by Erin Cox
In a recent past life I was a “carefree” (a.k.a “no kids”) full time worker. I had lots of time and even a bit of disposable income.
Flash forward a year or two and how things had changed. I’d sprouted a child and a mortgage.
I asked myself, what now?
Could I find fulfilling work where I didn’t need to bend my belief in sustainability and still spend as much time as possible raising and engaging my child? Was it asking too much?
Fast forward just a bit more, and I’m the founder and organiser of a ‘plus size’ fashion fair, A Plus Market, a roving Melbourne market which offers new and pre-loved ‘plus size’ fashion and accessories.Erin’s second most wonderful creation (after her baby boy): A Plus Market
A Plus Market was born in part from a desire to bring environmentally sustainable shopping to a new audience. It’s an alternative to the throwaway, consumerist world that fashion can be.
I also wanted flexible employment so I could be there to meet my growing child’s needs. Running the market means that on most days I can work flexibly, allowing enough time for my bub.
Now, starting you own business whilst still getting used to being a Mum is no easy feat.
How do I do it? How do I fit it all in?
Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers. I have made many mistakes so far, but these are a few things I have learned:
Being a work at home Mum is a delicate juggling act
Working from home can be disruptive to everyone in the family and there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. This is especially true when trying to jam an entire working week into ‘nap time’. Having set work times or days when I do particular things helps.
I need to be fully present for the task at hand
Whether it’s the work emails that have piled up or getting the little man bathed and off to bed. It’s an easy trap to fall into, to let your mind wander to the work that needs to be done when it’s staring right at you, rather than the more important task of playing blocks.
Always dig deeper
If I think I can do just a little bit more today, I do it. I don’t put off something that can be done today. Little kids are not predictable. I may find that the time I had planned to do those invoices is taken up with a quick trip to the doctors.
Mums need rest too!
When I’ve had enough I try to take some time out for myself. This is the hardest one for me, so I would love to hear how others ensure this gets done.
I thank my lucky stars
One of the biggest factors that allows me to ‘get it all done’ is the support I receive from my partner: he is a gem. And my precious little boy has such an easy going nature, he makes it a lot easier.Erin and her bub at the first ever A Plus Market
What is A Plus Market all about?
A Plus Market is all about gorgeous new ‘plus size’ fashions and pre-loved ‘plus size’ fashion bargains. A Plus Market also offers an abundance of delights such as handbags, shoes, cosmetics, jewellery, pamper products and treats! So no matter your size, A Plus Market has something lovely for you and all your skinny mini friends!
A Plus Market may seem to be simply a fun place to buy a frock, which it is, but it is also has a sustainable, community-minded ethos behind it.
Thanks to Alia Coates Black Plate Photography for the lovely market photographs.