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Tag: business

Reasons Why Women in Business Should Invest in a She Shed

Reasons Why Women in Business Should Invest in a She Shed

 

*This is a collaborative post. 

 

Ever since I began working for myself, I’ve dreamt of the ideal work space. Somewhere that I can go to build my dreams, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As a mother of two young children, getting away from things all together isn’t always easy, which is why I choose to work from home. There are ways to get the space you need when working from home though, even if you don’t have that much space. The She Shed is the perfect way to create a work space, without having to leave the home or the family.

A Female only Haven –

The thing I love most about the She Shed idea is that is allows female entrepreneurs the free rein on creating their very own inspirational work space. I know from experience that sharing the dining room table to work sucks the flair out of what I’m trying to produce. Having a space to spread out and to let your ideas flow makes the world of difference when you have a project on the go.

If your job means you have a lot of equipment to store, a She Shed offers the ideal place to keep all of your things in one place. No more putting things away when your thoughts are mid flow and no more running out of drawer space in the house! Don’t worry about keeping your equipment safe either, you can get secure sheds from GBC group that will give you peace of mind.

Escape Room –

She Sheds don’t just have to be used for work purposes. They are also a great to create an area of ideal for rest and relaxation. We all have moments where we feel like we need to escape and a so a this is the ideal way to get away from it all, without actually having to leave where you live. She Sheds can be decorated and furnished to individual tastes, it’s amazing what can be achieved with a lick of paint and a few cushions!

Having time out from work is essential to make sure that we work to our full potential. Whether you sit in your shed and read your favourite book, practice a little crafting or even taking the time to do nothing at all. This is valuable time that will allow your mind and body to relax, giving you the motivation and the energy to achieve more when you get back to work.

It might seem a little extravagant to invest in a She Shed, but it’s certainly an investment that you won’t regret making. Every women in business should have a She Shed of their own, to love and enjoy spending time in. It’s amazing what can be achieved from inside the garden shed!

 

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The Pressures of Being a Blogger

The Pressures of Being a Blogger

For some reason, some people believe that being a blogger is a walk in the park. Often all they see is what we get; the days out, the ‘free’ stuff, easy money made from messing around on social media. If I’m being honest I get why people think this, it does appear to be an easy choice for those that want to make a few quid. I hate to disappoint those with such an opinion though, I’m afraid it’s much harder work that us bloggers are letting on!

What people don’t see is the stressful side of the job. They don’t see all of the hard work that goes into maintaining a blog, the technical side that sees one task take literally days to complete. They don’t see the day-to-day mundane side of blogging. The things we have to do each and every day, that’s right no days off, just to maintain a presence and keep things ticking over. They also don’t realise how hard it is to maintain multiple social channels. Suddenly the fun side of social media becomes a chore as we try to make our mark on the influencer world. If it was as easy as clicking publish, we’d all be millionaires.

The harsh reality of becoming a blogger –

In actual fact, blogging is not all sunshine and roses. It can be incredible stressful at times and can leave us full-timers wondering why we bothered starting up this ‘blogging thing‘ in the first place. Yes there are perks to the job, but as with every other job that has benefits, they have to be worked hard for. I know I’m not alone when I say I worked on my blog solidly for an entire year before I made a dime from it. Blogging is a labour of love and it’s not to be taken lightly. Doesn’t seem so glamorous now, hey?!

This summer I stepped away from my blog for a few weeks. I felt like I wanted to take stock and reevaluate my direction. As it turns out, I was just a little burnt out, all I needed was time away from the screen to get my spark back. You see, because blogging is such an all-consuming job we don’t get to take holidays where we can just switch off. You can guarantee that I lost money in those few weeks and as a blogger that was a conscious decision I had to make. Take time out for myself and my family and make less money, or carry on full speed ahead missing out on quality time with my girls but make a packet. Not an easy decision, but I’m confident I made the right one. Just another on of the pressures of being a blogger.

