One of the best things about blogging is the ability to attract like-minded people. Of course, there are always a few people who seem to read each post just to disagree with my ideas (internet trolls, I’m talking to you!), but overall Most people are really similar to me.
If our lives were a book, we would all be reading the same book. We’re all just reading different chapters. Some are a little ahead, others a few chapters behind.
Most of the bloggers I follow are several chapters ahead of me. I follow Hannah Maggs because she had her son Grayson about 6 months before I had George. I follow my girlfriend Jayne Gorman on Girl Tweets World not only because of her amazing travel content, but also because she started freelancing about a year before me and is a huge inspiration. It’s also because you gave it to me. It’s great to see what’s coming, especially if you don’t have any “real life friends” reading the same book!
I’m in the chapter of this book where I have kids and things are starting to get a little easier. I’ve found a “work-life balance” and am enjoying getting back into my career.
Many of you reading this blog are about three chapters behind me. This is one in which the main characters realize that children are actually quite cute and that they may even like them at some point in the future. However, they wonder if the rumors are true. There are rumors that kids are really hard on you and can ruin your life and your body and stop you from doing all the fun things you currently want to do.
So today’s post is for those of you who are three chapters behind me, the ones who are starting to hint that they might want kids someday. These are the questions people email and DM me on Instagram about motherhood. So let’s dig into it. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or email me!
How did you know it was the right time to have kids?
I don’t think there is a “right time” to have children. Sometimes things happen in life that require you to wait a little longer. I think the most difficult thing is deciding whether you want children or not. I don’t think it really matters when it happens, as long as it’s a clear yes and you’re in a happy relationship. I don’t think there’s any point in waiting for material things because you’ll always want more money, more job security, a bigger house, a bigger car, etc.
For Sam and I, it’s really about our careers. I always said I wanted to be 32 before having kids, but that was actually because I imagined that at 32 I would have a steady job and some decent disposable income. I realized how far I had come when I was 26, and 9 months later George was born!
(In case you were wondering, I make a living from this blog and it is now the main source of income for my family. If you are interested in making a living from blogging, check out my e-course Check out one of our “Blogger Courses)
What was giving birth like?
I gave birth to both of my boys by caesarean section. George (my eldest son) was breech, meaning upside down, and it was dangerous to deliver him naturally through his feet rather than through his head, so I was advised to have an elective caesarean section. And if you have had a C-section for one baby, you will be given the option of whether or not you would like to have a C-section for your second baby as well.
Elective C-sections are great because you know the exact day and time you’re going to have your baby, so you can relax and mentally prepare. I’m not walking on eggshells thinking I might go into labor at any moment, and I’m not past my due date.
I was also very nervous about giving birth naturally, so I was very relieved when it was decided that I would give birth. I didn’t think much about how scared I was about a natural birth until I realized it wasn’t going to be a natural birth and I let go of all my stress and anxiety and felt so relaxed!
Caesarean sections don’t have a very good reputation. This is because most people choose to give birth naturally or give birth after a long period of labor that does not progress, and the woman is exhausted by the time she gives birth and takes a long time to recover. That didn’t happen in my case, but since I wasn’t tired after going to the theater, I recovered quickly and only spent one night in the hospital. I walked within about 10 hours and was ready to go home the next day. Yes, I was sore and couldn’t drive for two weeks, but Sam was on vacation during that time so it was okay.
How did you not put on lots of weight during pregnancy?
This made me laugh, so I probably didn’t include it, but I’ve been asked it a few times!
In fact, I didn’t gain any weight during my pregnancy, and that’s because my diet was so healthy. When I cut out alcohol and junk food, my calorie intake was drastically reduced, so even if I ate more and exercised less, I was probably still consuming fewer calories.
