A NEW WAY For Mothers
Words by Louise Webster
When considering how you mange your own time around the family, the summer holidays can provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past academic year, and make some positive plans for the next. Have you ever wondered if there could be another way to combine work and family? That you could utilise & re-discover your skills whilst your children are at school or nursery? If so then read on!
I have been exploring a new for the past 6 years since I had my second child and we moved out of London. What I realized was that I needed to find a way to work, utilise my skills, focus on my journey alongside caring for the children. This didn’t just involve work but also looking at energy, vitality, my perception of success and how to create flow within the hours I had available to me. I learnt so much, and as a result have grown my website www.beyondtheschoolrun.com, the place to inspire, engage and connect parents with their skills and talents in the hours available to them, and recently published a book ‘A New Way for Mothers.’
What I want to see in the world is not only the talent of those who no longer fit into the conventional working hours being utilised and nurtured but also the role of caring being valued. Both run alongside each other make a powerful force and I hope you will join me on a journey of exploring where it will take us.
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I think for so many of us we have grown up in a culture of busy busy, more and more. But what about if we could achieve what we individually dream of without the race. And what if this was a collective journey that we didn’t need to compare and contrast, but together we could make the difference to our lives and the lives of others.
So wherever you are on your parenting journey, whether you are starting to question how you can use your skills whilst the kids are at school, need to focus on your wellbeing or wanting to explore new skills that maybe you didn’t unlock first time round you can take steps and these steps one after another will lead you on a truly exciting journey. Here are just a few tips and suggestions, there is so much more in my book along with advice from wise women and experts in their fields too:
Start reading and connecting with issues and topics that engage you. If you find you are passionate about a subject maybe that has been highlighted by being in the school system – stay true to your feelings and pursue this passion. Amazing where it will lead you. Do not be deterred by others, often what you are thinking and feeling is for a very good reason – so be true to yourself and your own authentic voice.
Be honest with yourself about how you are using your time. Are you spending longer at the schoolgates than you need? Start focusing on your work in those hours that are available to you as soon as possible. If you are inspired by coffee mornings that is great, but if you aren’t then kindly decline them. Become clear about what works for you. Also use your weekends wisely and try to finish all the house jobs that need to be done so you can start work fresh on Monday.
Be mindful of the people you spend time with. Negative people will drain you and you need all your energy to focus on your work and children. Find those people who lift and inspire you to keep taking your steps forward. They are out there and often in your very community.
Focus on your wellbeing. Your energy and mental clarity are important both for when you have your hours to work but also when you are focusing on caring for the children. So make this part of your weekly strategy depending on what you need.
Connect with people who will inspire and motivate you to keep taking your steps forward. You can join the Beyondtheschoolrun Facebook group for inspiration and connections, pick up ‘A New Way for Mothers’ for more support and guidance and register for our newsletter at http://www.beyondtheschoolrun.com.
BE THE CHANGE
If you feel you are a step away from looking for a job role, consider returnship programmes or career days, a lot of companies are introducing them now. If you are looking for a flexible job role, start to mention it to the parents at your schoolgates, approach companies directly and connect with flexible job agencies, you can find many at www.beyondtheschoolrun.com. The more you share your hopes and dreams the more opportunities will open up.
Since setting up Beyondtheschoolrun I have been inspired by the great many mothers who are creating the new way, who are making it work for them in the hours available to them. Here are two, Mirella and Fiona:
When my son was 9 months old, I decided to extend my maternity leave. After a 15 year career as a graphic designer in London for agencies and a corporate, I wanted to take time out to look after my son. We also decided to move out of London so the combination took quite some adjustment. When my son started school in 2016 I saw an opportunity to work around my sons schools hours. It gave me some valuable time to concentrate on myself and work. Introducing myself to the local business community was my starting point. I met some amazing small business owners looking for graphic design expertise without the agency price tag. That has been the key. It has been a challenge but also incredibly rewarding and exciting. My key learning in the last few months has been utilising social media as a platform for my business, it has been an incredible experience networking with so many amazing talented people. www.mirellaskdesign.com
I spent 10 years climbing the corporate ladder working in various commercial roles appearing to have a successful career but deep down I knew I wasn’t on the right path. I was doing roles that didn’t play to my strengths and this meant I often felt stressed and unmotivated. I decided to take control and had some career coaching to work out exactly what I wanted to do. The coaching opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me that not only played to my strengths but also my main motivation in life of helping others. Over ten years ago, I founded Inspired Mums career and confidence coaching to help women fulfill their potential and find family-friendly careers. I decided to specialise in this area because so many women seem to lose their self-confidence and direction when they become mums. I help women through-out the whole process: from gaining clarity on what they want to do, rediscover their self-belief and how selling themselves on CVs, LinkedIn and in person at interviews. I feel incredibly lucky to have found a career that is both flexible and motivating and feel very passionate about helping others do the same. www.inspiredmums.co.uk
We are all individual with different steps to take but what is for sure is that when we work together we will make great strides – not only in creating change for ourselves and our families, but for future generations too.
‘ A New Way for Mothers’, praised by journalist Harriet Minter as ‘A Revolutionary Concept’ publishes 1 August and is available worldwide and at www.amazon.co.uk