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Tag: life

Sweating the Small Stuff – Yey or Ney?

Sweating the Small Stuff – Yey or Ney?

I find myself sweating the small stuff all of the time. If there’s something to worry about, even the tiniest thing. I’ll be first in the queue to deliberate over it for a week. It’s not that I like sweating the small stuff, it’s that my brain doesn’t really know how to let stuff go. It doesn’t have the ‘off switch’, that’s very often needed to put things to bed when they really aren’t worth wasting brain space on.

A difference of opinion –

I’m not sure whether sweating the small stuff is worth it though. Looking at it morbidly, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and so surely focusing on the little things isn’t really that important. Surely I should enjoy every second, just like it could be my last. That way I’d never worry again. Can we really get through life without a worrying though? Doesn’t it help to keep our feet on the ground?

Ever since becoming a parent I’ve noticed that worrying has become my default setting. I see danger before it even happens, or maybe it won’t happen at all – but I’ve predicted it, just in case. If there’s a scenario which could place my children in even the slightest bit of danger, I have a plan to save the day should I need to use it. It turns out there’s danger in every single situation if you look hard enough though and working out a master plan for each can be a little exhausting.

I recently read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and he’s of the opinion that we should worry about the little things in life. His training has taught him that if we have a solution to the slightest of problems, then we are prepared for what life has to throw at us. If the worst doesn’t happen, well hey that’s a bonus! To be honest I quite like this difference of opinion. I’m a fan of the idea that I can work my way through anything, given that I’ve prepared myself for it. To have an answer for everything is a comforting approach to life.

A glass half empty –

I’ve chewed this topic over with quite a few people and most believe that this is a ‘glass half empty’ way of doing life. I suppose it does come across as a little defeatist, after all preparing for the worst is sure to strip the joy out of things. I’m afraid I’m going to remain in the sweating of the small stuff camp though. I can’t image just turning up to an event and now knowing where all the exits are. I don’t understand how people don’t work to times and don’t get me started on those that don’t budget – there always has to be a budget!

Do you sweat the small stuff or are you more of a free spirit? 

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5 Ways to Be More Frugal with Your Money

5 Ways to Be More Frugal with Your Money

*This is a collaborative post.

Being frugal is a great way to reduce the amount of stress you feel when it comes to handling your money. Let’s face it, hefty bills and a less than perfect bank account balance can be enough to keep even the most laid-back families up at night. Not to mention, stress over money can lead to issues with your relationships too.

Unfortunately, changing your spending habits isn’t as simple as just deciding that you’re going to spend less and save more. While you might start with good intentions, you still need a plan of action in place to make sure you achieve your financial goals. Here are just a few of the ways you can be more frugal with your money, without exposing yourself to additional cash headaches.

  1. Start with a Savings Plan

The first step in successful saving is automating the process as much as possible. For instance, look at your budget and figure out what you need to spend money on every month. That means separating the essential costs like utility bills, mortgage, and rent expenses, from other costs like the price of weekend entertainment. Once you know what your essential expenses, set up direct debits wherever you can so you don’t have to worry about remembering to pay them.

While you’re setting your direct debits up, make sure that you set up a payment to send a small amount of your income into a savings account each month. Not only does this make saving automatic, but it also ensures that your extra cash is out of your current account, and less likely to tempt you.

  1. Eliminate Waste

One of the biggest reasons that we spend too much money each month is that we over-spend on things we don’t really want or need. For instance, how much food do you end up throwing away each month because you made too much for a family dinner, or you didn’t have chance to use up ingredients before they went out of date?

Get rid of waste by carefully planning your meals and the other things you’ll need for the week and buying only that amount. Not only will reducing waste help to protect your finances, but it will create a healthier planet too!

  1. Buy Everything at a Discount

It’s easy to assume that you’re simply getting the best deal for everything you buy, but unless you search for better deals and discounts, you’ll never know. While the idea of searching through the web for free coupons and voucher codes might sound exhausting at first, you’d be surprised how quickly you can find a bargain. Using sites such as dealsplanet can be a brilliant place to start.