 

To highlight just how stressful this line of work can be, I got in touch with some of my fellow bloggers to find out what they find most difficult about the job;

Victoria from Lylia Rose: ‘The never ending amount of work to do and playing every role – copywriter, accountant, photographer, receptionist, website designer, applying for jobs daily, etc. It can be overwhelming sometimes and I feel like I need to clone myself!’

Mandi from Big Family Organised Chaos: ‘Uncertainty! Will you get enough paid work in this month to cover the bills, will the payments you are due be paid on time, will you end up doing a full working week with no money to show for it, and why are you still working at midnight because you HAVE to get that post written before the deadline but the children have needed you for everything all day!’

Nicola from Mummy to Dex: ‘Personally, I find it stressful when I have to negotiate fees. I always worry I’ve put people off with what I charge. I guess I suffer from imposter syndrome and doubt my capabilities as a blogger.’

Nickie from Typecast: ‘Comparing yourself with other bloggers. Seeing other bloggers work on a campaign you thought you pitched well for but didn’t get. Finding enough hours in the day to hit deadline.’

Emma from The Mini Mes and Me: ‘When clients don’t pay on time and you have to chase and chase and chase them for money owed. I think sometimes they forget that blogging is often the main income for many.’

Lisa from That British Betty: ‘I get frustrated that I can’t spend as much time as I’d like to on my blog – I KNOW I could make it a success if I had more time. I work 45 hours a week in PR so often come home tired and don’t feel like doing even more writing! I also miss out on cool brand events as I can’t drop everything and attend an event at 2pm on a Tuesday.’

Michaela from Adventures of a Yorkshire Mum: ‘When people assume that everything is an ad. People commenting on Instagram ‘aren’t you supposed to #ad this’ annoys me as, if it was an ad, I would mention it. And I don’t want to have to write ‘this is not an ad’ on every post I do! ‘

Natalie from Plutonium Sox: ‘The thing that annoys me the most is that people assume because I’m at home I’m not working. I had a deadline to meet for a post this morning, so had to get it written yesterday. Youngest is still on half days at school this week so I literally had a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening. So instead of being able to get my head down and work, I helped my dad with some land registry searches in the morning and helped my husband with building a bed in the evening. When we move I’m putting a home office at the far end of the garden and a ‘sod off’ sign on the front door.’

 

Thankyou to all who made this post possible!

 

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How and Why You can Make any Business Work for You

How and Why You can Make any Business Work for You

*This post was written in collaboration with One Click Group.

 

How many times have you sat back to evaluate your life and wondered about working for yourself? Maybe not full-time and maybe not in something you currently have the qualifications for, but how many times have you dreamt of making your mark on the business world? For some of you the answer to this is never, for a lot of you the answer is all of the time! 

The thing about business is that you don’t have to set out to conquer the world. There are such enterprises known as the ‘lifestyle business’ and the idea is that you make your dream work around you. Whether it’s your dream to quit your job, or whether you want to run a little something in the evenings around your employment. There are business opportunities for everyone, all you have to do is take the leap.

Making a plan –

When I decided that I wanted to earn a little money off of my own back, I began taking on work in my field outside of my employed hours. This gave me the chance to gain experience in working by myself, it gave me the opportunity to network and build a client base of my own and most importantly it boosted by confidence immeasurably. I concocted this very simple plan some months before I decided to move on and I’m so glad I did. Working in this way provided me with the stepping-stones to the next chapter in my life. I’d had a taste of business and I wasn’t going back.

From this, I set up a limited company which gave me the freedom to build up my business with multiple short and long-term benefits. Setting up a limited company could benefit you too and it doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s a tonne of information available at One Click Group that will answer any questions you have. They will make the whole process as easy as possible for you, that means all you have to concentrate on is working hard to build up your business!

Making a plan isn’t always as simple as this though, you might have to do a little training before you can attempt to work for yourself. You might need to build up funds or you might need to wait for a change in circumstance. Whatever your situation is now, there’s no reason why you can’t start planning ahead. Brain dump all of your ideas, let your imagination flow and work out where you want to be this time next year. A plan is the first step to changing your life.

