Growing babies, a business and aspiring to ‘Have It All’
I never, in my wildest dreams would have thought I’d be where I am now – a small business owner. I wouldn’t have thought I’d have the confidence, let alone the time. Turns out, when you surround yourself with the right people, you have the confidence and when you want something badly enough, you make the time.
***Life felt a bit monotonous and relentless at times***
Rewind to 2014 when I gave birth to my first baby. I always wanted to be a mum and I was so lucky that I had a straightforward pregnancy and a straightforward (ish!) birth. The first 8 months or so I was very much finding my feet as a new mum and was in a blissful (ish!) post baby bubble. Around nine months in, I started to feel a bit restless and life felt a bit monotonous and relentless at times. I suppose part of me had assumed that maybe, like my mum before me, I wouldn’t ever go back to work. What I did know at this point, was that I needed something else. I am not one of life’s domestic goddesses. I don’t enjoy cooking (I’m pretty sure I’d survive on cheap white toast and Pringles if I lived alone), never ever iron and basically get by domestically in various states of chaos. I was also sure that I couldn’t go back to working for a corporate in London after my maternity leave ended.
***I decided to work for myself!***
So I decided I would work for myself. My first idea was to set up a hamper business which only used the products from other small businesses. It was going to be called ‘Hannah’s Hampers’ with the tag line: ‘Locally Sourced, Lovingly Made’. However, I did the maths and it just didn’t add up. I then had a bit of a reality check and thought the most obvious business for me was one using my degree and 10+ years’ experience in marketing. For some reason this felt more daunting but once I made the decision to do it, I went in all guns blazing setting up my marketing consultancy – Mini and Mighty.
***I fell pregnant with baby number two!***
I fell pregnant with baby number two when my eldest was just nine months old (yikes!) but I got lucky. I set up lots of meetings with other local mums and dads in business and secured three fabulous clients quickly. I was able to work flexibly so actually having another baby wasn’t an issue at all. I make it sound easy but it obviously wasn’t. There have been many years of interrupted sleep, there was the time we were on holiday with our extended family and I was heavily pregnant and had to work the entire time. There was another time (etched into my memory) when I had just taken one of those postnatal vitamins on an empty stomach. I was trying to get my toddler to nursery with my newborn baby strapped to my front then felt really nauseous and was sick in the sink, narrowly avoiding my baby’s head. Totally exhausting!
***A new house and baby number three!***
Anyway, in 2017 we moved from London to Surrey, did a total house refurbishment and I had a third child (new house, new baby as they say!). Staying totally focused on the business hasn’t always been possible but I have tried to be kind to myself and not put myself under too much pressure – and certainly not compare myself to others. It’s been frustrating wanting to do more but just not being able to – working reactively with clients I already know, rather than proactively looking for new clients. We don’t have any family nearby to help and COVID hasn’t helped with my grand plans but then I think, what is the rush? Yes, I have clients, I love the work and the flexibility.
Am I exactly where I want to be? No.
Am I in the place I need to be right now? Yes.
Do I ‘Have It All’? Does anyone?!
One day I feel like I’m killing it and the next day I feel the opposite. But growing three humans and one business takes time and it’s only looking back you can see how far you’ve come.