These are BIG decisions every parent is faced with: How do you juggle work and family life? When will you return to work after having a baby, if at all? Do you reduce your hours? Find a new job? Will working be enough to cover the cost of childcare?
These are not easy issues to tackle because there’s more at play than money.
Stay-at-home-mama-of-three, Monique Webb, found the perfect solution. We’re talking about Lorraine Lea – a beautiful homeware brand that offers women the opportunity to get back to work by building their own businesses to suit their lifestyles – as Lorraine Lea Independent Stylists.
“I was a stay-at-home mum to my two oldest children, Flynn and Maison. My boys were born 20 months apart, which meant I’d been out of the workforce for almost two years,” Monique says of the time when she decided to become a Lorraine Lea Stylist.
Now with three little ones and a thriving Lorraine Lea business, every day is different for Monique who hosts three to four home-styling parties per week.
“I lead a team of independent stylists in my area who are also running their own businesses,” the mama says.
“There’s a very collaborative culture of women supporting other businesswomen and celebrating each other’s successes.”
So other mamas can benefit from Monique’s success, she kindly shared her six top tips on becoming a boss-mama. Say hello to earning a living, putting your family first and attending parties at the same time.
1// Find something that suits you (and your life as a mum)
“Money-wise, we needed another household income to support our growing family. For me, it was really important to have a career that fitted around my kids, because I didn’t want to miss a moment of them growing up. I’d been looking for a suitable part-time or casual job for about six months, but found it difficult after being on maternity leave for so long. That’s when I found Lorraine Lea. I didn’t need any previous experience and was provided with training and support to get my business going.”
2 // Go for something that offers you flexibility (and love what you do)
“I’m in complete control of the hours I work, which means I can block out a weekend if I want to go away camping with the family or take a couple of weeks off for Christmas. It’s my business, and I can run it however I choose. The money is also great, and I know the more I put into it, the more I’ll get out of it. There are always incentives I can work towards, like Thomas Sabo jewellery and five-star trips to overseas destinations, fully sponsored by the company! I went to New Zealand with Lorraine Lea in 2015. That was the first time I’d ever been overseas. That experience was life changing for me. I’m currently on-track to qualify for a trip to Malaysia in October. These opportunities wouldn’t have been possible without Lorraine Lea.”
3 // Believe in yourself and anything is possible
Direct selling wasn’t something I thought about as a career, but after hosting a home-styling party and chatting with the Lorraine Lea Stylist who came, I could see the potential in starting my own business and reasoned I had nothing to lose by giving it a go. I haven’t looked back.
4 // Trust in your inner confidence
“One of the reasons I started this business was to find my confidence again; something I felt I’d lost during my break from the workforce. My Lorraine Lea business is something I do for me, where I’m able to get out of the house and have some social time away from the kids. I really enjoy what I do. It isn’t hard work and I have a wonderful Lorraine Lea Leader who supports me and helps me set goals.”
5 // Set your own priorities (and it’s likely that work will NOT come first)
“It’s a juggling act, but we have a good routine going. Generally, I plan ahead and book parties to fit in with my schedule, not the other way around. Family is my number-one priority. I don’t live to work, I work to live, and Lorraine Lea enables me to do that. The autonomy I enjoy from my business, particularly when I fell pregnant with my third child, Ted. I was quite sick the whole way through my pregnancy and that affected my ability to work, but with Lorraine Lea there was no pressure. I could keep my business ticking over, even if I wasn’t physically able to go to hosts’ homes. After Ted was born, I was straight back into running my business seven days after giving birth! The flexibility allows me to be a stay-at-home mum while still advancing my own career, and I’ve made so many lifelong friendships!”
6 // Most importantly, have fun
“I really enjoy going out to do home-styling parties and meeting new people. When I did my first party, I got a huge adrenaline rush and it ignited a spark in me. I thought the excitement that came with doing parties would wear off after a while, but it hasn’t! They’re so much fun, I’m a bit addicted to the thrill!”