Life of a Mum

Guest Blog- Zoe Virtual assistant extraordinaire

I met Kelly, aka IVF Ninja through a local child friendly business networking group (which I now coordinate in Market Harbourough) on behalf of Mums in Businness International. I was inspired by her social media content and wanted to learn more about her huge instagram following. Kelly attends my networking events and I attend her Insta Mums Meet Ups. She has also been a speaker for our group on numerous occasions, always encouraging new members to our meetings and events.

Motherhood didn’t necessarily come to me as planned, I never expect anything I do to be by the book, so why should this be any different… 12 years in a relationship that progressed no further than living together in a one bed flat in London. I ended it by having an affair/cheating (whatever you want to call it, it was my fault). Then I ran off to Africa to sort my head out for a couple of months. This was followed by temporarily living back at home with my parents at 30 due to being flat broke! I eventually settled down into a relationship with my now partner in crime and we wasted no time in trying to start a family.

I found out I was pregnant two days after running the Brighton marathon. 6 months previous, I had decided to temporarily forget about becoming a mum and focus on my shiny new job as a travel business development manager and marathon training, especially after the doctor had wanted to do the investigative dye thing to check that my tubes were intact.

Having said that, despite a bit of a surprise and terrible guilt for putting my little baby through a marathon, I was ready to become a mum, I had travelled, I had partied. I was delighted! I set about learning everything I could about pregnancy and the impending birth. Now don’t hate me, but I was very fortunate to have a very easy going baby, she started to sleep through from very early, she fed, she rarely gave me any cause for worry or concern. As I write this, she is five, has started school, made new friends, been homeschooled and generally taken everything thrown at her in her stride. I am very proud, and lucky!

One thing I didn’t expect to struggle with after becoming a mummy was my identity. I’ve always felt it important that I have my own funds so my partner (the one who I had the affair with and my childs father) and I have always gone halves, and I’ve always had my own savings and worked or earnt in one form or another. When it came to returning to work I’d had to rethink my travel career, so I looked at the aspects of the tasks I enjoyed and I set about applying for part-time admin focussed ‘mum jobs’. I quickly found, that despite 10 plus years in an office environment, my skills weren’t necessarily considered transferable, nor were they worth more than £8.50 per hour. I also had an inkling that I didn’t just want to work for one company or person and I really didn’t fancy squabbling over early finishes and the term time holidays.

It also eventually became clear that if I wanted to fit any kind of career progression around my little girl, I would need to pay for full time childcare and miss so much of her growing. I didn’t want that either!! So I decided I would work from home a couple of days a week on a self employed basis. So how does one go about achieving this? Quite simply I started going to networking meetings in my area, I met other women/mums that did what I wanted to do but better. I was inspired, I learned so much from from them, I went on courses. I didn’t even know what to introduce myself as but I turned up as a work in progress.

I evolved my business the more I learnt. Networking has been key to everything I have achieved and it has helped me build the career and the kind of work-life balance that I’ve always dreamed of, yet felt it was unreasonable to request.

As mums we give away so much, we often put our own self development and career aside in favour of our home life, better hours, less childcare fees. I just wanted to write this to say that you can rebuild your career back from scratch, you can be confident about your identity again, reinvent yourself and create a life on your own terms with balance and earn well. You will always be a work in progress, constantly learning and evolving.

However don’t believe all the hype you see on social media, you will need to work harder than you’ve ever worked, you probably wont be swanning about in a white Range Rover straight away, or ever… You wont be a polished entrepreneur, you’ll fail at somethings, be ready to fail, be accepting of failure, share failure. It makes you real and authentic. I’m not hugely confident, I am often full of self doubt. BUT I am proof that you can do it, you just need to take a leap, network, show up and put yourself out there.

Check out Zoe on Insta See Zoe here

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Mumprenuer Seema from Demi & co.

We are husband and wife team Anish and Sim (mum and dad to two handsome boys) from Nottingham and we started DEMI+CO™ an online jewellery brand for men and womenafter having our second child. Before we had our boys, we used to run a creative agency together which then became a challenge with a small family to look after. That’s when we decided to launch an online business allowing us a better work and life balance.

Initially it felt like we are doing things backwards and that wasn’t our intention but when young children come into the mix, they become the priority. We both have had experience In launching brands with our combined design, branding, PRand marketing skills and this time the launch was for us. My career started in Fashion PR and I have always had an interest in fashion, jewellery and beauty and that’s when the idea started. We also realised that although there were a few places for men’s jewellery there was a gap for high quality bracelets for men that were affordable.

Coming across copper and magnetic bracelets was accidental and after realising that how helpful they were for Anish in aiding a twinge he had in his wrist we knew that it was a great place to start. We were both surprised that there was such a lack of choice in style when it came to online and in store, so we thought why not bridge the gap and the rest as they say is history.

The DEMI part of our brand name originated from our baby name list, well a backup if we’d had a girl, it didn’t take us long to decide. I am aware that our boys will ask us when they are older why we didn’t name it after them, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it! To get to where we have right now has involved a great deal of work from web design, branding, marketing, SEO and social media and to juggle it around a family is a challenge. However, we do enjoy what we do and seeing how happy our customers are with their jewellery and getting positive feedback and reviews makes it all worthwhile.

Our 5 most asked questions about running a family business

1. How do you fit your workload around children? Having a good support network is ideal, but its not always the case for most people. We worked around nap times, bedtimes and school/nursery times. This does mean either waking up that extra early or working till late at night. You do have to be flexible and you do have use your time as effectively as possible.

2. What do you do when work is extra busy?We do have busy times like Christmas and Valentines, and we end up working much later into the night and on weekends. It’s not ideal but we try and break up the weekend so that there is a balance.

3. How do you cope with school holidays and sick days? We do have a reliable activity club and after school club which is reasonable, and it helps us out a lot during school holidays. Sick days are tricky, they are unpredictable and as we all know children come first, luckily, they bounce back quick and we just work harder to catch up.

4. What about having time off and a holiday? This one is rare and limited for us at this moment, but UK breaks and small weekends away work perfectly. Hopefully in the future we can take some longer time off as we expand the business and the team.

5. Would you recommend starting a business once you become a parent? This is a two-part answer, I would say yes and no as it totally depends on the idea, your time, your finances, drive and your skills. However if you have the drive and the passion then yes go for it, as long as you have budgeted, calculated the risks and are able to see where your idea or business would fit in the industry you want to be in then you will find a way to make it work.

DEMI+CO™ specialise in womens luxury jewellery at affordable prices. Our focus is elegant, intricate and fashion led jewellery for women consisting of heirloom inspired gold necklaces, power hoops, detailed studs and 9ct solid gold earrings, pendants and bracelets. ALPHA™ mens is DEMI+CO’s™ mens jewellery brand specialising in mens designer bracelets made from copper, magnets and leather.

To find out more go to

Demi & co. website

Demi & co. On Insta