Tools for Stay At Home Mums Running a Business

Juggling family life while running a business from home can often feel like you need to be in ten places at once. However, running a home based business gives parents the opportunity to develop a career and earn money that fits in with life with children. Although it is not always easy, ‘mumpreneurs’ can gain the work/life balance they want. If you are struggling to keep up with the demands of running a business while looking after children or want to know more about time-saving ways to get tasks done, this is the advice you need.

Tools for Stay At Home Mums Running a Business

tools for stay at home mums running a business

Scheduling Tools

Giving a structure to your day will help you be more in control of all the tasks you need to do, rather than feeling overwhelmed by them. Have a set time where you make calls or answer emails, use the two-hour window you have in the afternoons to work on your projects, and know the times where you have activities with your children. If your children are at school, plan when to do the tasks for your business in advance, as that will help you stick to a schedule and meet goals.

Time Saving Tools

Time-saving tools to help you run a business are something that all work at home mums benefit from. Use scheduling software or interactive calendars to organise your appointments as well as noting children’s activities. It is impossible to remember everything so be sure to use what is available to you.

Save time by using fun, easy to use tools to market your business. Let’s say you want to make a promotional coupon for your business, design a flyer or work out an email template. Choose platforms that are user-friendly to save you time and the headache of working out how it all works.

Marketing a business takes time and effort, but if you use social media, then there are countless tools where you can schedule posts across a variety of platforms in advance. This saves you time logging in and writing posts, as it can all be managed from one place.

People Power

When you are a parent working from home, you have to put on many different hats during your day. Breakfast maker, email writer, school runner, house cleaner, accountant and more. If you find the business side of things is getting busy, don’t be afraid to ask for help now and then. Ask you, partner, to take over some of the household duties, or get a friend to watch your kids while you meet a client. It is also a good idea to read advice from other successful mothers who run a business from home, and see what you can apply to your own.

There its also the option of virtual assistants.  You can hire people online to do all sorts of tasks from your business that you don’t have time to do!

 

Running a business from home while being a stay at home parent is one of the most rewarding and difficult of challenges. Put the right tools in place to help you get it right, and you can enjoy the work/life balance that brings the most benefits to you and your family.

Setting Kids Up For Adult Life

Despite perhaps never wanting your kids to grow up and to leave you, at some point, they probably will!  If they can go out into the world independently you know you’ve done a good job!

We are consciously and unconsciously setting kids up for adult life every day.  Here are a few thoughts on how we can consciously prepare kids for ‘the big world out there!’

Setting kids up for adult life

Social Skills

Perhaps the most important skills our kids develop are those connected to socialising. From the moment a baby learns to attract our attention, or share a toy in a nursery, they’re fine-tuning skills in getting what they want, or in relinquishing what they want, as dictated by civilised human society.  It’s a complex task, and quite amazing that it takes place over so short a time. However, to get our kids ahead of the curve, you’ll need to be proactive.

The best way to get children ready for the social pressures of adult life is to introduce them to social situations frequently. Allow them to hold the floor in family conversations. You can start introducing them into ‘grown up’ social interactions too, like paying the bill at a restaurant, or buying the food at the store. As with everything they do, children learn through exposure and get great ego and confidence boosts from performing new tasks well.

Handling Money

As a kid money means nothing, but unfortunately as we get older it means more than perhaps we would like it too!  So having a handle on it is one of the most important stages of being fully trusted as a young adult. Exposing kids to the workings of the financial world, the value of certain everyday items and the banking and budgeting systems will stand them in good stead to manage their money later in life.

A good example of this early learning help would be to give your child a small allowance.  Then they may choose to spend or save for something bigger. Allowing them to mismanage the cash they have in order for them to form their own ideas as to the value of money is certainly no bad thing either. Setting up junior bank accounts can be a big help too.  I remember doing this with my Mum and Dad and loved how grown up it made me feel!

Style

A sense of style may seem unimportant but I think it can really help with a kids identity.  It’s amazing how some kids are so stubborn about things they will or won’t wear from such a young age.  As much as we might want to fight it, it’s their way of showing the world who they are!

