Balancing act: 5 tips for returning to your beauty job after maternity leave

Just about to return to work, after several months off with your new bundle of adorable joy? This somewhat melancholy time of spending less of the day with baby, but more doing the job you’ve always enjoyed, can be a tricky time for every mother. So, we put together a few quick tips on how to make this process as stress-free as possible.

Go easy on yourself initially

Fictionalised, cinematic versions of women who return to maternity leave (not that these are ever able to capture the real journey of the main protagonist) usually depict a point in time where the woman has thrown herself wholeheartedly back into her work – and begins to struggle.

This, at least, the filmmakers perhaps do get right. So, ease yourself back into your work, don’t go full throttle from the moment you return to the salon, and allow your natural circadian rhythms to return to their routine while you become accustomed again to yours.

Make sure your paperwork is up to date

In the months you’ve been away, there’s a chance that your insurance could have run out or your accounting and administration have fallen behind (after all, you’ve been pretty busy focusing on other things). Check that your insurance, such as beauty therapist insurance, is still up to date and ready to cover you from the moment you’re back at work.

Also, spend a little time on any regular administration or accounting you would normally have been doing as routine – if anything, this will help to get you back to doing everything normally again.

Have a catch-up and handover

Meet up with your colleagues, catch up with your boss (unless you’re your own boss!) and learn what’s new in your work. Have any regular clients started to go elsewhere? Are there certain individuals who have been waiting for you to return to work so that they can enjoy your skills again?

Don’t leave it until your first day back and simply expect everything to be just as you left it. Although nothing may have changed, if something has, at least you’ll be prepared.

Trust in your skills at all times

It may take you a few sessions, treatments, days or weeks to feel like your old self in work again. Don’t worry if some of the routine practices you’ve been doing for years suddenly seem a little alien – you’ll soon be back in the swing of things and performing to the best of your abilities.

It’s these abilities and skills that you should wholeheartedly trust in at all times. They’ve got you where you are today, and they’ll serve you just as effectively again in no time.

Don’t be afraid to say no

Finally, just because you’ve been away for a while, it doesn’t mean you have to take everything on that you’re offered. Yes, this is a little bit like our first point – but that’s why it’s so crucial.

According to Happy You, Happy Family, saying no is essential to helping you in both your work and home life. If you don’t say no from time to time, you could have too much going on at work to handle, and this could impact how you are in all of your spare time.

Image:  Pixabay

WHAMs, This Is How To Separate Your Work And Home Life

It can be pretty tough to get a good work life balance when you work at home. However, it is essential for your own mental and physical well being. Happily, it is something that can be achieved with a little effort. Read on to find out how.

Create an office space.

It doesn’t have to be an actual office, just a space in the home that is dedicated to working. In fact, by delineating such an area, it can really help you to get into the work frame of mind when you sit down each morning. It can also help to prevent all of your work clutter from spreading all over the house, something that can happen pretty easily when we take our laptop from room to room and work wherever we feel comfortable.

Of course, if you can find even a small room to keep your desk, chair and work equipment in, it’s even better as then you can close the door on it at the end the day. This being something that is a fantastic way of keeping your work and home life as separate as possible when you are a WAHM.

Keep your personal and business finances separate.

When starting up a business or freelancing it can be very tempting to use our own credit, cash cards, and personal accounts to pay for things. After all, time is money, and it’s often just easier to purchase the resources we need by paying for them right away so we can get on with the task in hand. However, this can easily blur the lines between your professional and personal life and make it much more challenging to keep a proper eye on your books for tax purposes too.

To that end, it’s well worth going about your resources acquisition properly by submitting a purchase order for the supplies that you need. Happily, you can get just about any resource you need by setting up a business account and using purchase orders, from paper and printing ink to much more specialised items for niche fields like this chip kit use in DNA testing. Something that means you can make it much easier to keep your personal and professional finances lives separate.

Have a work phone and a personal phone.

