I am very excited to share my first ever real mama profile!
The amazing entrepreneur Miranda Bond from The Conscious CEO has had many years juggling both business and raising her daughter Lola. Founder of Inika Cosmetics, Miranda took Inika from a kitchen table start up to global multi-million dollar business. She has been kind enough to share her story on her experience with the work/mum juggle.
Can you give us an overview of your working mum journey to now?
About 6 months after my daughter Lola was born I started my business Thriving Healthy Women. As this was a part time business I was able to manage my hours and juggling wasn’t really an issue. What I did find challenging when Lola was little was having no family around. I’m originally from the UK and Lola’s father’s family weren’t around either.
By the time Lola was 3, I had started Inika Cosmetics and by the time she was 4 the business was really taking off. When Lola started at school (plus after school care) it meant I had a little longer to work during the day. When Lola was 5, I separated and later divorced her dad and that was a very challenging time. Juggling a demanding business and being a single mum with no family around wasn’t easy. I’m incredibly lucky to have wonderful friends and they really supported and helped me out.
For the remainder of her junior school years Lola was very used to having to go back to the office after school and wait until Mum had finished. Then we’d go home, I’d cook dinner, later put Lola to bed and then I would carry on working. At that time we had a UK office with Inika and it meant that I could do my UK phone calls and work late in the evenings.
Lola frequently sat in on meetings at work. She travelled the world with me in those years. Inika was sold in 15 countries and we would be on major overseas trips at least twice a year. I would try and organise them around school holidays but sometimes she would miss out on school to be with me. I figured she was getting a great education being overseas with me and it was handy if we were in Europe because then I could lean on family to look after her if it wasn’t appropriate for her to be in on particular meetings.
About half way through my time with Inika I was blessed to have the most amazing PA in the world come to work with me. And if you are sitting there wondering how I coped during this period, if it wasn’t for her I simply wouldn’t have been able to. She became Lola’s second Mum. She would drop her off at school and pick her up and if I was working late Lola would go home to her house and I would pick her up from there. She organised my life as well as going above and beyond with Lola. She became a life long friend and Lola and I are still very close with her. I was also really fortunate in that I could afford a cleaner and a gardener because I just didn’t have enough time for either.
I sold Inika when Lola was 11 and since that time the businesses that I have and the work I do is not as demanding. I can work regular hours and I’m not being pulled in a million directions so juggling has been more manageable.
Lola had a different experience in childhood because of Inika, not better or worse just different. What I would say is that it gave her a worldly, mature perspective. I believe she was a more confident communicator at an early age because of the time she spent with grown-ups and in meetings. She has marketing built into her DNA simply because of her business exposure but she is adamant that she doesn’t want her own business.
What is your daughter’s perspective of her upbringing?
Lola is now 16 and I asked her thoughts and feelings around the time I was with Inika. She said that there were pros and cons. She said that sometimes she wanted to have more time with me but she loved the fact that we got to go overseas so much. She is also very proud of what I’ve accomplished and I think that’s been a great example for her. She has seen firsthand that being a mum doesn’t mean you can’t follow your dreams or live your passion. The other thing that came up in that conversation was that we both acknowledged that we were glad the Inika period was when she was in Junior school not Senior. One thing I have noticed with Lola is that she’s needed me to be around more as she’s grown older to help with homework and all the stresses and hormonal stuff that teenage girls go through.
What is the one tip or trick you can give to a working mum that has worked for you?
Cook on the weekends. There are so many times (still even now with a less demanding business) when I’m home late and I just don’t feel like cooking. I love the fact that I’ve taken time on a Sunday to cook a few meals so that I can just quickly heat something up.
The other thing I’d say is that Lola and I are a team. She sees how hard I work and she does her fair share at home. I haven’t had a cleaner since Inika so we both clean the house, she has chores and I’m lucky because she’s also an amazing cook.
How do you manage mum guilt?
By thinking there are always people in worse situations – would we be even having this conversation in a third world country? I have always done the best I can and that’s all I can do.
What advice would you give to new working mums just starting their juggling journey?
You can do it. We are so much more resourceful than we think and so are our children.
What do you love about being a working mum?
I just love being a mum. I’ve been a single mum for a long time and I haven’t had anyone else to rely on financially. I’ve had to work so I may as well work doing something I love and feel passionate about.
Miranda is an Australian based Entreprenuer having over 5 different businesses and juggling it all with being a mum. You can connect with Miranda through her business The Conscious CEO.
Do you have a work/mama juggle story to share? Get in touch, we would love to hear from you!