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Are you busy?

are you busy

The most common question I get asked about my self employed, work from home, stay at home mum job is ‘Are you busy?’ I’m never quite sure what answer to give.

What I normally reply when asked ‘Are you busy?’

Instinctively I say, ‘yes’.

Then I feel the need to clarify what I mean.

I’m a full time mother of 4 children aged between 1 and 11. Of course I’m busy! Permanently busy. But what people are really asking is if I’m busy with work, or more accurately they want to know if I’m making lots of money from it.

Well, no, I’m not making LOADS of money from it because as I mentioned I have 4 children, aged between 1 and 11 and most of my day (and night) is spent with them so it would be some job that would enable me to do that and make loads of money at the same time.

But I often follow up my ‘yes’ with ‘I’m as busy as I want to be’. Because for me that’s why I do the job I do. It has the flexibility to allow me to be with my children and work in the gaps, but as I said I’m a mother of 4 children so there aren’t that many gaps!

What I want to say when asked ‘Are you busy?’

Honestly, I want to reply with some of the following,

‘Of course I’m ****** busy, I’ve got 4 kids’

‘Well, I might be busier if you supported my business.’

‘You nosy *** you just want to know how much money I’m making, none of your business!’

Naturally I never say any of those things. They usually know I’ve got 4 children. Why should they support my business if they actually believe they can get better quality elsewhere (I haven’t seen where yet) and probably shouting abuse at them would put them off even thinking about buying a card from me.

So I just say ‘yes’ and smile and maybe ‘would you like the latest catalogue?’ Then I dive into my brochure sized handbag and swiftly fish out a brochure from beneath the spare nappy, game of Uno and chequebook. The three things I seem to need most in life when I least expect to.

Phoenix Trading Review – Is it worth it?

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The Day that Changed my Life

Follow your dreams Phoenix Trading cards

I didn’t know it at the time but that day was to change my whole outlook on life. What happened planted a seed in my mind that was to grow over the next few years.

I was in my early 20s, just married and in my second job following graduation. I had a career ahead of me and any thoughts about children were way in the future. Although everything may have seemed fine on the outside, on the inside I was struggling. Battling with depression as a side effect of the contraceptive pill, I was finding it hard to get through each day. I wouldn’t say I was actively suicidal but the thought of my life ending abruptly wasn’t unappealing.

Feeling under the weatherIt was at this time that I had a review with my line manager.

He had noticed that I’d had a few days off sick, not a lot but a few. He’d noticed that I was struggling and didn’t seem at all surprised when I confessed that I was seeing the doctor about my depression. (I had stopped the medication but was still climbing back out of the pit.)

I was encouraged to hear him say he understood, he’d been there but his next words knocked me for six:

‘Well, we clearly don’t want to push you over the edge but we do need you to work extra hours.’

Extra hours??? I was barely making it through 9-5, 5 days a week!!! And for what? Extra hours wasn’t going to earn me any extra money or even develop my career path, it was simply to be able to bill the client more and put more money in the pockets of the shareholders. How pointless that seemed then.

Moose of MotivationI left that job shortly after but it wasn’t until years later that I discovered how to work for myself. I wish I had known then but life’s experiences have shaped who I am now so no regrets. I now have 4 children and run my own business selling Flamingo cards and stationery. I’m not making millions, which isn’t surprising as my family are my priority just now not my work. Like any business you only get out what you put in and right now I’m investing in my family but quietly building a business for when I do have a little more time to make it grow bigger.

Being with my young children is priceless and I wouldn’t change a thing. Being my own boss suits me just fine. Life is really too short.

Only I can push me over the edge and I choose not to.

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Words of Comfort

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words but in difficult situations I believe your own words are often the best. All our cards are blank on the inside for you to add your own thoughts, fond memories or reflections at those difficult times.

sympathy collage

This is just a few of my favourite cards for these situations and you’ll find some of these, and more here.

What do you find helpful to read in a sympathy card? Do share in the comments below, it might help someone else who is struggling for words.