Category Archives: house and home

Mothers can’t afford to stay at home

Why do you work? Most of the women I know who run their own business have a passion for whst they do, even if it is tough at times. But new research shows that some mothers are having to go back to work, due to the economic recession found that in a survey of 505, 79 per cent were looking to go back to work or increase their present working hours due to the credit crunch. For many, this will mean that they are looking for jobs that will allow them to balance their family and work life. This includes flexible or part-time working, school time jobs and working from home. If this is you, have a look at the ideas on, or sign up to the ‘Start Your Own Business’ course at

Working Mums have a message for employers based on their survey results. Bosses should who re-examine their working culture and look at more efficient and effective ways of working such as flexible, part-time working or working from home. Employing skilled workers in these different ways can make their businesses more efficient and productive, cut office overheads, minimise overtime and reduce travel expenses.

Mandy Garner, spokesperson for says, “The present economic situation is not all doom and gloom and actually presents some good opportunities for mothers to assess their working options and look at what is available to help them meet their needs. It also key that employers should look at more efficient ways of working and how this can help them to become more cost-effective whilst remaining productive. Employers should not get caught out by reducing their resources. Working mothers are a fantastic pool of talent that many businesses should be calling upon.”

Back to work without a Bump

Results of a Government survey in 2008, found that the majority of mums are still returning to work within the first year of their baby’s life. 50% of full time working women, return to full time employment, though half of these mums would prefer to work part time. This indicates that making such important decisions, like returning to work, isn’t unusual but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice or it is always made at the right time, for the right reasons.

Here are some tips from Sam Pringle to get you thinking about different aspects of your decision so that you can go ‘Back to Work Without a Bump’;

What do I want get out of my work?

Whether you have been away from work for 6 months or 6 years, you now have an opportunity to look at your career from a new perspective.

Is my old career the one I would choose again?

Write a list with two columns headed ‘activities’ and ‘feelings’. List all the things you would like to do in the ‘activities’ column and how you would like to feel about working in the ‘feelings’ column.

How do these outputs fit into my career?

How do these things affect what’s important to my family life?

Who shall I go to for support?

Finances, childcare and emotional support are all areas that can be pro-actively managed through this period of change. The toughest part is asking for this help. Talk to friends who have similar principles as you, about how they manage their work and family. Ignore the advice you get from people with different values! Sometimes your family are so closely involved in the decision that their advice may not be for your benefit. Speak to people aren’t affected by the outcome of your decision as well as involving those who are.

Who can I talk to with similar values? Who will listen and support me through this change?

We can be influenced by people and things from a long time ago which may no longer be relevant to our present needs. So ask yourself:

Who am I pleasing now, by making these choices?

When do I want to return?

Timing with work and families is crucial. Nearly all mums will go back to work; the more relevant question is ‘When?’ 8% of Mums return to work early because they feel otherwise, their career will be compromised.

There may not be an easy time to go back but there is the ‘right’ time for you and your family. This is different for every family and not something you can decide before you have your baby! Its amazing how many people say to their employers when they leave on maternity-‘I’ll be back in 6 months’ and feel they should keep to this because as that’s what they said they would do.

What factors influence when I want to return?

Brainstorm these and decide when to review them to see what has changed.

Take responsibility for your decision and give yourself flexibility. The great thing about decisions is that you can always change your mind-it’s a women’s provocative!

WhySell it to yourself

Give yourself a pep talk like you would a friend. Every time you tell yourself you ‘should, ‘need’ or ‘have’ to do something ask ‘what do I really want to do?’

You may be going back to work but actually you are going forward in your life as a more fulfilled and whole individual. There are incredible things you learn from maternity leave which will make you an even more valued, skilled and motivated person.

Sam Pringle is a Professional NLP coach specialising in women returning to work. She offers 1:1 coaching, group workshops and business consulting. . For more ideas aboutflexible work, see

Win a planet saving prize

Every year hundreds of thousands of animals and birds are killed and injured by plastic bags. A plastic bag Organic bagis used on average for only 12 minutes, yet its legacy can last several lifetimes. Every year in the UK we use 10 billion plastic bags a year- that is 167 per person – most of which are thrown away after just one use.