 

Believing in yourself –

In the beginning I could count the people who believed in me on half a hand. All of a sudden my business had turned into everyone’s business and boy did they have a lot to say about it. What was most important, was that I believed in myself. I knew I could make my venture work and I was ready for all of the hard graft that I knew it would take to get it off of the ground. I’m not saying self-doubt didn’t creep in every once in a while, but on the whole I was ready to make it happen.

Since then I’ve tried so many different lifestyle business ideas. Some have crashed and burned, some I’ve gotten bored with and others are still part of my multiple income streams. The good thing about these small business ideas is that they can be lucrative, but often they cost very little to get going. All you need is courage, determination and a little bit of pixie dust!

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Three Reasons your Small Business Should have a Website

Three Reasons your Small Business Should have a Website

In this day and age, the internet is the hub of all information. Wherever you turn, there are people on their smart phones and tablets, constantly searching the web. Social media is huge now too and it’s uncommon for people not to have a profile on at least on at least one of the major platforms. That’s why, whether you’ve had your small business for some time, or if you’re just in the process of setting one up. You really should put a great deal of thought into creating a website to go with it.

In this technological age, if you don’t have a website for your business you’re sure to miss out on so many perks it can offer. If you take a look around you, you’ll notice that all successful business have a strong web presence and there’s no reason why you can’t achieve that too. If you don’t feel like you’re able to put together your own website, you could always hire someone to help you set one up. You have to speculate to accumulate and building a website is always going to be a beneficial business expense.

Here are three reasons why your small business should have a website;

A web presence allows you to reach a wider audience –

One of the main reasons why your should have a website, including mobile websites, is that it will allow you to reach a wider audience. Traditional ways of drumming up business, such as dropping leaflets and word of mouth are always a good help, but you definitely won’t be able to reach as big an audience as you can over the web!

A web presence allows you to use social media to promote your services –

A huge benefit to having a website is that you can also build up a social media presence alongside it. So many people use social media these day and so it’s a sure-fire way to get the word out to even more people. Social media is a great way to promote your services too. You could run giveaways to get more people involved, therefore raising awareness of your brand. You could also run advertisements that are directed at a target audience. Social media is an excellent pathway to growing your business even further!

A web presence allows potential customers to research the services you offer, quickly and easily –

These days, if anyone wants to know anything, their first port of call is often the web. Using search engines to find information quickly and easily makes life much simpler for everyone. So having a website that people are able to search for, to find the information that they are looking for, is essential for grabbing the attention of potential customers. Spend some time making sure your website is user friendly and make sure it contains all of the vital information regarding your brand. This is sure to please your audience and help your build up a hefty client base!

 

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*This is a collaborative post. 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog

#MumisBest Guest Post – Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now, I will leave you in the hands of Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog!

When hubby and I were first discussing if it was the right time to start a family one of my biggest worries was a work-life balance.

When I’m not dashing around as the cook, cleaner, drink-pourer, bum-wiper and all-round dogsbody for my kids, I work as a journalist for a tabloid newspaper.

I work from home, but my job can be extremely demanding, involves a lot of driving and drops extra hours in my lap at short notice.

I’ve also been asked to travel abroad at the last minute to cover a story with no guarantee of when I will be back home. I’ve known colleagues who have been stuck abroad for weeks on a job, it’s just the nature of what we do.

And don’t get me wrong, it is a very exciting career, but my big worry was when you bring kids into the mix, how can I possibly do both?

I want to work. It’s a valuable break, it makes me feel good to do a job I can take pride in and, let’s face it, one income doesn’t cut it these days.

However I also do not want to be a mum who isn’t there for bedtime. I don’t want long chunks of time away from my children where I don’t see them for more than a week.

A couple of nights away from my kids every now and then is the maximum I’m prepared to do when they’re this young, that’s just how I feel about that.

Every mum is different I know and some are happy to concentrate solely on work in the week and then find time for their kids at the weekend.

We all have to find our own way, but this really wasn’t for me. How could I have the best of both worlds?

In the end we decided that we couldn’t let this worry influence when we start a family. You can get too bogged down in perfect situations for when you should have your first baby.

