Applying Patience & Balance for better wellbeing by Dani Bolser
By Dani Bolser: Mum | Wife | Small Business Owner
Dani owns a luxury faux flower wedding business and has an online retail partnership with Notonthehighstreet.com. She has two children, Luca & Lauren, and married to her husband Joe. Before Dani began her own business, she’d spent years struggling to find a job that suited her new life of being a mum. She worked part time, full time, had weekend jobs and even took on a casual worker role at one point. Nothing seemed to work or pay well enough. This pushed Dani to break the 9-5 and corporate environment and start working for herself. Deluxe Blooms is celebrating it’s 3rd year of business and Dani has finally found work that works for her and her family.
When I was a child one of the first lessons I learnt was how to be patient. If you’d been ‘good’ that week and mum promised you a treat, you’d have to wait until Saturday morning before you could go to the toy shop. But it didn’t matter. It didn’t feel like a long wait. It was exciting and something to look forward to, and also meant that mum and I would have some quality time together. We’d browse around the store, talk about silly things and then I’d beg my mum to let me hand over the money at the till. Life was simpler, slower and now I’m a mother I really miss the 90’s.
My kids expect everything in an instant (or at least the very next day from Amazon Prime!) Questions like, “can I have this?”, “can we order it online?” and my favourite, “can we go to the shops and get me some new trainers?” (at 8pm!?) This whole lifestyle with no patience and everything is available at the click of a button suddenly started to take over my life. That and the constant screen time. Damn you Apple! There are times when I bloody hate technology and want to throw everything out the window.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this love-hate relationship with mobiles and computers is mainly loved! Its thanks to the internet, social media platforms and my new Pinterest obsession that has allowed me to start my own business, Deluxe Blooms, a luxury faux flower company. I don’t need a retail space to be a florist as everything I sell is online. There’s never been a better time to start working for yourself. (If you’re thinking of starting a business, absolutely go for it!) I can work from my kitchen table and send parcels to the US and New Zealand. Now that’s something the 90’s could never do for me.
But the biggest thing I’m grateful for is the ability to work the hours that I choose and to be a mum first. I’m so lucky to be there at every school drop off and pick up. If the kids are sick I don’t have to beg my employer to let me leave. I’ve been there, done that and it’s just so unnecessary and stressful. One employer pissed me off so much and actually dropped the ‘F’ bomb at me when I was on my lunch break. So I got straight on the train and emailed my resignation letter before I’d even arrived home. Fuck you too Marcus!
But, three years into being self-employed and I find myself falling into the same pattern as my kids, with no patience. I want more followers, more sales, more clients, more national press. I want it now! This was me last month. Working at 100 miles an hour, forgetting snacks and homework and one of my kids nearly missed a school trip because I totally forgot to pay.
But then, something happened. My son had a health scare. It’s been horrendous. And how bad that its taken something like this to make me slow the fuck down and breathe for a minute.
In the past few weeks, I’ve reduced my workload and spent every minute soaking in my wonderful children and creating memories that don’t involve one single screen.
It’s made me think about the balance between life and work, and I’m sorry to tell you but it doesn’t actually exist. The whole balancing act is even more exhausting than just winging it, so I’ll stick to winging it thanks very much.
This past month has given me a new found appreciation for my life. Instead of focusing on the ‘what’s next’, I’m actually looking into the past more. Realising how far I’ve come in three years with Deluxe Blooms and how much the kids have grown. (I swear, I blinked and suddenly I have a 9 and a 4 year old.) Taking a moment to enjoy my achievements and to stop constantly thinking about the future. So many times in life we dream about where we want to be in a years time, 5 years time, the next decade. But do we ever stop to smell the roses? To be happy and content with how life is right now and for that to be enough. Sounds familiar right?
If you haven’t tried it, I can highly recommend that you do. Slow down. Look at what you do have and not what you don’t have. Look at where you’ve come from and not on where you’re going. Take lessons from the past and try living in the present. My only regret is that I didn’t learn this lesson sooner.
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I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.
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