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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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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jess from The Prosecco Mum

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jess from The Prosecco 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 Jess from The Prosecco Mum!

The subject of this blog came at a time when I’ve been starting to realise how quickly my maternity leave is going and just how soon I’m going to be back at my desk working, whilst my littlest cub enters the big bad world of nursery and big cub starts a new term in kindergarten before embarking on her big school adventures!

As my bio suggests, I’m not what I’d call a maternal mum. I’m definitely not all Cath Kidston floral and home baking. If truth be told, quite often my kids drive me insane. Though that’s not to say I don’t love them an insane amount, I do. I just also like to keep a balance of ‘Jess and Mummy’ – personally, I could never be a stay at home mum (SAHM). I enjoy work, so with both children I have chosen to return to work when they were 6.5 months old.

That doesn’t mean that it’s easy juggling work and a baby…and I write this having only ever worked whilst having one child – October could be interesting when there’s two of them to get dressed, fed and out the door. That’ll be a whole other blog in itself I’m sure!

Pre-babies I went to work full time, I worked hard and then when I finished what I had to do I went home and chilled…sometimes that was on time, sometimes it was a couple of hours past ‘home time’. Hell, sometimes we just spontaneously went out for dinner when I came in too.

I often overindulged at the weekend, rolled in to work with a hangover on Monday, took every second of my lunch break and had frequent visits to the toilets perusing Instagram (on a friends recommendation.. never Facebook or Whatsapp, that’s too visible).

Anyway, that was then. Life BK (before kids).

Now, I work part time but continue to try to fit five days worth of work into three. I don’t roll in with hangovers, I barely take a lunch break and I don’t even have time for a poo. [If I could just get over the pooing at work phobia]. But these days there’s the mind battle of whether to work four days instead of three, a person who still wants a career as opposed to a ‘swan in, swan out’ part timer.

Every day is a balancing act.

But then, there’s the other side. The guilt of being, quite frankly, a shit mother. I don’t always take my daughter to nursery in the morning and sometimes I don’t even pick her up either, daddy will do it. I just can’t seem to get up and leave my desk at 5pm, so I get home just as she’s going to bed then sit racked with guilt that I’ve missed out on that precious hour with her before she hits the sack and I see her for thirty minutes the next morning before I go again.

But I’ve never been a maternal, earth mother, stay at home mum type. Quite frankly, one child at home all day everyday would drive me crazy, two of them would most certainly drive me to the bottle! Not only that but I’d spend far too much money on trying to entertain them and myself – SMP is dire and I’ve never really been one to stick within a budget so I’m often going cap in hand to my husband for a ‘top up’. I also fear if I became a SAHM then the hubster may expect that I’m going to run a tight ship with cleaning schedules, lunches and dinners planned and prepped and become an overall domestic goddess. That’s enough to get me back into the daily grind. Feather dusters really aren’t my thing.

Being a part time working mum is the perfect balance for me – and the children. I get to fire my brain up from 9-5 three days a week, have adult conversation, not have to listen to Billy & Bam Bam, Shimmer and Shine or Ryder to the rescue, Sir, earn my own money and drink hot tea. Meanwhile, the kids get to spend their days with their friends whilst being constantly entertained with painting, dancing, teddy bears picnics and trips to the woods instead of being dragged to do chores with me – food shopping and visiting the bank/post office isn’t high on their ‘must do’ list.

So what’s the best bit of my working day? Getting to relieve my job share (nursery/grandparents dependent on day) and do my other ‘job’ from 5pm-9am, so for me I really have the best of both worlds.

 

You can see more from Jess here:

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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!

You can see more from Romina here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Zoe from Mummy and Liss

#MumisBest Guest Post – Zoe from Mummy and Liss

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 Zoe from Mummy and Liss!

About Zoe:

I’m Zoe from Mummy & Liss, I’m 18 years old and a young mum to Alyssia Grace, I’m a Stay at home mum and I am from Somerset. First of all I want to start by making it clear that there is no right or wrong way, but whatever way works for you and your family. 

Zoe’s Story:

As I said above, I am a Stay at home mum to my now 1 year old little girl, some would say that this is a ‘cop out’ as I am not actually going out to work and contributing to the ‘money pot’ at the end of the month however in my opinion, this can be just as challenging.

Before having my daughter last year, I wanted to be a midwife or a paediatric nurse, both in which I still really love the thought of. I applied for an apprenticeship in a hospital 30 minutes away from my home, but had to withdraw my application when I found out I was pregnant. I am a young mum, so I left school and was thrown right into the deep end of motherhood. I have always wanted to be a mother, and I have stepped in and played the mother role to my 2 younger brothers when my own mum fell poorly with extreme postnatal depression when I was just 11 years old, I was actually classed as a Young Carer at the time and went to a support group once a fortnight. I am now 18 years old (nearly 19) with a little girl who is now 1 years old.

