Let’s face it, youngsters cannot wait for the school bell to ring and the summer holidays to begin.
It will not be long until the term breaks up for seven-and-a-half weeks and, while children have little more than the inevitable onset of boredom to worry about, the long holiday gives parents an added headache as they stress over childcare and keeping their little lodgers entertained.
Say what you like about the quality of education these days – good or bad – it does take the wee ones off our hands for a few hours each day and frees up time for parents to earn a crust to help pay for essentials like new school trousers, shoes and all the usual kit required for next term.
When the safety net of school hours is removed from the equation, parents can often find it tough to juggle their childcare responsibilities and their working commitments.
This fast approaching time of the year can also be difficult for people who are trying to build up their own business – a stressful enough task.
Fiona Hague and Lindsey Porter know all about the tightrope act of raising a family and growing a business at the same time and have decided to use their own experiences to help others in the same situation.
Their Surviving Summer workshops – which take place in Linlithgow (Monday, June 5) and Falkirk (Monday, June 19) – aim to help self-employed mums cope with the long summer stretch.
Fiona (47) is a small business marketer specialising in Facebook marketing strategies and campaigns and, working around her family schedule, has built her business up to such an extent she now has an international network of customers.
A qualified life coach with 15 years of experience working with charities, communities and in businesses, she is also a busy mum of two pre-teens and has a passion for women’s issues and supporting people to create a work life that works for them.
Lindsey (44), meanwhile, is a well respected, and well known, yoga teacher who runs her own classes, workshops and wellbeing retreats throughout Scotland. A neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner – which brings a new approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy – Lindsey is also a holistic therapist and author of wellbeing articles featured in leading yoga magazines, The Falkirk Herald and The Huffington Post.
She also has 20 years experience working as a project and programme manager in the financial services sector across the UK and overseas. Like her friend Fiona she is a busy mum of two children.
If anyone has enough skill and experience to create a workshop providing advice and help for self employed mums it would be this dynamic duo.
Fiona said: “We felt we had enough life and business skills between us to bring something together to help these women – support their summer holiday, allow them to keep their business running and enjoy time with their children.”
The Maddiston mums met each other at a local business networking event. Together they have now created the popular Braes Blether Facebook site, which went live at the start of the year, and have also recently started the group Scottish Business Mums.
Lindsey said: “I come from a business background and Fiona is a Facebook marketing expert. She was keen to have something that helps the community, which I was fully supportive of.
“We’ve now got 700 people on board with Braes Blether.”
Fiona added: “We moderate the site, but it doesn’t take up a lot of our time because the community is so supportive.”
And support is what the women will be providing at their Surviving Summer workshops – first in the Old Pavilion, Linlithgow, and then in Callendar House, Falkirk.
Both events include a lunch and are set up to be as accessible as possible to self-employed mums – even running from 9.30am to 2.30pm so they can drop off and pick up their children from school.
Lindsey said: “As well as business advice and strategies we will be using neuro linguistic programming to break down habits and build self confidence and through yoga we will give them the sense of space to allow them to find calmness.
“Our workshops bring all these aspects together, the business side and the personal side.”
Fiona added: “A lot of self-employed mums don’t have time or opportunity to make connections with like-minded people, so these workshops can not only offer advice, but provide a chance to network and link up with people going through the same things.
“We want them to feel prepared for the summer break, let them make the most of their time and also keep their business going. We will give them all the tools they will need to keep themselves sane and help them plan ahead.
“Magic happens when women come together and support each other.”
Lindsey said: “The day is planned around school hours to support making childcare arrangements as easy as possible. We also have enlisted the help of a local qualified and registered professional childminder, who is available to discuss and support any childcare needs to enable you to attend this day.”
Each participant will receive a special “goodie bag” of items and treats from local business at the end of the session.
Visit www.fionahague.com/survivingsummer for more information and to book a place at either the Linlithgow or Falkirk workshop.