I have been loving seeing all the first day of school pictures that have been popping up on my news feed over the last week or so. So many proud and excited faces as they embark on a new journey. If your little one has started a new school or nursery this term, I hope they are having a wonderful time so far, and that the transition has been smooth for you all (I know it can be tough to let them go!).
A New Routine
Whether it is a little one starting a new school or nursery, or joining a new group or class like Tots Play (a warm welcome if that's you), this time of the year often brings changes to our routine that can sometimes lead us to re-evaluate how best to juggle all the things that need our time and attention, or think about what we would like to do or have in our life.
As a parent, one of the things that has always been important to me has been being around to do the school run with my daughter every day, and, of course, a taxi service for all the after school clubs she has done over the years! Had I still been doing the job I did before she was born, that would never have been possible. It was this desire to make the most of that time with her that led to me setting up a business where I could work around the school day and holidays, meaning I have never had to miss a step on that journey with her.
I know for many working mums though, this flexibility is not so easy to come by, and it can feel like you are being pulled in too many different directions, trying to juggle work and the school run. Many of our franchisees felt like this before they joined us. Perhaps you do too?
Time for a Change
I talk to so many parents who feel torn between wanting to be there for the school run (whether or not their little ones are at that stage yet) and needing to work and bring in an income. They have been led to believe that they will have to sacrifice either their working life or the time they have with their children, and therefore have to make the choice between them - but this doesn't have to be the case.
Running your own business can be a way of combining the two to create a lifestyle that really does work for you and your family, and as a franchisee with Tots Play, you can also do something fun and rewarding, and something that makes a positive difference to families in your community too.
Wondering how that might work? Read Hayley's story as she talks about how she built her business around her family:
A Franchisee's Story
"I've just come in from a lovely afternoon with my children.
I ran classes this morning and after lunch went to my daughter's church service with school, where I was able to watch her perform the song she had been endlessly practising for weeks! After that, as it was the last day of term, as a treat, a few of us mums took the children to the park where they all let off steam from working so hard at school this term.
Whilst at the park, I had my Tots Play leaflets with me (always have them to hand!). There were plenty of families with young babies, so I was able to engage with them whilst pushing my 18 month on the swing. I handed my leaflets out, whilst chatting about our boys.I then spoke about the class content and this resulted in me taking two mum's details to email more information to.
Hayley's son playing in the park.
It's at times like these that I realise how lucky I am to own a franchise with Tots Play. Just over a year ago, I made the hard decision to leave the world I was used to and take a risk on owning my own business and building it up. It came with massive reservations. Questions would constantly wake me up: what if nobody books on? What if I can't remember what to do? What if I can't pay my bills? In those hours, I would also be getting butterflies of all the positives that could be real: I could build a business to be proud of; I could offer these brilliant classes to Mums and babies in my area; I could work flexibly around my family. This battle continued for some time.
But, I took the plunge. I decided the positives were too exciting to ignore and just go back to my old, safe life.
So a year later, at home, with a cup of tea, I have my car loaded up for tomorrow's classes (three classes, all with healthy numbers in), my children are both playing in the room with me, and whilst replying to my enquiries via email, I'm listening to the same song on repeat from my daughter, now with the image of her beaming smile at me in church this afternoon, and I know that my hard decision was absolutely the right one for me."
Could You Be the Next to Join Us?
And Hayley is not alone. Read about more of our franchisees and how their lives have changed since starting their businesses HERE.
If you are already juggling the school run, feel like you are missing out on a big part of your little one's lives, or know there will be a time in the not too distant future when this may be the case, then why not think about making a change too?
Our franchisees come from many different backgrounds, but what they have in common is a desire to create a better balance between work and their family life, and to providing a much needed, and in demand, service supporting parents and children, that's lots of fun too! If that sounds like the kind of lifestyle you might be looking for then perhaps we should have a chat?
Take the first step to finding out more about our franchise programme by requesting a free, comprehensive, franchise information pack HERE, and who knows where it might lead?
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Franchisee, Carly, demonstrating one of our class activities.