Meet Julie, the owner of The blossoming birth company, who shares her story of becoming a Special Guardian to her grandson and what the work/life juggle looks like for her…
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Julie, mum to 2 grown up daughters, wife to Kev and now Nanna to the most wonderful little boy called Freddie, who is 3. I had worked in the NHS for over 30 years as a nurse and midwife, my career was so very important to me, it was my passion, I had been privileged to work alongside awesome families and witnessed 1000’s of births, I loved every single minute of it. There is nothing like watching a woman birth and then supporting that new family as they venture into their new world of parenthood. This all changed around 3 years ago when we were unexpectedly chosen to be our newborn Grandson’s Special Guardians, all of our lives were changed forever. It was the easiest and hardest decision of my life, Freddie needed us and we loved him, but it meant me walking away from my career as I wanted to be there for Freddie full time to ensure he felt safe, loved and secure. A year into caring for Fred and having tried a few baby courses with him I realised that there were very few that were inclusive and very few who didn’t judge me when they explored the reasons Fred was not living with his Mum, it made me begin to lie about our situation and eventually led me to avoid social situations which then led to isolation and anxiety, two things I had never experienced before in my life. These feelings were the driving force behind me setting up The Blossoming Birth Company.
What does mindfulness mean to you?
For me mindfulness is all about peace, listening to your inner voice, allowing yourself time and space, all things I would have always spoken to my mums about during their pregnancy and births but things that I probably didn’t allow myself to do as often as I should have during my midwifery career. Since having Fred in our lives there are things, I am conscious about needing to include in my everyday life, although some days are easier than others and sometimes, I need to be reminded about how important these things are.
How do you incorporate self-care into your busy week, what are your ‘go to’ rituals?
I have developed an anxiety that at times can be overwhelming if I do not carve out some self-care, some quiet space, a new situation and feeling for me, but one that I now know is my body and minds way of calling for attention. I have a few simple ‘go to’ rituals, a relaxing bath, reading allows me to escape, my essential oils at night and ensuring I have some time with my friends and family away from my phone and work.
How do you balance running your business with being a Mum & Guardian?
This is an ever-changing juggling act, some weeks I can keep all the balls in the air and others I feel like I’m dropping them all one by one. I sometimes have to give myself a bit of a ‘talking to’ – (very often in the car on my own) and I find being more organised, journaling and list writing really allows me to plan and maintain some work/life balance.
What is your favourite quote/ best words of encouragement that you’ve received this year?
About 6 months after starting The Blossoming Birth Company I had a really tricky few weeks and couldn’t seem to be able get myself back on track, full of self-doubt, worried about what people thought of me and my youngest daughter came to visit and could see there was something wrong, she said ‘Mum, you are, and always have been, all we need. Just keep going.’