24 Mar 2017
For many, Mother’s day brings a mix of emotions. Both men and women can sense the loss of their mother’s more acutely. Other’s are grieving being unable to parent children or that motherhood is not what they expected it to be. Meanwhile many of us women are pulling our hair out as we walk this complicated, exhausting and rewarding gauntlet called motherhood.
Simple Stuff Works is proud to be a family-run business, committed to putting families at the centre of its work. They proudly support campaigns like ‘Don’t call me Mum’ because they recognise how important it is to treat parents as partners and put families first.
In both its past and present (and maybe its future), Simple Stuff Works has been pioneered by amazing women. So I asked Sarah Clayton (CEO) and Anna Waugh (MD) about their own mum and how being a parent has changed how they work.
How did your mum shape who you are today?
Sarah: My mum taught me that everyone is equal – but that systems and culture don’t always reflect that innate equality. Mum is the most courageous, authentic woman I know and I hope that I’m half as brave!
Anna: Our mum is the most caring, supportive and unstoppable woman. She taught us the value base which underpins Simple Stuff Works, one of respect, compassion and dignity. She is utterly relentless in her passion for postural care and her enthusiasm for her work has fed straight down to us. I hope we lead with the same passion and fire.
How has being a mum changed the way you work?
Sarah: I’m much more efficient! I can get more done in half an hour than I ever did in a full day before having children. My kids also provide a great benchmark for my own internal quality control system.
Anna: Being a mum has changed the way I work in every way. When I am supporting families I always consider my own children and how I would want them to be supported.
How do you think your kids would describe you as a mum?
Sarah: I’m too busy… they often say that and that I should slow down (usually seconds before asking me to drive them somewhere they urgently need to be). They would probably say that I am bossy and that I nag them a lot… but I think they would also say that they feel loved and supported.
Anna: Funny, a bad cook and possibly a bit shouty at times! They’d say I was caring, kind and good fun too (I hope!)
What is your greatest challenge as a mum?
Sarah: Remembering where they all are – genuinely. Keeping track of them, remembering to drop them off and pick them up again is a military operation in our house. The last thing I do at night is a roll call in my head…
Anna: As a single mum and running a family business, I battle continually with guilt. I feel guilty if I have to work away, or if my kids have to be looked after by family. I worry that I spread myself too thinly. I’m trying my hardest to be present when I am with them and not be distracted by my emails or my phone ringing… but it can be a real challenge.
What is the most rewarding part of being a mum?
Sarah: Seeing them growing up into confident and happy young people. I wish that I could package up experience, knowledge and self-esteem in a tablet and make them swallow it… but then I realise that they are getting on fine and that fills me with pride.
Anna: Seeing their gorgeous faces when I get home, watching them grow and change, seeing their personalities develop. I am so proud of both of my children and I am so proud that, as a threesome, we achieve so much on a daily basis. Everything I do is driven by me wanting to provide them with the best start in life and I think that they have made me a better person.
What is the one thing you would like to say to the mum’s who come in contact with Simple Stuff Works?
Sarah: A big thank you for trusting us to support you. We know that your children, no matter how old they become, are the most precious thing on the planet – we will do all we can to help you to help them.
Anna: I would like any mum who finds themselves needing our support to know that we are absolutely dedicated to getting it right. We will support every family with compassion, dignity and respect. We are here to answer any questions that people may have as, at the end of the day, we’re here to support your family.
See, I told you they’re awesome.
There are so many challenges to being a mum and so many reasons to raise a glass and thank the women in our lives who shape and nurture us.
Happy Mother’s Day
from everyone at Simple Stuff Works
Rachel is a nurse, writer and mum living in Essex with her husband and three sons. Her life changed the day her eldest son was born and introduced her to the world of severe disability and life-limiting epilepsy. As well as doing laundry and picking up Lego, she blogs at Born at the Right Time and recently published her memoir ‘The Skies I’m Under’. Rachel is passionate about sharing her family’s story to improve the care of complex families. Her speaking engagements include leading parent workshops as well as training professionals.