Hello Sarah! {Working Mums Collective}

Hi everyone! Today I'm lucky to have fellow Adelaidan blogger who I have come to call a friend, Sarah from Working Mums Collective here to share her wisdom, advice and stories with us. She is mum to 5 year old Hudson and 2 (almost 3) year old Ashlee. Sarah featured me as one of her 'Motivating Mums' about a year ago (you can read the interview here) and it's been nice to reflect back on what has changed since then - Miss M now attends child care for both of my work days, this winter has definitely been better in the sickness department (for her not me!) and she no longer naps so there goes my 'me' time. So now it's my turn to ask Sarah some questions... Enjoy! And if you're a working mum I hope you find something useful!
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1. Can you share your top 3 tips for full time working mums?


I retuned to work full time when my son was four months old to a new job, which was challenging in many ways because I was still learning to be a mum and also learning a new job at the same time. I learnt a few things along the way that have helped in my journey as a working mum. Right now though, I am working part time, three days per week but I actually find the juggle harder now than I did when I was working full time because I my routine is out of whack.

So, back to the tips…

1. Be as organised as you can. When I was working full time I had a really good routine where I cooked dinner one day for the next night once the kids were in bed so I didn’t have the hassle of thinking about what to cook, which meant evenings ran much soother. Being organised for me was also about doing the washing mid-week, meal planning and shopping online. Being organised will look different to everyone but working out a routine and structure that suits you will help. I wrote a post titled 10 time saving tips for working mums that may be useful for your readers.

2. Make sure you allocate time for you to do something for you whether it is reading, exercise, catching up with friends or having a bath – whatever it is good for you – do that! Make it a priority because when you are working full time it is easy to burn out and not look after yourself. Self-care will save your life.

3. Learn to let things go. Its ok if your house is a mess and you don’t keep on top of your washing or if you have to use a packet sauce for your dinner. When you are a mum and working there are only so many hours in the day and letting things go will help in reducing stress and overwhelm in feeling like you are not achieving everything. Focus on what is most important to you and forget about the rest. Easier said than done and it has taken me a while to get to this point but life is so much better when you let things that aren’t so important go.

2. So you recently attended Problogger? What’s one thing that excited you? And one thing you learnt?


Problogger was an amazing conference. I took so many notes; connected with bloggers I had met online and made new friends.

The presentation that excited me was the opening keynote from Jadah Sellner at Simple Green Smoothies. I wasn’t familiar with her and her business but loved hearing her story of how she had started different business ideas and blogs before she got to where she is today. Her story was really inspiring and her closing quote really resonated with so many people: “It’s ok to be a glowstick. Sometimes we have to break before we shine”


The session I attended that had so many useful tips that I will share here was the session from Carly Jacobs (Smaggle) and Christina Butcher (Hair Romance) who together make up Little Blog Big.

The key take away’s for me from this session were:

  • Set specific goals and take action NOW
  • Write a list of 100 blog post ideas and keep it for when you need inspiration
  • Batch your tasks to stay productive e.g. write your week’s blog posts in one sitting, take your blog photos in one sitting
  • Set a timer for the tasks you are working on
  • Never sit down without an idea
  • Check your analytics for the most popular content and write more of that
  • Focus on quality content that is going to be read

3. Please share with us your other projects happening at the moment? 


I have just launched ‘The Personal Brand Project’ with Claire from White Blank Pages. This is an online course targeted towards uni students, recent graduates and young professionals to guide them through the process of developing a personal brand strategy to elevate themselves above the rest in their field.

The early bird registrations are now open – find out how this project came to life on Claire’s blog, white blank pages.

I have also been keeping myself busy with some graphic design projects. I have done freelance marketing and social media consulting for a number of years as well as a few graphic design projects over the years but have been working more with bloggers and women in businesses on branding, ebook design and other collateral through www.sarahpoppy.com

4. Your eldest Hudson started school this year. How did that go? And how’s he doing now?


For him, the transition to school has been great. He is one of the youngest so started off slow in term one but now he loves it and loves learning. It is amazing how far he has come in such a short time.

For me, the transition hasn’t been as easy. I reduced my work hours to three days a week when he started school and it has been great having time with my daughter and being there for pick up and drop off two days a week but I have struggled to keep up with everything from casual days to excursions to other activities. It is getting better and I think by the time he is in year one we will be in a better routine. I feel like I miss a lot because I am only at the school on two days but it is working better now. For a while I felt like home was unorganized and I wasn’t getting everything done at work that I wanted to. I am now job-sharing, which has been an adjustment for me too after working full time for so long.

Sarah with her kids Ashlee & Hudson

5. Any activities that Ashlee is loving at the moment?


Her favourite activity is our weekly visit to Kindygym. She loves getting to play and make new friends and especially loves the fruit time at the end. Her favourites are the trampoline for jumping and the ball pit for jumping into.

6. Favourite family friendly place to visit in Adelaide?


Probably the play café’s – Bubbles is a good one and the kids absolutely love playing on the playground. It is a good place for us to go so we can have a grown up conversation while the kids play and also a great place to catch up with friends. My two always play together better when we are out than when we are home.

7. Your Instagram feed is so beautiful Sarah! Quotes, coffee, smoothies, your beautiful family… You’re one of my favourites to follow. So who do you love to follow?


Thanks Lauren. Instagram has to be my favourite social media platform. I can get lost in other people’s photos. At the moment I am loving Emma Kate Co (I always love her images) and World of Wanderlust who are sharing photos from their Moroccan adventures. And Lisa Messenger’s feed is always full of inspiration quotes.

It’s not long until I become a mother of two – your article From One Baby to Two is still one that sticks out in my mind the most. Your quotes “I didn’t realise how easy it was until I had my second child” and “I found the jump from one to two HUGE. I was not prepared at all” are so honest and real. 

8. Could you please share a few of your tips from this article? 


Yes, I found this to be a HUGE jump and one that I wasn’t prepared for… Now it feels like a lifetime ago but I can remember those first few weeks and months very well. Here are my tips:

1. Be as prepared as possible – have meals ready to go in the freezer for when you get home from hospital.

2. Ask for help – from friends, family, midwives in the hospital – don’t try and do everything yourself. It will make the transition a lot smoother.

3. Let things go – like I mentioned in the first question – focus on what is important and leave everything else.

4. Find a routine that works for your family – take advice from others but do what works best for you.

I wish you all the best Lauren and your experience may be very different to mine. I often say that I feel like I was a first time mum the second time around.

9. What’s next for WMC?


Working mums collective has taken a break of late but I plan to get back into it in the near future and will be calling our for contributors to truly make it a ‘collective’ of working mums sharing their stories, experience and knowledge with the community. Further down the track I would like to release the working mums collective online magazine – stay tuned for this!

10. Favourite Quote?


Where can we find you?

Website for consulting and design services: http://www.sarahpoppy.com

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Thanks so much for being here at Teacher Types Sarah! Looking forward to our next play date at Bubbles!

Did you know I've written two guest posts for Sarah over at WMC? Read them here...

Tips for Working Mums to Help with the Homework
10 Ways for Working Mums to Help in the Classroom - this one was published in Mornington Peninsula Kids Magazine! Was so exciting to see my writing in print for the first time.

Lots happening on Teacher Types in October after a quiet September... Stay tuned!
Lauren

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