Our resident blogger Vicki is back this week with some reflections on what it is like to literally juggle work and motherhood… a must-read!
Vicki is mummy to Alex, a little boy of 17 months, and runs For Luna, an online swimwear website with her husband, James.
The joys of taking your child into work with you….
Our website, For Luna www.forluna.co.uk specialises in retro style swimsuits and we have been around for almost four years. As its just my husband and I, we just get on and do what needs to be done. I am responsible for customer care, marketing, admin and accounting but it really just depends what needs doing on the days I work. I love it! I love the autonomy and the creative freedom having my own business gives me.
One of the many perks of having my own business is that I can bring Alex into work with me whenever I like. As you can imagine this comes in very handy and saves us on childcare costs. There are never any customers present in our office, and the only people working there are myself and James, so really it is the perfect set up. All my friends are so envious that I get to take my little boy to work with me. It is great but (you knew there’s be a but, right?) you really can’t do anything requiring any focus or concentration with your offspring around….
When Alex was a very small baby (if you can call a baby born at 8lb 9oz very small at any stage) it was a breeze. We’d sit him on our packing table in the stock room and he would happily spend hours sleeping, staring into space and generally being amused by me waving tissue paper and bikini pants in his face whilst singing half-remembered nursery rhymes. ‘This is fab’ we thought, and planned to bring Alex to work with us regularly. Then major sleep deprivation hit, Alex nursed every 75 minutes around the clock which was…. quite hard (more to follow on this later!), so I spent less time in the office and more time with my sympathetic friends eating my own weight in cake every day.
So, next time I tried taking him into the office it was a whole new experience. He was eight months old, able to roll around the room and liable to put everything within reach into his mouth. He also shouted. A lot. Our offices are above two busy shops and we were paranoid about the noise he was making so we left him at home with my parents on the days I was working. By this stage he was only nursing three times a day so I would walk home at lunch time and breastfeed.This set up worked well for everyone, I had some time to myself (to pretend to be a real grown-up businesswoman again for the day), and Alex spent valuable time with his doting grandparents.
And then last week I suggested to James that we try it again, because surely now he’s
walking and able to play for a little while on his own things will be easier? Well, actually it wasn’t that bad! James made a fort out of cardboard boxes for him (what more could a little boy want?), gave him an apple to munch on and I set my iPad up to stream CBeebies in case all other distractions failed. Now, I did only pop in to pick and pack the last two days customer orders. Nothing too complex or demanding, aside from double checking I was sending the right items, so we were only there for 30 minutes. But he was very well behaved; basically toddling around the room with his (increasingly manky) apple, singing to himself – excited by the novelty of being with me in the office. So I am going to try this once a week for a little while and see how it goes.
One last thing… its just a good job we sell swimwear and not anything breakable because toddlers certainly have a fondness for throwing stuff!
Vicki will be back next week with a blog about breastfeeding and some of the highs and lows which she experienced along the way.