There is no right time.

So I got pregnant, suffered terrible morning sickness which disrupted my work days hugely, and finally had our first child.

As my year of maternity leave went on, we discussed what we would do next.

There were a few factors in play here. We couldn’t afford for me not to work, we wanted a second child and soon, and how would things like the nursery run work?

I was very lucky to have supportive managers who were willing to discuss my concerns and offer me the chance to return to work full-time with hours that would work for me.

My daughter was put into nursery four days a week and spent one day with my mum. My hours were adjusted so I could always pick my daughter up from nursery on time.

This meant never missing a bedtime.

But after all that,  just two days before I was due to return to work I found out I was pregnant again.

When we started trying for our second baby I had no idea it would happen so quickly, but there you go!

I now faced a huge amount of guilt as I went back to work with improved hours, knowing that soon I would be buggering off again.

When I did come to tell my manager, he was nothing but supportive. Phew.

I went back to work for just seven months. In that time we got in a good routine that I felt really happy with.

I dropped my daughter off in the morning, then went home to work and before I knew it, it was time to pick her up again. What really helped was that she loved going to nursery.

And now I’m back in that return to work situation once again.

Except this time the nursery bill will be doubled. To put both kids in to nursery four days a week would cost more than my monthly take home pay.

So, why work? Because I want to. But I also want to be a mum. Can I achieve the holy grail of “having it all”.

The answer is no, I don’t think we can have it all. You can’t be a full-time mum and have a full-time career. But we can find a balance.

My balance is my children will be with my mum one day a week and I will work Sundays in exchange for taking Fridays off to be with the kids.

This means both are in nursery for three days. It’s still going to cost more than a monthly mortgage payment to send them but it’s more manageable.

Also my eldest will get some free childcare hours from April next year and this will help.

I return to work in January, so that’s when we will find out if I have managed to get the balance right.

So after rambling through my story, I thought I would share some tips with you from what I’ve learned over the last three years of trying to find a good work-life balance:

Talk about it with your other half. Having a discussion and deciding what the ideal solution for both of you would be is a good start. Then you can go into the practicalities of how it would work.

Do the math. How much as your bills and how much would childcare cost? Can you afford it with your salary? Would it be more affordable if you worked just three days a week? Can a relative help out one day a week so you can save a bit of money?

Be honest with your boss. If you can be upfront with your manager from the start about what your concerns are then you can hopefully meet in the middle. Most good employers will offer flexible hours as an option. Remember just because you’ve had a child doesn’t mean you’re not a valuable asset. If anything you’re more of an asset now as you can juggle like a total boss after having kids.

Let go of the guilt. Just because you have a job you love, doesn’t mean you can’t have a life outside of that. Having a child is no reason to feel guilty.

 

 

Bio:

I’m Vicky, a mum of two gorgeous girls – aged two and eight months. I live in the South East with my hubby. I love food, travel, a good walk, a decent movie and a compelling TV show to get hooked on. I’m on maternity leave at the moment but work as a journalist when not chasing around after little people.

I blog about all aspects of parenting young children – it’s  what I do all day every day after all. I like to write about the funnier side of having kids, because you’ve got to laugh sometimes! I’ve also been known to get a bit soppy about my kids. I love to share my parenting SOS tips, highlight my favourite child and baby products, and big up fun and fabulous places to visit with the family. News is a big part of my life so I’m also bringing you the latest news for parents with young children.

You can see more from Vicky here:
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Four Easy ways to Make Money from Home

Four Easy ways to Make Money from Home

Ever since I gave up my first business back in 2015, I’ve made it my mission to find legitimate ways of making money from home. For a little while I was a stay at home mum, but like many others before me I needed something else in my life. I needed to feel the purpose that comes from having a business. I missed the excitement of building up my own empire and the rush from striking good deals and making money in my own right.

The good thing about working from home, is that you have the space to create multiple income streams. There’s the opportunity to seek out numerous ways to make cash, all from the comfort and warmth of your own four walls. I for one, have never looked back since I began freelancing. The fact that I make money from home means that I’m always here for my children, as well as constantly feeding my desire to be successful at work!

