How We Balance, Home Educating With Sucessfully Freelancing.

How to step outside the rat race and live a life less ordinary in just a few steps.

Just over a decade ago myself and my husband made some big changes in our lives, we left safe, comfortable jobs, he was in sales, I worked in retail, running a deli. We retrained in completely different areas and began new careers at the same time as beginning home education.

Life beforehand had been a mad rush every weekday to get out the door on time, Sul rushed to be able to drop our eldest off at school each day before his long commute across London to work, not returning until well after our children, then aged 7 and 2 had fallen asleep. Family life was strained and we struggled to make ends meet, we hadn’t had a holiday together for years.

The change came shortly after September 2001. We made some major life differences in our lives after the tragic events of 9/11. Like a lot of people, we began to value our loved ones, time together and to reassess.

It ended up with us changing our lives for the better. Sul used his illustration and art background to begin building websites, doing graphic design, print layouts and video introductions. Every evening after work he’d work into the night to get good enough to secure a paying client big enough to quit the day job.

I trained as a professional Birth Partner/Doula and became an apprentice, I worked with numerous families across London and was privileged to help many mothers birth their babies, an absolutely amazing job. Constantly learning and training, every year I added new skills to my repertoire. Exhausting and ridiculous hours took their toll, though. I missed anniversaries, Birthdays and celebrations to attend mothers. I finally hung up my Doula bag for good in January 2014.

Our children are now nearly all grown up, they’ve each gone into an industry they enjoy. Home education and the freedom of working freelance has given us time to nurture their individual talents and for their confidence to grow.

Together we’ve enjoyed a holiday almost every year, sometimes more, trips up and down the country to museums and historical places of interest. Summer holidays that go on over 3 months and long winter evenings together.

It’s been wonderful and I’d like to share with you all how we’ve managed it, answering common questions along the way and letting you into our secrets, tips and tricks from:

  • Mistakes we made in business and how to avoid them
  • How to successfully time manage to ensure you make the most of every day.
  • How to de-register your child from UK school and where to begin with Home Education.

All this and more will be answered in detail in the following posts throughout January 2017.

Change is good 🙂

Falling in Love

I have fallen in love, its been a long slow process and has taken many years it wasn’t love at first sight I wasn’t caught unawares this was an affection I strived for and nurtured and fed. In fact it started with hostility and disgust which took a while to get over.

Over the past decade its grown from a mild affection and respect to head over heels. The person I have learnt to love is myself. Yes I am talking about my relationship with who and what I am. I am kind to me, I am never unkind, I don’t put myself down silently or otherwise. Don’t get me wrong as in any healthy relationship I am all too aware of the personal faults I possess and yet I hide them with loyalty to me. I’m very far from perfect, but my flaws are mine, some of them are funny, some fill me with a sense of shame however I accept them all as part of who I am and love myself more for being able to spot them and work hard to iron them out with Gods help.

I give myself time to do things that make me happy and I don’t beat myself up for it. Just this morning I went back to bed and sat and read a novel for a few hours while my children watched cartoons and ate biscuits for breakfast, a luxury and I rose feeling refreshed and happy. I go for long walks, I take long baths, I read and I study and I write, I garden and I cook, I make time for my friends and my career all these things make me feel comfortable that even though my most important roles are as a wife and a mother I have an identity outside of them.

One of the most important lessons I have learnt is how vital to my health and well being it is to say no when I mean no, no I cant take on that extra role, no I cant do that favour. This stops negative feelings and prevents me getting myself stressed when I stretch myself too thinly, a true friend will understand when you say “No I cant do that I’m sorry.”

Putting myself first is not something to be ashamed of, I eat when I’m hungry and I make time for my soul to be fed with Quran and ibadah make dhikr and I rest when I am tired. I cuddle people I love I read stories to my little ones and we have fun. I never make a martyr of myself, my house is not spotless and my laundry basket is always full, I carry a bit of extra weight and I am not as strong as I need to be but i am happy with who I am right now, I can work to change things one step at a time and I’ll congratulate myself on my achievements on my journey.

I love that I was made a woman, that my body follows the cycles and that I feel the changes within physical and emotional as I move through the month. I love that Allah has blessed me with children that my body has sheltered and birthed and fed. I love that all the trials and hurts I carry don’t weigh me down and I can shake off depression by turning to my creator and crying my tears to Him who alone knows the pain I feel. All thanks is to Him alone.

I love that I have to keep pushing myself and that I have grown round and soft over the years. I look forwards to my future and whatever Allah decides is right for me I’ll put my trust in Him and be thankful by His will for who I become.