Work

Starting Your Own Business as a Stay at Home Mum

Being a stay at home mum can seem like a full-time job. Sometimes, though, you want or need a paying job alongside minding your own children. Luckily, you don’t have to give up being a stay at home mum to have a job.

Instead, you could always try starting your own business as a stay at home mum. You’d be surprised how many options you have when you are trying to choose what business model is best for you. Here, we will look at just 7 options to help you get inspired.

1. Child Care Service

If you don’t mind watching more children than just your own during the day, you could always start a child care service. After all, you already have things that a child around the age of yours or younger would need such as toys or sippy cups so you won’t incur too many starting costs.

You can make a lot of money off of this idea because there are plenty of mums and dads that have to work during the day. With this business model, you aren’t dependent on people making purchases on a whim, you’re serving a necessity.

2. Etsy Store

For those mums who love to craft or sew, something like an Etsy store might be the best option for you. Here, you can sew clothes or craft anything you can think of and sell it to interested persons.

Running a shop is like a running a business. Therefore, branding your Etsy shop is important. Logo, header image, product photography, social media presence, SEO are all important parts of your Etsy marketing strategy. Moreover, when creating your handmade goods, you will want to make sure to add a tag with your own logo or classic printed ribbon to the items you make. This way, they are marked as uniquely yours. This also helps to cut down on someone buying your items to simply resell them as their own handmade items later.

3. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is exactly the same as any other assistant. You would do things like handle phone calls, scheduling, or anything that a standard assistant would do. The major difference is that you do it from a distance. Instead of being at your client’s side all day, you would be in near constant contact with them via phone or the internet and you would take care of the tasks they set out for you.

4. Financial Planning

If you have a knack for numbers, you could also start a business in which you help others work a budget and live the best they can within their means. You’d be surprised at how many families would appreciate a little help planning their finances.

A great idea would be to learn to help others budget for college. After all, this is one of the biggest financial decisions a family has to make and they might see some help planning as a wise investment.

5. Teach Music

For those mums who are interested in music, you could always consider being a teacher for private lessons for the instrument of your choice. Not only is this a great way to make some extra money, you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of it too!

In addition, teaching music will help you to keep your own skills sharp. This is because you will be teaching the basics and the theory behind an instrument to someone else, forcing you to practice these rudimentary skills once again.

6. Pet Boarding

Much like child minding, if you love animals, you could always consider animal boarding as a stay at home business. With this business, you would take in other people’s pets and watch them while the owners are away.

You might want to have some restrictions on the animals you’ll take in, though. For instance, you could only take in trained pets. After all, you don’t want to accidentally allow an aggressive animal into your home when you have children around.

7. Freelance Writing

For those mums with writing as a passion, you could always write from home. This is a job with a lot of open opportunities. Whether you want to dedicate your time to writing novels or articles, there is a market for it.

It might take time with freelance writing, as with the other business ideas on this list, to build up a client base. If you’re patient, though, you will find these business ideas can become quite lucrative.

Closer to Nature · Environment · Family · Kids

Play More and Win a Sudocrem My Little Adventure Pack!

One of the reasons that we moved to our little house in the countryside, back in 2015, was so that we could spend more time outdoors as a family. Living in a very suburban area meant that we were constantly surrounded by noise and pollution, our garden was overlooked by about 100 other houses and to get anywhere even vaguely quiet or secluded, we’d need to drive a fair way.

Where we live now, there are less than 15 houses in our entire village and we have a lovely big garden for the girls to enjoy, as well as public footpaths leading through the countryside, right on our doorsteps. It means that screen time has been massively already reduced this summer, with the girls choosing to play outside in the paddling pool, riding their bikes, or walking with me and Husband when we take Maureen out (which hasn’t been until about 9pm in this heat!)

We’ve teamed up with Sudocrem to get involved with their latest campaign to get kids outside. As part of the campaign, they are encouraging parents around the UK to nominate a nursery and give them the chance to help improve the nurseries outdoor play area – just click the link to go through the the page for nominations. 

They said: “Children are spending more time indoors than outside and they are missing out on exploring the natural world around them. In fact, research found that 1 in 9 British children have not visited a beach, park or forest in twelve months, and on average, a British child only spends 4 hours a week playing in the great outdoors. [1]This is why Sudocrem set up the award-winning Play More campaign, an initiative designed to encourage parents and children to get back in touch with nature and explore the greatest playground on earth- the outdoors. As part of the campaign, Sudocrem carried out a survey which asked 200 children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old to identify some of the creepy crawlies in Britain. The survey revealed that 9 out of 10 children (89%) were unable to recognise a butterfly even though there is an abundance of native British insects, with around 27,000 insect species calling the UK home. Moreover, 51% didn’t know what a Bumblebee looks like. And, surprisingly, 1 in 3 (29%) didn’t realise that bees make honey[2].

