What a month it's been!
Confession: before I launched Arabella Jones I had absolutely no idea of the highs and lows that come with being your own boss. But for every seed of self doubt, there's been an entire community tree to offer support.
I've "met" or been introduced to so many fellow entrepreneurs over the last few weeks, many of them mums, many of them military spouses, many of them trying to have a positive impact on the world, all of them wonderful. Some of them will be featured in our guest blog, so be sure to check that out when you're done here.
I am particularly grateful to Charlie Day's Entrepreneurs Growth Club, whose members managed to turn a bad day around with teamwork and positivity. Charlie's attitude is incredibly motivating, and she's built a community of business owners who are all moving in the same direction - and that direction is quite clearly upwards. If you're a small business owner (or even a big business owner) I recommend you take a look.
July saw Arabella Jones appear in the local press: you can see me talking about it here. We had some wonderful feedback, with members of the military community sharing why keepsakes have been important to them over the years, through deployments or other absences that come with active service. Plus a Navy spouse who works as a relationship counsellor (quite often with military couples) emailed us to say, in paraphrase, "keep up the good work". It was exactly what I needed to hear.
On a personal level, juggling weekending (or fortnighting, really) with the two little ones at home 24/7 and the demands of getting a new business off the ground has been tough, particularly as our toddler is missing Daddy and suddenly seems to be incredibly nervous about the big bad world. The littlest has spent the majority of his life in the state of COVID-19 so doesn't know any different, but the eldest is very clearly missing the way things used to be. I can't wait for him to be able to hug his family again, but things are set to improve when Mr Arabella Jones returns home later this week.
In the meantime I've been appeasing the mum guilt by taking the boys out to various zoos, animal sanctuaries and National Trust sites almost every day of the week (thank goodness we're members). The trips out aren't very conducive to getting things done, though, so my working hours appear to be 2030-2300 once they're asleep. (And then a couple of twenty minute slots in the night during the night feeds!)
All in, Arabella Jones is really redefining for me what it means to be a working mum. It's hard, there are good days, there are bad days, but I'm loving it. Roller coaster is an understatement; it's a theme park. And I'm grateful to all of you who are joining in on the ride.