1

Mad Mummy Crafts & Designs is official

I’ve mentioned in previous post how walking has helped me to think clearly and make decisions. I’m not sure if all of them have been good decisions but time will tell with that.
But it’s funny how we can start a journey and end up getting lost but than we still find where we need to be even if we are a little late. Or in my case get lost and when I do get to my destination realise I’ve been here before! And if you hadn’t realised Yes I am talking in metaphor.
4 years ago I talked about starting a business and successfully started that business. I wanted to run a business and stay at home with my new baby, life was meant to be perfect. But it wasn’t, the conditions weren’t right, I wasn’t living in the right house or area and my business was a start up, I couldn’t possibly afford it. But the biggest obstacle I faced was me, I had no faith in myself, I never fully trusted myself so I never let go of my day job. Which meant I never had to work hard on my business.
So after a few successful years I started to drop the ball, my focus was on concieving and going to work and business took a nose dive cause it had no one to love it. I than suffered a miscarriage and I realised I couldn’t do everything. So I decided to stop! Put my camera down and step away. I was dissapointed but I didn’t feel like a failure cause I knew I had simply given up and I think that’s different to trying and failing, I’d stopped trying along time ago!
I kept my bookings and commitments through 2014, even a wedding a few weeks after I had had my daughter.
And it was different, because I still loved it, I wasn’t sad anymore and I wasn’t at work so my focus was back to being passionate about photography. I began to have doubts and I knew I had made the wrong decision, to give up my photography business . So I started small jobs again for friends and got myself back into the saddle.
But the real catalyst was my childcare bill, I knew going back to my day job was going to be hard, financially and finding a work life balance would be even tougher. But giving that up would be the hardest desicion I’ve ever made, but was it? On paper it seems like a no brainer but the reality of being financially vulnerable is a very scary concept and that’s exactly what I needed,  a bit of fire in my belly!!!
That’s how I would make this work, by taking full responsibility.
image

So today I open my home studio, I’ve managed to fill half my session slots this month and have been working hard to get ready so when I do have to finally make that decision and not go back to work it won’t seem like such a gamble.

image

I’ve also been busy planning and designing word art prints for my craft business which I also launched this week. It’s been a really busy 6 weeks but I’m so focused and unlike 4 years ago, the conditions are just right, I just have to have a little more faith in me.
So walking 6 miles a day hasn’t just helped my waistline but it’s helped me work out what I want to do in my life and given me the courage to make changes. But I’m not gonna lie I’m back in the car now, it’s been a good 4 months of walking so I don’t feel guilty, I’m 25lbs lighter and I’ve started 2 new businesses so that’s not bad going from a new year resolution to sell my car.
What new year resolution changed your life? I’d love to hear your story!
image

2

Working parent woes

postit Last week I was presented with my first bill for childcare for when I return to work in August and it’s given me a lot to think about. I’ve been paying nursery fees for 3 years and it was only when my daughter started pre-school last September that we started to use a childminder.
But despite their differences they ultimately have one thing in common and that is they like to take all of my money. I spend roughly 90% of my wages on childcare so the last 3 months have been truly amazing, well the first month after that I went on maternity pay and that sucks big time too.
So now I have two to pay for, although I am lucky that my eldest will start reception in September so I won’t have to pay for two children for long. But I still have to get her dropped off and collected and pay the childminder to look after her till 6pm. So how much do you think I was quoted? Well it was less than £1400 and more than £1250, to be fair my childminder knew this would be a shock and pre-warned . But my husband just said we’re not paying that!
Which led my mind into overdrive, could we afford for me to stay at home, which then led me to freak out and all I could see was me in 4 years sitting in front of people trying to sell myself in job interviews, it makes me shudder just thinking about it!
Not that I’m not good in interview situations, I tend to ramble and let my personality take over, apparently that’s a good thing.
In my experience in being the interviewer I’d much rather hire someone I liked with personality than someone with the skills but no people skills. You can always train someone, well not always, I definitely learnt that, but most of the time. I guess that’s what got me into training, wanting good people to genuinely learn and grow.
But the thought of starting the career ladder again is daunting and I genuinely love my job so it doesn’t seem like an option for me to stay at home. So I’ve thought about using this as an opportunity to move into teaching, do a degree and teacher training course, but the more I think about that the more daunting that seems. Basically I need to stop thinking! Which is kind of what I’ve done, because if I don’t think about it, I don’t have to make a decision and it will all go away, problem solved Ta Dah!!
Not that easy though, is it? I feel like I’m 15 again having to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I didn’t know then and now I just ride at what I’m good at and that’s training and teaching. So I got even more confused when I went to help a friend with a business plan and she suggested that I could be a business advisor and charge people for the privilege of my knowledge. It was a great compliment that she thought I was good enough but it just confused me even more!
So I made a decision and that is to think about it another day and right now enjoy my baby and what’s left of my maternity leave. I’m going to embrace the arts & crafts, enjoy time with my mummy friends and coffee mornings and not stress about something that basically I knew was going to happen. What’s your experience? Did rising child care costs prompt you to change careers or put plans on hold?