Children are not only unable to identify some of the most distinctive insects, but they are also missing out on the adventure which comes with playing outside in a natural environment.  Over half of those surveyed (59%) admitted that they had never climbed a tree, 89% didn’t know what a Buttercup was and 77% couldn’t identify a Sunflower. Are children losing their sense of wonder and adventure?

According to children’s TV presenter and naturalist, Chris Packham, who’s an ambassador for Play More, parents should be encouraging their children to get outside and explore the natural environment around them. “I was very fortunate when I was a child because I was encouraged to interact with the outdoors- looking under rocks and searching under logs and hedges to find creepy crawlies. If you just open your eyes, you’ll see that there is an incredible natural world out there waiting to be discovered”.”

They’ve given us one of their gorgeous Sudocrem My Little Adventure Packs to give away to one lucky reader.  The kit is worth £40.00 and includes:

– Play More t-shirt
– Play More sun hat
– Bug Pot
– Frisbee
– Butterfly Net
– Magnifying glass
– Trowel or fork

To be in with a chance of winning, leave me a comment below telling me your favourite place to get outdoors with the kids. You’ve got until midnight on 31st July 2018 to enter.

T&Cs: winner will be chosen at random. Winner will have 48 hours to provide me with their postal address once contact has been made. If winner doesn’t respond within this time a new winner will be chosen. No cash alternative offered, prizes supplied and sent by PR company for Sudocrem. Mum’s the Word accepts no liability for supply of prizes.
[1] According to a government report, ‘MENE: A pilot for an indicator of visits to the natural environment by children- results from years 1 to 2 (March 2013-February 2015)’.
[2] National report conducted by Sudocrem, April 2018.
Diabetes · Health

Managing Type 2 Diabetes with LloydsPharmacy #LetsTalkDiabetes

Some of you may know that I’m a Type 2 diabetic; I’ve written about it a few times before but it’s not something I talk about at great length, probably because it’s just become a part of my life now. My diabetes started when I was pregnant with Sausage and never went away once I gave birth, probably due to the fact that I struggle with my weight and I have a family history on one side.

Anyway, type 2 diabetes is one of those condition which doesn’t need to take over your whole life, but it does need a certain amount of management to make sure that your sugar levels are not affecting your health in other ways. Unmanaged diabetes can cause heart problems, stroke, infections and other issues, so ensuring that your levels are correct is important, so when LloydsPharmacy asked me if I’d like to go along to one of their branches for a Medicines Check Up, Cholesterol & Heart Check and Blood Pressure testing, I thought it would be a great opportunity.

Lloyds Pharmacy

When I got there, I was greeted by a lovely lady who took my blood pressure and checked my cholesterol and blood sugar levels – it’s a super simple process which needed just one finger prick to get the blood for the sensors and it’s over in less than a second. She also took my blood pressure in both arms to ensure she was getting an accurate reading.

Once the results were in, I was handed a chart which showed my results, and as it turned out, my blood sugar was a little high at that moment (probably because I was slightly stressed out), as was my blood pressure, but that’s normal for me as I get what they call “white coat syndrome”. My cholesterol levels were interesting; my LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) was borderline – not great but not a worry, either.

My HDL (the “good” cholesterol) was actually a little bit low, and it was explained that I could stand to increase this by eating good fats like coconut oil, avocados and other things, which in turn will reduce the amount of bad cholesterol, too! Based on all of my results, I was told that my chances of having a heart attack in the next ten years was 6%, which may not sound high, but it’s a number that I’d like to dramatically reduce.

After my results were in, I was handed over to the pharmacist who came in to do my medicines check-up, and this was where it got really interesting for me. I take several different medications to manage different conditions, but one of the medicines that I take for my underactive thyroid should be taken half an hour before any other food or medication, but in the 12-odd years I’ve been taking it, I’ve NEVER been told this! I also learned that, not only have I been taking my diabetes medications at the wrong times of day, I also should have been taking it with food each time. I’m a HUGE fan of the NHS, but sometimes the lack of time they’re able to spend with each patient means that things can get lost in communication, exactly like this. I was also given a Type 2 diabetes support pack to take away and read at home, containing lots more useful info for managing my diabetes. You can download the support pack here.

LloydsPharmacy Diabetes Support Pack

I can’t believe how much I learned in one short consultation and my medicine routine has changed completely now. I’ve spaced my pills totally differently so that hopefully they should have a better level of effectiveness when I take them and I’ve booked myself in for a repeat health check with LloydsPharmacy in 3 months to see if there has been any improvement with my levels. I’ll be eating more avocado, too! If you’re concerned about any health issues or management of any existing conditions, I can totally recommend a trip to LloydsPharmacy.