There are so many amazing options for kids fashion these days.  So whether your little one wants to dress just like you, loves what you choose for them, or will only step out in an outfit they’ve fully chosen themselves, it’s all developing their sense of style.

There are certain things that are definite staples in any kids wardrobe from investing in a cool Woolrich jacket, awesome summer sandals, super funky leggings and I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love a good old pair of welly boots!

 

Technology

This is definitely a touchy subject!  I certainly don’t want to try and make any judgements on the way any parents utilise technology with their kids.  There are those who flat out refuse kids the use of TV, smartphones or tablets.  There are some that allow their kids to play on them all day.  It’s probably safe to say most parents sit somewhere in the middle of that.  It’s all good!!

If you worry about how much screen time your kids are having, setting time limits may be a good idea.  Whether that’s through setting an alarm, or showing them the clock (maybe a good way to start teaching time!?)

 

Hygiene

Personal hygiene definitely does not come natural to kids!  It’s something that we’ve definitely got to teach them.

It starts relatively simply when they are little, it’s easy to make bath time fun!  But then teeth come in and that can definitely be trickier to persuade kids to do!

Things definitely step up when you need to start introducing deodorant to your less than sweet smelling pre-teen.  Vital conversations about periods and all the other body changes are SO important for both boys and girls.  Normalising all of these things early on will hopefully help take embarrassment out of it later on.

All of these things are all about establishing healthy patterns of behaviour. While it may be a little awkward for us, normalising all of these things early on will hopefully help take embarrassment out of it later on for them.

Hygiene knowledge prevents infections, promotes self-care as a psychological good, and means that your grown-up child will never miss out on a job for looking or smelly scruffy. It’ll be written into their DNA to be smart and well-washed when it’s important to be such.

 

Alternative Adventure Activities for the Whole Family

With the summer holidays fast-approaching, it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep the kids entertained during the break while also making the most of your time together as a family.

Whatever age your kids are, whether they are tiny ones or teens, high-energy activities are a sure-fire way of keeping them busy – and tiring them out! If you’re looking for some inspiring and alternative adventure activities, take a look at these ideas.

alternative adventure activities for the whole family

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a high-adrenaline activity that is fun for the whole family. As well as offering excellent health benefits, climbing and bouldering involves plenty of teamwork.   This means every family member can enjoy showing each other the ropes.

Many climbing centres offer group sessions, with tutors teaching people from the age of four upwards.  Classes are generally tailored to ability, meaning everyone can enjoy learning at their own pace.

Zip Wires

There’s nothing like flying down a zip wire. If you have older kids, this is an exhilarating way to spend a day.

Make this activity even more entertaining by timing each family member to see who makes it to the bottom fastest, with the winner getting a treat. This is sure to keep everyone amused and keep the excitement going all day. A lot of adventure centres have minimum age restrictions, so it’s worth checking ahead first.

I’m actually heading to Go Ape this summer for my Sister in Law’s hen party, but I know Arthur and Freddie (and Mark!) will absolutely love it there too.  They have different courses for all ages which is really cool.

alternative adventure ideas for the whole family

Scootering 

If you don’t have any adventure centres nearby, why not try jumping on a scooter and heading off to the park? Whizzing around on a scooter is great fun, you can take them everywhere, and, better still, they won’t break the bank.

They are available for all ages, too, with brands such as Skatehut offering scooters for toddlers, so you can all can hop on and choose where to go. Scooters tend to be lightweight, collapsable or foldable, so you can carry them around when little legs start to tire.

My boys absolutely love their toddler scooter and my parents have just bought Arthur a ‘big boy’ scooter for his birthday next month!

Cycling

See the countryside on two wheels by heading out on a bike. Depending on the age of your kids, you could either try some thrilling mountain biking or for little ones there are cycling centres that specialise in bikes with child carriers.

