How running a business part-time is a lie: trials of the working mother



This week, I have decided my house needs an overhaul. As I type this I am imagining hiring a skip and emptying the whole house into it except the beds (because that is my favourite place) . Unfortunately my days of minimalism are far off, so I have to continue the battle of washing, toy mountains and work related gear dominating my home landscape. Looking at the piles of kids’ clothes waiting to be washed, alongside the pile of towels from my beauty work was the trigger for me to write this post. If anyone asks me what I do I reply ‘I am a part-time beauty therapist’, then my nose grows several inches the way Pinnochio’s does in that ever popular Disney film which I have now seen about 50 times. Part-time, now that is a laugh. Having a ‘part-time’ business is a big fat lie.

I chat with other therapists who say ‘I just do this round my day job’. I don’t know how that is humanely possible. For example, each week the time I spend actually with clients doing treatments is around 26 hours. But what about everything else? The time it takes to do laundry, place orders, do paperwork, sanitise tools, set up for treatments, promote your business via social media, new training courses, researching industry related news, and not to mention the packing and travelling required if you are mobile. That ‘part -time’ business is now a full-time job. How do you work that round your ‘day job’??  Its just not possible.

As a working mum this part-time business also throws up other problems such as child care. I myself am lucky that I have fantastic support from family, and after my third baby was born my fabulous mother-in- law started helping us out with childcare. Previously when I was salon based I used a child minder. Years earlier I only worked at nights when the kids were in bed, and my hubby was home. Now, working only evenings, after having the kids all day, was a killer but it worked at the time, and suited my circumstances. That’s the good thing about running your own business, it can be worked  to suit your circumstances when you have young children to look after.

There is only one way to make a beauty business work with children whether you use family or professional child care providers and that is :set your hours. Simple as. Trying to fit clients in here, there and everywhere will lead to a stressed and exhausted mummy. Set your hours and get into a routine. Its the only way. That comes from a decade’s worth of experience juggling family and my beauty work (and making every mistake possible).

A few of you have asked me how I get time to write my blog, and I have a giggle to myself. My blog takes around a week to write as I do it when my youngest naps, else like just now he is up grabbing the laptop and smacking the keys. So If you ever find ‘987gdy.[[[‘ in the middle of a blog post you know why.

Work preparation is another giggle. I have learned to do it while entertaining the toddler. He likes to go round the cupboards in my little salon emptying them as I am packing my mobile kit. Some days he takes a duster and ‘helps’ me by rubbing dribble into the floor.  I play music as I steam the floor, while the toddler is perched on my hip. Never a dull moment. The next time someone asks what I do, I am going to leave out the ‘part-time’ bit.


The toddler ‘helping’ me put on my make up. Have you ever tried to put on bronzer with a messed up brush that has been shoved in a toddler’s mouth?? Trust me when I say-it DOES NOT work #mummyproblems

This week I have been purchasing: more glitters. This selection is from the Glitterarty range that can be found on Ebay. I can’t wait to play with them. These glitters come in different shapes, sizes, colours and finishes. I loved these so much I’ve already made another order. I just know client’s will love these.


Holographic dots, why did I not know about you before??

I also purchased a lovely new cabinet for my home salon, which is looking rather well and fits in nicely. It is an upcycled piece, and it matches perfectly with my upcycled dresser.

I’ve also had another order from Ink London. I’m running out of space on my Ink rack. I think I have space for 6 more polishes. The Rose cuticle oil smells divine and I have ordered a few to retail to clients to help them prolong the look of their Ink Ilac manicures. I find the Ink cuticle oil fantastic value for money as the bottles are a reasonable size, and last ages. RRP £5.

Orange & coral is still the colour of choice for most of my clients. Here are a few examples of my work this week. Spray tans and microdermabrasion are also proving popular at the minute. Products I have been using a lot of this last week include: Ink London Ilac, Magpie Amelia glitter, Glitterarty glitter,  Ink London Kinky Glitter, Eve Taylor Solar Shield thanks to the sunshine we have been having, and LA tan.


So what do you all think? Can you really run a part time business? How do you manage running your business while balancing it with children?

Leave your comments below,

sparkle on,

Jo x

mummy moments this week:

enjoying the (rare) Scottish sunshine: big sister showing her brother how to use the water slide


wee super baby flying down the water slide

Middle daughter running through to answer her gran’s door, only to find her brother chapping the letterbox. #fooledyousis


Most postmen worry about a dog grabbing their fingers, our post man has to worry about a toddler grabbing his fingers.

Relaxing on the sofa, pulling the toddlers blanket over my legs to find a whole rank banana squished and trampled into it. It took 3 washes to get it all out #mummyproblems


The offending blanket hanging up after it’s third wash. Note to self : don’t let the toddler eat banana while sitting on his blanket.