Although you might not have time to find a voucher for absolutely everything on your shopping list, it’s worth at least putting some extra time into your search when you’re buying a big-ticket item like a new TV or a pair of expensive shoes.

  1. Grow your Own Food

A great way to reduce waste and minimise the amount you spend at the supermarket is to grow the food that you use the most often in your yard. There are plenty of great guides and articles out there that teach you how to nourish your own fruits and vegetables from scratch, and you don’t need a lot of space to grow most of the vegetables that you know and love. In fact, there are certain plants you can grow on your windowsill, or in a window box.

If you enjoy working in your garden, then you’ll also have a fantastic free way to entertain yourself, without spending any money on trips to the cinema or expensive restaurant meals too! You can even get the kids involved to make gardening a family event.

  1. Keep on Top of your Spending

Finally, a great way to be more frugal with your money is to make sure that you keep on top of your spending whenever you can. This means not only tracking the amount you spend on everything from food to bills, but also making sure that you’re getting the best deals from your suppliers too. For instance, every few months, it’s worth going online and comparing your utility bills.

Check you’re getting the right deal for the amount of gas and electricity you’re using, and compare other things like broadband packages, television, and even interest rates on existing loans. The more you focus on finding new ways to reduce your spending, the better off you’ll be.

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Knowing my Limits – Wife. Motherhood. Life.

Knowing my Limits – Wife. Motherhood. Life.

I’m often the person handing out tips on how to squeeze some sort of work into every waking minute. I’ve never been shy about telling others how it’s possible to work and look after kids at the same time. A lot of my posts have been written to help mothers in my situation, to make scheduling their days easier and to allow for maximum productivity. This post is going to be a little different though. It’s not going to encourage you to fill every second, of everyday with work. It’s also not going to encourage no work at all. The aim of this post is to highlight that the key to success is to know your limits.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think working hard is unnecessary. Some days it’s essential that we cram the hours in, in order to progress. It’s that slowly but surely, I’m beginning to realise that burning the candle at both ends will only lead to a decline in achievement. My husband is always telling me that I’m working full-time hours on my blog, as well as looking after our children full-time. Both of these positions are what I chose and are still what I want to do. There comes a time though when something has to give. As my children are always my first priority, it would seem that I need to manage my workload to fit around me. I need to be mindful of how much I’m fitting family life around my work.

Recognising I need to adjust the balance –

As with most things, recognising that things aren’t as they should be is the first step to making a positive change. It doesn’t always mean that we act on it immediately, but it plants the seed. I’ve known for a while that I don’t quite have the balance right. The trouble with me is I get a little addicted to progression and for that reason I find it hard to slow down. If I achieve something good, it just spurs me on further and in consequence down time becomes less and less.

Less down time means less time with the littles and less time with Hubs. Not that either of them mind particularly. The only person it really bothers is me, because I didn’t quit work in the first place, for nothing. I did it because I wanted to be there all of the time. The job that I do now means that I am always at home with them, but it’s amazing how much you miss when you’re sat behind a screen.

Getting it right –

I don’t suppose there’s an easy way to get the balance right. Whether I’m being wife, mother or trying to progress in my work life. One has to give, to make way for the other. The trouble is, all of these roles are so important to me, I want to be able to give each one my full attention at all times. I want the perfectly clean house, the thriving business, to be super mum and the doting wife. It’s time to accept that I can’t do everything. I need to get to know my limits and more importantly, to live by them.

When the girls go to school, I’m sure things will get easier. I’ll have the hours in the day to get on top of everything I have to do. Then once they come home, they’ll have my attention until bedtime. Until that time comes though, I need to make sure that my work is confined to their bedtime hours as much as possible. I’m only too aware that they won’t be this young forever and if I’m not careful, I’ll only remember their younger years as the snaps I caught through a lens.

 

 

 

 

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Three Commitments Every Blogger Needs to Make!

Three Commitments Every Blogger Needs to Make!

Once you’ve been bitten by the blogging bug, it’s impossible not to make a commitment to your corner of the internet. If you blog purely for the love of writing, you still have to pour hours of your life into crafting perfectly worded pieces. If you blog for a living, you have to work hard at building your business too. Whatever drives you to write and to grow your blog, you have to make commitments for it to work.

