Hi! My name is Lydia Fitzpatrick, and I am the co-founder of Eco Babe Private Day Nursery. I have one beautiful daughter who is 18 months. When the Eco Babe journey began, Luna was just 10 weeks old! I wrote a business plan between breastfeeds and attended online meetings with her napping on my chest. So much planning and research goes in to building a business and my daughter was my motivation each day.
My business partner and I wanted to create a truly outstanding childcare setting for the families of Sale and the company has gone from strength to strength since opening in October 21. The response has been fantastic, and we had to open a waiting list for spaces just 14 weeks after opening our doors! I am so grateful that my extensive early years’ experience has enabled me to realise my dream of opening a nursery and couldn’t have done it without my incredibly supportive business partner or family.
How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
Opening a business during the pandemic at the same time as becoming a mother was the hardest thing I have ever done. There have been some incredibly long and difficult days, but I am so proud of everything I have accomplished with my daughter by my side. I had very few childcare options and being on maternity leave, there were no funds available to access local settings whilst I worked on Eco Babe renovations. We had no choice but to go at it together and so my memories of her first year are made up of winging DIY and Mum life.
I am so fortunate to work in a business where my child can be nearby every day. Don’t get me wrong, this can also act as a barrier! Who wants to sit and do finance when you can go and snuggle your babe in the next room?! As the nursery becomes more established, we are regaining our time together and I try to make the most of our weekends.
What top tips would you give to any working mum?
Try not to sweat the small stuff. We have been so busy that I’ve had to accept that I won’t have 1:1 time with her every evening, and it isn’t realistic to have a 10-step bedtime routine every night. Some days we get chance to steal 10 minutes of snuggles before bed and others, I transfer her from car seat to cot. She is happy, secure, and thriving and I know that the work I am doing now will give us so much more time and freedom together in the future.
Another point I have had to accept is that I simply cannot do it all; we cannot excel in every area of our lives at every turn, and that’s ok. Some days, I’m a busy businesswoman crossing all the jobs off my to do list and smashing mum life. On other days, my house is a mess, the washing is piled high, and have cereal for tea. Balance!
What do you love most about Manchester? Do you have a favourite spot with
I absolutely love Manchester and feel so fortunate to be so close to the city. We love to
spend time in the suburbs too and will often spend our weekends visiting coffee shops,
food markets and going on local walks. We love Fletcher Moss Botanical gardens in
Didsbury in Spring/Summer.
How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
At this point, a full day where I can switch off, have a lie in and wash my hair in peace
would be my idea of HEAVEN! Away from this, spending time with friends, drinking
coffee and eating good food is how I wind down after a busy week.
What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
My favourite part about parenthood has got to be the built-in best friend that comes with
it. I know most mum’s say that they couldn’t imagine their life before children, but I
literally can’t! My daughter brings so much purpose and joy to my life and there’s nothing
better than waking up to her smiles every day. Worst thing has to be the lack of freedom
and lack of sleep!
What advice would you give a first time Mum?
No first-time mum experience is the same and everything about motherhood is different
to how I imagined. After spending a decade working with babies and young children, I
thought I knew it all but becoming a mum was such an eye opener. Everyone will have
an opinion; you can find a million answers to your mum related queries online but at the
end of the day you’ve just got to do what works for you. Some days you are locked in
pure survival mode where you’ll do anything for that extra bit of sleep or to get your little
one to eat something, anything! That is true for us all - being a parent is the toughest job
ever. You’ll be challenged, mentally or physically, every single day but you’ll also reap
the rewards. Nothing compares to my daughter’s reaction when I see her after a day at
nursery and her happiness is all I could ever ask for!
By Lydia Fitzpatrick Co Owner of Eco Babe Day Nursery in Sale