Stressed businesswoman in the office

Superwoman or just plain crazy? The realities of launching a business while on maternity leave?

Its been 6 months since the ‘birth’ of Petite Flea and 4 months since the birth of Baby Tabitha. Was I crazy to launch a business and bring a new tiny human into the world at the same time?

It’s been a whirlwind of a few months but now I’m back in the land of the living (just about), it’s time to reflect on the highs and the lows of the last few months. How does it feel to be one of the thousands of new mums who have given up a secure, well paid career, in favour of starting a kitchen table business?

My personal highlights include;

1/ Our first event post baby (event number 3). Tabitha was just 8 weeks old and I did the whole sale with her strapped to my chest in a wrap carrier. She slept the whole time, only puked on me once, and was the total star of the show. I felt like a superhero!

2/ The number of amazing mums I have met. Our stallholders and shoppers are slowly becoming a Petite Flea family, as we see some of the same faces at every market. It’s a real joy. Above all though, I love meeting fellow mummy business owners and finding ways to work together. I have met so many likeminded ladies, some of whom I now consider friends.

3/ A realisation of how accepted it is to ‘wop a boob out’ and start feeding pretty much anywhere. As an exclusively breastfed baby, I’ve had no choice but to take T with me everywhere I go. This usually means feeding her at some point during a meeting , a viewing or other business related task. Not once have I been made to feel awkward and people have gone out of their way to make the experience easier for us.

4/Shopping for baby girl clothes at events. I’ve picked up some seriously good second hand baby clothes, shoes and accessories. Whole outfits in fact, for just a couple of quid!

5/Not giving birth at our first event in Garforth , 4 weeks before my due date (which was exactly when I went into labour with my son!) Looking back, I can’t believe we actually booked an event so close but hey, I like to live dangerously.


It’s not all rosy though! Just a few of the challenges faced include;

1/Having to take the baby everywhere, due to her absolute resolution not to take a bottle, ever! (I can’t think where she gets her stubbornness from?)

2/ Working during pretty much every nap time and forfeiting any chance of a nap myself.

3/Everything taking eleventy billion times longer to do. (Right on cue, T wakes from her nap and this blog now won’t get finished for at least another 24 hours).

4/One particularly unfortunate incident, when Sharon & I were measuring up the room in a hotel (I won’t say which one for fear they won’t have us back). I went to change T’s nappy, only to realise I had forgotten to pack any. Ever resourceful, I fashioned one out of a muslin cloth and all was well.  As we were pressured for time, when T started screaming  to be fed, I multitasked and did it with tape measure in one hand, baby in the other. I was starting to get a bit flustered by this point, as staff were trying to get the room ready for an event that evening. At this moment, Tabitha graced me with an almighty poop and let’s just say muslin cloths don’t make effective nappies. Not our finest moment and needless to say we made a hasty retreat.

5/Perhaps the hardest thing to deal with, is knowing that if we don’t make a success of this business, I will have wasted my ‘maternity leave’. Unlike my son, my daughter has not had my undivided attention during these early months. She hasn’t been to sing n sign, baby yoga, baby massage, rhythm time, baby dance and baby sensory. But if I can build a business which allows me to spend more time with her in the future, hopefully she wont hold it against me.

6/Baby brain. Say no more.17352084_1971896433041556_6487346111828585860_n 16508225_1951053211792545_8414783915383532747_n