When I first started blogging I had no idea how much it would take over my life. Now two years in, I live and breathe blogging. I think about work from waking up, to going to bed. It can get a little overwhelming sometimes, but I can honestly say I’ve never had such a passion for what I do before. As with any job, there are good points and bad points. I don’t necessarily enjoy spending hours staring at a computer screen, but I do enjoy what I get out of it. Sometimes I wish I could go a whole day without having to look at my phone, but my blog wouldn’t be where it is today if I hadn’t spent the last couple of years glued to my iPhone.

Everyone’s blogging commitments differ depending on what they’re trying to achieve. To make your mark as a blogger though here are three commitments you definitely need to make!

Commit to working in the evening when the kids are finally asleep –

Parenting is a job in itself and sometimes finding time to blog during the day is impossible. Some days I have the best of intentions, but as my eldest gets older and naps less, sitting down to my laptop before 7pm is near on impossible. So in order to keep up with the work load and to keep my blog moving in the right direction, working after the kids have gone to bed is essential. I know so many bloggers who work into the wee, small hours too. It seems it’s the way forward for the parenting blogger!

 

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Commit to spending far too many hours a day on social media –

Prior to starting my blog in 2016, I wasn’t very good at social media. If I’m honest, it’s still not my forte. Alas, in order to get content out there, perfecting the art of social media is a must for bloggers all over the world. That means spending far more time on your channels that you really want to, with the aim of building your audience and boosting your traffic. It’s time to admit defeat now!

 

 

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Commit to taking hundreds of photographs on a daily basis –

As parents, we probably take a larger than average number of pictures on a daily basis anyway. As bloggers though, we spend even more time snapping the same image over and over to get them just right. Then we lose a few more hours editing them to make them look blog post and Instagram ready. Blogging means we need endless images to share with our readership, so this a commitment we have to be comfortable with. Now’s the time to invest in a masses of cloud storage, you’re going to need it!

 

 

vintage, retro analog single-lens reflex camera
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Knowledge is Power – Learning to Inspire the Next Generation

Knowledge is Power – Learning to Inspire the Next Generation

I’ve always found it difficult to switch my brain off. As far back as I can remember I have loved to read and learn about the world around us. We’ve always been an outdoorsy family too, learning about nature and wildlife is still one of my favourite things to do. In my early twenties, prior to having children, I went from one course to another, as my interests changed and grew. My thirst for knowledge always being the driving force behind my endeavours.

I fell rapidly out of learning when I got pregnant with our eldest daughter. As is the case with many mothers, pregnancy takes its toll and everything else in our lives often gets put on the back-burner. I had hyperemesis, so getting through each minute was a task, never mind each day. Picking up a book was just impossible. Especially the second time around when I had a two month old baby to take care of too.

Fast forward two years and two children later, life seems to be back on an even keel. We have two children that sleep at night and we have a good routine during the day. Now I’m finding that my thirst for knowledge has never been stronger. I struggle to watch naff television or read books that aren’t teaching me something. Mostly because I feel that I should be filling my free time with as much work as possible. I feel that if I am going to do something other than looking after the children or work, it has to be something that I’m going to benefit and learn from.

 

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Getting back on track –

One thing that really bothered me is that until recently, I hadn’t picked up a book for over two years. Not only did I feel like my brain needed a workout, but I find that reading is a great way to escape from everyday life. With two toddlers in the house, it’s often a welcome distraction. So, although I’m not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions, this year I vowed to read more. To nourish my mind and get back into the swing of learning.

I kick started the year with A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray. When I first picked up this book there were two things that struck me. One was that I only knew about 4 of the women who were included in this book. Secondly I’m bringing up two future strong women, how am I supposed to do this if I’m not able to teach them about the strong women of our past. I need to be able to educate them on the women that paved the way to the opportunities that are available to them today.