1

To Takeaway or Not

image

Friday’s in my house historically is a takeaway night, Wether it’s burgers, pizza’s or fried chicken, you name it we have it. And even sometimes we eat out on a Saturday, but as we eat well 75% of the time these two cheat days of the week are OK, aren’t they? Mmmm then why do I feel so bad! Because this past weekend was no different, I made no changes and indulged when deep down I knew it wasn’t what I should be doing. But this is when the choices I make impact on the others in my life. If I don’t have that takeaway than my husband feels he can’t have it and is missing out. It’s also about breaking habits and routines and most importantly taste and cravings. That’s a lot to conquer and I won’t lie I’m gonna find it hard, but I knew this path wasn’t going to be easy. For once I’m not looking forward to the weekend and that is a first!
So after another disastrous indulgent weekend (Watch me rant here)I decided not to weigh myself this week, otherwise I’d just be setting myself up for failure. I’m just sulking, I guess, but it didn’t last long, the more I thought about it the more I just had to know, good or bad!
But ironically when I finally built myself up to stand on the emotional roulette weighing device, fate dealt me a cruel twist…..the scales didn’t  work. All that fretting for nothing, typical!
So I was back where I started but with no choice but to get on with my day, so why couldn’t I stop thinking about it? I needed to know! The not knowing is doing my head in. People always say it’s not about how much you weigh but it’s about how you feel and look. Well I feel bad and look frumpy so bring on the scales, because in my head I need the scales to confirm this as crazy as that sounds. Will I ever be free from them?

2

Car’s Gone Baby Gone!

Well it’s the first week of my get fit for life and lose weight in 12 months challenge. I’ll be honest I’m not putting any numbers on my goal weight, as realistically I’d just like to be happy and comfortable in my clothes. But the truth be told 58lbs would be awesome and also far too hard!

My baby is 5 weeks old now and I’m still a little tender but I’ve made a decision and it’s the biggest decision I’ve made in a long time………to sell my car. I thought about it and There are many benefits to this and at the moment I can not think of any disadvantages, the biggest benefit will be the exercise as I’ll have to walk my daughter to school and pick her up every day, this is an hour round trip and in total for the day is about 6 miles.

Luckily we live 10 minutes away from our local high street and have a major Supermarket up the road so I’m not going to struggle, I don’t think!
But if I am honest, my husband called my bluff, I mentioned to him that it would be an idea to sell the car and then two days later he had a buyer, it was so quick I didn’t have much time to react.
The first day of the school run was strange and a bit daunting, I was still very tender and had underestimated how far I really had to walk. But I was up early filled with caffeine and my only struggle seemed to be one French braid or two, or Elsa or Anna as my three year old says. As we walked up the drive, I mean as I walked up the drive pushing the pushchair with my daughter perched on her ride on board I realised that I hadn’t walked this far for around 8 years and that was a scary thought!

It was than I started to question myself, had I made the right decision? Could I actually do this? and than I heard myself, I was so conditioned to drive I’d turned into an idiot!! So I walked and I walked and found myself at the pre-school gates nearly 10 minutes early, which for me is an accomplishment as I am always late.

By the end of my first day I was feeling smug and a bit more tender but any doubts I had were soon diminished when I was greeted by my daughter with her daily art work and as she put it,

Mummy, this is Daddy and you, when Ava was in your belly and you were fat!

20150109_120032

That made me laugh hard!!

I do think I have made the right decision though as now I have no choice but to walk, I haven’t noticed a huge physical difference so far but since I had my daughter I have lost 9lbs, so this can only help, right? Have you made any changes to your 2015? Feel free to share, maybe we can give each other some moral support.