Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have?
I’m Jemma, Mum of two and I run Blissed Out Babies. I help families with young children to get better sleep with confidence, not cry it out.
I found becoming a Mum really hard, I had a senior management role in corporate IT business and going from that to being at home with a baby was a major shock to my system. I felt a loss of identity, lost my sense of purpose and felt like I no longer provided the same value to our family unit.
The overwhelming feelings of being out of control and not really knowing what to do about things like sleep was challenging, and I couldn’t find support that aligned with my parenting style. So I set up Blissed Out Babies to help busy Mums to understand how sleep works so they felt confident building a routine that works for them.
How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
The juggle is one of the most difficult parts of being a working Mum, if I’m brutally honest I don’t always balance the two perfectly, I just do my best which is all anyone can ask for.
It helps to be organised, planning what we will eat saves time staring at the fridge each meal time.
I have had an open chat with my husband because as much as I would love him to, he just doesn’t always see what needs doing, so we’re really clear on who does what jobs (and I don’t end up doing it all and feeling mad at him).
I also make sure I totally switch off from work for the couple of hours between picking the kids up from day-care and them going to bed. Giving them my full attention (not half distracted on my phone or laptop) helps reconnect with them and is one of the best tips for improving their behaviour and bedtime battles.
What top tips would you give to any working mum?
· Adjust your expectations. Remember you are not super human, it is simply not possible to do it all to the usual standard you could before you had children, make peace with it, it’s OK!
· Ask for help if you need it, and even outsource if you need to, you are not failing. If you earn £50 an hour working, its financially sensible to pay someone £20/h to help around the house so you can work and feel better about things.
· Make sure you build in time for self care. It is very easy to fall into the trap of being the one who takes on all the family admin plus your business or work. It doesn’t take long to become burnt out or even resentful. Plan time in your diary where you do something you used to love at least twice a week.
· Eat well and stay hydrated. Being a working Mum is tiring, if you are eating healthy food, drinking plenty of water and moving around I promise you will have more energy.
What do you love most about Manchester? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?
I live in Sale, it’s a great area for families. My children are still young (2 & 4) so we tend to spend lots of our time in parks with playgrounds. We love Ashton Park, Walton Park has a little train that runs on Sundays and we love the playground at Wythenshawe park too.
For fun times indoors we really enjoy going to the Hideaway in Partington, its an affordable play centre ideal for younger children. The early session on a Saturday morning is aimed at little ones under 5 so isn’t too boisterous for little ones.
How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
Quality ‘me-time’ shouldn’t be rushed, you don’t relax and escape from the day to day if you’re worrying about time or what jobs you could be doing instead.
What ‘quality time is to you will be different to what it is to me. It should be something you enjoy, that fills up your emotional ‘cup’. Exercise, watching a film, reading a book, meeting friends, yoga, getting your hair or nails done or shopping are all great ideas.
Personally, I just like spending time by myself, maybe having a bath, doing my skincare routine without rushing and having a lie down on my bed. For me it’s about personal space, not having people sitting on me or needing me, and having quiet time to think without interruption.
What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
My favourite thing is watching them grow and become their own little people with such individual personalities. You haven’t felt love like the love you have for your children, they make me proud all the time. I just love how much they have filled my life up, I can’t remember what I used to think about/spend my money on before kids, and whilst I do miss my uncomplicated old life, it wasn’t nearly as fulfilling!
My least favourite thing is the exhaustion! That’s why I’m a sleep consultant 😉 tiredness impacts all areas of your life, I am miserable without a good night’s sleep. If you get into a good routine and get good rest, you feel like you can tackle any challenge parenthood throws your way.
What advice would you give a first time Mum?
Give yourself time to get into the swing of becoming a Mum, it really is life changing. We all feel like we don’t know what we’re doing at some point, but trust in your instinct and do what you feel is right for you and your family.
Get outside every day, you will be energised by the light, the air and your baby will often settle better outside.
Buy or rent a sling, they are the best tool to give you the use of both hands back 😉
Give in to the cuddles, sitting on the sofa cuddling and feeding your baby is not a waste of time, it I great for both of you!
Remember maternity leave is a full time job, you should not feel like you have to take on all the household jobs because ‘you’re at home all day’. It is a full-time job keeping a tiny human alive. And recovering from creating and birthing them!
Know that most Mums don’t ‘Enjoy every moment’, it feels hard because it is hard. But the tough times will pass, you can do it.
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