Have you ever wondered why
Will I achieve my dreams? Am I where I thought I would be when I was 10 years old and knew I could be anything?
I have had these conversations with friends, and I think that as a mum this becomes particularly hard as we give up everything to raise our little ones, and then when/if we do go back to work it is not necessarily what we want to do, but rather a way to make ends meet.
Next week my two little ones are at school full time for the first time ever. 2015 will be a turning point for Little Wooden Toybox and I am finally ready to tell you my goals, plans and dreams for the business.
So why do I do what I do? What is the point of Little Wooden Toybox? Is it just the toys? Just about educating families on the benefits of learning through play?
Yes and no. I am definitely passionate about education, wooden toys and learning through play and this will be a huge focus throughout the business. But to be honest there is a whole lot more…
I see a bigger picture.
I see that I can create something that will make a difference to families’ lives, not just in Perth but Australia wide.
My dream is for Little Wooden Toybox to fund community centres; to own them not just rent them and move on when leases expire. Permanent structures designed for today’s families’ needs. With cafes, daily playgroups, sensory rooms and meeting rooms. A place where families are welcome. Where mums without support are welcome. Where special needs families are understood and cared for. A place where a community of families come together, not just to get what they can out of it but to give back too. A place where people support each other.
A place where breastfeeding is supported. Where mums with post natal depression are understood and accepted. Where sleep issues are acknowledged and addressed. Where training and education for mums/parents is provided for free and regularly. A place where mums can get consistent, realistic and reliable advice.
Parenting is hard and parenting in today’s society is even harder. There is a huge lack of support for parents today where advice comes from left, right and centre with very little support to help implement this well-meaning advice. We live in a world of instant gratification and instant results and unfortunately our little ones don’t respond this way, leaving parents confused, frustrated and feeling inadequate and alone.
Young families need support. And constant support, not just a piece of advice or a check-up every couple of weeks or months.
It takes a village to raise a child and I want to ring back the village. No small feat
My biggest challenge as a new mum was not looking after my little one but rather my sanity as I had lost a sense of achievement at the end of the day. I would look around the house and nothing looked ‘done’. Nothing was completed. No to-do lists were ticked off. My babies were clean and fed and somewhat happy but my brain was turning to moosh. Now I know not all mums are like this, but I know some of you will understand and relate.
Other mums need the extra income to make ends meet but find it near impossible to get a job that they can take baby along to or that works around the family schedule.
In setting up Little Wooden Toybox Party Plan, I want to provide mums with a sense of community, support, financial independence and a sense of achievement at the end of the day.
Knowing that most consultants are and will be busy mums, I have set up a huge amount of training resources and videos, materials, templates, scripts, ideas and challenges to give mums the tools to succeed as consultants from the get go.
As Little Wooden Toybox Party Plan grows, it will provide the funds to establish the very first community centre within the next 5 years. I also look forward to partnering with other groups and services to make this dream a reality. In particular other businesses that are passionate about educating and supporting young families and providing practical and desperately needed services.
And I don’t plan to stop at one centre, but to launch more first in WA and then Australia wide.
But I’m not there yet and I have a long way to go! Each day I chip away at the to-do list; the list of things that gets me closer to my goals, grows my team and takes us one step closer to making a small difference in the world.
To date, consultants have joined our team for their own reasons and they too are reading my ‘why’ for the first time. In future, I want mums to come on board to become a part of something bigger. A way of contributing to a bigger picture while supporting their own families too. To be a part of something that will impact our community and our children’s futures.
We hear the comments all the time “How did they turn out like that?” or “How can they parent like that?” or “What are they thinking treating a child like that?”
What if they don’t know any different? What if they are just living out the same cycle of treatment they grew up with as a child? What if their life experiences have shown them that this is all they are capable of? What hope do they have?
And our comments certainly don’t change anything…
But I want to actually do something to change that world; to break or at the very least disrupt the cycle of neglect, abuse, malnutrition, lack of support and lack of education for both parents and their children.
I want to provide a place that gives hope to parents and in turn their children.
This is my ‘why.’ My ‘behind the scenes’ reasons that make me crazy enough to run my own business, work to all hours of the night for very little profit to date while also being a single mum of two special needs children… and I love every minute!
Come on the journey with
Watch this space…