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20 November 2017

No, you can’t shorten my name! Or try to tell me how to pronounce it!

Is it just me or does anyone else want to scratch something when someone tries to change their name? So, ny name is Joycellyn. It’s pronounced in two syllables: ‘Joyce’ ‘Llyn’. My experience is that many people hear me introduce my name and stop me part way because they think they know what it is: ‘Joyce’. No! ‘Jocelyn’ (pronounced, ‘Jo’ ‘Sir’ ‘Lin’. That’s not my name! Read More

1 November 2017

That time I was harassed at work

Every other news story this past month seems to be about the inappropriate behaviour of men in sectors from film (aka the alleged Harvey Weinstein) to politics. Industry big wigs seem to have, for years, got away with treating women any way they wish.

Some critics have blamed women for dressing inappropriately, not standing up for themselves and even for putting themselves in a vulnerable situation themselves. Read More

2 February 2017

The Spare Time Business Course…ready, steady, go and sign up!

The day has finally come – The Spare Time Business Course is now up and live.

It’s such an exciting time and I’m so pleased to share these tips and video tutorials with you – you won’t regret the wait!

If you’re new to Mothers Who Work, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. The fuss is about any mother who wants to change the way they work, or who wants to earn more money and get more time to spend on the things, or with the people who matter the most. This website will be 10 years old in September 2017, so we’ve spent almost a decade helping mums in one way or another – primarily with the juggling act tat being a working mum entails.

We’ve listened to you all and crafted a course that will help you along the journey: The Spare Time Business Course. This course will help you no matter where you are in the world – that’s the beauty of it.

Still need to learn more? Watch the introduction video by the founder and editor of Mothers Who Work, Joycellyn Akuffo for more details.

On top of all the excitement, when you join the course, you’ll also get a free guide to kickstart your spare time business journey. Don’t miss out!

16 January 2017

The truth: How working for myself made me a better mother

You know you’re not in a happy place when you don’t want to talk or play, or do much with your family – especially your children. And that’s a situation I found myself in many times before I bit the bullet and starting my full-time business Geek School Tutoring a few years ago. Read More

1 February 2016

How to set up an office for a growing business

I don’t know about you, but the thought of a new office and all the gadgets, stationary and colour schemes can really brighten up my day.

If money was no object, I wonder how many of us business mums would still choose to work from the kitchen table or work from under the duvet, or from a traditional style office. Whatever your situation, there are some essentials to setting up your home office. 

Starting out

If you work from home, you’re probably going to be spending as much time in your ‘office’ or working space as you do in the rest of the house. It can therefore be easy to treat your working space as a second-class accommodation, but you must give it the importance it deserves.

Try to avoid disruption by using functional equipment and storage that you can lock away without having to rearrange your working space each time you finish or start your working day. It won’t make you feel motivated to start your working day if you have to unpack everything you need for half an hour before you start. 

Also, if you have children in the house, having no designated work space means your work can be in danger of sticky fingers. You might find that it becomes a bone of contention when they start touching or moving important work or tools – and you may well be using a functional space for the family (the dining table is a major culprit), which everyone needs to have access to at any given time. So, having a designated place to store away important files, equipment and other work-related items can keep the harmony at home. 

Get functional

Contemporary brands often go to great lengths to make the workplace as swampy and non conformist as possible. The offices at Google has a Velourmptious snug, for example, which is basically a green velvet area that pays homage to the British pub. Employees can sprawl out and relax while thinking about the latest big idea for the brand. They’ve raised the bar and thought about what can help their employees become more productive. 

Now that you’re the boss, you don’t have to stick with the traditional office setup. We love what Ultimate provide entrepreneurs in terms of their bespoke offices. You can design you home office to suit you and the needs of your business. If you’re ready for premises, your office will speak volumes to clients and customers alike, so it’s important to get the image right for the business and your budget. 

Whatever your budget or taste, the main ingredient for a happy working office is to make it functional for your needs. Think about your long-term and immediate needs, so that your layout, equipment and stationary can sustain your growing business.  

13 March 2015

Need somewhere to escape to on Mother’s Day? The Travelodge room review

When it comes to Mother’s Day, chocolates, flowers and perfume are a kind gesture, but we could all do with some me time away from the family just to recharge, rest and do whatever (or nothing) we want to do.

While going away for a spa break may not be feasible for everyone this weekend, when you need a night away, something simple, clean and relaxing I tried last weekend was a stay at the Travelodge in Convent Garden in one of their newly refurbished rooms. Read More

9 March 2015

Rubbish myths about women in business

We live in a world where people like to put other people into a box. Being a working mum comes high on that list…if I had a pound for every time someone told me (not asked me) how difficult it must be, I would have a nice little fund for my caramel lattes for the rest of my working life.

