The Jugglers: Lucy from Brand New Mum

Intro us about you:

I’m Lucy, Mum to two lovely, energetic and funny little girls: Cora (8 months) and Bea (age 2). I live with my partner, in a lovely, peaceful market town in rural Cheshire, which we’ve just moved to after 10 years of city living in central Manchester. I work from home and run a coaching business called Brand New Mum. When I’m not working, you can usually find me with my head in a self-development book, or escaping the chaos with some trash tv and a big glass of red in hand: my favourite guilty pleasures.

Tell me about your business baby:

Brand New Mum is the business idea I conceived and launched between having my own two children; whilst on mat leave with my first in fact. It’s a coaching business, and my services are designed to support new mothers navigate working for themselves once they have children; be that starting up an entirely new venture or simply adjusting to new ways of working and figuring out how to still grow their business now they have kids to care for too. I offer 1:1 support via coaching programmes, and will be launching workshops and online courses soon as well, focusing on time management, productivity and generally making things happen. I’m all about helping mums to find simple ways to get more done with minimal effort in their businesses – making work as easy, fun and productive as possible amid the chaos of family life.

What’s your WHY?

I’m driven by the desire to help women forge an alternative path for themselves and find their own way to work through motherhood; supporting themselves and growing a business that fits their brand new life.
It came about as I had so many mums around me, who I’d got to know on mat leave, who I realised were dreading going back to work – as was I. What were perfectly good jobs just no longer seemed to fit once the baby had arrived, either because they didn’t stack up financially, weren’t flexible, or because they just weren’t stimulating enough to satisfy any longer. Motherhood changed everything for me, and for many women I knew they were seemingly between a rock and a hard place – not wanting to be a fulltime, stay at home mum, but likewise unable to happily just return to the old workplace once mat leave was over.
I knew these women wished they could do something different that gave them a better, more satisfying and flexible way of bringing in an income, but were held back – often by fear, indecisiveness, or simply confusion over how to make it happen. I realised the coaching and business skills that I’d used in my previous career to support creative entrepreneurs and small organisations could help new mothers deal with the difficult decisions and leaps of faith they were facing, as they got started on their own successful business ventures.

What do you find the hardest bit of doing the juggle?

Not gonna lie, I miss my old-style working life; which included a quiet office, hot coffee and proper lunch breaks! Now I’m more likely to be found working at the dining table ignoring a messy kitchen while the baby naps, or stealing an hour in a cafe while my mum takes the toddler to the park. I also found squeezing work into small windows of the time hard at first, and have worked a lot at staying organised so I can make the most of any unexpected opportunity I get; for example, to fit in a few emails or do an extra social post.
I have to keep working at prioritising myself as well – basic stuff like getting a haircut or booking a health appointment can get put to the bottom of the list too easily, so I always try and factor in my own needs to my to-do list as well as the family stuff and my business workload.

Who’s your support network?

My own mum has been SO important to me in getting my business off the ground and helping me with my own juggle – honestly don’t know how I would have done it without her supporting with the childcare she does, and am eternally grateful. My partner, who is incredibly supportive of my ambitions, and never doubted me for a second even when I handed my notice in whilst on maternity leave with zero savings to fall back on! I also owe so much to the wonderful insta-mum community I discovered online after having my first baby who continue to inspire me, motivate me and be there for me in some very lonely, 3am moments when I’m finding motherhood (and business) tough.

If only I knew then what I know now…

That building a business might take longer, or have more twists and turns than anticipated, but that you can make that stuff in your head become real. So I guess; to keep the faith!

Inspiration Quote that you love:

 

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The Jugglers: Mads from The London Mother

Tell us about you:

I’m Mads Panchoo and I run online parenting magazine, THE LONDON MOTHER and online course programme TLM Social. I have 10 years+ experience in sales, marketing and PR and have worked in fields as varied as teaching, television and technology. I LOVE writing. I used to write all the articles myself but now I have a team of (paid) freelancers and I focus mainly on teaching how to turn your passion into a full time job via my TLM Social online courses. My real break came when I started writing an unpaid fashion and beauty blog for HELLO! Magazine Online. I was prepared to write for free to get the on the job training and PR contacts.

 

Tell us about your business baby:

THE LONDON MOTHER highlights the best in things to do, see and eat in London when you have children. It’s not about me at all – I made the conscious decision not to feature myself or my children. I wanted to be a business owner, not an influencer. My real passion is helping others which I do as a coach and online via my courses at TLM Social. I get great pleasure in showing people, usually parents, how to access the freedom, flexibility (and hard work) that comes from running your own business.

 

What’s your WHY?

I loved my job when I worked in the city but it was so hard juggling childcare and an office job, and my employer was very flexible as I worked two days in the office and two half days from home. I wanted to break free from the corporate world and really flex my creative muscles and I knew writing was what I was good at and what I loved. I was also pragmatic – I knew I wanted to work for myself but I knew there had to be an audience for what I was going to ‘sell’ and parenting in London was what I was doing so I thought why not write about that. Before long brands were paying me to write and THE LONDON MOTHER was born. Along the way I met lots of women who also wanted to freedom and flexibility that comes with having your own business and after a few in-person coaching sessions, decided to create a course so I could teach everything I knew quickly and at scale.

