This week we are chatting to QUEEN of the BROWS Becky Smith, who is a mum of three beautiful children (Ivy, Kit and Nell) a full-time teacher AND founder of TW Brows by Becky. We are both BIG fans of Becky’s brows (we had ours microbladed last Summer and they are still going strong!) and we can’t wait to check out her eyelash lift and tint service which will be launching later this month. Take a read below to find out how Becky set up her business and makes her multi-hyphen-work-life ‘work’…
What time did you wake up this morning?
What was your very first thought of the day?
I am tired!
What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?
My partner Jim is the main one! The only way we function with our busy schedule is our change in roles; he has been a stay-at-home dad to our children since I went back to work at school full time after my maternity leave with Nell.
Routine is the second, but a boring one! Having a set routine to get all 3 kids plus us ready to leave the house is key.
The third one would be caffeine, a cliché but it's the only thing that gets me through the day as our youngest daughter still thinks she is a newborn and wakes at least every 4 hours at night even at 17 months old!
Describe a typical working morning?
Get up, get ready, check the older 2 children have got dressed, Jim will get Nell dressed while I go downstairs and make breakfast. I then leave for school whilst the kids are eating breakfast. I will also send a reminder message to that evening's microblading client at some point in the morning, checking they are still ok for the appointment.
Why did you decide to set up your business?
Since becoming a teacher 14 years ago I have done A Level tutoring on and off over the years. When I was thinking about going back to work after my maternity leave with Nell and we knew Jim would be leaving work to stay at home I needed to think about additional income but didn't want to tutor anymore as it makes the work day feel so long as an extension of what I do during the day. I had almost done a beauty qualification years ago before I started teaching and have always been interested in the profession. I then had an opportunity to do a microblading course quite last minute a few weeks before I went back to work last year and did it on a bit of a whim! Luckily I loved it and here I am a year later still loving it and adding eyelashes into the mix!
What's the best part of your job?
Seeing clients really happy with the outcome, especially if it means their make up routine will become easier and helps them feel more confident. I also love the "chatting to grown ups" element of it, I have met some absolutely lovely people through microblading and spending my evenings chatting away to someone new is a perk I hadn't expected.
#1 tip for juggling work and family life?
Be realistic about your time and stress levels and don't be afraid to say no to things. I am much better now at planning my time and keeping my microblading to 3 nights a week; I did too much in the beginning and had weeks where I felt so overwhelmed with it all. I am a relatively rational and pragmatic person (Jim might disagree sometimes!) and so I think I handle being busy well but this last year has taught me so much more about organisation and my limits. Looking after your own mental health is key, I have my family, my students and my clients relying on me to be happy, consistent and good at my various jobs and I take that responsibility very seriously! So, surround yourself with supportive, like minded people and don't beat yourself up when you have a day when it all gets a bit much and you end up a shouty, stress ball!
The happiest moment in your day?
Coming home from school and seeing my kids come running to meet me at the door, they are individually lovely and hilarious and despite the challenges of parenting they are the best bit of every day for me.
The hardest moment in your day?
When something doesn't go to plan and I have to rearrange something, which inevitably is quite tricky with all we have going on. This time of year it is down to the constant little illnesses with the kids and I get really anxious when they are unwell (something I am working on chilling out about!). Jim is the most laid back person I know though and always puts things in perspective when I get irrational.
Most overused word of the day?
It varies, but at the moment "Nell!!" - she is by far the craziest of our kids and at this age the older two were much more cautious and calm. She is crazy, fearless and relentless and will climb/eat/try anything so we are always on the look out!
Once the kids are in bed I...
Microblade! or if I don't have a client then I sit on the sofa to make myself feel I have had some kid-free time by watching tv before going to bed early!
Best piece of advice for fellow Parents..
.I know some parents don't like this as they feel it puts too much pressure on them and I totally get that but it works for me..... really just to enjoy it all whilst they are small and never to take what you have for granted. I feel like I only just had Ivy and she is 7 already, it is the biggest parenting cliché ever but it truly does go so fast. I have so much to be grateful for and I always try to remember this when I am sweating the small stuff; as long as I have my family and a roof over my head I have everything I need. Not to take it all so seriously helps, laugh when it's all going wrong and my favourite quote "happiness is a journey, not a destination" is one I always come back to on crazy days.