I recently wrote a little advert/ blog for Bad Mum Magazine…
Here’s what I had to say…
Busy Lizzie’s Balancing Act.
The dream: to run my own dance school and to put my excitable creative mind to some use. When I left performing arts college I got caught up in the whirlwind reality called, Life! I went through good jobs and bad, but it wasn’t until the birth of my first son, did the magic begin and I started to explore creative arts again.
I started working from home making and selling handmade crafts online and teaching dance when childcare was available. As we all know childcare does NOT come cheap, thankfully I am very lucky to have a fully supportive mum and husband, which gave me a few windows of opportunities, but it took me a while to find my feet.
For years I taught for others and began creating more and more crafts, meanwhile one turned into two boys. My boys have very energetic personalities which helped me when getting other children involved in my half term dance and crafts workshops. My days were filled with events and looking after my boys, which meant sewing late into the night. After getting them to bed I would steal a few hours to clear up after a day of play around the house, but occasionally I found myself waking up with my head under the sewing machine! (especially during the manic Christmas Elf orders on the run up to Christmas).
Balancing being mum and ‘building the empire’ has been a real struggle. I often feel guilty if I’m replying to emails or promoting a Facebook post whilst they sit and watch tv. Leaving them with nanny Jude whilst I go out to teach, missing bed time and having to whisper night night when I get in. But… we always make up for it with weekend trips out to the park, swimming, or a simple DVD day whilst snuggled in our duvet on the sofa. For a real break I often take them to our lovely caravan in Whitstable with untold beach days and outdoor adventures.
A turning point in my life was being a bridesmaid at my friend Claire’s wedding. Wearing brightly coloured sarees and singing accapella to the bride walking down the aisle with such kind and talented good friends, gave a piece of me back. I got to express who I was and met lots of people who encouraged me and gave me confidence to call myself a performer again. I realized I was as important as the boys!
Once both boys started school I could really make a go of it and ‘Simply Lizzie – the Creative Hub’ went from strength to strength. I now have my own dance school with a fabulous team, work as a dance specialist in a special needs school and within mainstream primary, teach kids craft, managed to host an event for an entire community and still find time (just about) to make and sell crafts at our very unique Open Days, where we invite other local crafters to promote and sell their products in a little vintage shack at the bottom of the garden! Tea and cake anyone?
Building a business from scratch with two young children is no easy task but finding the balance between mum and boss is vital. I certainly have found some unique ways of getting stuff done! From replying to emails on the toilet, choreographing routines in the kitchen with the boys hanging off my legs. Sewing on the school run in the car whilst waiting for them to come out. Turning play dates into mini shows with dress ups and performances to name a few.
The stress most definitely can take over… I have focused on my vision, and it is not over yet, but while creating it I have discovered a bit more about me, the type of mum I have become and accepting that I am doing ok… I often find myself getting irate over silly things and shouting as if I’m possessed by the devil in the mad rush to get everyone ready for work and school in the mornings. But I’m pretty sure that’s natural. Right?