This book marked the beginning of my mission to educate myself further, so that I’m able to inspire the next generation. Hopefully instigating a thirst for knowledge in them too. I think it’s so important for the next generation to appreciate that there’s so much that can be achieved, even when it may appear that the odds aren’t in their favour. I’m not saying I’m going to push our girls too far, that would only saturate their minds beyond their years. There’s an amazing world out there though, with so much experience to gain down whichever path they choose to take. I just want to be able to enrich their lives. To give them the privilege of an education and ultimately, to give them the power of knowledge.

 

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A final word –

Not only do I want to empower my girls, I also want to empower myself. Having children makes you see the world in a whole new light. I’m only too aware that nothing is set in stone. There are no certainties in this life and I don’t want to waste a minute of it. I want a wealth of knowledge that I can can draw on at any point. When I look back over my life I want it to have been enriched with history and culture. I want to look back on an education to be proud of. 

 

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The Ways of a Woman with Ambition

The Ways of a Woman with Ambition

I’ve never described myself as a woman with ambition before. My usual take on life is more sit on the fence, rather than fight for what I believe in. I’ve always worked hard, but I’ve never had a passion for what I’ve done. I’ve always been happy enough to do an honest days work, without needing to push the boundaries or seek ways to continue to learn and grow.

I’m not exactly sure when things changed. I suppose it was sometime after having children, probably during the time I was pregnant with our second. I began writing and steadily things began to change. I found time to write and I found time to learn, I still do. After a while I began to realise that I didn’t have to let the world pass me by, I could join in the fun and make something of myself along the way.

My world is now full of opportunity, I learn something new each and every day. Educating myself doesn’t seem like the chore it used to. I have fire in my belly and I have a constant need to feed it, to keep it burning. Cheesy I know, but it’s hard to describe just how much passion I have for what I do and for all of the amazing things I’m yet to learn.

 

New plans for 2018 –

Over the past year especially, The Tale of Mummyhood has gone from strength to strength. I have so many ideas and plans in the pipeline for my little corner of the internet. 2018 will be a time of new beginnings for me too, with the launch of my second blog Salubrious Place! Earlier in 2017 I had the idea to start another blog with more of a focus on health, beauty and wellbeing. Areas that I have so much interest in, but don’t always fit well with my first blog.

I dabbled with Salubrious Place when I initially had the idea, but the time just didn’t seem right. I didn’t have it planned out well enough and found myself becoming overwhelmed, a little like spinning plates. I’ve had many months to plan now though, so I’m determined for 2018 to be the year I really get Salubrious Place off of the ground.

So now I have two blogs, that are in a lot of ways connected, but also very separate. I’m ready for the work load and even more than that, I’m ready for the learning curve! 

 

Finding time for the day job –

As well as all of this, late in 2017 I was offered an opportunity to go back to hairdressing one day a week. This isn’t something I’d been planning on doing, but it’s another string to my bow and something I just couldn’t say no to. It’s still a self-employed role and I choose the hours that I work, which means I can fit it around Hubs’ shifts to avoid any childcare issues.

I must admit, the first few weeks were hard. I’ve never left the girls to go out to work before and as much as I know people do it all of the time, it wasn’t the norm for our family. I very nearly quit before I’d even begun as I was so bothered by having to leave them. Within a year or so though, both girls will be at nursery and that’ll mean I have to leave them whether I like it or not.

This year I’m going to need to be on top of my game to achieve my goals and to grow every aspect of my business further. Determination, organisation and passion are the ways of a woman with ambition! 

 

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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.

You can see more from Lisa here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

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 Ali from Mummy Mama Mum!

Before I had kids I would have definitely described myself as a workaholic. In many ways this hasn’t changed, but the nature of what I do most certainly has!

When I fell pregnant with my first child, Amelia, I knew that I definitely wanted to return to my full time job running a busy retail business, and I knew that I wanted to return full time. I mean, my business was my baby, and even the thought of handing over he reigns to someone else for 6 months brought me out in a cold sweat. Even during the first week or two after Amelia was born, I was itching to get back. When the time finally came around, I was eager to get back to real world, and eager to get back my salary and main breadwinner status. 6 very long and painful months later, I called the regional director on Friday and told him I wouldn’t be back on Monday.

