Mother of The month
1. What’s your name, and your children's names and ages? Where are you based? What kind of making do you do or dream of doing?
Elizabeth Bradley- children Jack, 8, Eve, 6 and Jude 3
Barnsley, South Yorkshire
I am a Chartered Marketer and my background has been predominently in marketing roles. However, since becoming a mother I’ve been able to follow my real passion of writing. My business is called ContentSmiths and we provide a range of content writing and copywriting services for businesses throughout the UK. This can range from things like blog articles, website content and product descriptions to brochure copy, press releases or copy for a magazine article. We have a small team of writers and produce online or offline content. My role is to oversee all of that – liaise with clients and arrange workflow and I also do a small amount of writing too.
2. How do you do it?! How do you make it work?
Fortunately, the work is flexible and usually fits around family life. Working outside of conventional office hours is necessary too but we make it work. I work from home which also helps so I don’t have a lengthy commute or any other restrictions of typical office work to contend with. My husband is also self employed but we’ve both made the conscious choice to carve out our own businesses that complement raising a family – most of the time!
3. How has your mothering impacted your making?
I would say that mothering has completely changed my ‘professional life’. Before children I worked full time in marketing and in the final year or so of being there it was a very toxic, everyone out for themselves environment and I honestly just wanted to leave! I found out I was pregnant around April 2010 and then not long after discovered that my job was at risk of redundancy - I’m forever thankful to the last line manager I had who ironically was covering maternity leave - she was extremely supportive and helped me see there was another option to fighting for my job whilst pregnant and all the stress that would have entailed! I grabbed voluntary redundancy with both hands and never looked back. It was a new beginning in every sense.
When my first baby was around 18 months old, I began writing freelance on a very small scale. This gradually evolved into editing and SEO (search engine optimisation) work and snowballed from there into the business I now run. Without becoming a mother, I believe things would now be so different and not in a good way.
4. And vice versa?
With the children around a lot of the time when I’m working, I find myself having to work efficiently. It’s not necessarily plain sailing all the time but basically, I try to make quicker decisions, block time for working on specific tasks and keep the two roles as separate as possible. The way I now ‘make’ also allows me to be present for my children in every way – something I wouldn’t have been able to do had I been returning to full time work out of the home.
5. The best thing? The hardest?
The best thing about being a mother maker is the freedom I feel. Before I had children, my job felt pretty meaningless – like I was on a treadmill of what was expected and that it didn’t really have much purpose in the grand scheme of things. Now that outlook has completely changed. I see first-hand every day how important my role as a mother is and I’m now doing the part of my previous job that I always enjoyed the most. I hope my children will see that working doesn’t just mean getting through the day but that having something you like doing is important too.
The hardest part is the pressure I put on myself sometimes. I have a tendency to procrastinate on occasion which doesn’t fit with trying to work efficiently! I think it’s pretty standard that mums feel pressure, but I can be really hard on myself too especially when it seems like I’m not achieving anything!
6. Future dreams?
At the time of writing I’m actually around 16 weeks pregnant with my 4th child so my immediate future is getting through that unscathed! I’m excited to see how our next chapter unfolds and feel blessed to have a network of supportive family, friends and fellow mother makers around me!