Lorette runs the Slingababy school, training baby-carrying educators at various levels across the UK as well as abroad. She has two children.
I have 2 children: a son born in 2010 and a daughter born in 2015. Their father and I separated when my son was nearly 3. He now lives 2 hours’ drive away and looks after his 2 older children from a previous relationship (on a 50/50 time split with their mother). This makes matching our timetables a bit of a jigsaw.
I started Slingababy before we separated and it grew from strength to strength which helped me with gaining independence when my situation changed. I felt compelled to start the school. There was something missing in the baby-carrying industry and I had a feeling I could bring it to life. A very dear friend encouraged me to take the plunge and I carry her words with me to this day: “give it a try. If it’s shit, nobody will come. If it’s not, it will be worth it.”
My typical schedule over a fortnight is as follows: Monday1: family time, maybe a little admin, Tuesday1: family time, Wednesday1: admin with my daughter in childcare, Thursday1: travelling or prepping my space for a course, alongside some family time, Friday1 to Monday2: teaching, Tuesday2: family time, Wednesday2: admin with my daughter in childcare, Thursday2 to Sunday2: family time, maybe a little admin, sometimes a 1 day course.
For the last year and a half, I had the privilege of bringing my children and a helper with me when I was teaching away from home. This is about to change and the children will now stay with their father. For a local course, my daughter goes in childcare and my son entertains himself.
I love what I do. Being my own boss means that I create all the rules. With trial and error, I found my perfect balance. I spend all my time either loving my job or loving being with my children. I feel blessed.
Sometimes the strain of the relentlessness is too much. Sometimes I would like to be able to lean onto another adult. Luckily, my father had prepared me for life’s challenges with his wisdom: “when you don’t like things that you can’t change or can’t leave, just get on with it” I have found strength in this way of looking at difficult times whilst also repeating the parenting mantra of “this too shall pass”
To parents looking for flexible working, I would say: define your goals. Reassess your priorities. Reassess your need for material things. Take the plunge. Tweak what you resent until you’re working within a frame you appreciate. Enjoy life. Oh! And come do my course, I’m full of more wisdom collected over the years! Joke apart, I do want to branch out into organisation courses as it’s another passion of mine. That course, when ready to launch, will be a game-changer for many.