We loved the camel trail when we were down in Cornwall the last time we were in the UK.  It’s a beautiful route and it’s lovely and flat too so it’s perfect for all ages.  There’s a rather fantastic vineyard on route too, which I can highly recommend a stop at, we took the kids and they were totally fine with that!

alternative adventure ideas for the whole family

Feeling body confident this summer

Bikini Ready!?

I don’t know about you but I’m kind of sick of  hearing the phrase ‘bikini ready’ every time summer starts to roll around!  I’m loving seeing other people, especially on across social media, shunning this phrase too!

I’m not trying to dismiss the idea of wanting to look your best.  I also TOTALLY get that in the summer you typically aren’t so covered up as you are in winter.  This can then obviously start making you feel a bit more critical of yourself.

There is also still so much pressure on Mums to ‘bounce back’ in to shape two seconds after birth.  I guess this one is also very much fuelled by social media.  It’s hard not to beat yourself up a little when you see that perfect insta mum back in pre pregnancy clothes as she leaves the hospital.

Again, I’m totally not trying to bash these Mums who can do that.  I’ve seen some of these women get a crazy hard time for being proud of their post baby bodies and that is just not cool either.

Self imposed pressure?

I think it’s really easy to blame all of these pressures on social media, and it undoubtedly has a lot to answer for.  But, I also feel it’s a little bit lazy to fully blame our lack of body confidence on social media.  After all women have been feeling the need to look good for far longer than the internet has been around, even before the days of glossy magazines!  I think that comparison has always been a problem.  Comparing yourself to others, wishing you had that girls hair or her legs or that your boobs were a bit more like hers.

How many times have you not put a picture of yourself on instagram or even just straight out deleted a picture because you see a flaw (or lots of flaws)?  I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve done that!  There’s been a few ‘fuck it’ moments where I post a picture regardless of how many chins I see or how big I think my arms look.   Pictures that I’ve loved because of how happy I’ve been in a moment or how extra cute my boys look in it.  And you know what?  People don’t see your flaws like you do.

I was definitely super aware of my body after having the kids.  I think that was kind of tough with living here and being in summer wear all year round.  Arthur and Freddie both had their first trips to the beach at 1 week old.  That didn’t exactly give me time to get my ‘beach body’ back.  But, you can’t live here and not go to the beach.  So, I just wore the bikinis I had that I could fit in.  And you know what, very quickly I didn’t care that I didn’t look how I did before I was pregnant.  I do really think that getting back into exercise as soon as I could helped me to have a more positive feeling about my body, even when it wasn’t looking how I wanted it too!

Feeling body confident this summer

Feeling body confident this summer

 

Great Underwear

Nothing makes an outfit look worse than bad fitting underwear.  Do yourself a favour, and treat yourself to some well fitting underwear.   I totally recommend this Evolution Bra from Knix seamless, moisture wicking, 4 way stretch…..it’s perfect!

Great Sunglasses

Hide those early morning, multiple night wake up eye bags with a pair of big sunglasses.  For me, you can’t beat a classic pair of Ray Ban Aviators but I’m also a big sucker for some super glam cat eye glasses too.  I use Sunglasses shop who do free worldwide delivery (yay!), but I also love nipping into duty free too, although that’s much harder with the boys!!

Buy The Dress

Or the bikini or the shorts or whatever it is.

Go and buy it – in a size that fits….squeezing into a size smaller is not going to do you any favours!

Wear it!

Stop Comparing

Comparing how you look to your best friend, or to a celebrity, or that beautiful mama you follow on Instagram is just toxic for your self esteem. But stopping is SO hard to do.  I definitely am terrible for this!  But, it NEVER makes you feel any better so what’s the point!

Take A Bunch Of Pictures

Seriously!  Because while you might not love it today, or even next month.  You will for sure look back at it in years to come and think that you looked great, and oh so young!!! I think this is possibly even more true if youve got kids.  Us Mums are often the ones behind the camera and it is so special to have those photos of you with them.  So chuck the camera at your husband, or your friend or a random passer by and say CHEESE!!

Also taking LOADS of pictures means you are sure to find at least 1 picture you like!!