Like many other new mummies to be, when I found out I was pregnant, I panicked. I didn’t just panic at the thought of telling my parents or the pain of giving birth, but the worries about where we would live alongside the financial worries of how we would afford everything. As I said, when I found out I was pregnant I was just 16 years old. I was living with my boyfriend and his mum at the time (not ideal, but it worked for a while) Until she found out I was pregnant and kicked me out. My boyfriend got an apprenticeship and worked a job alongside college to help bring some money in for our soon to be ‘little family’. I battled for months with depression and with the help of the mental health team and the midwives, I got my own flat when I was 8 months pregnant. I applied for various jobs whilst pregnant but as soon as I told them that I was pregnant, they turned their noses up at me. Time flew by, and in February 2016 I had my daughter Alyssia. My partner had 2 weeks paternity leave and then had to go back to work full time. I was at home on my own, all day every day with a newborn baby who was at the time suffering with colic. It was an extremely tough time for me and my whole world changed when I had my daughter.

I was definitely very naive before having a baby, I assumed that when the baby sleeps I would get on with all of the housework and everywhere would be spotless. That wasn’t always the case though, I was exhausted and actually fell asleep with her alot of the time. My partner would work 8am until 5pm every night and I would always make sure his dinner was on the table and all of the housework was done by the time he got home, but I really did struggle to cope at times. I was so exhausted and in my own little bubble that I didn’t really contact anybody for days, didn’t leave the house and just got on with life. It wasn’t until somebody asked me when the last time I went outside was, and I couldn’t tell you.. It was over a week and I was getting really down in the dumps.

As I said above, Alyssia suffered with colic from about 3 weeks old – I breastfed for the first 2 weeks and she was then moved onto Aptamil formula which I didn’t realise at the time she was allergic to, hence the colic. Some days I felt like going to work would be much easier than trying to juggle everything else. I needed a break and this seemed to be the only way out but I decided that actually my baby needed me more than ever and I needed to do what was right for me and my family. My daughter is now 15 months old and usually at 1 years old alot of the working mums will be returning back to work and sorting out childcare. I absolutely love being a Stay at home mum, I have been able to watch my baby grow up and see all of her firsts which some mum’s may miss by going to work. However I can imagine its not always financially possible, for example: If you have a mortgage to pay off, both parents may need to work in order to be able to achieve this. I rent a property and all in all, it benefits me more to stay at home with my daughter than to go out and work and spend it all on childcare (earning next to nothing at all). I do quite often feel the pressure and feel like I’m not contributing enough but then I remember what I do actually do, and sometimes I feel like being a stay at home mum is actually much harder. 

I started blogging in January 2017 and moved over to a self hosted blog in March 2017 after my little girl had just turned 1 years old. My plan for this year is to build my platforms and then hopefully, if all goes well – in 2018 I plan to go Self Employed with my blog and become a “Stay at home working mum”. I plan to have my children and then when they are all grown up, I would like to maybe get back in the game and work for the NHS. 

I feel like the term “STAY AT HOME MUM” often gets read as, “somebody with children who stays at home all day doing nothing” I just want to clarify, that is definitely not the case. 

A typical day to day life of a Stay at home mum with a toddler would be: 

·        7.30 am – Daddy goes to work 

·        7.45 am – Wake up & Change Alyssias nappy

·        8.00 am – Breakfast 

·        8.30 am – Get dressed, Cuddles & TV

·        9.00 am – Alyssia plays with her toys while I pack last nights dishes away, I clean down the sides & tidy the kitchen, I also put a wash load on and fold any washing that has been dried and not yet packed away.

·        9.30 – I will sit down and spend some quality time with Alyssia, usually we will read books or just play with her toys together. She loves sitting on my lap and reading together.

·        10.00 am – Snack time, Alyssia will usually have some fruit or a biscuit with a drink around this time and If it is a blogging day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) I will post my blog post and update my social media.

·        11 am – Alyssia usually has a nap around this time but she is 15 months old now and we are slowly trying to cut out the nap times, depending on how busy we are and what we are doing. This is my time to crack on with the rest of the housework including packing the toys away for the 1000th time.

·        12pm – Lunchtime for both of us.

·        1pm – Alyssia is usually full of energy after she has had a nap and some lunch so she runs around the flat with her pram and will quite often just sit nicely playing by herself while I wash up the lunchtime dishes and clean the kitchen again.

