Inspiring Mummy: Sarah Smith
Tell us about yourself: I'm Sarah Smith, aged 44. I was born in Newcastle and now live in Leighton Buzzard.
Tell us about your family set up: I live with my husband and two daughters aged 10 and 12.
Do you work or stay at home? How does that work for you? How do you feel about those decisions and choices? Has what you do greatly changed since you’ve had a family? In what ways?
I run my own business which is a pub called The Dukes, with a restaurant and rooms. It's in Heath and Reach, a village in Bedfordshire and since it’s just a mile from my house it makes it a good fit with the kids. I work hours that enable me to take my children to school and pick them up every single day, and I can also have time off in the holidays easily because I'm the one who writes the rota. I love what I do and that helps!
When I left school I worked in the hospitality industry but I made some career changes just before I started a family into more formal office hours. I always dreamed of having my own business and I was introduced to network marketing with Forever Living and it appealed because I felt there should be more to life than being in the rat race. I knew I wanted kids, and have done many things in order to be around for them.
When the kids were little I ran several small businesses from home including selling make up and I trained in how to do gel nails, plus I ran a business networking group. At one point I also ran a business doing social media marketing. All of these allowed me flexibility to be at home, and so they worked for me.
What are your day-to-day challenges as a mum?
Guilt! Guilt that I’ve focussed on business more than children, that any focus that is not on my children when they are in the room has guilt attached. Guilt if I have to take a phone call or send an email or even open my laptop when they are around. I do loads of stuff with my kids for fun, and yet I feel pulled sometimes.
What would you most like to change about your current situation?
I’ve never felt so sure of myself and my abilities as I do now in running The Dukes. In pursuing this journey, I had no doubts whatsoever that I was doing the right thing and that I would be good at it. However it still took courage and bravery to go through with it, and some people questioned whether or not doing this (running a pub) was the right thing for my family even though I felt I was following my dream. I knew I could make running a pub work with my family and wish that others people’s doubts had not impacted upon me. They still do to some extent.
In what ways do you hope to inspire your children?
By showing them that if you really want to do something, you can do it. And you should just do it. Follow your dreams. Life is too short to be resentful what you have not done or achieved.
What inspires you the most? (People/books/art etc…)
I learned a lot in network marketing about self-belief and I was first inspired during a training course I did years ago. It changed my attitudes. I was always a worrier, and now I teach my children to create their perfect life in their head, instead of worrying themselves about what is going on around them.
My children inspire me with their creativity and their ‘bounce-back-ability’ from setbacks. My husband is so organised and inspires me in the amount of pride he takes in our family and home.
And my sister is a massive inspiration to me in her big picture thinking, I’m more about the detail! If it wasn’t for her faith, support and belief in me I wouldn’t have got this far with my business by now.
Do you currently take any regular time out for yourself? What do you do with that time out?
No, rarely but I do like to socialise with friends when I get the chance. I don’t do it very often (or enough) at the moment because of demands from work and family. I wish I took more time for myself although I find working on my business is time for myself in a way because I love what I do, and its my dream come true!
What are your thoughts about the Inspiring Mummy Club, and what do you see as its appeal?
I feel like Inspiring Mummy Club is offering exactly what I need right now - because it is a way for me to grow and work on myself, which in turn will enable me to be better at my job and in running my business.
You can find out more about Sarah's business The Dukes, or come and meet her in the Inspiring Mummy Club Facebook Group, which is open to all mums looking for a bit of support and positivity in their lives.