Returning to work after maternity leave inspired me to start my own business

We've all heard the expression, "There's never a right time to start a business." I'll throw my hat in the ring and say I disagree. For me, motherhood was absolutely the right time.

Let me tell you why:

1. The stakes are higher.

Before motherhood, my reasons for wanting to set up my own business were fairly murky. It seemed like an exciting thing to do. I didn't love the idea of working my way up the ladder, waiting to get to the next step each time. I had a feeling I could do more.

It wasn't enough to make me do it. The dissatisfaction in my current life and working environment simply wasn't high enough. There's a certain ease that comes with a 9 to 5 job: clear working hours, a level of sameness, a regular paycheck.

Fast-forward to returning to work after maternity leave and a new reality sunk in: Those clear working hours meant time lost with my son. That level of sameness made me reflect on how different things could be. That regular paycheck just didn't seem worth it. After all, I was using it to pay someone else to spend time with my son.

I wanted a career, but I wanted to have balance and flexibility too. With primary school looming a couple of years down the line, the thought of dropping my son off at breakfast club, and picking him up at 6 P.M. following after-school club broke my heart.

This gave me the push I needed to move forward on my dream. It wasn't just my life on the line here. I had something to prove.

As mothers, we can sometimes feel like we lose our identity. We become 'mummy' or 'mom.' Our hobbies are reduced, our 'me' time all but disappears and we choose to go to the park over exercising or having dinner with friends.

But I wasn't just proving to myself and to others that I am more than this 'mummy' character. I was doing it for my son.

As you go through life, you pick up life lessons—the ones that stick with you and you think, "This is really something I want my children to learn." One of those life lessons for me is that you don't have to follow the status quo. You don't have to work 9 to 5, you don't have to accept the gender pay gap, you don't have to invest your time in anything that doesn't go towards the aim of making this the happiest life you could possibly lead.

That sounds a little idealistic doesn't it? But really, the lesson I want my son to learn is: if you're not happy, change it. Take ownership of your decisions and be brave.

So how can I teach my son this lesson if I wasn't leading by example? If I keep saying (for over 10 years) that I want to set up my own business but not actually do it? Motherhood gave me the kick I needed to live by my values and to teach through my actions.

2. Time is our most valuable asset.

This one might seem contradictory. After all, as a mother, my time is definitely limited. What I've found is that even when I'm sleep-deprived, I've become a master at multitasking. What used to take me two hours, I can get done in a kid's TV show. And here's where the good bit comes in—moms are the master of getting stuff done. We've trained for this.

So when I started my business, on top of working a full-time demanding job and having a toddler and teenage stepdaughter, there was not a moment lost. I drilled my brain to focus on the most important task. I didn't spend time researching which website provider to use, I went on trusted recommendations. I got the bare minimum done to get myself off the ground, using every resource available to me.

Would I have had this discipline before having a baby? Definitely not.

3. My priorities changed.

My choice of career wasn't just for me anymore. My choice of career now determined how much I saw my son and played a mighty big role in the lessons I was teaching him.

Now, I am so proud that I can say to my son, "I made the decision to start my own business, not for you, but for me. I did it because spending time with you is the most important thing in the world to me. I did it because I can do anything I put my mind to, and you can too."

And mama, so can you.

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Kombucha making kit

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Laetitia lipstick

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Jigsaw puzzle

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Matilda's Bloombox

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If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

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Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

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Find your voice journal

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Premium frother

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Bath soak infusion kit

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Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

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Calming midnight mask with melatonin

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

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Lansinoh milk storage bags

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Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

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boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

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Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

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Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

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Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

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We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

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