I never wanted to have kids. When all my friends were planning their futures – married at 25, two kids by 30 – a boy and a girl, of course – I was resolute in the fact that I was never going to get married and never have kids!! (I have still managed to avoid the getting hitched part). I became pregnant with Amelie when I was about 32 and it wasn’t so much planned, as it was a ‘leave it to the gods’ kind of thing. When I saw the two pink lines I checked in with myself to make sure I was all good and realised I was very happy – and thus the journey began.
All through my pregnancy, and after having her, I realised I was actually very lucky that I hadn’t ever thought about kids at all as it meant I had no expectations or ideas of how it should be. I could just cruise through; tackling whatever came up, as I hadn’t set myself up with dreams and scenarios of how it should be.
Single mum life
Her Dad and I separated when she was two and I managed to get myself up the duff again a few years later – this time, to my new boyfriend of three months (who I’d known as a friend for a lot longer) and little Freya was born when I was about 38 years old. Not long after we moved back to Australia from the UK and have been living here ever since (seven years or so) and then at the ripe old age of 43 I moved on from BF#2 – so now it’s an all-gal house (including the cat).
We are an extremely weird family in that BF#2 takes my oldest two nights a week (even though he’s not her Dad) and the youngest goes to him three nights a week. I also share custody of my oldest with BF#1, who still lives in the
UK, and she travels there (on her own since she was six) approx. three times a year for a month at a time. The crazy thing is that we all get along great. When BF#2 travelled with Freya to see his family last year, he stayed at BF#1’s house with his new family! And I love that I get the best of both worlds – time with my lovely kids who I adore and also time off to hang with friends or learn the drums.
A change of direction
Professionally, I trained as a life coach after realising the corporate world wasn’t for me, and what I really wanted to do was help people. I actually graduated at the same time as having my first daughter, so knew I wanted to help biz mums. If they were feeling anything like me – isolated, alone, lacking in confidence and out of their depth – then I knew they needed help and I wanted to be the person to offer it. So I started Motivating Mum with a crappy website and even crappier biz cards and not a clue in the world how to run a business!
The main offering of Motivating Mum are my monthly Bizmums Clubs – where mums can meet once a month for ongoing support, brainstorming for their business, networking and more. I am hugely passionate about running these meetings as there are mums in biz all over Australia who sit in their workshops or on their computers, are isolated and alone, every day. They may not even realise how dull they’re feeling as they’re so used to it. Getting together with like-minded mums who GET IT ensures these women walk away feeling reinvigorated, refreshed, brimming with new ideas and motivated. No matter how engaging a Facebook page or group you will NEVER get that feeling from a computer screen.
My advice if you are wanting to start your own business:
- Get realistic about what you will be able to achieve in your first years in business – you most likely will not match your corporate wage
- Read as many blogs and articles as possible and educate yourself on social media, marketing, SEO and more
- Join a group that will help you so you are not on your own and hopefully, you’ll even get information to help you circumnavigate common start up mistakes
- You have to expect to spend money to make it. Yes, it’s great to build your own website but will it look professional and convert sales? Ditto for your logo and so on…
- Do a time audit so you know exactly how much time you have and when you have it
- It’s ok to outsource business work or even the cleaning or some cooking or the school pick up – you can’t do it all x
The National Business Brilliance Awards are now open for nominations. If you admire a mum in business, show her that she is valued and respected and smashing her goals by nominating her for an award. Or, if you are a mum in business, nominate yourself – you deserve the recognition!
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