The story of The Bear and Miss Rabbit
So this is us, I am the taller one (or the grown up one!) and the little ones are The Bear age 3, and Miss Rabbit, now age 2!
The Bear has always been called ‘Bear’ since he was very small! And as a baby who had some feeding issues and reflux he was small for quite a while. I thought he would never grow out of his 0 – 3 month clothes! But he did! I now I find it hard to believe that my dinky little Bear is now one of the tallest of his age group!
Miss Rabbit came along in May 2011. A girl! What a surprise that was! We are a family full of boys, so after the question of ‘Are you sure?’, suddenly pink entered the house! The name ‘Miss Rabbit’ came from The Bear. The ever loving big brother…..well, most of the time
The life change
January 2012 saw the looming return to work date.
Out of the blue, the phone call came. Can you come for a chat? Childcare frantically arranged, work clothes dusted off, and off I went.
The dreaded restructuring. The next few months were a haze of work chats, reapplying for jobs and before the final news came – redundant – one month before my return to work date.
Such mixed emotions. If I’m honest; I was dreading the return to work. I worked 2 hours from where I lived, and although I worked from home, there was still overnight stays, lots of travelling and childcare to juggle. How do you arrange a meeting 3 hours away when you can’t leave until the 8.00am drop off, but also ensure you are home for the 6.00pm collection? Plus with 2 children under the age of 3, full time nursery fees would take all that salary. So the stress of work, travelling, and not financially better off in the short term – I guess it was a welcome relief. I also had my children in my late thirties. Did I really wait all that time to have them to put them in nursery from 8.00am – 6.00pm everyday?
But I have always worked. And I have always enjoyed working. It gave me more confidence, a sense of purpose. So becoming a full time stay at home mum was daunting. I love my children to bits – but they can be real monkeys – and like most mums, we have good days and bad days! And it is constant – at 3 and 2 there is no time to just sit and do nothing!
So what next? Every cloud has a silver lining! I love traditional toys, wooden toys and creative play. I am also lucky to have a son with the most wonderful imagination. All this combined, the business name was a natural choice, and therefore, with a push from the other half, in July 2012, ‘The Bear and Miss Rabbit’ was born.
It’s hard work! And I was unsure at first! Miss Rabbit was 14 months when I started up, the Bear almost 3. Where would I find the time to do it and the investment needed. But I have often thought about being self employed, and now was my chance! Otherwise I always would of wondered what if? Better to try!
So how do I do it?
I work straight after breakfast when the kids are happy to play together, grab 15 minutes at snack time and work in the evenings once they are in bed.
That is the joy of an online business – I am not tied to time. I am often updating the website and networking in my jammies! But no one knows as you can’t see me! And on the days where nothing is going to plan – we have even done the post run in our jammies (with joggers and a hoody over the top!).
I still have those guilty moments where they want to play and I am just trying to get some work finished – but it means they are waiting a few minutes for me rather than all day. They both go to nursery 2 days a week as they enjoy it, and it allows me some focussed time to work and catch up.
So it’s a balance, that so far, most of the time is working! And they both love to play shops – stealing my business cards and flyers to set up their own ‘The Bear and Miss Rabbit’. It is great to see the business is inspiring them too.
The pros of being self employed? Flexibility. I can fit my hours in around when the children are at nursery, at Grandma’s, asleep!
Although that is also one of the cons. Working late into the evening. But that is a small price to pay. I love the fact I can take them to nursery, pick them up, be home with them. And their first sports day – yes I was there! And this is me doing the hula hoop running race! (p.s I came 2nd!)