Life has always been busy, with 3 young children every day is different, but since making the big decision to open a ‘proper’ shop, it has got just a little bit more chaotic! I like to pride myself on my organisational skills and love getting my teeth into new projects but at times in the last few weeks, even I wondered if I had bitten off a bit much this time. I have, with my sister in law, been running Kiddiroo online for nearly three years now, but working from home and really being able to pick and choose the times that I worked, although late evenings and early mornings were almost a given. The online business was going from strength to strength and so we decided to take the next step and look at opening a shop. There was a vacant shop in our village and we arranged to go and take a look, suddenly we were making plans to knock walls down, decorate and stock it.
Fast-forward several weeks of planning, preparations, project managing the builders and here we are, at the end of our first month in our lovely new shop. To say it has been challenging would be an understatement but it has definitely been character building.
A typical day for me starts at 7am when the alarm goes off. I usually snooze it a couple of times before dragging myself out of bed to wash and change. My eldest son, who is eight, usually wakes up and gets changed without too much encouragement, my middle daughter is a different one altogether, I tentatively wake her hoping she will be in a good mood (she is only 4 now, heaven help me when she is a teenager!) with Ellie up and dressed it is left to get the littlest one, Mia, sorted. She is 2 and so far is quite compliant in the mornings (thankfully) By 7.45am; I am out of the door with Mia to take her to nursery, calling for my nephew, Joseph who is 3, on the way. Smallest ones happily deposited at nursery, its home to make sure breakfast is eaten, teeth cleaned and reading book done for Dylan before dropping him and Ellie at school. From there I walk the few hundred metres to the shop. I have just enough time to give it a quick sweep up and tidy from the previous day before opening the blinds and hooking back the door. The rest of the morning is spent catching up on emails, orders, and enquiries in between serving customers. I love chatting with the people who come in; the majority of them are so friendly and interested in how we are doing. The classes are popular and we get positive feedback about them, plus the new photo studio is now open and life castings are well under way, there is never a dull moment at the Kiddiroo shop!
Lunchtime is swap over time. Jane (my sister in law and business partner) collects Mia from nursery before coming to relieve me in the shop. We have a quick chat about any news from the morning and then I go home with Mia and Olivia (my niece who is nearly 9 months old) we may have a few errands to run for Kiddiroo such as collecting printing and then its home to play for a bit. I spend a short while convincing Mia that she does want an afternoon nap while juggling feed time for Olivia! At about 3 o’clock we start the preps for the home school run, it takes a while to get everyone organised! If it’s a nice day we walk, it is only a few minutes and gives the girls (and me) some much-needed fresh air. Children collected, its back home for a quick snack before all getting in the car to go and fetch Joseph from nursery. The day becomes a little more chaotic as now there are 5 children in the house ranging from 9 months to 8 years, and at times it gets a bit heated but food usually calms them down! The shop shuts at 5.30pm so by the time Jane has cashed up and sorted out she usually gets to my house at about 5.45pm, where it is quite common to find the house looking like a bomb has hit it! We have a catch up about the afternoon’s events (sometimes over a glass of wine!) before going our separate ways to organise activities, depending on the evening, such as ballet, drama, football, swimming or on a quiet night simply bath and bed!
Having got the kids, fed, watered, changed and in bed there is some time to catch up with more emails, blogging and social networking etc before shutting the laptop for the day and having tea myself. I usually roll into bed between 10.30-11pm, ready to start it all again in the morning! It is hard work, but working for ourselves is rewarding in itself and although it can be very stressful at times with so many kids and responsibilities, I get to do things that I wouldn’t normally be able to do if I was still teaching full time. With some practice we have settled in nicely to the routine of shop/school/nursery/home life which all changes with every school holiday but with the help of very supportive husbands, parents and in laws we will get through it relatively unscathed, I hope!