Work/Life Balance

In the past, I had never thought about setting up and running a small business as I was happy with my career in the UK as a Health & Safety Manager. However, I ended up starting a new business when I left my job in Stuttgart  and moved to the other end of Germany. I was at home with my son thinking that I wanted a good work/life balance – wanting to have something that I was clearly interested in while wanting to be at home with my son.

The choices for women with young children are to work full-time, (can be managed but essential to have good family support in time of illness, school holidays etc), work part-time (great but well-paid part-time work is difficult to find) or be a stay at home mum. When my son was 7 months old, I was offered a fantastic opportunity to work on a part-time basis for an international company as a Health & Safety Manager. It sort of worked, but with a few issues along the way.  The job was originally full-time and what transpired was that I worked 4 hours each day in the office and once my son went to bed at night I had to squeeze the rest of my job into the remaining hours in the evening which also often extended into the weekends.  When I look back on this I realise the enormous pressure I put my self under.  A first time mum with no family support, a new job which transpired not to be part-time and dealing with a foreign language in a Business environment.

So the perfect opportunity arose when we moved and I had to give up my job.  Once I knew which business I wanted to set up, and after doing some research on Baby & Toddler online selling and writing up a business plan, I thought that this, for me, is the perfect way to have that all important work/life balance. I could be there for my son in the afternoon when he comes home from Kindergarten, enjoy doing extra curricular activities with him, and start to build a business that would hopefully in the coming years give me enough profit to sustain myself.

Over the past year since I started easytoddler, I feel like the work/life balance is right and it is perfect to be at home working on the business as well as being there for my son. However, there are times when work does take over a bit (although I know now how to limit that). I now put times in the diary when I need to do certain things and make sure that I try to do things with my son when he is at home and not keep sneaking off to check my emails. The business can get to be all-consuming if you let it but I am working on that and I am trying to do enough of the right type of marketing to grow the business year on year with a new launch planned for 2012.  So please watch this space!

Have you had a similar experience?

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BundleBean 5-in1 Waterproof Fleece Foot-Muff

Some product reviews on Baby and Toddler Products are easy to write and this is one of them.  When BundleBean offered to send me a sample of their 5-in-1 Waterproof Fleece Foot-Muff (Fußsack) I got very excited at the opportunity of reviewing a brand new product not yet available to the German market.

Firstly, a wee bit of background information on the story behind BundleBean.  The designer is  a mother of two who came up with the ingenious idea on how she could combat the amount of expensive kit needed by parents when venturing out and about with their little one.  BundleBean is a blanket which coverts into a foot-muff that fits on to all buggies, bike seats, rear facing car seats and also cleverly converts into a front style baby carrier.  It also opens out flat for use as a travel picnic rug or play mat.  It really is a one stop solution.  I liked using it as a foot-muff (Fußsack) for Roan´s bike seat when we cycled to Kindegarten. Particularly last week when the weather turned colder.  My husband was unfortunately away so I couldn´t get any pictures of Roan and I using it.  But promise to post some soon.

BundleBean is so versatile that it can be used from Baby to Toddler and from the Winter through to the Summer months.  All this in just one Blanket!

Everything has been thought of.  When using it as a baby carrier there is a pouch pocket to keep your hands cosy and to keep things in.  A waterproof nylon shell to keep your little one dry and  backed with fleece to keep them warm.  It comes in 3 different colours; pink, blue and black and when you´re not using the BundleBean it rolls up to a nice neat easy to carry bundle.  I am delighted to say that I liked it so much that I decided to add it to my product list and you can now buy the BundleBean here in Germany for the first time from easytoddler.  Another great idea from a clever mum.

Hallo Eltern

Hi, I`m Lesley mother to my beautiful son Roan now 3 years old.  I am originally from Scotland and met my husband Marco in 2004 when he was working in Scotland.   In 2007  we moved to Germany, well I did marry a German!  I had always wanted to work and live abroad and jumped at the chance to move to another country.  I gave up my job as a Health & Safety Manager and said auf Wiedersehen to my life, family and friends in Scotland. Deciding not to look for another job immediately I devoted my first year in Germany to learning the language as I could hardly speak one word!

Following the birth of our son Roan in September 2008 I became increasingly frustrated that the  fashionable, cool as well as practical Baby products I wanted were not available to buy in Germany and I was paying expensive delivery costs ordering them over the internet from the UK.  So I decided to start up my online business selling Baby & Toddler products. Easytoddler was born.  I sell innovative and practical safety and travel products, many of which I myself could not have been without during my son´s early development years.  We moved last year from Stuttgart and now live near Berlin where I am gradually building up the business, adding new products to my catalogue as they come onto the market.  I hope you like my blog and please feel free to check out my website. I promise that over time I will get up the courage to write in German.  Schritt für Schritt.  Lesley x


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