New Year, New Me?

I’m feeling overwhelmed reading other peoples´New Year resolutions.  I’m overwhelmed and they are not even my resolutions. Some say 2012 is going to be the most amazing year ever.  Of course each to their own.  If you like New Year Resolutions, well brilliant, if it works for you then go for it. I didn´t actually make any this year as nothing came immediately to mind and I thought well why should I make one up just for the sake of it!

I know change does not happen overnight.  This year being a prime example when starting easytoddler, my online business.  If I set too many goals to aim for then I start to fall at the first hurdle. I still haven’t caught up on a list of things I was hoping to get done before the end of the year, but I have relished every single moment of time spent with my family and away from my laptop.

Something that I do need to focus on this year is resilience, to handle all that 2012 has in store. There will be some great moments like when I relaunch my new Website and Blog but realistically I know there will be some not so great ones. I want to accept how I feel at any given moment and not beat myself up over my own feelings or failures.

I would like to thank every single one of you personally who has interacted with me this year, Blogging friends, Twitter friends, Facebook Likers and new friends made in the virtual world who I’ve never met in the real world.  Thank You for listening to me.  Thank you too for all your help, advice and for being there just when I felt like giving up.

Thank you to my son, Roan.  I have learnt so much from you and been given back so much love and laughter.  You are simply my world.

To my hubby thanks for listening to me prattle on about subjects you know nothing about but were prepared to listen to me anyway and nod accordingly. We´ve had a wonderful first year of marriage.

To my friends, I’ve either hardly seen or spoken to this year I’m sorry but I’ll try and be more available this year.

Did you make any New Year´s Resolutions?  No matter how quirky I would love to read them.


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?

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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