madness arghhhhhhh! xx

  14. Heather/WordtoYourMotherBlog Reply

    Good for you!!! You’re a GREAT blogger!!!


  15. Tooting Mama Reply

    The world of work is changing. You’ve created your own job, your are an entrepreneur and business woman. That’s how you need to see this and the success factor doesn’t have to be financial rewards, yours is time with the kids… much more valuable! Keep on going – you are doing an amazing job! #coolmumclub

  16. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... Reply

    I agree there isn’t one simple definition of success, and even some days when I feel a complete failure in everything I do 🙁 . #coolmumclub

  17. Kitty Reply

    I think so many of us are questioning where we are in the blogging game and if we are or not a success in society’s terms. I am pleased you have learned to value the very important stuff you are doing right now. That last bit reminded me of AA meetings.

  18. Jemma @popcornlunchuk Reply

    So eloquently put! This is exactly the process I went through in terms of how I looked at success – I too had a decent career until the kids came along – then my entire focus shifted and I didn’t think of myself as “successful” when I was spending most of my time at work and v.little with my children. All every mum wants – a job that works for her family! Your blogging career is an inspiration to us newbies x #coolmumclub ps – very much know the feeling with needing a break from potty training!!

  19. The Mumatron Reply

    I still barely know what I want from a career, sometimes being a mum is the only thing I actually feel successful at! Who knows what’s in store for the blog, I need to break free from 400 page views pm if its going anywhere. I certainly enjoy it as a hobby and that was the idea. #CoolMumClub

  20. Alana - Burnished Chaos Reply

    Love this so much, so inspiring and empowering. The goal posts are definitely ever moving and that’s a good thing. We need to know what success means to us personally, not what is deemed successful by anyone else x

  21. The Queen of Collage Reply

    Keep climbing those mountains and following your dreams. #coolmumclub

  22. Lucy At Home Reply

    Oh I needed to read this. I am always saying that I’m “just at home at the moment but I’m hoping to go back to work when…” and then I proceed to tell them my 5 year plan in great detail, just so that they know I’m ambitious and don’t think I’m just lazy. I get so frustrated with myself for doing it. And anyway, I’m not “just at home”, I also have a small paid cleaning job, run the local baby/toddler group, lead a kids youth group, and blog. These things all take time and effort, it’s just that I don’t add weight to them. Thank you for the reminder that these things are important too and that success is not a static, pre-determined thing #coolmumclub

  23. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    So much love for this. You should be incredibly proud. You have developed a piece of the internet that allows you to enjoy your family life in a way that suits you, and you have driven and created your own opportunities and success! You’re so right that our definition of success evolves as we go through life, but by anyone’s measure you are hugely successful at what you do. Sending the high fives! :0) xx

  24. itsadrama Reply

    This is a really inspirational piece. well done you!

  25. thetaleofmummyhood Reply

    This absolutely makes you a success! Blogging is hard work and you’re nailing it, as well as bringing up your family! #dreamteam

  26. Mrs Lighty Reply

    I absolutely love this and I couldn’t agree more! Although I’m not quite where I want to be blogging wise, I love the fact that you’ve made me realise that I’ve had my own successes with my career path, so thank you! You are fab and so is your blog, and you deserve every single success! Here’s to many more wins! Thanks so much for linking up with #DreamTeam xxx

  27. talkingmums1 Reply

    I’m so glad I read this. I’m on a career break to and thinking of a new direction. To me success is being happy and doing what is needed to achieve happiness. Be it being at the school gates or running a business, seeing smiles on our children or affording big holidays, they are all successes in some form. You are not ‘just’ anything, you are Sarah and you are doing amazing x

  28. tammymum Reply

    Oh I am so totally with you on this, I am most proud of my blog because it is something I did, that I created out of nothing and have cultivated to what it is today. That’s not to say it is a ground breaking million dollar blog but it is still something I am proud of and that works for me and my family! #coolmumclub

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