So wow, I’ve not blogged in a long time, almost a year since our Della Joanie came along. Theres not really any other excuse than life being busy, like really busy. She’s been the biggest life changer ever. I had no idea what to expect with a new born and keeping the company running, but all I knew was that there HAD to be a way to make it work for me and us. LLCO is my livelihood, my love and my second baby.
I’m not going to sit here and say how easy its all been, in fact its really not been at all. Other than getting my head around being a mum and all that comes with that I needed to keep some head space for my passion and my lovely couples.
There have been some very dark days in all honesty, on the early months I was severely struggling with sleep deprivation (and some kind of weird sleep anxiety thing I still have, thats another beast!) but also trying to keep up with my inbox and that feeling of not letting people down. I barely took any maternity leave as there was lots to do managing the Most Curious Norwich wedding fair for the first time, and having no mat leave in hindsight was pretty bonkers but when an opportunity like MC Norwich comes along and is too perfect for you, you take it. That said, me having the fair and my Little Lenders helped me get back to feeling more ‘Penny’ quickly and not just a new mama.
So yep, Della still doesn’t sleep though and may not until she’s 7 at this rate! This is the hardest bit and was though the Summer on my big prep and set up days, running on nothing but Lucozade and Pain Au Chocolat’s from the garage. I’ve really struggled with the other mums at Della’s baby clubs that have babies that sleep through and they are on a years maternity leave, I’ve felt so hard done by, doing it all but also feeling the guilt of not doing enough with Della. ( I’m kind of realising the working mum guilt actually never goes away but I’m learning to be proud that Del will grow to see the little empire I’m building for us, and her future.)
There have been days where I’ve had no childcare and still needed to get an order prepped for a delivery that day and Della has been so grizzly I couldn’t put her down and I arrived for a drop off 3 hours late. There is juggling, oh so much juggling, I swear being a mum with a home biz you’re balls are never down!
BUT, all that aside, I have had 115 Lenders through the Summer of 17 and set up or styled 22 of them. And you know what I’ve loved this year the most and weirdly it was my most organised year yet. I’m also now lucky that I get more Della days now than some other mums heading back to work after their mat leave. So take what you will from this, my tips/tricks on how I’m making my two dream jobs work together.
GET A GOOD SUPPORT NETWORK IN PLACE
I am very lucky to have both of Dellas Nanny’s that are able to look after Della in the week. Usually my MIL will come over mid-morning so I can have breakfast and a bit of play time first and my husband often picks Del up after work. Or my mum will look after Della here, this is the best as I can work upstairs and lunch with them and get my Della fix when I need it. I know this can’t work for everyone but a good network of people to help out is invaluable.
Fairly obvious but week on week planning of what you ‘really need to achieve’ is the only way to go for me. Its amazing what I now get done in the Child-free hours I have. I have never been so productive! Prioritise and get ahead when you can will mean you can make the most of baby time.
SLEEP WHEN YOU CAN
‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’ – Everyone says that when you have a baby. I have had to have naps at 6pm sometimes just to get some sleep in to feel more together. I’m Ok with Della being with family for the morning at the weekend when there aren’t weddings to have a good lay in. Don’t try and do it all, listening to your bodes needs is so important.
SET A BEDTIME
Babies don’t really go to sleep early evening for a while (well ours didn’t) but I have made a cut off point for work now of 10pm. I’ve learnt the hard way by staying up late to catch up then being up with Del in the night. If you get into a really good routine at night for yourself and the baby it will only lead to a more organised you.
Accepting help on my house work this year has been the best decision ever. I’ve employed a lovely friends mum who helps here every week with the housework and prepping props for orders in the Summer. It’s been a game changer and the best money spent for the business too. I now have a pool of freelancers too I can all on for wedding set ups. Letting go of some control of the running of my little co. has been really good, all round.
DON’T SET HUGE GOALS
On the days it’s you and the baby don’t set huge lists to get through. Della’s naps can be 10 minutes or 2 hours so its hard to know how productive I can be. A few urgent mails and calls answered can feel really satisfying to know you are ticking off a few items.
You might feel like all marketing structure has completely gone (believe me I would have loved to have blogged this year!) but keeping active during the first year on your social media shows you are still there for your couples. Even to share exciting inspiration or throwing back to previous work. Being active and consistent on Instagram has been the only way I could keep my presence online this year and social with my brides.
Now realising I hadn’t shared Della’s nursery on my blog. So here it is, (it really doesn’t look like this now!) shot by my gorgeous friend Darena Stoda.
I’d love to hear from you if you are a new mum with a business at home, any other tips and tricks you can share with me for keeping a balance and getting more of a routine together.
I really want to thank you all for your amazing support this last year, I know emails have sometimes been received late and you’ve had to chase me up (not cool) but you’ve been such a brilliant bunch of humans; from my wedding supplier friends, the Godwick team, my MC Norwich people, new connections I’ve made in 2017 and of course my Little Lenders. I am grateful for you all, I hope you know.