It was both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever made. I felt like I was giving up on a part of myself, and I suppose in a way I was. But I was also creating a very new story for myself and my family, mainly one that actually involved weekends together! I didn’t last long being out of work completely, and ended up taking on a trainee position at the nursery that Amelia was enrolled at. The training has now ended, and I am now a fully qualified Early Years Teacher, which has opened up a whole host of new doors I hadn’t even considered previously.

I worked part time while Amelia attended nursery, until I very suddenly fell pregnant with Wills. I knew that I would return to work again after he was born, but I have to say that this time the lead up to my return was very different. I felt an actual desire to stay at home full time, especially as maternity leave the second time around was when I had started my blog. But return I did, and I must say it wasn’t as catastrophic as I had feared it might be. The washing still gets done, the dinner still gets cooked (batch cooking is most definitely my friend), and we still have lots of time together.

But it is all set to change again! At the end of July, we are moving over 100 miles away from our current home! While Mr C is able to take his job with him, I unfortunately cannot bring the nursery with us! This means that, as things stand, I will once again have no out-of-the-home paid work. I will be a SAHM once again, and while I dreaded it the first time around, this time I’m ready!

I have my blog to keep me focussed and driven, which is what I feel was missing after Amelia was born. And I think that just about sums it up for me; it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as what you choose works for you. After 3 years of trying out pretty much everything, I have finally worked out that it’s not necessarily work that I need, but something that keeps me driven to succeed (aside from the kids, obvs!) That has now taken form in my blog, and I’m suddenly much less interested in dragging my un-makeupped face out of the house in the morning!

Work, no work, SAHM, WAHM, running around the forest barefoot mum! Just do whatever works for you and yours! Forget all the titles that came before; forget about being a stay-at-home-mum or working mum, or any of the others – focus on being a happy mum with happy kids. That is all that matters in the end.

 

You can see more from Aleena here!

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The Day My World Stood Still. Well, Nearly.

The Day My World Stood Still. Well, Nearly.

Blogging, writing, social media and emails galore. Sound familiar? I’m not moaning, it’s the theme tune to my life and I love it. However, since I found myself on this path I don’t think I’ve downed tools for even a day. I’m always conscious of deadlines, I squeeze work into my day any which way I can and when it’s finally time to go to bed I work for a couple more hours. You know, for good measure.

Well this week something amazing happened. I scheduled all content, put down my phone, closed the laptop, packed the kids into the car and took the whole day off to enjoy being a family. OK I’ll admit that I did have a few sneaky checks of my phone, completely cold turkey was probably a bit of a big ask! For the most part though I just enjoyed some time out, knowing that work would still be waiting for me when I got back.

I’ve written so many times about how taking a break is one of the best things to make your business thrive. It seems I’m not very good at taking my own advice. I’m always banging on about how refreshed a bit of time out can make you feel and how it can give you the motivation to crack through a load of work when you get back to it, I fully believe it too. So I just can’t work out why it’s taken me this long to act on it!

So what has taking a break taught me?

 

  • That the world won’t implode if I don’t reply to an email in 30 seconds flat.
  • That the day goes by in less of a blur if you take some time to enjoy it.
  • That my concentration improves markedly after taking some time out.
  • That going to bed at a reasonable hour once in a while is necessary.
  • That the world looks much prettier when you aren’t looking at it through a camera lense.
  • That I love my job and a break is necessary if I want to succeed!

 

It turns out that taking a break isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact it’s completely necessary for each and everyone of us to stop what we’re doing once in a while and take stock of where we’re at. I’ll definitely be taking another break sooner rather than later, all work and no play makes Zoe a very dull girl!

 

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Women in Business – Homemakers, Mothers and Entrepreneurs

Women in Business – Homemakers, Mothers and Entrepreneurs

Ever since I entered the world of work, I’ve been inspired by women in business. You know; the kick ass, got their life together women that make running a business look like a walk in the park. The women that stuck two fingers up to the daily grind and leapt into a seemingly uncertain world. I admire these women even more now that I’m a mother. Building up a business is hard work. When you throw a home, partner and children into the mix it becomes a complete juggling act.