There are so many ways that you too can make money from home, all it take is effort and a lot of determination. Here are four easy ways you can make money from home;

 

Freelance writing –

Freelance writing is a great way to make money from home. If you love to write and have the skills to produce good quality copy, then this option could be for you. There are numerous online platforms that provide freelancers with work at their skill level, as well as giving them the opportunity to rise through the ranks as they gain experience. The beauty of this role is that you can take on as much or as little work as you wish and payment is usually made swiftly. If this is of interest to you, I’ve written about more about making money from freelance writing HERE! 

 

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Sell unwanted jewellery –

Most of us have jewellery in the house that we no longer wear. Whether they’re pieces that are no longer in fashion or they’re just not your cup of tea anymore, often they sit collecting dust. The fact is though, that you could be sitting on a pile of cash without even realising it! You can sell jewellery for cash with little to no effort, all you have to concentrate on is the reward. With gold prices currently at a record high, now is the time to get searching through your jewellery box. The best bit about it is that you can be paid for your wares in as little as 24 hours.

 

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Complete online surveys –

As much as completing online surveys is never going to make you a millionaire, there’s still the possibility to make a little extra money for a rainy day. A quick Google search will present you with a whole host of survey sites, some pay in cash, others in points that can be exchanged for vouchers and some in gifts. The secret to making money from home with these surveys is volume. They take very little brain power to complete, you can do them whilst sitting in front of the TV of an evening. Do as many as you can in the time that you have and reap the rewards!

 

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Sell unwanted household items –

As with unwanted jewellery, many of us have a house full of things we no longer need nor use. An easy way to make money from home, is to list these items on online marketplaces and auction sites. Someone else is bound to want what you have and you can use the cash to get something that you really need instead. Not only are you set to make a tidy sum from selling your stuff, you’ll also de-clutter your home along the way!

 

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*This post was written in collaboration with Post My Gold. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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What Does Good Customer Service Mean to You? #AtYourService

What Does Good Customer Service Mean to You? #AtYourService

Good customer service is so important. Being responsive, helpful and polite when customers need your assistance can mean the difference between repeat custom and losing the client for good. In fact, out of a survey of 600 people 75% agreed that good customer service is incredibly important! This group of people stated that good communication skills and manners, as well as being able to access the correct support, are what makes for excellent customer service.

Some of the most common annoyances with customer service includes; poor communication, bad manners, not having direct access to the correct person, slow response times and language barriers. Unfortunately we’ve all been at the receiving end of poor customer service at some point. Generally though, bad service is the exception rather than the rule. Many of us have tales of positive customer service that stick in our minds, rendering the poor ones a mere unpleasant memory!

 

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Positive customer service –

I recently had a really positive customer service experience, involving a large UK toy store. With two girls in the house, you can imagine what Christmas morning looked like for us. Unfortunately, one of my eldest daughters presents and one that she was incredibly excited about, stopped working after about an hour of use. This was obviously really upsetting for her and disappointing for us as parents, after all no parents wants to see their children upset. Especially not on Christmas day.

So Boxing Day saw us trekking into town, with a hope of exchanging said gift – not the ideal start to a relaxing post-Christmas day! However, when we got there the staff were so apologetic. They made a fuss of our daughter whilst another member of staff swapped the toy quickly and without fuss. We left with well wishes from the staff and smiles on our faces. More importantly, our daughter could finally play with the much loved toy. In the end it was no bother to make the trip out in the middle of the festive period, all thanks to excellent customer service!

 

78% of those who took part in the survey agreed that larger companies provide better customer service. This was certainly the case in respect to our experience!

 

I asked a few of my fellow bloggers about their positive customer service experiences too, here are a few that really stood out to me;

 

Beth from Twinderelmo: ‘Our local shoe shop are always brilliant. Not only do they offer a discount for my twins but if they don’t have the size/style in we want, they ring around to find them and then call me to let me know they’re in stock. They’re all so friendly and it’s such a small town that they’re all local ladies working there. It’s so nice to have such a personal experience!’

