How I started my own business and beat post-natal depression!
Pregnancy is a wonderful experience for most mothers. Unfortunately for some, the end of pregnancy can bring on a range of emotions which contribute to or cause post-natal (postpartum) depression! Emotions in-clude ‘insecurity, diminished self-esteem, feelings of inferiority (the baby is more important), lack of freedom and sudden dependence on others’. When I was pregnant with my daughter Jessica, I experienced many of these emotions and whilst pregnant and since giving birth 6 months ago, I had heard many stories of how hard it is to be a Mum, especially a first time Mum (as I am), and manage the first couple of months.
I met the stories with scepticism because having been a hard working person all of my life and naturally in con-trol of my emotions, I was very confident that I would manage effectively any difficulties pregnancy brought into my life. I was mistaken, first about the magnitude of the emotional swings and second, about the magnitude of effort to deal with the changes. I gave birth on the 29th September and from day one my daughter was a very difficult child, to put it mildly. As my husband and I are both originally from outside the UK we also did not have the family here to support us in any way. We are also quite new to the area, so we had no local friends to share our emotional and physical burden. It was ‘a shock to my system’; extended sleep deprivation led to headaches, low energy levels and decreasing self-esteem, which in turn, led to ‘medium’ post-natal depression, which stopped me from enjoying things I used to and deepening my emotional problems. At times, I found it impossible to sleep, even when I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was prescribed medication but in the end, did not start the treatment, after talking with my husband, GP and Health Visitor and noting the litany of possible side effects. I had to find another way to get myself back on track.
Luckily, now I can report how I conquered these debilitating emotions, which threatened to derail my life! A visit to my local children’s centres made me feel valued and understood, however, something was still missing. I needed an inspiration. Talking with other Mums, I realised that there was a ‘gap’ in employability services in the area. There are many Mums who either have been made redundant or decided to end their employment or take part-time work. Most employability support is directed at getting them back into work, which is not the best option for everyone. It would be more useful if Mums could be offered advice on all possible employability options, including self-employment. Instead of looking for a job they could create jobs in their own area, while enjoying being a Mum.
My training/advisory business, Phase 1 Enterprise Training Ltd, was conceived in January and was born on 14th February, less than 5 months after my daughter. Based on my study and work experience of the past 8 years, Phase 1 was set up to help Mums to explore their enterprise instincts by setting up their own business and discovering the challenges and emotional rewards of self-employment as the exciting alternative career option! Using my experience, it took one day to incorporate my business and a few days to develop two courses, the first of which targets specifically Mums in my former situation. Within two weeks, I secured a contract with a local children’s centre (Selsdon) and started to deliver the course, which has been met enthusiastically by the first class. Planning and running the business and course have been very rewarding for me; I recommend it highly if you find yourself in the situation outlined above. My simple message to other Mums is: ‘All Mums have ideas and the potential to develop them, even while being a Mum. Do not put your dreams on hold, go for it’!
At Phase 1, our goal is to help as many parents as possible to discover their entrepreneurial potential and explore the exciting world of working for themselves as the exciting career option.
Contact us now to find out more about our ‘Enterprising Mums’ and ‘Enterprising Parents’ courses and other courses and support that may be available in your area.