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Is it possible to earn money as a full time mother without the kids suffering?

mums working from home

Mums working from home have a difficult task on their hands. Juggling work and looking after the children is a tough job. Is it possible to do both? I believe so. In fact I believe if you choose the right business it can enhance the whole experience.

How mums working from home can make it work for everyone

Allow me a brief introduction of myself. IMG_9962
I’m a full time mother of three, the oldest is now 9, the youngest 3. I’ve been a full time mother for 9 yrs. For the past 8 years I’ve also run a part time business.

I admit that we were lucky, at first it wasn’t about the money. My husband had a good enough job and we adjusted our lifestyle to suit one income. I did struggle in early motherhood with my ‘loss’ of purpose. It took me over 4 years to appreciate the value of what I was giving my children as a full time mother. The ‘business’ was a hobby and I didn’t even keep my commission but donated it to charity.

Then my husband’s job went downhill, wasn’t quite what he had hoped for, a little stress and disappointment and we began to wonder if this is what life was all about. Call it mid-life crisis if you wish.

So what, you might think?

Plenty folk hate their job, that’s life…but if you could change it wouldn’t you? If it was possible to do what you really wanted, what your deepest desire was, wouldn’t you at least give it a go?

My husband wanted to write. He wanted out of his job and via a bizarre set of circumstances I realised I quite enjoyed selling things and supporting others to fulfil their potential. Running a direct sales, network marketing business started to look less like a hobby. It looked more like a fulfilling way to earn an income.

WS364_storkWhat’s more, running a network marketing business like mine (I’m an Independent Phoenix Trader and I sell gorgeous cards and stationery alongside my growing team of Traders) not only seemed possible with a baby and toddler in tow, it actually seemed a positive part of full time motherhood. Perhaps mums working from home who have been doing these kind of businesses for years are actually on to something.

Here’s a few reasons why it’s working for me:

No childcare costs – maybe obvious but being able to take my children with me in my business means I don’t have to pay childcare or leave my children with strangers.

Flexibilty – because I can take my children with me I can work on my business when it suits me, not just after bedtime. And to be honest I’m not fit for much in the evening, I’m probably a morning person.

L278_Fairy_CelebrationStickers – my kids love stickers so they often volunteer to help with sticking labels on brochures or other ‘mundane’ tasks like putting cards in cellos or stuffing envelopes. They love helping me stocktake or set up my stall. This isn’t slave labour, they don’t have to do it, I don’t make them do it, but they want to. It’s fun to them.

Cute sales aids – I don’t really consider myself a people person. My social skills aren’t great and certainly don’t come naturally. So when it comes to fairs, events or even putting a basket in a workplace it’s so much easier with a toddler in tow. The children are the conversation starters just by being there, making it much easier for me.

Entrepreneurs – my kids are more entrepreneurial than me. Perhaps they don’t have my fear of failure, they’ll have great ideas and just go for it. My oldest who often lacks confidence has now raised a few hundred pounds for charity making and selling sweetie cones. But what astounds me is how she will confidently ask complete strangers passing by her stall if they’d like to buy a cone. My children are learning business skills way before they realise it and way better than me!

It is possible

So when people ask is it possible for mums working from home to be a full time mum and run a business, the answer for me is not only is it possible it’s a really positive thing and actually an enhancement of the parenting role. There are lots of different things you can do too.

If you’d like to find out more about what I do and how it works for me, just ask.

A072_Birds

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Why Flamingo Paperie and what’s cake got to do with it?

why flamingo paperie

People often ask me why Flamingo Paperie?

There are a lot of reasons but here are today’s top 5 reasons why Flamingo Paperie ticks my boxes

1 – Potential

TF22-butterfliesThe UK card industry is huge and growing. Despite what you might think, “that no one sends cards anymore because we all just Facebook each other”, the Greeting Card Association UK (GCA) reports that sales of greeting cards are actually increasing! In fact we spend more on cards than we spend on tea and coffee put together!

2 – Charity

I am passionate about giving something back. Having previously worked in areas like Darfur and Sierra Leone I cannot escape the reality that I am hugely blessed in life. I don’t believe in just giving handouts. On the whole these don’t better someone else’s circumstances. But giving people the tools they need to take control of their own lives and situations – that’s worthwhile. Flamingo Paperie as an organisation always looks to share their success, to give out, not keep it all to themselves. The people who run it have done this since they started as the company, Phoenix Trading in 1995. All our Christmas cards are charity cards. Some of my team donate all their profits to charity, and I love to help people raise some extra money for their cause, be it their Scout group or their local hospice.

3 – Being my own boss

I’ve done the working for a big company and having to work overtime to make more money for shareholders with no personal gain. I’m through with that! Anyone with children will value flexibility in life as planning even a day can all go to pot with a sick child, a well timed nappy change, an unexpected nap (from the child not me…though often I wish!). Working from home and being in charge of my tasks and goals, with no one saying “I know it’s tough and we don’t want to push you over the edge but we do need you to work the overtime” (as a previous boss said to me after I had disclosed that I had depression and was struggling to make it through each day), is a key reason why Flamingo Paperie is best for me and my whole family.

4 – Flitter

What is flitter? Why do I go on about it so much? Flitter is that wonderful stuff also known as fairy dust or magic sparkle that people sometimes mistake for the poor imitation that is glitter. Many of Flamingo Paperie’s cards are flittery – and at no extra cost! If the cards aren’t flittered the illustrations are still stunning. When I first became an independent Phoenix Trader I thought I might send them some of my designs but I’ve since been privileged to see some of the original artwork and, no – I won’t be sending mine in. The artists who illustrated for Phoenix Trading and now Flamingo Paperie are in a league of their own…if you are in that league you might want to look at the info for artists.

5 – Cake!

Sorry can’t get away from it…I’ve tried to eat less of it but there’s no getting away from the fact I love cake. Flamingo Paperie Partners eat a lot of cake, drink a lot of tea – and when we can we love wine with our cards too. Being a Flamingo Paperie Partner is about people. Whether it be listening to what someone wants out of their business, seeing how I can support someone with fundraising or helping someone choose the right sympathy card. These conversations often happen over a cuppa and if possible a slice of cake. I’m not fussy what kind of cake, any will do!

B030-sugar-and-spiceThese are my reasons for today and probably in today’s order why Flamingo Paperie ticks my boxes.

They might change because being an independent Flamingo Paperie Partner means I can be flexible like that. If you’d like to find out more do get in touch. I’ll be happy to send you some information with no commitment on your part. Except possibly the requirement to eat cake if you come to a team meeting. But as I say I’m flexible – you choose how big a slice you want!