Hello, I’m Lauren, wife, mum and now the founder of Busy Brains Activity Packs.
Before having my children, I would never have described myself in these terms. I was Deputy Headteacher in a Primary School and would regularly spend 60 hours at school and another 20+ hours working at home. My career consumed me and I was okay with that. I loved my job and my passion for helping the children and parents in my school was my motivation.
But then I had children of my own. After returning to work after my first maternity leave, I began to realise just how difficult juggling being a mummy and a full-time teacher was going to be. I still adored my work but felt that my dedication to the job meant I wasn’t giving my daughter enough attention. I knew how important the early years are for children’s development and the pang of guilt I felt every time I left her in the morning never eased.
My decision to leave my job was made easier for me when my second child was unexpectedly born severely deaf. At the time, we were unsure how the hearing loss would affect his development but we were warned that he might not be able to develop spoken language. We started learning sign language straight away, but I was determined that I would use my knowledge and skills as a teacher to help him as much as I could. So, I threw myself into life as a stay-at-home-mum.
And what fun we have had! Still thinking very much like a teacher, I planned for every minute, soon getting into a routine of baby classes, playdates and activities at home. Being at home all the time had its challenges, but the benefit to my children soon became apparent and this inspired me to keep going. As my son started to talk, his vocabulary grew and grew, and we soon realised that he was coping just fine with his hearing loss. In fact, both of the children were making huge progress.
I began to think about how I could use my skills to help other parents. I really wanted to be able to give others the confidence and ideas to support their children in the same way I had. So Busy Brains Activity Packs was born.
I spent the next two years researching child development from birth to five. I aimed to provide parents with the knowledge of how children learn and the ideas to enable them to enjoy spending time together. I wanted to provide a go-to resource for mums (and dads) to help them all the way from the birth of their child until they reached school age.
Having never done anything other than teach I have been (and still am) on a huge learning curve. I’m really enjoying the opportunity to learn so many new skills from design to marketing to website optimisation.
I’ve been trading now for six months and am overwhelmed with the positive feedback and the kindness of strangers. It’s a very different feeling to being stood in front of a class of children but it’s every bit as rewarding when I’m sent a photo of a happy baby enjoying the activities from one of my packs. I don’t regret leaving teaching one bit as now I have the best of both worlds – I can be with my children helping and supporting them every step of the way but I am also fulfilling my own passion too. My five-year-old daughter regularly tells me she’s proud of me and my three-year-old son does a happy dance every time I sell a pack – they help me to feel secure in my decisions to switch careers every day.
Whenever I speak to mums who face the same dilemma about whether to go back to work after having children or not, I would always tell them to make the decision based on what feels right at that moment.
I truly believe your passion has a way of finding you and that fate (and a lot of hard work) will lead you to where you want to be.