networking

Resources for working motherhood, January 2019

motherhood resources.jpg

I had a few women contact me who are considering their next moves post relocation to Norfolk or post maternity leave. I don’t feel 100% confident to advise as I’m in it right now, and some might say I have good days and bad days (!).

For the past couple of months I’ve been learning to integrate new clients into our lives, with less childcare than normal. It’s been “interesting” (meltdowns, late nights) yet now we’re in a sweet spot as it feels, fingers crossed, that as long as I “keep going” and as long as the system isn’t rocked by illness etc we can muddle along. These are some resources below that might help.

I see three options for working: freelance, business owner and being employed. As a career minded mum of two small children, I’ve found it impossible to find employed work at the level (and corresponding salary) I’d be happy with. I think it’s due to a lack of advertised senior Job Shares in this area. I am trying to talk to people about that.

I already own a business, which is my third baby, this one, We Got This (Sometimes!) which is a passion project. If I hadn’t started this business, I wouldn’t have the skills that have led me to my current freelance clients, which is lucky, as I love doing it.

I’ve been a freelancer for ten years, I act as a marketing manager for clients and sometimes as an agency account director. It’s incredibly rewarding having control over my time (although, at the end of day, if there’s a meeting, I need to go.) It’s interesting, and varied and actually taps into my skills really well. What is difficult is shoe-horning it in to childcare slots, as life doesn’t work like that. And all the other non chargeable things that are not paying the nursery bills, like finding clients, pitching to clients, chasing invoices, etc. Also the ‘personal branding’ element, which is new vs ten years ago. Am I meant to have an instagram for my work? How can I fit that in!

I also struggle with sharing the “load” aspect. My husband works more than full time, and is often away. He has stepped up and now does the food shop and meal plan which I LOVE, and does the washing if it needs doing, however he doesn’t see the blocks of our kids lives that are constantly shifting like I do. The party invites, the swimming lessons, the childcare juggling, the bill paying, the family visiting, homework, school admin. And I’m not really saying he should as he’s flipping busy BUT because I freelance, I am the flexible one who does the running around. One way we’ve recently found is if I work from 6 til 1 or 2pm on a Saturday, I feel better. Rock and roll.

Resources I have come across:

Returning to work after maternity:

1 - Guilty Mothers Club - Rock your Return online courses

Setting up a business:

2 - Selfish Mother - online courses

Finding out what you want to do:

3 - All Bright Academy - I’ve just been accepted into an online course

4 - Step Up Club

How to do it:

5 - The Little Black Book and The Multi-Hyphen Method have helped me. Podcasts: The Janet Murray, She Means Business, Show Me the Way, Nicky Raby, The One Girl Band Podcast

Freelancing;

6. AND NOW also The Freelance Mum by Annie Ridout (totally spotted that a few months back!)

7 - Doing it for the Kids Facebook Community

Mind soothing

8 - Sam James Coach - she’s a mum, she’s a coach and she’s ace.

The February event to me shines a spotlight on why I set this business up (admittedly Steph has been a huge influence on me!) in that I want to find my groove and ultimately not be stressed, be a good mum and a nice person. Hopefully it will do the same for you!

Click here to see ‘Making work, work’ event details


If you’d like to blog for this website, please email me emma@wegotthisco.com.

Confidence vs Arrogance vs Self Assurance vs Boldness vs Assertiveness etc

I’ve always believed it’s Not Good to have a Big Head. To be over confident is annoying to most people. To be an expert in something is good. To share knowledge and excitement about something is good. I guess it’s a fine line between ‘showing off’, ‘being proud’ and being able to walk into a room of strangers whilst wanting to run away. 

In this little We Got This (Sometimes)! journey, confidence has been a funny old thing. Having marketed other peoples brands and companies for many years, and truly feeling passionate about them, it really is different setting up your own brand. I really don’t mind talking to anyone and everyone about it, because ultimately I think it does a good thing and can do good things for many people and businesses. 

I’ve met people who’ve told me to ‘be more male’. To talk to myself as if I am my best friend. To ‘just do it’. And in all honesty there is something in having small children as every minute you do work, you are maxing out productivity wise so there is little time to um and ah. Or dillying and dallying as my four year old says. 

BUT, do you think a business ought to be built on who the person really is, or who they pretend to be? Don’t we prefer to follow people, rather than big companies on social media because they are real, and admit their weak points? And once we know they feel sometimes how we feel, we are reassured? I suppose for me, it’s easier to admit the weak points than identify the good points, which is where being more male may help?

Mutha Hood Girl Your Moving Mountains Postcard

I think it can be tricky to see the wood for the trees unless there is time to reflect. One Girl Band is one of my favourite podcasts, and she quite rightly pointed out that we have just come to the end of the first quarter of 2018 - so it’s time to reflect. Her prompts are here, have a go and you’ll be surprised by what you did ‘achieve’, whether it was re-organising a window sill, getting a new project or making a new friend. 

This article by Lauren Bravo, whose Twitter feed I am most enjoying, made me laugh: “So I guess the challenge is to find the sweet spot on the confidence spectrum, somewhere between crippling self-doubt and Katie Hopkins. After the panic, but before you become insufferable. What’s our RDA of anxiety, though? Is it like a vaccination — too much makes you sick, but a small quantity makes you actually invincible? And, hang on: why are we, the neurotics and not-good-enoughs, having to do all the self improvement here?”

I think what I am trying to say is that I've found mostly we’re all a bit shy, and mostly we're encouraging everyone else to do well. Recently I’ve been to two networking events. I’ve not been to one since 2010 when I was kind of forced to for work, and it is REVELATIONARY. I drove in the setting sun at 18:30 while Mike put the kids to bed and learnt some stuff and chatted to some women. I am feeling the positive effects weeks later. And I turned up alone to both, and I was nervous. 

Ok, so:

  1. Everyone is a bit shy. Except men apparently. Which I don’t think can be true. Anyway.
  2. If you’re a freelancer or business owner, or part of a small business, the networking events I have been to are run by Alex at The Parent & Baby Show (your business needs to be operating in this industry) and Nourish Networking by Jackie Heffer Cooker. 
  3. Huffington Post has some good advice here on confident women
  4. I love Lauren Bravo so am very pleased to have her name on my blog. 
  5. Most people love to help people - always try and give a lot more help than you’re asking for 
  6. Come and meet women of confidence, confidence in different guises - the most excellent Mother Pukka, the Scummy Mummies and Gemma from Mutha.Hood - all women who are, quite literally themselves and are an inspiration without being more male.

The End.