We couldn't run a #ParentLifeMadeEasy series without featuring our very own ScooterSlingz founder Penny Othen who designed the ScooterSlingz bag to make life easier for parents of scooter mad kids.
Since becoming a mum what have you have found to be most challenging?
The daily juggle; the business, my work, the school run, the shopping, party planning, catering for everyone – I’d go on but I know every mum out there understands only too well!
I’m also pretty sure motherhood has had a serious impact on my attention span, something to do with the constant interruptions and on the go demands or thinking about work while answering “what are your top 5 favourite numbers mummy?” yet again. Or maybe I’m just getting to that age…. Yikes!
Have you got any tips for keeping children entertained on the go, in the car or on the tube for example?
If I think they’re going to get bored, I often write each of them a little list of things to spot and check off during an outing; maybe ‘lady in a blue coat’, ‘a red telephone box’, ‘a purple flower’ etc, that keeps them entertained for a while. If I’m feeling mean, I make them really hard…
On the bus in London we play barbers vs chemists; pick a team, get a point for each you see. Bonus points for spinning barber’s poles and lit chemist crosses. You’d think chemists would win it every time, but you’d be surprised…
What is your #ParentingLifesaver? The one thing you couldn’t survive without.
Snacks. Lots of snacks. And my ScooterSlingz bag of course!
Does your child/children have a favourite toy they couldn’t live without, that if they lost all hell would break loose?
My eldest has Ferret (pretty sure he’s actually an otter), my daughter is getting a bit old for him now but he’s been precious for years. My youngest has Rosie - a pink teddy my mum found abandoned in brambles when out for a walk. She took her home, put her in the washing machine, made her a little dress and gave her to my youngest. She’s been the most precious toy to her ever since (I think the rescue story appealed to her).
There are so many amazing parents out there doing what they can to make life better for their kids and trying to master the work life balance, do you know any particular favourites we should follow?
I work with an amazing organisation called Digital Mums who take mums in search of a better work/life balance and turn them into top class social media managers. I could name so many of the graduates who have completely nailed it and now have amazing careers that work perfectly around their family lives. The founders Nikki Cochrane and Kathryn Tyler are not actually mums but they are definitely the two women I would name as making the most difference in the lives of so many mums looking for flexible careers right now. You can follow Digital Mums on Twitter, like their page on Facebook and read some of the amazingly inspirational blogs about some of the programme graduates here.
What inspired you to start ScooterSlingz and have you got any advice for women out there thinking of starting their own business?
It was a classic case of a parent struggle that needed solving (me constantly struggling with my daughter’s Micro Scooter, on the bus, on my bike, in museums, in cafes) that inspired me to design and launch the ScooterSlingz bag. My advice to other is do lots of research (not just with friends and family) and if you get validation of your idea, just go for it!