WORK AT HOME MUM – TODDLER STYLE!Caroline Fenton
Being a stay at home Mum in a remote WA town sang out as a great time to venture into the online world. I loved being mummy but also craved my own time, a little bit of ‘me’, my own project to work on… I looked into starting up my own online business but knowing I wasn’t exactly time rich, decided to see what was already out there. What could I build on, get my hands stuck into, and make my own…? After a lot of searching (soul and Google!), natural, unique and baby seemed to tick all the boxes. That’s when I stumbled across a lovely mumma in Perth looking for a new home for her online organic baby boutique, Avidiva. Many emails, sleepless nights and moments of doubt later, it happened… Avidiva moved from the big city up to the red dusty town of Port Hedland. A truck load of stock, and a signed contract later. It was official! Avidiva had me as it’s new mumma, still online and available internationally, but with the added promise of bringing some new niche products to the local community.
So how do we make it work? Juggle mummy duties with business!? I’m not really sure… it’s only been a few months so far and Mr Wriggle Pants has grown up from a baby to a real little boy. Here’s what a typical work at home mum day looks like for us… toddler style!
My very hungry little boy is my alarm clock around 6am every day. We have our morning feed then head out for a walk, after much protesting around nappy changing and getting dressed, plying sunscreen, wearing a hat (you know the drill!). The sun is pretty much always shining up here, barely a cloud in the sky… we head out to see the birds and the sea, sometimes have a quick play at the park or a coffee for mummy. We find this is the best way to start our day… fresh air, sunshine, and caffeine! Little boy chatters away to himself, points at all the cars and birds, and I get the chance to order my thoughts for the day, get a little inspired or at the very least, dust off the cobwebs!
We head back for some breakfast, I manically scribble down anything and everything I’ve been thinking of, write a to do list and have a sneaky peak at emails, just to check there’s nothing super urgent. We have a play and an attempt at a tidy up… or more like a throw all the toys out and beg mummy til she holds my hands so I can run around the house and climb the stairs!! We read a book before it’s nap time, and then it’s all go for me… make the most of every single minute!
Computer on, reply to wholesalers, answer any customer enquiries, get in touch with advertisers, update social media. Get distracted by ogling gorgeous baby products and wondering which new line I can add next! Check any new orders, pick and wrap ready for their new homes, update the website with stock levels and add new products. Time goes far too quickly and I finally jump in the shower before (or usually just as!) Mr Wriggle Pants stirs. After willing him to resettle through the monitor, I get him up with a big cuddle (and a wish that he’d nap for longer).
We rush around to get everything ready to go… always a perfectly timed need for a new nappy as we’re about to head out the door! I coax Mr Wriggle Pants into the car with the promise of a snack. We drop off any local orders to their new mummas and head down to the post office to send parcels on their way. We might run other errands, nip to the shops, have a playdate, an appointment, or maybe just grab another coffee, but we’re always out and about somewhere! Mr Wriggle Pants is fascinated by other people, so much to see, happy to be exploring and learning.
We head back for lunch. This is usually a battle, with food mostly swiped on the floor, offered to the cat, pinged across the room or just mushed in his hands. Yep, he’s a very fussy and stubborn toddler!! After a big clean up, it’s story time and (the hope of!) nap time. Recently this hasn’t really been happening… it’s one where I am persevering but Mr Wriggle Pants has different ideas, like trying to climb out of his cot, or rolling from one end to the other and back! I’m blaming the appearance of molars (and hoping it’s not the transition into only one nap a day… when will I get any work done then?!)
With the baby monitor and a cup of tea close by, it’s time for round two of emails, orders and marketing for me. Sometimes it’s a time to write (or start!) an article, do some research into a new idea, line or product, or maybe prepare for some local markets. We love getting out into the town to showcase our gorgeous range and find out what you lovely mummas like the look of :)
After naptime (if we’ve had success), it’s quickly downhill towards cranky time. We’ll have a play together or pop to the park, maybe a second dash to the post office if an order just can’t wait. We mostly stay around the house though, maybe have a chat with Grannie on Skype, start getting dinner ready, and hope Daddy finishes work on time!! In between the dinner-bath-bed routine (by this I mean attempted ‘dinner’, ending in a rice cracker), I try to wrap up all the things I’ve started throughout the day. Mr Wriggle Pants loves his bath time with Daddy, and I love this time to finish emails, finalise any new stock orders, see if I can cross anything off my to-do list. A very tired little boy is ready for his bed around 7pm, after his evening feed and a bedtime book. With night nights done, I’ll occasionally work in the evening especially if we have markets on the next day, but usually it’s just a quick flutter on social media. Mostly evenings are for a catch up with hubby over dinner, and a wind down with much needed wine and chocolate! Then it’s time to end the day, get some rest, and be ready to start all over again… whenever my very own personalised alarm clock wakes me!!