Jodie from Maidenhead Mum:  ‘I bought a rug from Hus and Hem (gorgeous online shop) and I wanted it in time for my guests at Christmas so the house looked nice. I then got an email saying it would be delivered after Christmas. I emailed them and was furious. They then rang me up and said they couldn’t do anything about the delivery as it was coming from another country, but they would arrange to let me borrow one of theirs from the shop for Christmas and I could send it back to them after when mine arrived! Amazing!’

Adam from The Coaching Parent:  ‘I was flying with Norwegian. I had my own sandwiches as my meal for the trip. As I was clumsily unpacking them, one of the flight attendants saw me struggling and simply gave me a napkin (without being requested). It was really kind, and surprising. I felt like I was really cared about.’

Victoria from The Growing Mum: ‘I rang Sainsbury’s Bank to complain about a credit card charge. Turns out it was correct and it was my fault but they offered to cancel it anyway which was amazing!’

Charlie from Our Altered Life: ‘Many years ago I stayed in a hotel called Charter House in Warwick for the weekend. The service was amazing the whole time but on the second morning we came down for breakfast to THE most incredible eggs. Just yolks and not a scrap of white. The owner had noticed that I’d left all my whites the previous morning (they make me sick) and had ensured there wasn’t a tiny bit of white to be seen. Over 12 years later, I still remember that little touch that left a lasting impression.’

Jenny from Mama Foodie ‘I rang Amazon as I thought they hadn’t delivered when it said they had. They refunded the cost and gave me a free month of prime. It turned out I did receive it!’

 

 

If you need help with any customer service queries, you can visit https://contactcustomerservicesnumber.co.uk/ to help make the process super simple!

 

More interesting customer service statistics –

 

The most popular companies with the best customer service: banks, supermarkets, John Lewis and Amazon!

73% of those asked thought that being able to talk to the right person immediately makes for good customer service. Whilst 26% believe that being able to email the correct person is most important.

46% of those surveyed believe that customer service is better in the digital age.

Very few of those involved in the survey believe that customer service would have been better in previous decades.

 

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*This post was written in collaboration with CCSN.co.uk, who kindly provided the statistics included. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Credit and thanks goes to my fellow bloggers for their contributions.

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#MumisBest Guest Series – Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger

#MumisBest Guest Series – Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now, I will leave you in the hands of Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger!

 

I’m a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. I’m sure most of you would agree that, by the third trimester, your pregnancy feels never-ending! Aside from constant nausea until about 16 weeks, my pregnancy was pretty uneventful until late into my second trimester. I ended up with symphysis pubis dysfunction (https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/symphysis-pubis-dysfunction), and more than once had to work from home for several days in a row because it hurt too much to walk (and couldn’t really move, in any case!). Pregnancy is a singular experience – yes, you are performing a miracle, but you’ve got to endure relentless symptoms and pressures along the way! Needless to say, by the middle of my third trimester, I was well and truly ready to go on leave. At the end of the Christmas closure at the office, I went straight into my maternity leave one month early.

After several years without a proper break, I was looking forward to some downtime. Retrospectively, I think I wasted most of that time sitting on the couch binge watching Downton Abbey and a bunch of other shows I can’t even list now. I wish I had done something more productive and rewarding with that time.

My labour was pretty intense: I was induced twenty-four hours after my water broke because I wasn’t getting enough contractions. Obviously I don’t have any prior experience to compare it to, but the contractions got really full on really quickly and there was barely any respite in between. After nine hours, an episiotomy, and a vacuum, my gorgeous little man came into the world. Despite the elation and boundless love I felt, I was still pretty knocked out by the birth and it took several weeks for me to start feeling somewhat normal. Coupled with the difficulty of breastfeeding in the first couple of months (that’s another story that I won’t go into here), my son was about 3 1/2 months old before I could really start doing “things”.