I breastfed both of my boys, which burns a lot of calories, so I was fine for the first few months too. I actually lost a lot of weight after having Joseph. Because he was a very hungry little baby and I was always feeding him. But the real shock came when I stopped breastfeeding. I’m starting to feel it because I don’t exercise as much as I used to. Also, I’ve gotten used to being able to eat a lot while breastfeeding, so I really miss the late-night snacks and second helpings that my baby needs!’
I don’t think you necessarily gain weight when a baby is born. It’s just that after giving birth, you have a lot less time to do things for yourself. I think sometimes it’s about putting yourself first and making time to take care of yourself.
For me, it’s only now that Joseph is 18 months old and George is 3 years old that I feel like I’m starting to take back my life. I’m spending more time cooking and I’m thinking about joining the gym again (a big step!) I don’t feel like I’ve gained much weight, but I do feel a little more flexible. The muscle definition I once had is long gone!
What really surprised me about my post-baby body was that I didn’t mind gaining some weight, and I didn’t mind the C-section scar at all. I want to be more healthy, but overall I’m proud of the two people she’s grown as a person!
Will you have another baby?
Yes, this question mostly comes from my mom and I get asked it about once a month.
I’m 95% sure I won’t have any more children.
Sam is 100% sure!
After Joseph was born, I knew I wanted another baby. Not now, but for when Sam and I are old. I want to spend my retirement surrounded by my extended family!
But as my boys got older, I didn’t want a baby anymore. Now that George and Joseph are older and things are getting easier, I’m starting to remember what life was like before they were born. And wow, life was easy! I don’t want to go back to that life, but I can’t imagine going through the really difficult newborn period again. The anxiety of pregnancy, the sleepless nights, the juggling act between a baby and a toddler, and never having a second to yourself. It’s tough!
We are starting to really enjoy doing things as a family. We’re sure family vacations and microadventures become even more fun as the kids get older. So I’m not sure if I want to pause them all again. Another baby.
How do you manage to travel so much with your kids?
I don’t think I would have traveled as much with my kids if I wasn’t a travel blogger, but since my job depends on travel, I didn’t really have much of a choice when it came to travel!
Sam and I were completely intimidated and very nervous about everything on our first few trips. But you soon realize that being abroad is not that different from being at home. The flight may be tough, but you have to keep reminding yourself that you’ll be landing soon and everything will be a distant memory.
Now, my fear of traveling with kids is gone and I truly love traveling. I’m so happy that my blog gave me the push I needed to travel with kids.
Of course, what makes it so much easier for us to travel with kids is the fact that many of the trips we go on are press trips. This means you usually don’t have to pay all the costs. This is a big reason why we travel so often, so we don’t want to gloss over this. I can’t afford to go abroad every month, but this is definitely a major perk of my job as a travel blogger.
Is it expensive to have children?
Having a baby doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t actually need the gadgets and gadgets they try to sell you. All you need is a change of clothes, diapers, crib, stroller, and car seat. I’m actually talking about 1,000 pounds. However, daycare centers start to get more expensive. This is very unfortunate because it means that so many women will not return to work because it is not economically worth it. Alternatively, some people put off having children because they don’t want to quit their jobs, which is one of the reasons it’s so difficult to actually start a family.
The average childcare fee is around £50 to £60 per day (including all food for the day), but private nannies and private childcare centers can cost significantly more or even more. Sometimes it can be significantly lower.
For us, it means it costs £100 to put the boys in nursery for a day, and this definitely impacts on my work. If someone offered me a day’s work in London, it would cost me £100 to put the kids in nursery and £80 to get to London, so I’d spend £180 before I even got there. It will be. Yes, it can be expensive.
Having a career that allows you to be flexible with your work hours definitely helps!
Why didn’t you blog much about pregnancy and the early baby days?
There are two reasons why I haven’t blogged much about pregnancy. To begin with, I didn’t have anything special to say, mainly because I had an easy delivery and a smooth pregnancy. At first I thought I would write a weekly blog about pregnancy, but here’s what it turned out to be:
Week 10 – Feeling a little tired but generally normal
Week 11 – I’m a little tired but I made it through
Week 12 – Feel Normal – I almost forgot I was pregnant this week
Not exactly attractive blog material!
