I am so happy to have Julie-Anne on the blog today! Julie-Anne has extensive experience with children culminating in her current role as mother and owner of online magazine, Small Steps Parenting. Julie-Anne brings a wealth of knowledge, from her 15 years’experience as a nanny, childcare worker and centre leader, to create an online publication that embraces and celebrates the everyday aspects of being a parent. I love that she goes above and beyond to reach out to her audience. She provides them with access to information that is relevant, caring and factual. Julie-Anne’s thoughtfulness is truly inspirational. Here she is answering some questions for our readers today:
If you had to use 5 words to describe your family life, what would they be?
Fun, busy, hectic, random and creative
What is a typical afternoon and dinner preparation time like for you?
My children love being outdoors, so, we enjoy our afternoon tea outside on our land. After the kids are tired out, we come inside for a bath and then I make dinner while they enjoy a DVD. As I am a business owner, I try to have all my meals pre-planned for the week and this makes preparation time minimal and quick. We sit together to eat and then enjoy some stories before winding the day down with prayers and bed.
From your Play with Food interactions, is there anything that has made a big impact on your family’s eating?
I love the emphasis that Play with Food puts on the importance of afternoon tea. Often we were so busy playing that we forgot afternoon tea and I feel it affected the children’s appetite for their dinner. Now I plan a healthy afternoon snack around 3pm which I really feel is good for my kids. They usually then eat better at dinner and want to snack less.
** Julie-Anne has learnt these tips from my eBook, Afternoon Tea: The Next Most Important Meal of the Day and you can purchase your copy here for only $1.99**
What is your best tip for balancing a family and small business?
I could not do what I do without great organisation of my family life and business and making time to plan. I work around the kid’s schedules, working when they sleep and have one day a week in which my mum looks after them so I can get some solid time to work without interruption. Having an “ideal week” diary allows me to plan for what I want to achieve and I also stick very closely to the goals I have set for the week, quarter or year to make sure I make the most of the time I have available.
What has been the hardest part of running your own business while having a family?
The distractions are definitely the hardest parts of being a business mum. Times where your kids just need some extra attention because you have had a busy week, unplanned hospital visits or illness can all throw off your planned work time. Because of this I think it is important to try to plan for these things by allowing yourself to get some extra work done when you can so you are ahead, this way when something happens you can deal with the situation at hand without stressing about what work should be getting done.
What is your big hope for the next year?
I really want to have at least three different courses running online for parents to help in various areas of life. So far I have written a course to deal with toddler tantrums and have been working with families one on one. I have had a fantastic response to my course and so it will be going live within the next month. After that I am working on one around preparing your child for school including lessons and printables and the last one is to do with working on your child’s development.
“My business was created to inform and empower parents to be the best parent they can be” – Julie-Anne
You can find Julie-Anne’s online magazine, Small Steps Parenting, here and follow her magazine on Facebook by clicking on this link. She also runs a Facebook group for supporting parents, that you can join for free, here.
What do you love about online parenting resources like the Small Steps Parenting magazine? Where do you get your most supportive and helpful information?
Also, if you have a local (north west Sydney) mum that you want featured, let me know in the comments.