Feeling body confident this summer

I’m not trying to claim to be some body confidence expert.  I’m definitely not trying to say I have no body issue hang up’s either.  But, I thought I’d share a couple of things I do to boost my body confidence!  Are there any you’d add to this list?

feeling body confident this summer

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

Okay so you’re thinking about moving to Seychelles?  Or, even better you are definitely moving to Seychelles wohooo!!

You’ve seen the pictures, the beaches are beautiful there is tropical greenery every where. It’s always warm……

But then you start thinking about what you will take with you…..You realise that you’ll actually be living there and you have to do normal life stuff that you did wherever you’re living now, it’s not all beaches and boat trips (although they happen a lot too!!).  What are you going to pack?  How are you going to sleep in that heat?   You get the idea!

I’ve put together a list of things that help to make our life here easier on a daily basis.  I’m not saying that *I couldn’t live without* these items, but sometimes island life is a little more rugged than you might expect so these things help make your new home a bit more home like!  Some of these things you can buy here and some you’ll want to bring out with you!

So here it is my list of what to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier!

what to buy to make expat life in seychelles easier

Water Cooler

As much as I’ve just said this list is things I couldn’t live without……I really would miss my water cooler most of all if it went!!

I must stress that water here IS safe to drink here. It just doesn’t really taste all that nice.  Also, you really do have to drink lots of water here and tepid tap water is just not very appealing.

Most people drink bottled water.  When we moved here we just bought 5l bottles and kept them in our fridge all the time.  Honestly that is very impractical since it takes up so much space.

We bought our water cooler in our second year of living here. It was seriously the best thing we have ever bought.  We get through around 10 5 gallon bottles a month.  Each bottle is 50scr and we get them delivered to the house for free.  You can buy the water coolers here in a few different shops.  The guy who delivers the water bottles on Praslin also sells them, and will try and fix them if there is a problem with them too!

Fans

Your house may have ceiling fans, it may not.  Either way you will probably still want to invest in a few stand up fans.  They are great to have next to your bed at night, one to keep you cooler but also it helps keep any mosquitos away!  I’ve become a little addicted to the sound of fans though and struggle to sleep without them now!

Transport

Everyone (including us) thinks that they won’t need transport, particularly if moving to Praslin as its small.    But don’t be fooled by the size of the islands.  I can’t tell you how much easier it makes life.

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

The bus service here is great, don’t get me wrong (and very cheap at only 7scr for any journey).  But, they stop running at 6pm leaving you stuck in the evenings.  Buses can also be REALLY busy, and like bus services anywhere the world, you can be left waiting a good while for your bus.  You’ll also quickly discover that for food shopping you can’t just go to one shop, you have to go to a variety of different places to get products you need or like better.  Many are not walking distance apart and doing multiple busses is just going to make it take ALL DAY! (I’ll cover shopping in a future post)

Taxis are expensive.  There are a bunch of ‘pirate taxis’ who are just guys who run unlicensed cabs, even they are expensive….but useful from time to time!

Many people also think that a push bike would be sufficient, and depending where you live and how close your work will be it could work.  But keep in mind that cycling after about 8am is very hot, and on really rainy days – which we get our fair amount of, it’s not very practical.  Also, people’s driving here can be pretty crazy here sometimes so you might not feel all that safe cycling, especially if you’re thinking about doing it with kids on the back.  There’s also just so many hills on all of the islands, so unless you’re super fit it’s going to be a big struggle!

I feel there is probably a whole post just talking about the realities of transport here, so i’ll leave it there for now and come back to it at another time!  In short I would highly recommend a scooter or a car!

Entertainment

TV, games, whatever!

When moving somewhere like the Seychelles, you’ll probably convince yourself you won’t want a TV….after all you’ll be outdoors all the time right!?

We lasted a year, which is longer than a lot of people! The evenings are when it makes the most difference.  It’s dark here year round by around 7pm and evening entertainment can be quite hard up.  We are now using Cable and Wireless TV package, i’ve linked to their site with a bit more information if you want to take a look!  Our little community has been a huge help with this and we find ourselves either with people at our house or us being at others for dinner at least once a week, usually twice.

