The second in my Inspirational Parents series features a lady called Sally who is a real inspiration to me. She is a mum who founded a highly successful online business – something I desperately hope to emulate.
Sally’s website specialises in beautiful, stylish things for mum, baby and the home. Her website, Dorothy and Theodore, is the first place to look for unique, personalised and gorgeous gifts.
All that, and she runs the business whilst looking after three children. I think you can see why I chose Sally as my next inspirational parent.
Oh yes, and did I mention she looks glamorous as well? Here are Sally’s answers to my questions for inspirational parents.
1. Tell me about the most unexpected change to you as a person or to your life since becoming a parent?
Becoming a parent has completely rewritten the person I was. Since becoming a parent, for the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I really like the person that I am. I am still career minded, but ultimately I am a mother first and they (rather than me) are my sole driver for success in anything I do.
2. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since having children?
Juggling work and parenting is a huge challenge on a daily basis. I think all mothers feel guilt at their choices, and particularly because D &T is of my own making, I feel that guilt horribly. Every hour I work is another hour when I could be just playing and enjoying the children I adore so much.
3. What do you regard as your greatest achievement?
Aside from the obvious ones – my children themselves, building D&T from inception to this point despite launching it a week before I gave birth to my second child is without doubt my biggest achievement.
4. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What hasn’t killed you?
Baby number two was quite a journey for us. Many couples find undergoing fertility treatment a strain on their relationship, particularly when both of you are not on the same page about it!
After a miscarriage which broke my heart and our first failed attempt at IVF, my husband who could see how much the process of trying for baby number two was emotionally killing me, wanted us to stop.
We had one amazing son already and he knew that we could be happy as a family of three. I on the other hand was desperate for baby number two, and felt that our son needed a sibling as much as I needed a second child.
But instead of more treatment pushing us apart, it made our marriage even stronger. My realisation (which sounds obvious but was quite an epiphany at the time) that I didn’t just want more children, but that I wanted more children with this man, along with his support in that he would pick me up and brush me down no matter how many times I needed it, made our marriage stronger and our bonds deeper.
5. Who inspires you?
She’ll kill me for saying this but my Business Partner, Sam. She is an incredible and very smart businesswoman, and also a brilliant mother to her three boys.
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?
Blimey these questions are hard! My message is to my children to be happy and confident in who you are. I want them to enjoy every moment of their lives regardless of time, age or place.
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?
Not sure if it is life changing but I wish that more people would support others more. I guess some sort of properly managed mentor scheme where entrepreneurs can get access to proper, clear advice by someone who has been there and done it. Everyone is so precious and competitive that we all learn the hard way. It surely doesn’t have to be that way.
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?
Read a good book on a sunbed without worrying about little people falling the pool!
9. How can women best be empowered to properly balance a career and a family life?
If I knew the answer to that one I would be a successful entrepreneur! Ultimately, its about being at peace with the decisions you make.
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?
Cocktails, cocktails and more cocktails! A nice little bar with an open fire and a couple of comfy couches. We would talk about our antics in the past, and, in all honesty, our children!
Thank you Sally for answering my questions and I hope to join you one day for some cocktails and tales of how wild we once were.
As well as their beautiful website, you will also find Dorothy and Theodore on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I’m the least stylish person I’ve ever met, but even I am inspired by the beautiful things on Dorothy and Theodore. Please do hop across and check them out.