We have decided to run a series of Blog Posts called “Inspire Me” . Here we will be introducing inspirational women who decided to venture out and start up their own businesses - What’s the common theme?? Well, they all come from a nannying background and have a real passion for child care.
So lets kick off this series with the lovely JESSICA KEARNS, a qualified Norland Nanny, and a proud mummy of two gorgeous children… Jess went from nannying to running her own consultancy business - Baby Basics.
From the moment you meet Jess you’re blown away by her warm personality and witty sense of humour - no wonder the families who’ve been lucky to work with her, all talk about her in the highest regard. Here is what Jess had to say over a strong cup of coffee...
How did Baby Basics Company come about?
After having my first child I found a lot of my mummy friends were constantly asking for my advice and tips on various child related subjects. It made me realise there was a real gap in the market and I saw a potential for my new venture.
What do you feel sets you apart from your many competitors?
I’m sure there are similar types businesses in London but as I’m based in Essex I haven’t come across a company that offers help and solutions to all child related issues under one roof. 80% of the services I offer myself, but I also work closely with a wide range of nannies, so have people I can recommend if it’s an area I don’t cover.
As well as helping families with issues that arise, I also prepare and guide families by offering workshops. For example a weaning workshop for a group of NCT mummies who’s babies are ready to start solids! I also offer emergency nanny help and ad hoc work to fit around my own children and newborn preparation for expectant parents.
How do you find being a working mum?
I’ve found it harder than I expected. It’s the mummy guilt that you are not prepared for! I’m very fortunate in the fact that I work 100% around my children, but I do struggle when I’m trying to entertain the children, answer emails, prepare lunch, plan a workshop and keep on top of the housework!
What is the most common concern your clients come to you with?
When I started my business, I’d hoped that the majority of my work would be helping parents along their journey with the next relevant area of parenting. Preparing them for babies arrival, and answering questions about feeding, preparing them for weaning, potty training etc… However, I’ve found most of my clients come to me with issues. The main one being SLEEP.
I think Sleep is an area that EVERYONE struggles with - I’m an expert and have STILL had my fair share of sleepless nights! It’s also a hard one as clients expect you to wave a magic wand and give them a child that sleeps for 12hrs a night.
Are you the type of mum you thought you'd be?
A few months after having my first child, I had a bit of a reality check and realised I needed to stop trying to "nanny" my own baby and just relax and enjoy it more. I was beating myself up for not being up and out of the house by 8am with a content baby in a perfect routine. The reality is NOTHING can prepare you for parenthood, even with all the experience I had. The constant exhaustion, worry for this new little life and over whelming love just hits you over night and its 24/7 for the rest of your life.
There was a lot of things I had to instal in children I nannied because their parents wanted them a certain way. This was my job at the end of the day. As a mother, I know what’s important and of course have certain standards but we also have a lot more fun. So what if they have chocolate for breakfast on a Saturday, or jump on the sofa during one of our many family discos?!
If you could give only one advice to a new mum, what would that be?
Trust your judgment!! Everyone has an opinion these days, but nothing beats a mother’s instinct!
And finally, what's next for Baby Basics Company?
I’ve teamed up with a fellow Norland Nanny (Amy Johnson) and we are hosting a local event called Dunmows Baby and Toddler Event in May. We are bringing together local companies that relate to children under one roof for a day of stalls, talks, yummy food, presentations and much more! Other than that, I’ll continue plugging my business, helping families and enjoy being a mummy!