We’ve also totally fallen in love with board games, I know, we are the coolest!

Internet

The internet in Seychelles is unimaginably better than when we moved here 6 years ago.  It’s still not all that cheap though.  We use cable and wireless for ours.  Here is the link to their home internet packages so you can get an idea of costs and packages available.  **SIDE NOTE I’M NOT BEING PAID BY CABLE AND WIRELESS FOR THIS POST 🙂 **

Foreign Credit Card/Bank Account

Your standard ATM card here does not work outside of Seychelles.  So, you’ll want a credit card or bank card that you can use for purchases outside of Seychelles.  It also helps to keep your credit rating up in your ‘home’ country incase you ever decide to move back!

A good camera

This doesn’t really need explaining!  Get yourself a decent camera, doesn’t need to be a big one.  You want to be able to share the amazing place you live with your friends and families….or at least make your instagram friends jealous!

Good quality Sunglasses

I was once told by an optician that cheap sunglasses do more damage to your eyes than if you wore none at all…..Something to do with the fact that putting dark lenses causes your pupils to dilate letting more light into your eyes and therefore causing more damage.

Anyway, that has stuck with me big time and I only ever wear decent sunglasses now.  I probably paid about £150 for my most recent pair (You probably don’t even have to spend as much as that).  I literally wear mine every day, even cloudy days are bright, and they will probably do me 2 years before I need to replace them.  So i reckon that works out at like 20p a day…..bargain!

 

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

 

 

Writing this post has given me loads more ideas for different posts about living here and moving here so I’m super excited to get going on those including a bit of a packing list!  Is there anything obvious you think is missing!  Or anything you don’t think should be on there?  Let me know, I always love to hear!

Great Date Days for the Whole Family

Going out together as a family is how you learn and bond together. It’s a great way to treat the kids, to have fun out as parents, and to show your children all the wonder that the world holds. From easy days out like a picnic in the park to an exciting trip to the aquarium, by getting out there and exploring your home with your kids, you can bond together and make beautiful memories that can last a lifetime:

Picnic in the Park 

Once warm weather comes by, there can be nothing better than a habitual visit to the park on the weekends, which is perfect if you or your spouse are often busy at work during the week. It is budget-friendly and great to simply enjoy your time together. Start by working with your family to make the food to take with you, then pack up a blanket, some lawn games, and find the perfect spot in a nearby park. An afternoon together once a week can become a family tradition you and your kids will love.

family date days picnic in the park

Solve Puzzles in an Escape Room 

If you want to have a fun adventure with your family, however, opt for something more unique. Escape rooms require you to work together as a family to solve clues in order to get out. They are a fun and different way to spend an evening together; not only are they entertaining, but they can also help your kid’s cognitive functions develop. So surprise your family with a session at the Syracuse Escape Room and have fun solving puzzles with your whole family.

family date days escape room breakout games

Visit a Pet Farm 

Pet farms are perfect for family excursions. You can show your kids animals, let them pet some domesticated favorites, and generally learn. Sustainable living starts first with education, so teaching your children to be respectful of the animals and the farmland that we use. A great day out and a lot to learn, there is no better way to spend the day with your family.4

family date days visit a pet farm

Other similar days out include a trip to the zoo or a trip to the aquarium. You will want to opt for institutions that focus on conservation efforts. Rehabilitation is a worthy goal, and zoos can do a lot to help in these efforts, but not all places are equal. Take SeaWorld, for instance, which was the focus of Blackfish documentary in 2013. Teach your children about the animals in the animal kingdom, and you can help teach them how to respect the planet and grow up to be thoughtful, conscientious adults.

Museum 

There are so many benefits to taking your kids to the museum. The more often you go, the more they will learn and appreciate the history that is available. Museums have a lot of different activities perfect for kids as well, so they can learn in an engaging and colorful way.

Going out for the day and learning something new or solving puzzles together is so incredibly valuable. Just as valuable, however, is simply spending quality time together out in the sun. Whatever you end up choosing, do it together as a family and make it into a new tradition.

family date days visit a museum