Category Archives: - Confidence Building

5 Top Tips For Making New Mum Friends – from Mum Amie

by Aimee Foster of Mum Amie

Having a baby changes your life in countless different ways. When I had my daughter almost five years ago, I was wholly unprepared for the raft of life changes I was about to experience. One of the changes that I had not expected was the change to my friendships.

The first of my friends to have a baby, I suddenly had lots of free time during the days. But my friends were all at work. And come the evening when they were available, I was shattered. Plus it became evident that my new baby conversations were at best confusing for my friends and at worst mind numbingly boring.

Susie & I

The first few months of my daughter’s life were incredibly lonely for me, mainly because I spent most of my time alone with her. I was craving some good conversation. It became clear to me that I needed to find some mum friends with similar schedules to me– for friendship, advice, support and fun.

At Mum Amie, we recently conducted a survey about Mum friendships and the results confirmed my own experiences – 66% of those surveyed had at times found motherhood to be a lonely experience. While 82% thought it was important to have mum friends, 44% said that they did not find it easy to actually meet other mums. We created Mum Amie to help mums connect with each other easily, because I know how important those resulting friendships are.

Almost five years on from the birth of my first child, I now have a wonderful network of mum friends. But it didn’t happen overnight. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

  1. Just Do It!You have to get out there and meet people, they won’t come to you. I know how much of an ordeal it is to leave the house with a new baby and believe me I spent many a day stuck inside because I couldn’t be bothered to get dressed, get the baby dressed and get together all of the baby paraphernalia I needed whilst making sure I timed the outing around her feeds. BUT, if you don’t leave your house that often you will find it incredibly difficult to make new friends (you can meet friends online but you will have to go out and meet them face-to-face eventually).
  2. Find Places To GoLocal parenting websites have wonderful resources detailing places you can go with your kids. Toddler groups, bumps and babies groups, children’s centres and libraries are all places frequented by mothers (and some fathers) who are looking to make new friends. We found that 78% of mums are always looking to meet other mums when they are out and about – so you’re in good company. You could also join a class such as baby music or baby massage. If you work full time, there normally groups on Saturday mornings run by other full time working mums plus plenty of weekend activities available for children. Visit Whats On4LittleOnes and Netmums for a comprehensive list of classes and things to do in your area.
  3. Once You’ve Found Somewhere With New Mums – Start the Conversation!I would describe myself as quite shy when surrounded by new people and it took me a while to realise that if I wanted to make new friends, I would need to speak up! Baby groups, toddler groups and classes can be daunting when you’re new to them, especially if it seems like everyone already knows each other.

    Be smiley, say ‘hi’ to people and start up a conversation by saying something complimentary about their child e.g. ‘Wow I love your daughter’s shoes’. Once you break the ice by talking about little Olivia’s shoes you can move on to more interesting stuff!

    Another thing to bear in mind is that if you go to a baby or toddler group and don’t find the other mums to be friendly; don’t give up on that particular group. If you go a second time, there will probably be different people there who you might strike up conversation with. And once you’ve been four or five times, you’re a regular and you can help other new people to integrate.

  4. Once You’ve Started A Conversation – Close the Deal!So you’ve been chatting away for a while. Make sure you don’t just walk away without following up (if you want to of course). Exchange phone numbers or arrange to meet next week at the same group or somewhere else.
  5. Go OnlineOnly 18% of mums we surveyed had made friends online but this is actually where I had most success. I posted a notice on a local parenting website and had many replies. Of the twenty or so people I met, four are now lifelong friends (two of them were bridesmaids at my wedding).

    Whenever, I met a new mum from the internet we always  joked about how similar the experience was to online dating (and so the idea for Mum Amie was born). I did have to meet quite a lot of people to find the mums that are now my close friends but it was more than worth it.

Meeting mums online is great, but it can be quite hit and miss. I met a lot of people that were nice but that I just didn’t gel with. Mum Amie can help you here as we match your profiles with the profiles of other mums based on what is important to you.

Whether you are a single mum looking to meet other single mums or you have a child with a disability and you are looking to meet other mums of children with a disability, we can help! So you have more chance of meeting a mum with similar interests and circumstances to you from the word go. And the best bit is, it’s totally free.

 

Throughout your quest to make new mum friends, keep in mind that it can take time. You won’t develop a network of mums straight away. But finding other women to share the experience of motherhood with is crucial for your wellbeing, so keep at it and you will get there eventually!

 

Mum Amie has just launched in July 2014. Mums can sign up for free at www.mumamie.com and start meeting mum friends straight away. You can also find Mum Amie on Facebook  and Twitter

Aimee Foster is co-founder and co-director of Mum Amie and mum to 4 year old Susie and 4 week old Freddy.