·        2pm – Rob usually comes home from work around this time, he is self employed so it can be anytime really. (Monday we do the dreaded food shop all together or we get it delivered)

·        3pm – Snack time again (On a Wednesday we go to my Grandad’s around this time)

·        4pm – I start to prep dinner 

·        5.30 pm – Dinner time

·        6.00 pm – Bath time 

·        6.30 pm – Cbeebies & Bed 

·        7.30 pm – After Alyssia has gone to bed, I wipe down all of the sides, sweep the floors, give the kitchen a quick 10 minute blitz with the anti bac & zoflora, have a general tidy up, tidy away all of the toys and sit down to watch the soaps.

Whether you label yourself as a Stay at home mum, Stay at home working mum, working mum or just a mum.. there is no right or wrong way and you need to do what is best for you and your family. 

 

You can see more from Zoe here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Laura from The Breastest News

#MumisBest Guest Post – Laura from The Breastest News

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 Laura from The Breastest News!

 

Finding the right balance for your family can sometimes be a juggle. I’ve personally worked all of my life so far and have been lucky enough to do so. Pre children I worked a normal Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm office job which suited me fine. It wasn’t exactly exciting but it paid the bills and brought a lot of different opportunities so I was happy plodding along. When my son was born back in 2009 that’s when things started to change for me. I didn’t want to be a Mum who worked full time. I felt like I would miss out on so much but unfortunately after 13 months of blissful maternity leave I returned to work and back to my usual Monday to Friday routine. This meant my son had to go into childcare some days but his Daddy looked after him most days.

As luck would have it (at the time I was pretty upset) not long after returning from Mat Leave my role was made redundant so I had to quickly find something else, bills to pay and all that. Working for such a large organisation meant it was a bit easier to find something within my current environment so no drastic company moving as a few months later I joined a lovely team in a new department. The team I joined were really quite flexible which meant I got my first proper taste of part-time working compressing my hours worked each day and cutting out a Friday.

I loved not having to work on a Friday. It meant I had more time for my son which was fantastic. As my son got older though the hubby and I noticed things weren’t quite right from a development point of view and in 2013 he was diagnosed with Autism. At this point in my life I felt cutting more hours at work and spending more time to help care and support my son far outweighed any financial benefit so I requested to work 3 days a week, 8 hours each day. This was quite a good arrangement as I felt like I was around more.

Roll on 2015 and my daughter was born. Her arrival into the world made me realise how precious time can be and after a fab 14 months of Mat Leave I put in a further request to only come back to work two days a week. The money might not be great but I can honestly say hand on heart it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made about my work life balance. I’m now able to juggle childcare between myself, the hubby and a childminder one day a week for my daughter. My son is at school but I’m now able to pick him up and take him to play dates/ after school classes without feeling rushed and stressed.

Working part time for me is basically the best of both worlds as I get to spend lots of time with my family but also get to go to work and be Laura, not just Mummy, for the day. I can enjoy a hot cuppa and food in peace without anyone trying to steal a bite and my clothes remain stain free! It’s great. I’m happy that I’ve finally found my work life balance. If only I could say the same about my blog life balance!

Bio:

I’m Laura, twenty something tea guzzling Scottish parenting and lifestyle blogger who lives in Fife, Scotland with my partner Kevin, cheeky son Logan, daughter Harlow and two lovely dogs. The Breastest News is my personal blog which I started back in late January 2011. As well as covering breastfeeding, as the name suggests, my blog also encompasses a wealth of family travel, autism awareness and fun reviews.

Blog: www.thebreastestnews.co.uk

Twitter: @BreastestNews

Facebook: /The Breastest News Blog

Instagram: BreastestNews

 

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What Do you Need for Working from Home?

What Do you Need for Working from Home?

Striking out on your own and running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. You might have a fantastic idea and be looking forward to being your own boss.

Thankfully for new entrepreneurs there are plenty of organisations such as FSB that offer advice, support and different services that can help get a new idea off the ground.

There are however, a number of things you need to keep in mind as you set your business up.

Space to work

You need to decide on what services your business is going to offer and make sure you have enough room to provide them. This might be simple if you only need a small home office to work from, but if you need to use larger equipment and tools you might need to convert more space, such as transforming the garage into a workshop.

This can help you work out what you’ll add to your business as it grows, when you might need to switch from working at home to working in an office or other premises and help you to chart the success of your business as it expands.

