Women at Work: Customer Services & Business Owner

Women at Work: Customer Services & Business Owner

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This week we meet Becky, another busy mum (are there any of us who aren’t busy?) who works part-time in customer services as her ‘day job’, as well as running her own meal-planning company in her spare time!

Name: Becky Hulme

Current profession: Day job in Customer Services. Every other moment: Creator of Mums Meal Planner (mumsmealplanner.co.uk)

Town or county you live in: Near Blackpool

How did you get into being Creator of Mums Meal Planner?
While feeding baby no. 2 at approx 3am one morning, I was wondering what to make for tea that day, when I had the idea for Mums Meal Planner. I’ve always liked a challenge and there it was: create a business and make it work – eeek!

Briefly describe a typical day at work…
I work part time at my ‘day job’, so on a work day it’s up early and prepare for the challenge of getting everyone fed, washed, dressed and out of the door in the hope I get to work on time! Once at work, I have a cup of tea (a hot one) then start work. I deal with customer enquiries and whatever is required. Come home time, it’s another rush to get home to make sure I get there before nursery closes. Once we’re home, family time closely followed by bed time, then I start again with work for Mums Meal Planner. Anything from creating menus, to social media posts.

What is the best part of your job?
The creation of Mums Meal Planner was exciting. I had input into each and every aspect of the business, from website colours to email marketing. I get such a buzz each time I have a new customer. I’m looking forward to when I can afford to make it my full-time job, which will (hopefully) allow me the flexibility to work around my children.

And the worst?
The business is in the very early stages at the moment, so it’s hard work holding down a job, looking after my family and also doing everything needed for Mums Meal Planner. I could really do with another ‘me’ for a few days a week. (Not sure my husband would agree though!)

How many children do you have?
Two.

How old was your child when you went back to work?
My eldest was five months when I went back and my youngest was nine months.

How did you find going back to work after having a baby?
It was hard and enlightening. I realised I’d changed, but wasn’t quite sure who I was. I still loved work, but also had a little person at home that I couldn’t bear to be away from. Having a baby made time so much more precious. It made me better at my job, as time was a luxury I didn’t have anymore and I made every second count at home with my family.

Did you go back to the same job? Or consider a career change?
I went back to the same job. I’d been there since the company started and a career change didn’t enter my head. After having baby no 2, I knew I couldn’t go back as the Manager, as I couldn’t give the role the time it deserved, but I still needed to be challenged.

Who provides childcare for you?
Grandparents and nursery.

Was it easy to negotiate flexible working/returning to work?
I am lucky to have an understanding boss, who is also a family man. He was very accommodating when we discussed my working hours after my return to work.

Would you say your attitude to work has changed since having a baby?
YES! Before it was work 1st, 2nd & last (hubby came somewhere in the middle). Now, it’s family 1st. They’re only small once. You can always make more money, but you can never get the time back.

What advice would you give to mums on maternity leave?
Try to enjoy every moment. It’s hard, hard work and a constant fact-finding mission, but you will be OK. (And baby & toddler groups are a God send!)

Recipe: Mama’s mini meatballs

Recipe: Mama’s mini meatballs

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Ready to serve

I thought I’d do something slightly different this week and post a recipe. These mini meatballs are really quick and simple to make, and they taste delicious. There is no added salt, so they are suitable for children from six months old and the subtle flavours are perfect for young tastebuds. In fact, you might need to watch out for hungry husbands, as I caught Grump stealing a few for himself this evening.

I tend to offer these meatballs as finger food, but they could also be made into a meal by adding chopped up spaghetti and a tomato and basil sauce.

Ingredients

To make about 25 mini meatballs you will need:

  • 250g beef mince
  • ½ a white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • Mixed herbs, pinch
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 220ºC/fan 200ºC/ gas mark 7. Get a baking tray ready with some silver foil and spritz lightly with oil.

To make the meatballs, crack the egg into a large bowl and beat with a fork. Add the raw mince, chopped onion (make this as small as you can), mixed herbs and black pepper, and mix everything together with your hands. Sprinkle on the flour and mix further. Then, separate chunks of the mixture and roll into balls using the palms of your hands. Place each ball on to your baking tray with a decent gap between each one (see photo below).

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Make sure you give the baking tray a shake halfway through to prevent the balls from sticking to the silver foil.

Once cooked, leave the meatballs to cool and serve. Easy, peasey.

You can store any leftovers in the fridge for a day or two, or pop them in the freezer to eat at a later date.

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Before cooking
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Leave them to cool before serving
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The J loves these mini meatballs