Did you expect to become a mother?
Yes, whilst I was growing up I’d always kind of assumed that I would have children. I’m one of three children and automatically thought that I would have several children. Although I’m not sure that I really thought too much about what was involved in being a parent or even that it isn’t always simple to get pregnant. I discovered that I had polycystic ovary syndrome and it turned out that I was very unlikely to get pregnant naturally. I ended up having to take fertility drugs and luckily for me they worked before I had to contemplate going down the IVF route, for which I am very thankful.
How are you like your own mum?
We are quite similar in lots of ways – we both love our list-making! We like to plan ahead and be organised and of course we both love a nice cuppa and a chat.
How do you differ from your own mum?
My mum is infinitely more patient than I am! Maybe it comes from her being a teacher or just a learned skill over time, but I definitely haven’t inherited it! Which isn’t ideal when I spend most of my time juggling children & the business so it can be frustrating at times when things don’t run smoothly (which happens often when you have children!)
Please tell us about your achievements since becoming a mum (including parenting ones)?
It feels like an achievement just to get through each day sometimes to be honest! So many little things have felt like big achievements – having straightforward labours & births when I wasn’t expecting to, getting through the early stages of surviving on very little sleep, managing to breastfeed my second daughter without as much pain as the first time around – they all add up to give a good feeling.
Work-wise my biggest achievement has been to set up my business www.bestbabyshower.co.uk whilst I was on maternity leave with my first daughter. I realised very early on that I didn’t want to go back to work and leave her and had to think quick about what I could do instead. I think having a child somehow enables you to feel like you can do anything – it’s pretty empowering knowing that you created another human being. So, even as risk averse as I usually am, I decided to just go for it and the business was born too!
Describe your most challenging time in working towards your achievement?
It was certainly challenging to keep the business going and growing after I had my second child. There was no luxury of paid maternity leave that time and only me to run the business, so I just got on with it. I gave myself 24 hours after the birth to rest and then carried on. It’s also challenging on a daily basis just to juggle the children and the business. Things that would take me 5 minutes to do if I was working without being disturbed instead can take half an hour when having to also change nappies, make lunches, do school runs, read stories, fetch drinks and so on.
Describe the moment that you felt most like an achiever?
It was an amazing moment when I’d finally got my site live after months and months of work and when I made my first sale I was practically dancing on the ceiling! In fact every sale still gives me a buzz. It also felt great to be shortlisted for a Mumpreneur UK award last year when up against others who’ve achieved totally amazing things.
What individuals offered you support?
I’ve always had the backing of my family and friends, in particular my husband, parents and sister in law, Heidi. Having people to bounce ideas off has been totally invaluable – as have been my friends who’ve let me rant about the little frustrations along the way.
What organisations offered you support?
I did use the online services of Business Link when I first started out and found many of their templates, case studies and information sheets really valuable as someone who had no experience at all of running a business, owning a website or working in retail!
If you could revisit yourself when you doubted yourself, what would you tell yourself?
That everyone doubts themselves at some point – it’s human nature. But that it shouldn’t stop you trying to be the best you can be. Everyone has to start somewhere, the Bill Gates’s of this world started out in their garage! If you keep your focus on what you are trying to achieve and acknowledge all the little achievements along the way it will all work out.
What would you say to a mum out there who has a dream or something they would like to do?
Better to try and fail then always wonder ‘what if’. If you are passionate about your idea and have the commitment to see it through then go for it. There are hundreds maybe thousands of mums just like you all taking that leap and pursuing their dreams. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be one of them.