 

What do you find the hardest bit of doing the juggle?

Knowing when to switch off. Working for yourself can feel like you’re never not working.

 

Who’s your support network?

My husband Ryan who runs his own business – a niche, gluten free, vegan bakery Borough 22 and is the yin to my yang. He’s creative and has an eye for colour and scale while I’m all about numbers, Excel spreadsheets and business strategy. He balances me perfectly.

 

If only I knew then what I know now…

Social media isn’t as important as you think it is. Own your audience via your website and email list; income is more important than follower count.

 

Inspiration Quote that you love:

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The Jugglers: Claire from LittleFolk Tales

Tell us about you:

I’m Claire and at the time of writing I am Mum to Jacob who is nearly 4 and ready to go with baby number 2 any day now! My full time job is as Head of Drama is a Secondary School; I’ve worked in education for the last 12 years after a brief stint playing ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in a touring theatre group, and as a Community Theatre Leader for a local theatre.

 

Tell us about your business baby:

It’s been almost a year since I officially launched ‘LittleFolk Tales’, an online children’s bookshop. I also hold pop-up shops and storytelling sessions in and around Liverpool. I aim to bring inspiring and imaginative books to parents who want to go beyond the usual offerings when it comes to the children’s books you can get on the high street (although don’t get me wrong, these books are great too!). I’m interested in books that have a great story, whilst also focusing on great illustration and design; books that can really be treasured and loved, and that look great in the home too!

 

What’s your WHY?

Like a lot of working Mums I guess, after having my little boy I began to consider how sustainable my current job would be around my family, especially given the changes that have taken place in education over the last few years, and the marginalisation of creative subjects such as drama. I remember doing a sort of ‘rediscover yourself’ type activity, which suggested making a list of things I used to love doing when I was younger, and reading came out top of the list. I used to devour books when I was young, and really want to pass that love on to my children, and what better way than to nurture that love from a young age through brilliant picture books. In this digital age, I think it’s important to preserve the pleasure of turning the pages of an actual book, and I think it is a great way for parents to bond with their children and focus on being together and present in the moment as they share a book together.

 

What do you find the hardest bit of doing the juggle?

Finding time to fit everything in! Working full time is tough for anyone, being a Mum is tough, and running a small business on the side sometimes seems like a really crazy thing to do! But I get such a positive reaction about the books I choose whenever I host a pop up event, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside some other great businesses such as Parentfolk who have been a great supporter of LittleFolk Tales since I started, and I feel like I have become part of a really positive community of independent, family led businesseses.

 

Who’s your support network?

My family! My husband is always encouraging me to keep going with the business; there are times when I question if I should just give it up and get that time back for myself and my family, but he reminds me that what I’m doing is something I really enjoy. And my parents are always there for the practical help, such as looking after Jacob and bringing him along when I have an event. This has really opened my eyes to how much our working lives impact on our children; Jacob has seen me ‘do my bookshop’ and he loves to make his own bookshop at home, laying out all his books on the sofa or the coffee table and says he wants to be a shop keeper when he grows up!

 

If only I knew then what I know now…

Well I still don’t know how to organise my accounts and keep track of the ‘business’ side of things so I would definitely like to know that! Otherwise, I think I was a bit naïve about the amount of work that needs to go in to an online store, to encourage traffic and regular sales…but when I hear that little ‘ping’ on my phone that tells me a sale has just come through it really does put a smile on my face!

 

Inspiration Quote you love

 

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The Jugglers: Carly from Bloomingals

Tell us about you:

Hello, my name is Carly, I am a mum of two strong-willed toddlers.  My children are 3 years 6 months and 1 year 10 months.  That’s right I am hitting the terrible two and threenager stage simultaneously!  Good Luck Me!

I have a BSC degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.  I work for the NHS three days a week as an Occupational Therapist in a rehabilitation unit on a stroke ward.  My job is to help someone that has had a stroke, re-learn everyday activities that they now find difficult in order for them to be as independent as possible.   I do this, whilst juggling being a mum, wife, daughter, auntie, sister, friend (you get the jist) alongside my online business Bloomingals.

I love nothing more than spending time with my friends and family, eating, going on holiday and drinking prosecco.  I was born in Essex and have never flown far from the nest. I am generally quite a shy person which doesn’t always make the best first impression, but I love meeting new people and have learnt to push myself out of my comfort zone both on a personal level and in business.


Tell us about your business baby:

Bloomingals is an online luxury family shop that showcases Maternity and Breastfeeding wear, Baby and children’s clothing, Nursery items and family gifts, which I personally select from independent brands. Bloomingals conveniently introduces you in one click to products and brands that you will not find in your usual high street shops.

It’s an evolving business and we have just launched our maternity dress hire collection.


What’s your WHY?

