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Interview in The Hot Tub … Sally Overhead

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Providing a one-stop-shop for information for modern mums, Mojomums founder, Sally Overhead, talks about starting up a business when you’re seven months pregnant, and why it’s OK to make mistakes.

What inspired you to set up Mojomums?

I started my first business, the Zebra Group, when I was seven months pregnant with my first child, so I never faced the ‘going back to work’ dilemma that I then witnessed my friends go through. I was continually shocked by the lack of confidence strong successful women had and also the lack of roles available for them, that offered a chance to use their skills on a part time or flexible basis. It was in 2011 when I was on maternity leave with the triplets that I started to put some real time into formulating what I wanted Mojomums to do - to help mums get their confidence back, look at and tackle real issues, and get mums back into the jobs they love and want to do.

What is the most common problem cited by the modern mum?

The modern mum is faced with two main problems: affordable childcare, and a lack of high level flexible roles.  Many mums are unable to return to the career they once had on a part time basis as the roles just don’t exist, so they have to take a lower paid role which means a lower salary and the inability to afford childcare, not to mention a role that is not challenging. If we had more flexible roles, more mums would be able to go back to work, afford childcare, and we also wouldn’t have such a lack of women in UK boardrooms.

You have five young children (eek!) what’s your number one piece of advice for new mums going back to work?

Be happy with your childcare arrangements.  Leaving your children happy makes such a difference to your day and eases the guilt we can’t help but feel.  Try to spend some time with your children in the morning, this may mean getting up half an hour earlier but those morning cuddles are so important and then if you do get delayed in getting home you haven’t missed out. Try not to feel guilty, try to enjoy your day and take the time to be a person and not just a mum.

Is getting back to work after having children just a financial thing, or is it more than that?

I think it’s different for different people.  For me, not working was never an option financially, though it was much more than that; not working was just never an option that I considered. I never saw having children as a barrier to me doing what I had always dreamed of doing which was owning my own business. I did however view having my own business as a way to me being able to spend more time with my children as I knew working flexible hours in my role would not be easy. Working allows me to be a much better mum. I have four daughters and I don’t want them to spend their lives working towards their own dreams to give them up when they have children, not unless they really want to. I am very maternal and my children are my world, but working give me a purpose, allows me to feel good about myself and also allows me to support my family and give my children opportunities that I never had.

What’s the best piece of advice anyone has given you in starting Mojomums?

It’s ok to make mistakes, I learnt that early on in business and I look back grateful that I made the mistakes that I did early on, as some of them would have much greater consequences now.

If you weren’t running Mojomums, what would you be doing (ideally)?

I absolutely love running my businesses and owning my own business was always something I wanted to do, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else in my current situation as I get to be challenged and be a mum. In another life, and if I didn’t have children, I would definitely have loved to have been an actress!

What would make your work/life balance easier?

A PA! My old PA has moved into account management within the business so I am between PAs at the moment and I am not sure where I need to be and when! However that aside, I think that after seven years I finally have the perfect work/life balance. I do the school runs, take my older two children to their after school clubs and get to go to music classes with my triplets. I am an active school governor and I help out in both of their classes when asked.   When my oldest daughter started school we moved the offices within a mile of the house, which is also within a mile of the school. This allows me to be on hand with both the business and the children. I have a brilliant senior team who I can hand things over to. It has taken me a while to get to this point, and in the earlier years I had to be at work a lot more, but now it works.

What’s your idea of a perfect day of relaxation?

A day alone with nobody else, no phone and no emails! Maybe a desert island! In the real world, I love a pyjama day with the kids, reading my kindle and an early night! Its rock and roll at my house!

Do you have a favourite spa treatment?

An Indian head massage, sooo relaxing!

Is there a beauty product you just can’t live without?

I am slightly addicted to Bio Oil! I used it through all of my pregnancies and I still use it now! I put it on my face at night and love the smell too. I also love Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream.

What’s your top tip for looking and feeling your best with a busy schedule?

Having a good selection of stable items in your wardrobe that you feel great wearing, some comfortable heels that you can do the school run in, and early nights!

Complete this sentence: A happy mum is … A mum with happy children.

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