Susie & I (1) (1)

 

keyringalbum

Mumpreneur Profile: Jackie Newman of Lilyrose

Jackie Newman of Lilyrose had an idea for an original business after searching for a memento for her Dad and not finding what she wanted.  But she needed the confidence to get out there and start it.  Read her inspiring story… Continue reading

Living your Dream: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

When you were a child did you have big ambitions as to what you were going to be?  Did you have big amazing dreams of being a sports superstar, or an astronaut, a pilot, or the doctor that discovered the cure for cancer?  Did you have places you wanted to go and things you wanted to do before real life took over?

IMG_3849

Take my daughter to work day

Well I am here now to tell you to never give up on all those dreams no matter how far fetched.  Yes you may be a suburban mum of two, running a small business and doing your daily grind to make ends meet (well I am anyway!) But amazing things can still happen if you keep your dreams alive. Continue reading

Thinking Outside the Box – How to Succeed at Direct Sales

Paula Gorry, Business Development Manager, Stampin’ Up! UK explains why direct selling is proving popular with mums and offers some top tips to make your direct sales business a success.

Paula Gorry portrait

Recent statistics show just 58 per cent of mums whose youngest child is between three and five go to work, compared to Europe’s 64 per cent average.[1]

Faced with soaring childcare costs, it is easy to understand why many mums feel they are being priced out of returning to work.  Parents are now looking to other options, outside of the standard 9-5, to boost their income.  One alternative that’s proving particularly popular is direct selling. Continue reading

Goal Setting for Children

While many adults set goals and New Year’s Resolutions not many children attempt to do this. Why not help your children set goals or resolutions for the coming year?

goal setting for children

There is no reason why your child cannot set a goal and this is a great habit for them to get into. Their goal could be something as simple as reading one book each month or learning how to print their name by their 4th birthday. Other goals could be to learn how to tie their shoes or even to help mum in the kitchen at dinner time.

Getting your children into the habit of setting goals and reaching them will help them in all areas of their lives. They will learn it is possible to set a goal and reach it and that this process can actually be a fun one. Achieving a goal they have set themselves can be very exciting and motivational for children of all ages, especially if there is a reward involved….

You could always make your child’s goal relate to yours in some way or other.  By doing this, everyone in the family can be working on similar things. For example you may want to exercise more so why not involve your kids too? Help them decide what type of exercise or sport they would like to participate in. Family sports include things like skating, cycling, walking and running. Or you could all sign up for a self defence class.

Once your child has decided on their new goal help them write it down and create a date for it to be achieved. Try not to make the decision for them, give them ideas and suggestions but let them make the final choice.

Even very young children can set a goal for themselves, whether it is just cleaning their room or learning to get dressed without any help. Be available to give them help when it is needed, but allow them to try and figure out how to reach their own goals.

You should encourage your children to set a goal that can be achieved in a relatively short time frame. Getting them to learn how to tie up their own shoelaces by spring would be a good example. Goal dates could be based around the changing of the seasons, based on their birthday or for the start of your annual family holiday.

Children have a much shorter attention span than adults, so it is important that you are there to give them regular encouragement and support as needed. It may not be necessary for them to work on their goal every single day – maybe putting some time aside at the weekend is sufficient.

Older children can have larger goals, possibly ones where they have to save money in order to get something they have dreamed of owning. Or you may offer to pay half if they save up the other half. This teaches children that they have to work to get things in life. Plus they will value their new item more if they had to spend some of their own cash for it!

Once your child reaches their goal let them know how proud you are of them. Share their success with other family members too. Then encourage them to set a new goal. Goals can be set around personal achievements, the desire for a new toy or wanting to join a new sports team or take up a new hobby.

If their goal is a little harder for them to achieve, help them write out a plan of smaller steps so that they can actually reach their goals. Remember to help them learn to enjoy their journey by making it fun.

Do you set goals with your children?  Please let us know what goals your children are working towards by leaving a comment below.

Image by stockimages http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Where Does Creativity Come From?

Are you making plans for your business next year?  Do you fancy doing something “original and different” but you just don’t know what.  Sometimes it can be really hard to find that creative spark – that flash of inspiration.  You may look around you and see other people doing it all the time.  You may wonder “why are some people creative and not me?”

So where exactly does creativity come from – and more importantly, how can you go out and find yourself some?

image6

 

Artists and poets have for centuries talked about ‘the muse’. The muse is the source of inspiration. It has often been seen as some kind of dark supernatural force, but actually it can be anyone around you or something as mundane as a photograph or a walk in the park. If you can identify your muse and turn to it when you need inspiration, this will help you unlock your creative flow.

Who is Your Muse?

