Goal setting | Tackling Limiting beliefs | Boosting confidence | Overcoming overwhelm | Working as a freelancer: Life as an entrepreneur | Designing your week on your terms | Remote working | Combining your skills and your interests
Being a mum of a two year old son and working across a variety of platforms/projects she can also share tips on how to start a personal brand, how to keep motivated and do the hustle so you create your ideal opportunities.
What do you do? How would you describe your working life?
Hello, I’m Donna and I am a stay at home Mummy to Finley aged 2 ¾ years old and Olivia aged 7 months. So you could say I have my hands full.
Before I had my beautiful children, I had a successfu lcareer in TV. I loved my job, it was fun, glitzy and fast paced. Perfect for my young twenty & thirty something self. Then I had Finley; he rocked my world and made me realise it was time to press pause on the day job and focus on my new role of being a Mummy. Being a mother is one of the most demanding, rewarding, hardest, craziest, challenging, amazing jobs I have ever done. It's 24/7 and is a real test of wills but pays back dividends and I love it.
I am not only a Mother, I am also a blogger for The Curious Life of a Mummy. The blog is a lifestyle blog which primarily focuses on life with my two children. It has been a great platform to talk about Motherhood, share my experiences and work with some fantastic brands. It has also inspired me to take the leap and start my own business, which is fast becoming my activity during nap time.
Did you show any early signs as a child that indicated that you would end up where you are today? (Feel to tell childhood stories, early influencers, anecdotes etc)
What an interesting questions…well the short answer is yes, no, yes.
Yes, funny enough, I spent my childhood recording my own radio shows and creating magazines, so I have entertained people was in beginning. I loved books and magazine as a child. I would spend hours reading the articles or pouring over the pictures. So while I’ve paused my career in TV, I have the blog which works so well as a great substitute. Now for the ‘No’
I never thought in a million years I would be a Mummy and a stay at home mother at that. I was career girl through and through. I lived and breathe TV. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I knew instinctively I wanted to be a mother and the rest is history. That said, being a stay at home Mum doesn’t mean I’m still not ambitious. My inner career girl is still very presence and I am in the depths of starting a business. Having my own business is a major life goal and has been ever since I can remember. I have dipped my toe in it, when I was in my early twenties but now I am trying something new which links in well with my blog and being a mother. Watch this space.
Describe your morning routine
The day begins with either “ Mummy” from Finley, “Dadadadada” from Olivia or “meeeeeeeeeeeeow” from Nancy and Sid (the cats). They all want a cuddle. So we have a bed full by 6.30am. As we try to wake up. I log on to my emails, post on social media and check the daily headlines. Mr J and I take everyone downstairs for breakfast. After Olivia has had her milk and porridge, I sneak off for a shower. Around 8.50am Mr J leaves, I take Olivia up for her morning nap. I quickly tidy up after breakfast and then Finn and I play before Olivia wakes up. During that time,Finn and I, decide what our morning activity is going to be. It is usually a playdate, playgroup, a music class, scoot to the park, an art session or we bake cakes. We are busy busy busy. Once lunch is done, we head to Finn’s nursery; Olivia has her marathon sleep and that when the blogging or working on the business begins.
Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from and when do they arrive?
My brother often describes me as a dreamer as I have a new idea or focus every week.
My best ideas often arrive either in the middle of the night or when I go for a run. Before Olivia slept through the night, I would spend every night brainstorming new business ideas, researching them or writing articles for the blog.
When motivation wavers, how do you get back on track?
I always believe it’s a good idea to take a break from things, especially if you are trying to force an idea to happen. Quite often, I watch a Youtube video of an inspiring Mumprenuer. My favourite one of the moment is Annabel Karmel Or if I don’t have half an hour to spare, I often look at my favourite Mummy bloggers Tiger Lily Quinn, Mother Pukka, Dress Like a Mum to see what they are up too, just to give me a instant boost. I am also lucky to be surrounded by lovely friends who are always good for a reality check.
What is the best thing about your job/lifestyle?
The best thing about my lifestyle is spending time with my children. Before the children, my entire life was work and I never really had time for hobbies. So now I am all about creating a balance.
If you could do something else for the day- what would you do?
If it was possible, I would spend the day experiencing and seeing everything through the eyes of my children. That feeling of learning and experiencing things for the first time is magical especially the ages that they are. Finley can articulate everything, yet Olivia's experience can only be communicated through her expressions or the little noises she makes. Can you imagine how amazing that would be?
Or I would be Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & The City, I would write, shop and lunch.
How do you overcome any challenges in your working life?
Work or home, for me I always take a step back and evaluate (which often involves sound boarding to Mr J) and then make action plan. If that doesn’t work go for a run, do a little kettlebells workout or Pilates – distraction always gives me time to refocus.
How do you celebrate your successes?
Successes are always celebrated with friends, food and fizz!
Do you have any tools/resources or rituals that you couldn’t live without?
Mr J, asked me the other day if I had to leave something at home what would it be your phone or your purse? I answered phone as my whole life is on that device, my diary, blog, ideas for the blog, photos, the internet, lists after list, business ideas, contacts and Uber.
Which books from your bookcase would you recommend?
Goodness, where to start.. well the book of the moment is Hygee by Meik Wiking. It’s about the Danish way to live well. It is all about creating calm and cosy environments and incorporating them into your daily life. I can highly recommend chapter three but not on a school night.
As a Mummy, I would highly recommend Your Baby Week By Week by Caroline Fertleman and Simone Cav. It's such a great reference tool for the first six months not only for your baby but for you too.
What are your daily essentials to make you feel ready?
Shower and a good blow dry. I have quite wavy, frizzy hair and if it’s not attacked with the hair dryer and straighteners then quite frankly I look like I have flies swarming around my head. It's frizz city and not pretty.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Stay away from blue eyeshadow, give Mum and Dad a break they adore you, be happy in your skin, your figure is amazing, eat bread and potatoes, take risks, have conviction in your decision making, learn to say no you’ll feel so liberated when you do, save your money, don’t keep up with the Jones, let them keep up with you.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
If you asked me this question five years ago, I probably would have given you a huge punchy list. I am at that stage in my life where my main goals are to make some fantastic memories for my children, make my business a success, take the blog to the next level and maybe get another cat.