When things get a little hectic over here, I often wonder whether I should have waited until my children start school before I began building up another business. I have another two years until they’re both in education though andI know I wouldn’t have lasted that long without working. So instead of dwelling on how hard things seem in any particular moment, I like to turn my attention to the amazing women that have struggled on through the tough times to build their empire. Taking reassurance and inspiration from their determination and achievements.

There are so many amazing women in business out there. They’re homemakers, mothers and entrepreneurs, powering through each day to teach, provide, learn and achieve. So with this in mind, I got in touch with fellow women in business to give you a little insight into how their lives tick!

Women in Business

Vivienne from The Mother’s Room:   ‘I run two small businesses, both inspired by my children! My main focus is my newborn and wedding photography business, but I love supporting new families to carry their babies through my sling consultancy. With support from my husband and some fab childcare, it means that I can juggle work and still be there for my children as much as possible. It does involve a lot of late nights and many strong cups of tea, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.’

Christy from Welsh Mum: ‘I’ve owned an exotic pet shop (physical shop in Cardiff and online shop) for 10 years. 7 years ago my husband started working with me as well, so now it’s a family run business. My son is currently 5 months and we’re looking forward to the challenge ahead. As I’m self employed I could only get the statutory maternity allowance from the government from day one, which is quite limiting financially. My husband was entitled to zero paternity as a self employed worker. So I am currently doing work on the social media, customer service, updating the website etc. from home with the baby. He’s also come into the shop with me on quite a few occasions and I’m sure it will become a second home to him as he gets older. He’s been around snakes & lizards from day one so he’ll certainly be used to a little bit of exotic nature! It has been very challenging trying to focus and find time to look after a newborn and actually be productive. Blogging has helped me with my creative side which I’ve found very relaxing and an essential release. Most of all I’d say being willing to work after the kids have gone to bed is important if you’re self employed. Often I do 2-5 hours work in an evening once he’s asleep as this is my only quiet time to really, really focus on what needs to get done.’

Sarah from Mumzilla: ‘I’m cofounder of a plants by subscription company called BloomBox Club. Because we are both mums, we allow super flexibility on working hours, which works really well. No more 9-5!’

Laura from Mum on a Mission:  ‘I run a cake decorating school from home. I teach during school hours and in the evenings so it fits in around family life. I also run a profitable blog which I do during the school day when I am home alone. Working for myself has helped me to not only earn some much needed money but also be sociable & meet new people. I struggled not working when I first had my son but his disability means its impossible to get paid employment because of the amount of time off I’d need. But I need to work because I get bored so quickly! My brain needs the challenge.’

Donna from The Sleep Thief’s Mummy: ‘I’m a self employed recruitment consultant with a (nearly) 4 year old and an 18 month old. It’s nails but while they’re at nursery/grandparents I have to cram in as much activity as possible. The hardest thing is when they’re ill and I have to take time off as (as much as I love looking after them and being able to be there for them) I’m only able to work 16 hours a week at the moment and it always comes down to me as my husband can’t get the time off – the most important things for me are to be organised and focused.’

Danielle from Someone’s Mum: ‘I earn enough from blogging to stay at home now. I was a teacher for twelve years but I gave it up when the blog became profitable. For the last 3 months or so I have earned more than I did teaching full-time. I get to stay with my children, support my son more (he has autism) and I love the nature of being my own boss and not having the awful pressure of results etc. It can be hard to juggle as until recently both children were at home most of the time. (My son just started school) I have to work most evenings at weekends. I love the flexibility though and it has transformed the quality of my life.’

Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof: ‘I run a wedding and newborn photography company and a studio photography company with my hubby. We had the wedding business before we became parents. It was hard to adjust at first but 1 year on we have learnt to juggle parenting and our businesses. It’s involved a lots of work late at night, having to be more focused and organised to get work finished and out to our clients in the shorter amount of time we have. We started the studio business to actually allow us more time with the dude, as our studio is built in our garden so we can work from home, no travelling involved. It takes lots or drive, determination and a passion for what you do but we love our job so can’t imagine it any other way now.’

 

I’d like to say a huge thankyou to each and everyone of these amazing women for contributing and for being truly inspirational! 

 

 

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