It may seem like a bit much to have two phones, but if you make a lot of calls for work, it can actually help you keep calmer and more organised. This is because when you are using your work phone, you can be entirely focused on your client and their needs, instead of being distracted by personal things.

Another great benefit of this is that once the end of the day rolls around you can shut off your work phone, without having to worry that any personal energy call or message will be missed.

Oh, and it also means that you get to use your personal phone for all those fun things like playing games, and consuming media without being tempted to check up on work email or the company social media. Something that can help you delineate your work and personal life much better and so help you to achieve a more effective work-life balance.

How Suzannah started her Super Mums’ Business Club

I met Suzannah Butcher (virtually!) a few years ago now because we both blogged about being a mum with a business. Suzannah really does know her stuff, so I was really pleased to find out she’d started a website and online members club to help other mothers running their own business, both in the UK and internationally. The website is called Super Mums Business Club and Suzannah’s aim is to connect women in business online. Members can join the club to get training and support to help to grow their business on the Internet.

After searching for training online and not finding anything geared towards mums in business, Suzannah realised there was a gap in the market – “I found lots of great training and clubs, but I found it hard to engage fully. I wanted somewhere to hang out online which provided great training but also had a friendly and informal feel”.

Suzannah, who started her first business in 2008, has been running online businesses for many years and is all too familiar with the challenges this can bring, especially when women are trying to fulfil many roles as a small business owner as well as being a mother. Suzannah says“I really struggled in my first few years in business and felt overwhelmed, lonely and at times, desperate. After coming out of the challenging years, I knew I could reach out to other women in business, particularly mums, as I understand how difficult and isolating being a solopreneur can be. I’ve created a platform to provide down to earth training presented in a way that’s simple to follow and easy to slot into the life of a busy mum and business owner”.

The club, which has free and paid membership options, is an online portal where members can access a business directory, training and printable downloads, plus gain access to a Facebook support group. Suzannah said “The free element was really important to me. How can I have a business vision to connect women in business and then charge for everything I was doing? Accessibility and inclusion is key to the club, so even if someone can’t invest in the monthly club, they can still get access to some great tools and support”.

Why Super Mums? Suzannah said “I wanted to turn the whole Super mum concept on its head. I was fed up with the term ‘super mum’ because I was struggling to do everything on my own but when I really thought about it, I realised that actually we are super, just not in the way the term would generally mean. I firmly believe we all have something great within us, we just need the right mindset and support to find our Superness!”

To find out more, or to join the club, visit mumsbusiness.club

Family Days Out Don’t Have To Break The Bank!

When you have a young family, you want them to get out and about and have new experiences. In fact, some of the best memories are made on family day trips. But the problem is that they can be so expensive. You have to pay for the travel, food, and snacks, entry to the activity that you are doing, and all those other little costs all add up. But it is possible to have a fun and cheap family day out. Read on for my suggestions.

Bottled Water and Snacks

The first thing you need to do, even if you plan on eating out while you are on your day trip is to pack a bag with bottle water and snacks. Snacky kids are grumpy kids, so it’s important to make sure that they don’t get cross because they are hungry. This will make sure that you have the best day out.

Of course, there will be loads of place you can buy snacks like ice creams and chips. But one these will cost you much more than if you have brought your own snacks with you. They are also likely to be pretty unhealthy. So if you are trying to get the kids to eat better taking, your own snacks mean you know they will have a treat that is good for them.

Free activities

You can save by choosing activities that are either free or cheap. You can plan your own low-cost days out. Take the kids to the beach for the day. They will be happening playing in the sand and paddling in the water. The best part is that it costs you nothing.

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Or, what about organizing a picnic for them and their friends. You can have competitive games afterward and award small prizes to the winners. This won’t cost too much as someone will have a baseball bat that you can borrow, and you can always use sweaters for bases.

Car Pool

Something else that can be a large concern when organizing a family trip out is the cost of travel. If you have a car, why not carpool with friends or family so you only need to pay for one tank of gas? Then you can split it.