Being a mum in business is no different. Here are some of the ridiculous myths, and the real truth. Read More

3 February 2015

How to interview when you have zero confidence

It’s amazing how taking any amount of time out of the workplace can have a serious knock on your confidence when it comes to looking for a job. Read More

31 March 2014

When technology fails, the traditional methods are the best

With so many different colours and shapes, the Post-it® Brand from 3M is perfect for adding personality, emotion and individuality to your handwritten notes.

Sometimes, technology just doesn’t cut it, and we need something to write important notes and reminders on that won’t fail us when our battery deism or we haven’t backed up the information we need. Read More

8 August 2013

Is the iPhone overrated?

In a word, yes!

Many years ago, I was a Blackberry supporter. I upgraded to every Curve model, and even succumbed to the Torch for touchscreen finesse when it came out.

Then the worst thing that could happen, happened. My phone kept on freezing and crashing all day everyday. I got it replaced not once, twice, thrice, four times but an infuriating five times and then I threw in the towel (and a major wobbly!). Read More

8 March 2013

Working from home: flexible working gets another knock by another high profile mum

Working from home is is less frowned upon these days in most industries than a few years ago, when it was seen as an excuse to skive at home.

Thankfully, many employes see i’s merits and this often gives many employees the work-life balance they need while remaining productive. Read More

6 November 2012

Did you listen in to the radio debate about childcare costs on Radio Five Live last night?

It amazes me how people feel that families shouldn’t have children if they can’t afford childcare. Imagine what would happen if every woman in the land today decided that they would rather go on a beach holiday, have weekly Botox and spend their salary on designer shoes instead of having a child? Roll forward 39 or 40 years and you can imagine what the economy would really look like, right? Read More

4 October 2012

I am more than a mother: tips on having a life while being a successful a working (and a good!) mum

When you’re a busy working mum, it can be easy to get so engrossed in motherhood that your other relationships begin to suffer. It’s not intentional, but you barely even have enough time in your busy day to take a minute for yourself, let alone return phone calls or make friendly visits that aren’t child-centred or important family occasions. Read More

6 July 2012

Boris, you’re out of touch! Work at home mums don’t eat cheese an skive off…they work damn hard!

Could someone please tell the London Mayor Boris Johnson to think before he talks? During another ill thought out verbal delivery the Mayor of London is quoted saying that people who work from home do nothing more than skive and eat cheese.

work from homeSo, what about the tens of thousands of mumpreneurs who run their own businesses from home while raising their children? These women depend on discipline and military style organisation to manage the unenviable task of trying to make a crust with baby or preschooler in tow.

These women also contribute millions to the UK economy and are a real force to e reckoned with when it comes to their motivation and drive to succeed in business.

I’d love to get Boris Johnson in a room for a day with just one baby, toddler or preschooler and see how he manages things…cheese won’t cut it, I can assure you Boris! Are you up for the challenge?

22 June 2012

Why are stay-at-home mums having a rant at Cherie Blair? Does the truth hurt?

These days, the majority of mothers work – it’s a fact. If you’re a stay-at-home mum then you’re in the minority – that’s another fact. According to the Office for National Statistics, 66 percent of mothers are now in some form of paid work. The number of working mothers is now around 5.3 million, up from 4.5 million in 1996 when 61 percent of mothers worked

Cherie Blair has rubbed some mums up the wrong way - does the truth hurt?Cherie Blair’s recent comments to Fortune magazine Most Powerful Women event has left a lot of mums reeling…but is it a case of the truth hurting or what?

All she said was: ““Every woman needs to be self-sufficient and in that way you really don’t have a choice – for your own satisfaction; you hear these yummy mummies talk about being the best possible mother and they put all their effort into their children. I also want to be the best possible mother, but I know that my job as a mother includes bringing my children up so actually they can live without me.”

Yes, it’s true that the average mother doesn’t have Cherie Blair’s salary to afford nannies and whatever else, but it’s also true that Cherie Blair didn’t get tax credits either.

I’ve had an interesting twitter debate with some mums in the past couple of days and much of their fury seems to lie in the fact that they (even though they were mostly working mums) feel that no one has the right to dictate to a mother whether she should work or not.

My argument has and always will be that it’s not about the money per se – if your spouse earns enough for you not to work fantastic, but there is voluntary work out there. The other issue I have, and I am not a feminist by any means, is why you would want to get Ickes money from your spouse – isn’t there something a little odd about not wanting to make your own money?

Another question I raise is why should other working mums pay their taxes so that other able bodied mother stay at home. Some of these mums have children who are primary school age – some even secondary school age – but they still refuse to work, choosing instead to live on benefits. Why not use that time to retrain and set up your own business, or get a career you can be proud of? Why should other people sponsor your lifestyle choice?

Then my last question to stay-at-home mums is, if you have no intention of ever working again, now that nature has been kind and blessed you with your children, how do you encourage your daughters to do well at school so they can be independent in future? You don’t work, so why should they study and do well at school?

Food for thought…