When I was pregnant I always found it hard to find stylish yet practical maternity clothes which gave birth to the idea of Bloomingals.  I wanted to create a convenient place for mums and families to find items that would make you look and feel great on your journey from pregnancy through to parenthood.

By having one destination to shop all things parenting not only saves you time but also provides you with a trustworthy place for you and your family to visit over and over again.

Initially, Bloomingals was set up as an online store for expectant mums, however, since becoming a mum myself and entering the wonderful journey into parenthood, it has naturally progressed into an exciting destination for the whole family.  I have a passion for helping others and the parenting game can feel quite daunting.  Alongside my business, I like to share my experiences and lessons learnt via social media posts and blogs.  If my story helps just one person, then I am happy.

What do you find the hardest bit of doing the juggle?

I find many parts of doing the juggle hard but the biggest challenge for me is overcoming the constant guilt.  I am busy, really busy. I am constantly on the go, taking the children to a class, play date or carrying out general mum duties whilst juggling dinner, nap times and housework.  On top of what feels like a full-time job being a mum, I have my part-time job and I work on Bloomingals around my family life and my part-time job.

That’s when the guilt kicks in. I constantly feel guilty that I am not fulfilling my to-do list for my business, or when I am working on the business I feel guilty I am not spending time with my children.  On top of this, I feel guilty that the evenings that I used to spend with my husband when the kids are in bed are now consumed with work. Then, I feel guilty that I do not have time for everyone else around me.

But I remind myself that this is all part of the larger picture and all that I do is to better my life and that of those around me.  What can I say but “The juggle is real” and I wish I had paid more attention in juggling class at school.

Who’s your support network?

My husband is my absolute rock.  He is the person that pushes me to succeed and helps me with all the parts of the business that I find challenging.  He is also the person that takes my backlash and gets the least of my time.  But he loves my business, he wants me to succeed and he supports me with everything I do.  He is not only a support for me, but he picks up the slack with the children too.  If Carlsberg did husband…he’d probably be the best husband in the world!

 

Inspiration Quote that you love:

 

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The Jugglers: Saskia from Share the Joy Media

Tell us about you:

Hi, I’m Saskia. I’m a copywriter and content strategist focussed on helping kids and family brands to communicate a confident brand voice and create parent-attracting digital content! I’m also a home-educating mum of 2 amazing little boys (age 5 and 2).

Tell us about your business baby:

I launched Share The Joy Media at the very end of 2016. With the birth of my second son, I decided I really needed to up the enjoyment factor of my freelance copywriting business (which I’ve been running for over a decade – eek!) if I was going to spend any time apart from him. I’d previously had a generalised approach and was writing about things like drone cameras and insurance… Very dull!! I had a think about what topics would never bore me – kids and family related topics – and quickly saw a gap in the market for copywriting/content services tailored to parent-targeting customers.

What’s your WHY?

My biggest WHY is to provide the flexible lifestyle my family and I are privileged to experience. My husband and I decided I would be the sole earner when my first son was born, meaning he looks after the boys when I’m working. My current schedule is a morning of work, an afternoon of play – and then a little bit of catch-up in the evening if needed.

What do you find the hardest bit of doing the juggle?

The rollercoaster nature of it all. And fighting the whole notion of ‘balance’. I love that you’re embracing the ‘juggle’ aspect as I think striving for balance is almost dangerous… Perhaps there are seasons of balance in life… But when you have young children to look after, sometimes they need you more. Sometimes your business needs you more. Sometimes YOU need you more! It really is up and down, and many months I think to myself ‘I can’t do this anymore!!’ and then here I am…

Who’s your support network?

I couldn’t do any of it without my husband. Not just looking after the boys but also trusting me so implicitly in everything I do. He does take interest if I want to chat about what I’m up to (he knows who I’m talking about when I speak about my clients or insta connections) but generally he lets me get on with it. My parents and in-laws are also hugely supportive, even though they are both hundreds of miles away. My faith is also a big part of how I do business and survive the ups and downs.
The support of other parent bosses I’ve met online has been incredible too! I’m so grateful for the Instagram community I’ve found who work so hard on their businesses while still being completely lovely!!

If only I knew then what I know now…

“You’ve still got loads to learn and that will never change!” I started out when I was so young (18) that I clearly didn’t have a clue what I was doing and was completely winging it. Then after a few years in (scratch that, by about 7 whole years in!!) I realised I’d been doing LOADS wrong in terms of prices and business boundaries. I gradually started making changes but took feelings of stupidity with me. “How could I have been doing it like that for so long?!” As I’ve matured, I realise there’s always more to learn and we’re never going to have everything sussed.

Inspiration Quote that you love:

We can’t fix everything in life. We can’t fix all the hurts and injustices we come across. But we can set the best example as possible by being the change we want to see and knowing that others are paying attention (even when we think they’re not). As a parent, I always cling to the fact that my boys will learn most about being a kind, proactive, positive member of society by seeing how I behave than any life lessons I try to ‘teach’.

 

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