If you don’t drive, pick somewhere that’s accessible via public transport. Or, see if you can get a coupon for a taxi form like this new user promo code for Lyft.

Packed Lunch

If you are on a seriously tight budget, then you may want to take a packed lunch as well as taking snacks and water. It is surprising how much money a packed lunch can save you. It doesn’t have to be boring either. You don’t just have to go for simple sandwiches, although they are easy to make and store. You can make salsa and guacamole and put in plastic pots and take chips. Or how about wraps or even a salad?

Loyalty Schemes

Another clever way of reducing the overall cost f a family day out is to sign up to loyalty scheme or season tickets for your favorite attractions.

Loyalty schemes often offer you free items or entry after you have so many points or stamps. This can mean you can save up your freebies for a time when thing are tight like the summer holidays, where they never seem to be enough money to go around!

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Season tickets are a great idea too. Especially if you go somewhere a lot. You pay one fee, and then receive unlimited access to that location. So you can go as many times you want. If you live near a Disney or other theme park, this is a great option. As there is always something new to do and see, and it will already be paid for.

Coupons

It is also worthwhile to keep your eyes peeled for coupons that will help you reduce the cost of your family day out. These could be two for one entry, pay for a child, and an adult goes free, or even kids eat free at the venues restaurant.

Souvenirs

One of the biggest costs that can often catch parents unawares is souvenirs. These tend to be vastly overpriced item designed so kids will love them. Then they end up asking for them over and over again. It can really spoil the mood of the whole trip.

The best way to deal with this is to give your kids an allowance. Tell them that that is their money for the day, and they can spend it on whatever they like, but once it is gone, it’s gone.

Then they will get to have something small to remember their trip by and it will help them to understand the value of money.

 

Tips for Getting through Early Childhood as a Single Mom

eco-summerIf there is one thing a single mom knows, that is nothing comes cheap. From the diapers on that little person to the constant need for clothes as baby grows seemingly by the day, there is always something needed, something wanted and something not wanted but an absolute must when you have a child. Some single mothers want to stay home with their babies at least until they reach preschool age but there never seems to be enough money to manage that so how to do this and still forge that oh-so-important bond with baby? Here are some suggestions for getting through early childhood as a single mom.

No Matter What You Forego – Keep that Internet Going!

As a single mom you may be tempted to let go of that Internet payment because money is tight and it seems as though there are more important bills to be paid. Actually, that one single Internet connection can be worth more than you know. Not only can you meet up with other moms who can share advice and life hacks for those early years but you can actually make a living online and all from the comfort of your home. Every tip from here on out is based on having Internet, so whatever you do, keep that internet going!

Combine Studies with Cash Aid

Many single mothers dream of having a career but opt to have that baby instead of furthering their education. That can always be done later, right? Actually, there’s no need to wait because you can get government grants for women that not only pay your tuition but also provide money for books and living expenses as well. Have you always dreamed of becoming a nurse?

Why not check out the online nursing program here that is from a respectable, nationally acknowledged school of nursing at a leading university? You may qualify for student loans or even government grants that are 100% free money and also be able to study for an online nursing degree. It’s a way to make ends meet while staying home with baby and also studying for a career that is among the most ‘in-need’ professions around the world.

Working Online from Home

You can also find a way to work online around the hours that baby needs you to be there for her/him. Many mothers have taken up writing content for web development companies and other innovative moms who are an entrepreneur at heart set up online storefronts to earn an income. Money doesn’t come quickly at first but as you build up a name for yourself and develop your own personal brand, you can make more money than you believe while taking care of baby and studying in that online RN program.

It is no longer a societal stigma to be a single mom raising a child by yourself. The only ‘stigma’ involved is if you throw up your hands in despair and fail to help yourself out of dire financial straits. You can stay at home with your little one if you plan well and find innovative ways to bring in the bucks. It’s also possible to gain a future career at the same time so turn this time around to your financial benefit! You made a wonderful and loving choice to be a single mom so now it’s your turn to shine and show the world how it’s done!