We’ve gone for a lovely walks in the sun, read books, played with a variety of toys (that I have to keep rotating because somebody is very inquisitive and gets bored playing with the same thing for too many days in a row), and even started baby swimming lessons! I adore my little man and I love spending time with him. But sometimes, I miss doing things that I did before, like reading a novel, doing a musical at the local community theatre, or even working on my uni course. Now that he’s almost 7 months old, I’ve started finding pockets of time here and there to indulge in some of my own hobbies. I’ve really enjoyed putting together my own mummy blog, and realised that I’m at my best when I have something productive and rewarding to focus on. That doesn’t mean that I don’t find taking care of my baby rewarding or productive, of course it is. I’m talking about something that is just for me, for my own satisfaction, and my own sanity.

While I wish I didn’t have to leave my son to go back to work, the cost of living and other things mean I do you have to. I’m lucky enough to have a job that provides flexibility and understanding, which helps; and I also don’t have to go back full time, which I’m grateful for. So, as I pass the halfway mark of my maternity leave and am staring “return to work” in the face, I’m forced to think about what that means for me. If being a stay-at-home mum was an option, would I actually want that?

If I’m honest, the answer is no. I’m the type of person who needs to be challenged in an intellectual environment, as well. I love writing and thinking and learning – in fact, I’ve barely stopped studying since I first went to university a good 13 years ago. I don’t just have to go back to work, I want to. There’s nothing wrong with staying at home to raise your family, if that’s what you want and if you can afford that option. My own mother was a stay-at-home mum until we were teenagers; that worked for us because we didn’t have much family around to help look after us kids, and my dad was able to support us on a single salary. But that just isn’t for me. And I’m lucky that my son has two grandmothers itching to mind him!

Equally, there’s nothing wrong with going back to work part time or full time, even if you can afford not to. Some mothers need to feel that they are contributing financially to their family, or like they are “someone” besides a mother. Every mum needs to do what suits her best, and fits in with her own circumstances. After all, if a mother is operating at her best, feeling confident and fulfilled in all aspects, she will be better able to care for her children.

I dread the prospect of walking out the door on my way to work and seeing my bub’s sad little face because his mummy is leaving him behind. But, such is life. My ideal scenario would be to have my own business, and be able to work from anywhere. The best of both worlds! It isn’t an option at the moment, but it’s in the cards. I guess I’ll just wait and see!

Bio:

Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from What 2 Buy for Kids

#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from What 2 Buy for Kids

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Lisa from What 2 Buy 4 Kids!

 

Juggling home and work life can be a challenge, but I love what I do and it’s all worthwhile! I work in the office Monday to Friday and try to do on average 35 hours a week. If I need to, I do work at home in the evenings, but I try to keep Saturdays and Sundays free for doing family things.

When the kids were younger, I was a SAHM, and I loved every minute. We had so much fun, enjoying activities, such as baking, gardening, arts and crafts, and imaginative play was a huge part of our lives! We also would meet up with other mums and children for playdates, trips to the park and activities such as Jo Jingles and Tumble Tots. But once my kids were school age, I needed to fill in the gap and extra time that had now been created. I wanted to do something that I was passionate about, but also do something that would allow me to work from home. Before I had my kids, I was a primary school teacher, so I wanted to use my knowledge and expertise as a teacher (as well as a mum).  I put my thinking cap on, and came up with the idea of setting up a website selling fun and educational toys and gifts for kids.

So, 7 years ago what2buy4kids was born. I started the business from my dining room at home. In the beginning I worked pretty much all the time, working when the children were at school and when they went to bed at night. It was handy working from home, though, as I didn’t need to rely on childcare. I could still drop the kids off at school and pick them up. The school holidays were more of a struggle and I had to rely heavily on children’s holiday camps, activity clubs and overnight stays at grandparents and friends’ houses were a godsend. I would try to have either a morning or afternoon off work now and again, so we could go to the cinema or the local park for example. Days out to the local farm, Chester Zoo etc…  had to wait for the weekends. Weekends became very special, where we spent real quality family time together.

