Alison Perry was on maternity leave from her job as an editor of a successful magazine when she decided to start a blog. Not Another Mummy Blog covers a wide range of topics including fashion, beauty and travel.
'Writing was a good way to keep my brain ticking over. Being a mum can be very demanding and challenging in so many ways, but I really missed having a creative outlet. When you have a small baby, your whole lifestyle shifts. They obviously become your main focus, but I think it's really healthy to have something that's all yours. With my background in journalism, it was also really liberating to be able write what I wanted, rather than what an editor told me to!'
Since her first post in 2011, the blog has grown significantly and Alison now receives over 20,000 visits a month. The site has also won numerous awards.
'I was surprised by how hard blogging was! At first I found it really disheartening as my readership grew so slowly. The last three years have been a steep learning curve. I had to fine tune my content and put a lot of effort into teaching myself new skills. It means so much that people now read, share and comment on a regular basis.'
Alison went back to work full-time once her maternity leave was over, but she recently made the transition to self-employment and now works from home. She feels eliminating the daily commute has definitely helped her achieve a better work/life balance, but combining a career with motherhood is never going to be easy.
'My daughter, now 3, has been in childcare full-time since she was 18 months old. Some people might think that's quite ruthless, but we do it this way because it works for us. She has always been happy at nursery and she actually misses it whenever we're away! When we do spend time together, it's all about her. We pack a lot into our weekends and make sure they're always super fun.'
'The biggest challenge is always going to be guilt. Even though I know she's happy, I still feel I should be spending loads of time with my child. I often imagine I'm going to be judged for my choices, so I can be quite defensive, but deep down I know this is what's best for us both.'
If she could go back in time and give her pregnant self one piece of advice, Alison would emphasise how important it is to ask for help.
'I really struggled with this. I never wanted to put anybody out, so I just battled on. I think it's a very British thing, and because none of us admit the early days are difficult, we all worry that it's not normal to find it hard.'
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