Take a minute to think of the people you know. Who makes you feel inspired? Is there someone you chat with over coffee and then you find yourself rushing home full of creative energy? If there is, this person is your muse.

You don’t need to have only one. Artist Pablo Picasso considered every woman he had a relationship with his muses. It may be that simply going out and socialising is a good way to get inspired. Your muse may even be a stranger you have a conversation with at a bus stop.

Favourite Things

Your muse may not be a person at all. It could be an object or a work of art. Music is especially powerful for inspiring some people. You might have a favorite song or album that gets you in the mood to create. It may be a photograph or a book of poetry that you like. Survey your house and ask yourself, ‘What things here make me want to be creative?’

You may also find that looking at similar projects to your own gets you inspired. If you’re trying to design a website, for example, get online and look at the sites of other similar businesses. You may get a great idea.

Follow Thought Leaders

There may be a person you don’t know who serves as your muse. Many people find thought leaders in their industry to be inspiring. By following them and keeping up with their work, you can get inspiration from them. A quick trawl through social media, facebook and twitter, or reading som

e relevant blogs can sometimes be enough to start your flow.

Who Needs a Muse?

Actually, the muse concept is perhaps a bit overrated.

Creative people have always had an almost spiritual belief that their creativity comes from outside themselves. It’s as though inspiration blesses you suddenly when you don’t expect it and then disappears again. What people fail to recognize is that hard work, practice and habit play much bigger parts in the creative process. If you get into a routine of creative work, you’ll find that the muse drops by much more often.

reportcover3d

Do you believe that creativity can be learned, practiced and improved?  Would you like to work on your own creativity and see where it leads you.  Download our free report Creativity in Action or take a look at our 10 week Creativity E-Course

Growth Programme to Boost London’s Female Entrepreneurs.

PrintEnterprising Women’s renowned Growth Programme is coming to London in February 2014.  Held over a period of several weeks, the 4-day course is specifically designed for women who want to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence, overcome barriers to growth, and who have the motivation to take their existing business to the next level. Continue reading

8 Ways to Boost your Creativity

Creativity MTB

Brought to you by Mum’s the Boss

If you would like to unleash your own creativity, and boost your business, please download our free report on Creativity in Action or sign up for a 10 week e-course to Unleash your Inner Creativity

Download the free report – Creativity in Action

* indicates required


Email Format

Why Women Make Great Entrepreneurs

 Ali Golds

– By Ali Golds, Founder of Operation Enterprise and The Juno Project

Women account for less than a third of those who are self-employed, although between 2008-2011 they represented 80% of the new self-employed (Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics 2013). They start businesses with less capital, and are definitely less likely to apply for funding.

Women have lower confidence in their abilities, and are scared of failing, yet those who do take the plunge appreciate the flexibility and opportunities that self-employment can offer, particularly to those women with families. Interestingly, more women than men in the age ranges 30-39 and 40-49 are running their own businesses.

So why are there so many contradictions when the evidence is that women actually make fantastic entrepreneurs?

I work with women who want to set up businesses and, during my travels around the UK speaking and training, I come across lots of ladies who are really keen to have a go at starting their own company but find something stopping them. When we get down to it, the real reasons behind that barrier are not a lack of ability or qualifications – or even experience – it’s just that us girls are nervous of getting it wrong. We spend far too much time planning, and re-planning, and planning again – just to be on the safe side – and not enough actually getting out there and doing it.

My experience of working with female entrepreneurs is that they are well-organised, passionate, dynamic and extraordinarily hardworking. They certainly plan their businesses well, often with more detail than the men I work with who are more prepared to take risks but they also know how important it is to embrace the unpredictability and the challenges ahead and to carry on regardless.

Women are fantastic multi-taskers – another useful skill in business – and are also great at diffusing tricky situations, which makes for smoother sales negotiations and quicker outcomes.

Lots of the women entrepreneurs that I know are also mums; so not only are they juggling their work life but they’re also juggling their home lives too. If they work from home, like me, they become super adept at cooking supper, doing the washing and making business calls whilst overseeing homework – all at the same time!

Women seem to think that if you’re a mum, you definitely can’t then run a business. Not so ladies. Use those skills to your advantage and fulfil your potential.

Ali is a hugely successful entrepreneur. She founded her first business in 2000 and, so far, has run and managed five successful businesses. Ali is currently founder and CEO of Operation Enterprise and The Juno Project .

Tina Changed a Habit with Stunning Results – now you can too

change a habit in November

A few days ago, I asked if any of you would like to spend November changing a habit with me (if you missed the post you can find it here).  One or two of you replied, and we have started a secret Facebook group where we are going to support each other, as we change our various habits or start up new and healthier ones.   Continue reading