Last year, my business had grown so much that I had no alternative, but to find larger premises with offices and a warehouse attached. Fortunately, for me, this came at the right time, as my kids were now old enough to look after themselves. I still do work lots of hours, but I do try to have Saturdays and Sundays off. Easier said than done, especially in the run up to Christmas!!!

The hardest thing about being a working mum is finding the right balance between work and home life. I sometimes feel guilty when I can’t drop and pick up from school, when I miss a school sports day, Christmas play or end of term concert, but I always make sure that someone goes in my place. I do my best to balance work and home life and that’s why I’m not always in the office. As I’ve already mentioned, my weekends are very precious, and we always try to do fun and exciting things on my days off.

Everyone’s situation is unique and different, and there’s no right or wrong answer, as to whether you should be a SAHM or working mum. My advice is to do what feels right for you, but if you are considering working, my top tip for working mums is to do something you enjoy and are passionate about – then it really won’t ever seem like you are actually working!!!

Bio:

Hi – I’m Lisa, wife to Jeremy and mum to 3 kids. Chris is my eldest, Emma came along two years later and Katie is the baby of the family. I live in a small village, called Appleton, in Cheshire. I run my own business, what2buy4kids, which is an online toyshop selling good quality toys and gifts for kids from birth to 12 years.

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What Kind of Work Space Works for You?

What Kind of Work Space Works for You?

When I began working from home, productivity wasn’t my strong point. Having never had a job that I didn’t have to leave the house for, I had no idea how distracting working in your own living space can be. There’s always something to be done at home; DIY, housework and the Sky planner to work through. It soon became apparent that my working environment wasn’t helping my progress.

Our work space can have a massive effect on our concentration and the quality of our work. If you get it right, the sky’s your limit. If you get it wrong, you may as well stop wasting your time. This week I’ve teamed up with Pall Mall Estates and a fabulous group of my fellow bloggers, to find out what working kind environment is perfect for them. There are so many variations of what makes up ideal working conditions, what works so well for one person could be a recipe for disaster for another!

 

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What works for me –

 

When blogging and writing became a serious profession for me, I had to develop a fool-proof plan to make sure I continue to make the best of my time. My work station changes depending on what task I have at hand. If it’s something that requires my full attention, I need complete silence and a clean area around me. No clutter and no mobile phone in sight. This is how I spend most of my time, occasionally I’ll listen to a little music but only in between tasks to give my brain a little respite! There are times when I work in front of the TV, but only for jobs that I do day in and day out. The ones that I could do with my eyes shut!

 

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What works for others –

Stacey from One Small Human – ‘I like a window and lots of natural light to concentrate. And I do tend to play music too. But the natural light is the biggest thing for me.’

Beth from Twinderelmo – ‘Smooth radio! It is the best soundtrack to work to. I hate working in silence – feels eerie!’

Victoria from Lylia Rose – ‘Natural light and a clean and tidy desk. If I need to concentrate then I like to sit upright at my desk with no noise or distractions around me.’

Victoria from Mummy to My Little Cheeky Monkey – ‘My desk is by the window and if the kids are away I have music on, but if kids are home I normally have the TV for background noise.’

Kirsty from Life with Boys – ‘I need silence and a clear space. I can’t work in mess and this means I find it very difficult to really get into my work quickly. With a one year old my house is rarely tidy.’

Clara from The Balance Collective – ‘Now I’m writing a lot more than I used to, I’ve realised I get too distracted by music with singer’s (as I end up joining in and get carried away with the song. So now it’s classical music! Enough to remove the “loudness” of silence, but doesn’t transport me away from the words I am trying to write.’

Tricia from The Birth and Baby Academy – ‘Either total silence or a busy coffee shop. Both work really well for me. Sometimes less distractions in a busy coffee shop weirdly!’

Katy from Katykicker – ‘I listen to the ‘music for concentration’ playlist from Spotify on my Sonos and it really helps me focus.’

Louise from Pink Pear Bear –  ‘By myself, in total silence with a limitless supply of tea!’

 

Thankyou to each of these amazing bloggers for giving an insight!

 

What’s the ideal working environment for you?

 

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*This is a collaborative post.

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