Inspirational Parents #1

Being a parent is tough. We all need a little bit of inspiration every now and then, and there’s plenty out there. So I thought it was time to start celebrating some of the people who are doing amazing things. 

It seems only right to start with fellow blogger, Fiona at Coombe Mill. Fiona is wife to Nick the farmer on their gorgeous holiday farm. She manages to juggle farming, cooking for everyone, looking after the holiday business and being a successful blogger whilst enjoying life as a family with six children. 

May 2015 family photo

And on that note, allow me to introduce Wonder Woman. I have asked her my ten questions for inspirational parents and these are her answers. 

1. Tell me about the most unexpected change to you as a person or to your life since becoming a parent?

That has to be quitting the rat race and buying Coombe Mill 13 years ago.

2. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since having children?

Probably the first 18 months after the triplets were born. We were investing in Coombe Mill heavily at the time and building the business but managing with 6 very young children made it difficult, especially on our busy Saturdays when I couldn’t leave the children to go and check the properties and show the guests in and out. I ended up with some of my student cleaners taking it in turns to double up as childminders for me watching the triplets while I worked.

3. What do you regard as your greatest achievement?

Every day that I have 6 healthy children tucked up in bed. Every life stage brings its challenges and with 5 adventurous boys with the freedom of the farm I see danger at every turn from worrying about them falling in the lakes when they were young to worrying about my eldest learning to drive now. My husband is far more relaxed, but he says I will worry about them for evermore and he is probably right.

4. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What hasn’t killed you?

Dealing with complaints in the business. They don’t happen often but if someone finds fault I take it very seriously and get quite upset if it is personal. Having said this there is usually something that has led to the complaint and we do everything possible to fix any issues. I like to think I am becoming stronger at dealing with them, and learning from them to prevent them occurring in the first place.

5. Who inspires you?

Theo Paphitis. I was lucky enough to be an early winner on the SBS program run by him in support of small businesses and never fail to be inspired when I hear him speak each year at the annual conferences he hosts. He has achieved so much in business himself yet gives his time and money to help others achieve too.

6. I have just invented a time machine (and you thought you’d achieved something great). You can now go backwards or forwards to any point in time and deliver any message to any person, what’s your message?

I would jump forward to when my children are on the verge of big career changes and I would advise them to take time to weigh up the risks and then if their heart pulls them to do something to jump with both feet and go for it. Looking back this is exactly what we did with Coombe Mill, it has worked out so well for us and I hope my children will have the courage of their convictions too.

7. You have the opportunity to influence the entrepreneurs of the future. What life changing invention would you like to see on the drawing board?

What about an investment app where you could program in all your business variables and predictions and it could advise the best cause of action for you right down to levels and direction of investment taking account of current economic conditions and future projections with a level of certainly that would make it truly believable.

8. I have waved a magic wand and all of your responsibilities have been taken care of for 24 hours. What are you going to do?

Order some sunshine, grab my surf board and head to the local beach

9. How can women best be empowered to properly balance a career and a family life?

By accepting that you can’t do everything perfectly, but you can do the important things to a good standard, be proud of that and shed the guilt of not being all things to all people.

10. You’re off for a girl’s night out tonight. Where will you go, what will you drink and what will be the topic of conversation?

Our regular is a Procecco up at the local village pub entering the quiz. That sounds so very country living I know but we really have a laugh, usually at ourselves! Just so I don’t sound too sad, we do also try and do an annual SPA day and night and hit a wine bar or club in Newquay.  

If you’d like some daily inspiration from the farm, Fiona is also a social media whiz and you’ll find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I’m a huge fan of her photos, but beware, they’ll make you want to head for the beach!

14 thoughts on “Inspirational Parents #1

    1. monsteridNatalie Ray Post author

      Thank you Fiona, I’m so grateful to you for taking the time to be featured, it was an honour to feature you, you really are inspirational.xx

  1. Cathy (MummyTravels)

    Great read – and agreed, learning where the line lies of juggling everything so it’s all good enough (and not aiming for absolute perfection the whole time) is probably my big lesson.

  2. Debbie

    Hi Natalie, I loved the questions (and answers, of course). It is a wonderful idea to celebrate inspirational parents and there is no doubting that Fiona is one of them.

    Six children and running a holiday farm! I know I couldn’t do it. I love her answer to balancing a career and family. All to often women feel under pressure to be perfect at everything and it’s nice to read that settling for less is okay too.

  3. Amy

    Wow Fiona is such an inspiration. Running a business is not easy-especially with all those children! I love her answers too. Really brilliant feature Natalie looking forward to more xx

  4. A Cornish Mum

    What a brilliant idea for a series 🙂 Great to read, and Fiona has me in awe as I’m not sure how I’d cope with 6 children let alone all of the other things she does, a real wonder woman!

    Stevie x


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