I was also feeling a little guilty about getting pregnant so easily and screaming about how good I felt when I had friends around me who were throwing up and getting swollen and having a miserable time. I didn’t want to.
But through 40 weeks it wasn’t that simple. During both pregnancies, my baby bump was small and I didn’t even actually know I was pregnant until I was about 25 weeks. When I was 39 weeks pregnant with Joseph, my midwife weighed me and said I was weighing like I was 22 weeks pregnant. But it didn’t worry me, I didn’t let it worry me. I just kept focusing on it because I felt this little baby wriggling inside me and I knew he was healthy.
I also developed high blood pressure towards the end of both pregnancies, so I had to go to the hospital every other day for monitoring. Again, I completely downplayed this at the time and pretended (even to myself) that it was nothing and just a stupid precaution. I didn’t even think to myself that it could turn into something serious.
That’s why I didn’t blog about pregnancy. At first, I didn’t have anything interesting to say, and towards the end, I didn’t want to blog about something that could be quite serious and personal, and I sat down and thought about these things. I didn’t even want to think about it. I kept at it and pretended everything was okay!
I now really regret not blogging about the early stages of childbirth. I wrote a few blogs about the birth of my baby, but I received emails from regular readers saying they didn’t want to see my baby content and were really disappointed that I had gone from being a travel blogger to a mommy blogger. I received several letters. Someone joked that I would be writing my origin story next, and one male follower said I would lose all my male followers if I wasn’t careful. Looking back, I should have deleted these emails and continued blogging about all the things I love and am happy about. I really wish I had done this. But I didn’t. That was what I was worried about. I thought so much that I felt depressed.
I felt like people thought I had changed as a person after having a child, and I was worried that my blog would lose readers. So I continued writing my blog as I had done before giving birth, and kept writing lazily with the same thoughts. But it didn’t really work. Because I’ve been weird and while I was blogging about my ‘adventure travels’, on the way to hike Snowdon, my boobs were about to burst and I had to stop and express a huge amount of milk. I know that including this doesn’t change the story, but it felt like I wasn’t sharing the whole story.
Now I have a bit of a balance between my travel blog, personal blog, and parenting blog, and I’m very happy with where I am now.
How have you managed working for yourself and having children?
Being a blogger and having kids is awesome. A lot of my income is passive income from display ads and affiliate income, so I don’t actually take any formal maternity leave. My passive income was much higher than what I could get from the government, so I didn’t receive any maternity benefits.
(If you’re interested in blogging and turning it into a career, check out my course, The Blogger Course!)
I took a complete break for about two weeks and then got back on social media and started answering emails. I didn’t take on any new client work for six months because I didn’t want to meet deadlines, make phone calls, or respond to urgent emails.
In fact, new babies sleep a lot, so I had a surprising amount of free time in the early days, so I made the most of it and worked wherever I could.
I have the big advantage that I really love what I do and don’t feel like sitting at my laptop for an hour is a chore. In fact, I find writing blog posts really therapeutic, so working is almost a way for me to relax.
It also helps that Sam and my mom are really supportive of my work and help me in any way they can. Sam does a lot of the housework, so if I have work to do, my mom is happy to take care of the boys for an hour or two.
Sam recently started working part-time to give us more time as a family and to give me more flexibility, so I can now get more done.
Has your relationship changed since having children?
Yes and no.
Sam and I have become close ever since our boy was born. Because we have a different type of bond formed through the common love of these two gorgeous little humans. I feel like this has made us so much stronger as a couple.
But when I go out without my kids (which rarely happens!), I forget most of the past four years and feel just like I did before I had kids. Honestly, I feel like nothing has changed.
It takes a little more effort to spend proper time together and actually have proper conversations. But we always eat dinner together and we always eat at the kitchen table, so I think this helps.
These are the main questions regarding childcare, but if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us!