Insurance

Even if you’re working from home don’t neglect to cover your business by insuring it. This can help cover any losses or problems. You can insure your business against accidents and injury, tax investigation, products, fire, theft, etc. Look at what specific needs you think your business will have and then take steps to make sure it is protected.

Banking

You need to take care of your business’s finances. When you start out you might think your personal bank account will suffice but as your business grows you will need to consider a specialised business bank account.

These accounts provide access to other services and benefits designed to help businesses grow and process payments.

If you find your business growing at a faster rate than you expected this is definitely something you should aim to get in place as soon as possible.

Tax

As part of looking after your finances you need to ensure your business is taxed correctly. This should be a priority for your business, as fines from HMRC for incorrectly paying tax can be a serious headache for new businesses.

Getting your taxes right starts with proper organisation. Filing everything related to your business finances away properly, so you can find everything when you need to, will make filling in your business tax returns so much easier in the long run.

As your business grows it might be worth considering hiring an accountant to help with your taxes. This can help make the process a lot easier, especially as your business continues to grow and you have less time to devote to this.

Working from home is a big undertaking, but by getting organised it can be a great platform to start a business based on something you’re passionate about and can help you turn a hobby or passion into a successful career.

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Instantly Increase your Productivity

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Instantly Increase your Productivity

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

Procrastination is one of the hardest things we battle when it comes to getting out heads down and working. There’s always something that seems more important at the time. Whether it’s errands that can usually wait or the devil that’s social media, we all have little habits that can seriously affect our productivity.  However, when we do finally knuckle down and get some work done, the feeling of satisfaction that comes with a good days work takes some beating!

As a work at home parent it’s far too easy for me to let procrastination get in the way, so I’ve developed a few little life hacks to instantly improve productivity…

Create a to-do list –

Creating a to-do list in priority order is a great way to improve productivity. Without organisation it can be easy for your workload to become overwhelming, so take some time to figure out what’s most important and what can wait until later.

Plan tasks –

Drawing up a quick plan prior to completing tasks, helps to walk you through the process step by step. It’s easy for our minds to wander as we stop halfway to think about the next bit, so have a direct route to completion avoiding all detours along the way!

Allocate time slots to complete tasks –

Allow tasks the time they deserve, no more and no less. Giving yourself these deadlines means you know that tasks will be completed, without eating into your time elsewhere.

Restrict social media usage –

We all love a bit of social media, but it’s one of the top ways we find to waste valuable hours when we should have been working. Restrict yourself to twenty minutes of social media per day, whether it’s in the morning to kick start your day or in the evening to unwind. Don’t while away hours reading about your mum’s, neighbour’s, dog when you could have been finishing the post that’s been sat in your drafts for the last week!

 

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Rebalancing Your Work Life As A Parent

Rebalancing Your Work Life As A Parent

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When you first become a parent, balancing your work life and career with your new job of being a mother/father is something that takes a lot of adjusting to. There are so many people who don’t return to the job that they once had pre-parental responsibilities, and it’s not unusual to feel disillusioned with your work life and what you are going to achieve from it. However, there are a lot of parents who have taken a completely different route with it all and set out to achieve bigger and better things than they would have done had they stayed in the same line of work that they started out in. But for those who don’t have a plan, where do you begin?    

Think About What You Want To Do

The great thing about living in this age is that we are fully clued up on how to get to where we need to be – or at least, we are after a quick Google search. Being able to set yourself up on a path is a monumental hurdle that is actually pretty easily overcome. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, there are career quizzes online which will be able to give you quite an accurate representation if you take one detailed enough. Or, if you want to stay in the job that you’re in, think about how you could build upon your skills and knowledge that you currently have to give yourself something more from your job; this could even be making the leap to go self-employed and taking on clients on a freelance basis.

Think About How You’re Going To Get There

It may be that you need to either further your education or at the very least your subject knowledge in whatever you are wanting to apply yourself to. It could be that you are wanting to really take on a challenge when you return to your previous role; getting ahead in the leadership stakes can be a hard thing to do, but there are courses available on the internet for you to take to put you one step in front. There are organizational leadership online masters programs that are available to take full advantage of. Being able to return to work with another notch on your belt is definitely a way to take your career back into your own hands – something that can feel like it’s lost when you are starting back at work after children.

Think About Going Out And Getting It!

Don’t just think about it. There’s a saying that ‘a year ago you’d wish you’d have started today’ – and that’s never more true when it comes to your career. Take the bull by the horns and make sure that you fully apply yourself to whatever you want to do. Doing something at your own pace should also be encouraged. Don’t throw yourself into something if you know that you can’t give it your all or are going to be rushed through it.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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