Last night I took some time out and treated myself to tickets to see Jesus Christ Superstar, the Arena Tour. It’s my birthday next week, and I’d decided that the ticket would be my little treat to myself. Every year, if I can, I like to have a birthday treat and what a treat this one was. The show was incredible, with superb performances by the main performers, an amazing set production and a platform for showcasing unrivalled talent. I would go so far as to say it was the best show I’ve ever seen!

Andrew Lloyd Webber on stage at the Manchester performance

So why am I telling you this? Well every now and again I write about busy working mums and how important it is to find the right balance between work and home life. Recently I’ve been noticing lots of women around me working incredibly hard for one reason and another. Working from the early hours of the morning and still finding themselves online late at night too. This isn’t just for one day or two at a time, this is an ongoing situation where women are juggling a successful job with the family. Maybe the children aren’t yet at school, or maybe the commitments are so big that this is the only way to fit it all in. Whatever the reason, this is the way these women have chosen to manage to their workload.

For the last five years I’ve been running a small part-time franchise business, where I teach families and children how to use baby sign language to enable all babies to communicate before they can speak. TinyTalk is only a part-time business and I’ve been able to run it alongside the family from when they were very young. It’s an amazing job where you are able to take your baby to work. For over a year Miss R, who was 5 months old at the time, came with me when I ran the classes. I did all my prep and admin in the evenings, and bundled them both into the car when I needed to go out advertising. Once Miss R was signing, she was my little walking advertisement and everywhere we went people used to ask me all about baby signing, and often sign up to my groups.

The business has grown considerably in the last 4 years, and particularly since the girls have been at school, as I’ve been able to devote more time to it and really turn it into a very successful, profitable business. Experience now enables me to step back slightly from all the prep, and it’s allowed me to the time to also start writing the blog. It was a big decision to run the blog; I knew it could be tricky juggling the two, very different areas and I’ve a tendency to take on too much at the same time. But I decided to do it, and to keep an eye on the workload at the same time.

Keeping a close watch on my workload has paid off because it’s just in the last couple of weeks that I’ve decided to sell my TinyTalk business. Writing the blog is allowing me a lot of flexibility and many more opportunities for earning an income and, given more time, I would like to progress lots of interior focused business ideas. So it is time to hang up the TinyTalk hat. There is absolutely no doubt that without having done the TinyTalk business, I wouldn’t be in this position today. It has been an incredible platform for learning about self-employment, for growing my social media knowledge and for understanding how small businesses, franchises in particular, work.

It will take some time to find a suitable replacement to sell the business to. I’m actually half of a partnership so the new teacher has to understand the ramifications of working alongside someone else. But I am hoping that all this is settled by Easter next year, and I will then have less to juggle. Well maybe! I’m sure I’ll soon fill the free time with other projects, but I’m hoping that they’ll all be blog, writing or interiors focused so will have some kind of common theme. That will make the juggling easier.

And so back to my opening paragraph about my evening out. The point I was trying to make is how important it is to have some time out. Some time to unwind, relax and forget about the stresses and strains of juggling work and family life. It’s all too easy to say you don’t have the time, but it is crucial we make the time, whether it’s for a night out with the girls, a shopping trip to town, or playing your favourite game of FoxyBingo online! Whatever works for you. I’m really excited about my plans for 2013; the change is welcome and timely and I’m fired up and raring to go. Even more so after my evening out. And I’m looking forward more than ever, to the next one.

 

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