Most bags will end up in landfill sites, but many will clutter up our waterways, seas and landscape, causing untold harm to wildlife. The answer lies in your hands – simply refuse to accept any more plastic bags and carry your own stock of reusable bags with you when you go shopping.

So, make a difference and enter this competition to win a set of 5 organic cotton reusable string shopping bags, worth £24.75 from These fairly traded organic cotton string bags fold up really small to fit into your handbag yet expand to carry the most huge amount of shopping. And they save you money in the long run – no more having to pay for plastic bags at the checkout. The wide handles are much kinder on the hand when carrying heavy loads than supermarket bags.

To enter, email by 31 October with BAG COMP in the email title. For more competitions sign up for the ACPR newsletter, packed with ideas for enterpreneurs and anyone looking for flexible work.

Want to make sure of your set of reusable carrier bags? Looking for an alternative Christmas present? Visit

Then make the most of the discount code and bag yourself 10% off your first order – simply use code First10 when checking out.

And remember – all prices include postage and packaging to the UK so no nasty surprises when you get to the checkout.

Award Winning Belly Butter keeps your bump beautiful

oh baby! belly butter(TM) (From £8.95) is a rich, luxurious blend of nature’s most nourishing and healing botanicals. Awarded Outstanding Product 2008 in Disney’s iParenting Media Awards, it softens the appearance of old stretch marks and prevents new ones. See it restore elasticity and hydrate your bump, while soothing dry, itchy skin. A hint of pure lavender and red mandarin refreshes and rejuvenates your senses. After childbirth, continue use to aid in the rebound of the belly. Benefits: Oh baby belly butter

  • Shea butter- strengthens and firms connective tissue
  • Mango butter- protects and moisturizes
  • Cocoa butter- softens and smoothes skin
  • Calendula infused oil – regenerates torn skin tissue
  • Rosehip oil – rich in vitamin C, promotes skin healing

To use: Let the natural warmth of your hands soften the butter, then massage onto belly, breasts, buttocks and hips morning and evening.

If you love the belly butter, you’ll also enjoy using mommy time(TM) organic body wash (£12.95) and moisture me(TM) body toning oil (£19.45) The clarifying organic body wash lathers up gently, without striping the skin’s protective oils, leaving your skin revitalized, brighter and clean. A hint of red mandarin and chamomile essential oils add rejuvenating properties and tantalizing, fresh aroma. Truly 100 % pure, no sulfates or parabens. The light, refreshing body toning oil features a powerful blend of nourishing oils to boost collagen production, firming trouble spots in the stomach, décolleté, arms and legs. Discourages cellulite by strengthening connective tissue. Also soothes irritated skin, including eczema. During pregnancy, for optimum benefits, follow with oh baby! belly butter(TM).

Mambino Organics are available from and a range of stockists.

What distracts you when you work from home?

Are you more productive when you work from home than you were when you worked in an office? Here are the working from home distractions, as revealed in a survey by
The Kitchen
The children
Personal calls and visits
The skiving urge

“The first thing you must do when working from home is set up a designated work space”, says Ronita Dutta, editor at “By having a designated work area, you are mentally putting yourself in an office environment even if you don’t have a separate room. This is especially important for women who work from home as they tend to want to multitask to save time”. Continue reading

For juggling mums – get the kids cooking

Just a quick post to suggest a fab resource for anyone who wants a new idea to keep the kids busy over the holidays. I love what is on offer from The online cookery store is dedicated to making cooking with kids easy and fun. Selling all sorts of things fab and funky for the kitchen, from cute cupcake cases to crazy cutters! It is packed with info on making cooking with kids safe and easy. I particularly like the section that gives guidance on different cooking activities by age. There is also a recipe spot full of great childrens recipes.

Does what you are writing affect what you do?

I finished a book for White Ladder Press in January, all about problems at school. Snce then I have looked at two different schools for dd, and am probably going to move her next term. Ok, this is mainly because she is doing less well, and the school don;t seem to be dealing with it, but I can;t help feeling that spending four or five months genning up on how to move schools spurred me on in some way.