So my time of working with small children at home has come to an end.
I feel like it’s the end of an era but more than likely the start of the next part of our journey.
When setting up my Virtual Assistant business back in 2013 I never realised how much I needed it, never more so that those early days when we received Ella’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
My youngest, Ella started school this week, I’m so grateful to my business for allowing me the flexibility to be there for her. All children need love, attention and input, but with Ella having Down Syndrome I needed to ensure that she had the best possible preparation and foundation for starting school, and that required a lot of input from me.
Over the last 4 years working as a VA has allowed me to give her daily input, along with attending weekly educational groups with her to give her a wonderful foundation to her education courtesy of The Ups of Down’s in Leamington.
I’ve managed to enjoy the small steps for us, but huge ones for Ella, and that has given me a satisfaction I didn’t think was possible, it taught me to take the time and really appreciate the important things in life.
Don’t get me wrong there’s been times when she’s caused chaos in my office, once she was tall enough to reach the door handles, and the badly timed declaration of needing a poo just as a customer had called – which they found hilarious. Trying to balance medical appointments with client workload has at times proved hard, but on the whole it’s allowed me to be there for her every step of the way without having to ask for time off or having too much Mum guilt.
I will miss my little sidekick and I’m currently under the illusion that I will have lots more time, but realistically I know I’m kidding myself, it will soon get filled up, plus she has two appointments this week that I need to take her to.
So whilst I look back on what we’ve both achieved at the end of this era, I’d like to thank my amazing customers for their support of my business and myself over the last 6 years, my husband (yes we eventually got married in August) for enabling and encouraging me to set it up in the first place, my business for ensuring I was always there for my children, my support network of associate VAs and those VAs that have become friends, my mentor for giving me more than a few kicks up the bottom over the past 12 months, and most importantly to Ella who’s taught me far more than I will ever be able to teach her.
With some of my “free time”, I’m giving back to a charity that has supported us as a family over the past 4 years. I have taken on the role of Training and Schools Coordinator with the Ups of Down’s. The role sits very well within the VA remit, with organising training, managing diaries and some social media too. Working with a charity whose main ethos is to enable children with Down Syndrome to be the best that they can be will be very rewarding.
So I might feel like it’s the end of an era, but it has been a very positive one. I am lucky to work in an industry that is collaborative and provides me with a work / life balance, it is also an exciting time as I begin a new chapter and I am thoroughly looking forward to it.
If you think you’d like to work in a rewarding and family friendly industry then have a look at the VACT website, there are lots of free resources as well as some paid courses to give you a really good start in setting up as a virtual assistant.
I’m off to relax with a coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet… who am I kidding I have 145 CVs to filter!!