Firstly, I should explain that I’ve always known I would be a working Mum.
From as young as I can remember I have wanted to be a Mummy. I was lucky enough to grow up with a stay at home mum, and the experiences we had, attention that was available to us and the home-cooked dinners and daily crafts were enough to make me want to be able to give that to my own children.
However, in today’s world I feel it is a lot harder to be a stay at home Mum, and I certainly would never have assumed that the man I fell in love with and married would be able to support me not working. In addition to that, I love working! I love being challenged and coming up with new ideas and plans, I love being around my colleagues and being out there in the world. (Now that isn’t to say that you can’t get all those things from being a full time Mummy!)
So right away when I embarked on my career, I thought long and hard about a job that could support my desire to do the school run, nurse poorly bubbas ,set up Pinterest-worthy craft activities, cook dinners and be prepared for World Book Day!
To me, the sensible way to achieve this was to run my own company. One that could accomodate me having a family, be built up to support me financially and also be something that I absolutley loved doing – no point creating a job I would hate!
So at the age of 20 I launched my dance and performing arts school. The logic behind this being that:
- I have always wanted to be a teacher – they say those who can, teach. I guess it’s just always been something I can do, and do well.
- I love working with children.
- I’ve always been a passionate dancer and performer and qualified as a dance teacher aged 18.
- I could largely create the hours I was able to work – and could put as much as possible into the business while it grew to tailor it to my future requirements.
- I was able to study a full time business and management degree whilst working on the business for the first three years.
- Once I was ready to settle down and have a family, I would have spent a lot of time growing the reputation of the company and developing a trustworthy and reliable team, who would then be able to take on the teaching work while I continued to run the administrative and managerial side of the business.
All these factors have worked in my favour over the last 8 years, and I now have a fantastic team of five teachers, a teaching assistant and over 200 students who attend our classes on a weekly basis.
The business is always growing and evolving, so it won’t be a case of having the baby, having a few months off while the classes continue in my absence and then coming back on the scene after a nice leisurely maternity leave!
To give you an idea of what will be going on from my due date (30th January 2017):
- The company’s tax return is due (on my due date!)
- We have a new series of classes trialling at 3 local children’s centres for a six week period.
- Invoices are due out to all pupils and have to be monitored and chased.
- We are taking part in two competitions in March.
- We are entering the children for their exams in April.
- Our Insurance and Licencing is up for renewal in April.
- Our annual show is in June (this involves a huge amount of preparation and planning – but that’s a post for another day!).
- We have staff training days and first aid certificates that need renewing.
- We are taking part in a national dance show in July.
- More invoices are due out in February, April and May!
- I’m in the middle of creating a qualification (collaboratively) which will need endorsing and launching.
Those are the things I can think of off the top of my head. On top of this the emails will have to be monitored and replied to (I am hoping to delegate most of this to one of my fabulous team members!), the phone will have to be answered and voicemails responded to, our social media accounts will have to be kept up to date and uniform orders upheld (another job I plan on delegating!).
Another thing to factor in is that I have spent years building a reputable and successful brand, so it is vitally important that I keep my hand in and keep an eye on the classes to ensure the same level of quality and personal touch is being delivered throughout the school. Not that I’m a control freak, much!
That’s the business side of things – on the other hand I will be a brand new mummy, with a tiny newborn baby who will require my attention 100% of the time. I hope to exclusively breast feed so will be up through the night doing that, and I also hope to be able to attend a couple of classes with the little one (currently I’m thinking swimming and baby massage!). I’m trying now to create a ‘maternity plan’ to manage my responsibilities and ensure that no-one, anywhere along the line, misses out on anything!
It’s a lot of responsibility, it’s a lot to think about, and I missed out on two months of planning and preparation by being poorly, then in hospital, then recovering, but I’m pretty single minded and am going to see how I can do!
Any advice from working Mummies will be very gratefully received!
Wish me luck…. you’ll be joining me on the ride!