One day a couple of years ago, I took my four-month-old daughter to visit a nursery. I was going back to work a few months later and had to sort out her childcare. As I left the nursery, I discovered that I simply couldn’t leave my baby anywhere full-time. It wasn’t the nursery that was the problem, it was me.
Like most families, we’d struggle to make ends meet on one salary but I couldn’t leave my baby in a nursery five days a week either. My job didn’t suit part time hours and involved travelling. It just wasn’t going to suit my new family.
I’d had my permanent job for a while, but before that I’d been a freelance trainer for six years. I knew that being self employed might be the only option open to me, but as a new mum I had no idea how it might work. What type of work could I do? Was it even possible to run a business around a small child?
I started to research some business ideas. I tried a party plan, but selling another company’s products just didn’t grab me. Then I found out, to my surprise, that I was expecting our second baby – due just fifteen months after the first.
With two babies I would need a business that was very flexible indeed. One that I could fit into a spare half-hour here and there, preferably without leaving the house! By then I was in the sick-and-tired first few months of pregnancy, I’d just gone back to work on a temporary-part-time basis and frankly, I was fed up. I started blogging – partly to connect with other mums in business and partly out of sheer frustration. I was going nowhere fast, but maybe all my research would help someone else in my situation?
My son arrived in August 2009 and I carried on blogging – although not very much for a couple of months! I realised there was a huge pool of experience and knowledge out there among mumpreneurs and I wanted to share it. So I started to feature guest bloggers and that meant I ‘met’ even more business mums.
After a year of blogging, my two babies are nearly two toddlers. My need to escape employment and full-time childcare has changed from a problem into a new career and a new way of life. There are lots of challenges and that means I have questions to ask of people who are ahead of me on the path. I hope I can pass this on to mums who are facing the same challenges as me.
Through blogging I met Antonia Chitty of www.familyfriendlyworking.co.uk. Together we’ve written a book ‘Start a Family Friendly Business: 23 Brilliant Business Ideas For Mums’ which will be published on 15th September. I had no idea when I started my blog that all that research would end up in a book, but I’m delighted that it has.
So the blog that’s about starting a business as a mum is now a business in its own right!
Helen Lindop is the owner of www.businessplusbaby.com, a blog dedicated to helping mums of babies and toddlers start their own businesses. For updates on her book, sign up to her Start Up Tips Newsletter.Found this useful wondering how you can show me your appreciation? Well why not ➡