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Why Flexible Working Matters

A Life Changing Experience

No one can quite prepare you for the impact that having a child has on your life. You may have thought you had a good idea beforehand, perhaps you spent a lot of time around young children already or had close family with babies, but it is just not the same as looking into the eyes of your brand new addition and realising that you are their whole world, and nothing will be the same again.

Very often is it from this moment that many parents tell us their priorities in life suddenly change, and there are whole lot of things that need to be re-evaluated. Towards (or sometimes at) the top of that list is likely to be work.

When considering a return to work after having a baby what we hear most from parents is one, or a variation of the following;

  • “I no longer want to work the long hours I did before, as it will mean hardly seeing my baby and missing out on the important milestones in their life.”

  • “I will find it difficult to get child care that fits with my working hours.”

  • “By the time I pay for childcare there will be little left over from my salary in any case.”

Perhaps one of these describes your own situation.

Even if it’s manageable when your child is small, with nursery care or help from family, when they get to school age, or subsequent children come along, there are new challenges to be faced.

Finding Flexibility

What would help all these parents, (perhaps you included) but can be so difficult to find in a traditional work environment, is the flexibility to create a working pattern that fits their new circumstances. So how do you go about finding something like that?

One option that more and more parents are turning to, to provide the flexibility that family life demands, is to start their own business, and this is also the route I chose when I wanted to be there for my daughter when she was a baby.

That baby is now a teenager, and running my business around her has meant, amongst other things, being there for all those early years milestones, school drop off and pick up every day, all the after school activities and never having to worry about who would look after her during school holidays. All while earning an income that helped support our family, doing something fun and rewarding, that also gave me a focus alongside that of being a mum (something that was important for me personally).

Having benefitted from this experience over a number of years, and understanding all the ups and downs that went with it, I wanted to share what I had learned with other parents, who also sought that flexible lifestyle, and that’s how the Tots Play franchise programme came about.

Creating a Better Work/Life Balance

I am hugely passionate about helping parents, and especially mums, to create the work/life balance they are looking for, and not feeling like they are forced to make a choice between prioritising work and family life. Family friendly working is possible with the right opportunity, and making that a reality for as even more mums is at the heart of everything we do at Tots Play.

Mums like Clare, our franchisee for Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch;

Cathryn, franchisee for Wolverhampton,

Michelle, franchisee for Basingstoke,

And Katrina, franchisee for the Scottish Borders;

Flexible Working Awards

Our mission to help more parents get the benefits of flexible working led to Tots Play being shortlisted for an award with a website specialising in this area, Mum and Working, that recognises this.

At a ceremony in London in March we were thrilled to receive a Highly Commended award, as runners up in our category, and huge thanks go to everyone who supported and voted for Tots Play for this award.

We entered the awards to help us to get the message out to even more parents that a better work/life balance can be achieved, and enable us to put all of our knowledge and experience to good use, helping to turn the dreams of those parents into a reality, and hope we have gone some way to achieving this, although our quest continues, and women like Tracey are why.

Franchisee of the Year Award

While you have heard from a few of our franchisees already, for one of them in particular, Tracey, franchisee for Chesterfield, being able to work flexibility is even more vital. Here's what she has to say:

“Due to my daughters on going health issues I can no longer commit to an organisation full time or even part time really. I need to be able to plan when, where and how I work and only I can manage that. The demands on our family will change in time and the franchise gives me this time and opportunity to build a business at a pace that suits me. My daughter will always come first, but a growing, successful business a close second as I want to build something that both Lucy and I will be proud of in the future. I feel Tots Play can help me do that ” Tracey xx

Tracey's dedication to both her business and family, and the fact that she never lets the challenges of either stop her, are an inspiration to all of us at Tots Play and she was also shortlisted in the Mum and Working Awards in the Franchisee of the Year category.

This category of the awards was judged by a specially selected panel who were impressed by Tracey's story leading to her also receiving a Highly Commended award. We are immensely proud of Tracey and her achievements and can't wait to witness her business go from strength to strength in the months and years to come.

Here she is at the awards ceremony.

Find Your Flexible Working Solution

Would you like more flexibility in your working life? Then perhaps running a business is something to consider. If you also like the idea of working with parents and young children, have a fun and friendly personality, are willing to work as hard as you play and would like the support of an experienced team and the reassurance of a tried and tested programme behind you, a Tots Play franchise could be just what you have been looking for.

You can find more information on our franchise programme and request our comprehensive franchise information pack HERE.

We are so proud to support flexible working and would like to say a huge thank you to all our franchisees for demonstrating what’s possible with the determination to create a lifestyle that fits your family, you are all an inspiration.

Thanks again if you voted for us in the Mum and Working awards, or support us through attending our classes, without you we wouldn't be able to help people like Tracey to find the solution their family needs, so your support really does matter.

Thanks again and happy playing!

Helen (founder of Tots Play)

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