According to Diabetes UK, there are 1.1 million people in the UK with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and LloydsPharmacy is on the hunt to find them! They will be visiting a city near you to offer FREE type 2 diabetes screenings as well as lots of useful information, advice and support. Click here to find your local event.

Happiness · Health

How To Stop the Health Damages of Noise Pollution At Home

noise pollutionNoise pollution brings about negative effects to human health. Especially for those living in areas where noise has already become part of their daily routines, addressing the issue of noise pollution should be considered a primary concern. Let’s look at some effective tips to protect us from health risks caused by noise pollution in our homes.

Brief Background on Noise Pollution

Globally, noise pollution is considered one of the most pressing environmental issues. The World Health Organization mentions that exposure to noise pollution usually results to health risks such as heart illnesses, cognitive abnormalities on children, and sleep deprivation that could lead to serious mental health disorders.

Responding to the threats of noise pollution has become a trend in global politics. For one, the United States Environmental Protection Agency summarizes the provisions of the Noise Control Act of 1972, which identifies the major contribution of the transport sector and business establishment in the problem.

Techniques To Protect Yourself From Noise Pollution At Home

The home should serve as a relaxing haven to rest our tired bodies, but that won’t be possible when ambient sounds disrupt the tranquility. Here are some tips to control the noise in your home:

Install soundproof windows

One of the best and most effective ways to soundproof your home is to install soundproof windows. Laminated glass or a combination of glass-plastic-glass are perfect materials for windows to reduce noise. This works well in homes that need soundproofing against plane noise pollution or any disturbing outside sound.

Ensure that windows are fit perfectly

The entry of noise is lessened if the gaps in your windows are lessened, or better, if they are completely sealed.  Furthermore, choosing perfectly fit windows makes it easier to manage air and noise pollution, which are common issues when a home is located in areas where transportation modes pass by.

Use thick curtains

Although using thick curtains is certainly not enough, doing so goes a long way in blocking the noise you need to spare yourself or family from. Choose stylish drapes that not only reduce heat from sunlight but also block the noise from the outside.

Consider using thick carpets

Whether it’s your bedroom or an elegant loft, putting carpets may effectively absorb ambient noise entering your home. Carpets are not only a stylish way to decorate your home, but are also effective pieces for soundproofing.

Use personal protective gear

If you have no control over the source of the noise and if you cannot afford window or carpet installation, your next best solution would be to wear earphones and similar protective equipment. These things can protect your ears from constant noise and are much cheaper than other options.

Ask help from authorities

You may approach government agencies or local authorities to handle the noise situation, especially when it’s beyond what you can control. In most cases, they can address the sources of noise and allow you (and your neighbors) to enjoy a more peaceful community.

We all dream of sufficient rest whenever we are home, and this can only be achieved if we reduce unnecessary noise coming from the outside environment. Although we cannot do anything about most sources of noise, the least you can do is soundproof your homes. That way, you can protect yourself from the health damages of noise pollution.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/usa-manhattan-contrasts-new-york-1777986/

Uncategorized

What I Did Before I Became a Blogger

I’ve been blogging for 8 years now, and my career has completely changed because I started writing. I now write for various other sites, offer copy-writing services and even do some marketing and social media management work, all of which allows me to earn a living from home, which for me is ideal. I did a few different things before I became a blogger and I thought I’d let you in on some of them:

Accounts Assistant and Payroll Clerk

My main career before blogging was in the financial sector and I had various jobs across private accountancy firms and the NHS. I spent a lot of time dealing with people’s pay, tax codes, VAT, end of year accounts and all sorts of other things. These days it’s easier to do a lot of this yourself online, and companies like  Talk Tax make it easier to find the phone numbers for the more hard-to-reach departments of HMRC that might be able to help you with your queries. 

Lettings Assistant

My first full time job after leaving college was within a residential letting agency, and it’s probably the thing that sparked my passionate nosiness for looking inside house! I used to love looking at the photos from the appraisals, although all the audio typing I did wasn’t so fun. It was a really varied job and gave me a really good insight into what working in an office was really like.

Retail

Before I left school, I did a couple of different retail roles, one as Staff Receptionist in a major supermarket and another as a store assistant for a women’s clothes outlet. I have to say, I didn’t find either job particularly engaging, and the hours for retail generally SUCK, but when you’re 17, it’s all much of a muchness in terms of part time jobs!

I’ve done a few other odd jobs here and there, but my work history is pretty similar before blogging. One of the things I love about working for myself is being able to set my own hours and work around the kids – we’ve saved a fortune on childcare with me working from home. The only downside to freelance work is the uncertainty – one month I might have loads of work coming in and other months are like virtual tumbleweed, so if you’re considering a leap into self-employment, make sure you think hard about whether you can sustain it during the troughs as well as the peaks.