Breakfast eaten – tick.
Dishwasher loaded – tick.
Kids in uniform with clean teeth and ties straight – tick – mainly because it is photos today.
Make up done and hair dried – tick.
Everyone delivered to class and now hot coffee is at the ready – tick.
This is pretty much how my weekday mornings look.
I get up at least half an hour before everyone else so I can shower (I cannot leave the house without washing my hair) and have that one, precious cup of coffee that gets me started. This is followed by a collection of happy, hilarious, possibly hysterical moments that make up our morning routine from opening the curtains to driving into the school grounds.
My boys are now 11 and 9, one is at senior school, the other still in primary and I have actually become quite fond of the school run and the friends I have made at the gates.
I won’t lie, it took me years to get both right, and there are still days when I think ‘let’s just have a duvet day’ and stay at home.
As a naturally inquisitive person (OK, nosy), I love to know how other people get themselves up and out in the morning, I also wonder if everyone has the bright shining smiles we are greeted with when we see one another at 8.15am, half an hour before that.
To find this out, a few years ago, I started, ‘Mums on the Run’, a regular blog series that offered mums (and dads) the chance to talk about exactly how they do it all and promote their business at the same time.
I am bringing this feature back and first on the list is Laura Sweet, the founder of a fantastic online business – Amamaya. Laura is married to Simon and her daughter, Maya, is 2 and they also have a variety of animal friends including a horse.
What is your morning routine in the week?
I usually get up between 6-6.30 depending on what time Maya wakes up. We go downstairs for breakfast, which Simon will usually cook, and a bit of playtime beforehand. I’ll have a couple of cups of tea then I will either go to the yard to see to my horse, get ready for work or both.
What is your school / work / mummy fashion style?
Very, very casual – style is a strong word!
If you are running late what is the one thing that will make you feel confident?
That I’m pretty good at winging it. You have to be to be mad enough to start your own business in the first place.
Tell me a bit more about your business and where you see it going towards the end of 2018?
I’ve just hit a major cross roads. I’ve gone back to work full-time as an insurance broker just as my business has picked up pace significantly. I see 2018 ending in me outsourcing more of my work so I can see the growth I’m looking for now. If I don’t then it could easily stall. Moving from insurance broker to kids clothing designer has been a massive leap of faith and one with many skills gaps , as you can imagine. I need to find the right people to plug those holes now.
What is the biggest challenge for parents who work?
I think it’s always trying to find balance. I’m lucky that both my day job and my business allow me masses of flexibility as to when I work. This means despite working close to 50 hours a week now we actually all see more of each other as a complete family than we ever did.
How could the Government make things easier?
Funding, business support, training, helping parents who have had kids to return to work or start their own businesses if they want to. I hear so many stories, mine included, of people being worse off or at least not much better off returning full-time when you take into account the cost of childcare. For me personally, it wasn’t worth the trade-off, I didn’t want to work full-time to pay for someone else to bring up my daughter in her early years so I stayed home and set up my business while she slept.
Would you say there are more politics in the playground or in the boardroom?
My daughter isn’t at nursery or school yet so I’m yet to find out. I would imagine it’s the same everywhere you go, there is always someone looking to compete, I try to look at it as a lesson in letting go and I use that to tread my own path.
What words of wisdom can you give other parents for dealing with the everyday juggling family and work?
Don’t feel judged by anyone, let the small stuff go and just do what’s best for you and your family and you’ll be doing alright.
To find out more about Laura’s business, go to Amamaya, and if you would like to tell us how you do it all, get in touch.
Have a great week.