Working From Home | Laura Hanson Mortgage and Protection Advisor
We caught up with Honley’s mortgage advisor Laura Hanson to find out how she juggled setting up a new business from home – while still being a full-time mum to her young family – and how she is learning to find the right balance.
To find out more about Laura’s business, you can read her full business listing here.
Let’s Talk ‘Working from Home’
I have read several articles on the life changing effects working from home has had on so many people around the world.
Focus is generally given to the benefits of no longer having a lengthy and often costly commute and – importantly for me – having extra time with the family.
Extra time to take up morning exercise, when normally we would be on the road, time to prepare healthier evening meals that can be enjoyed earlier in the evening, and precious time to give to our loved ones, whether that is spending more time with young children, helping with school runs or extracurricular activities.
Yes, I absolutely agree with it all, but, for me, there is another side to this shift in our lifestyles. Personally, I have found myself in a totally exhausting cycle of having to be everything to everyone.
After recently setting up my own business, Laura Hanson – Mortgage and Protection Advisor, I was trying to work fulltime and more, and still be a fulltime mum.
Although the flexibility of working from home has given me so much – I am on the schools runs, I can watch after school football matches and cross country runs, and meet other likeminded parents – sadly, it has also proved to be a relentless and exhausting cycle.
After becoming a self-employed mortgage advisor, I have had to learn so many new skills and dig deep to find the strength to implement them every single day.
To fit my working week into my hours, I have found myself working late into the evening, often after my young children have gone to bed. I am all too aware this is not a pattern I can continue forever. However, as it has been said to me on multiple occasions, the first two years of setting up your own business are the hardest. So, for the short term at least, I am happy to give this everything I have got.
Finding the Right Balance
I am extremely confident that I can make my mortgage and protection profession a huge success and establish a business I can be proud of – one that my young family will look up to for years to come and of which we can build around a happy family life.
So, with my newfound skill of ‘discipline’, I have made multiple changes within the home.
Sharing the Load
Yes, I am there for school drops-offs and pick-ups, but I do not touch the washing machine. I do not clean the bathroom. I do not pick up toys or prepare an evening meal.
Instead, I work. I work using my color-coded office Outlook calendar, where I have everything scheduled for a ‘solopreneur’. When my young children come home from school, they help me to prepare food, tidy their bedrooms and sort the washing. We share our household chores and enjoy our time together as a family.
My husband and I have also made an agreement that for two set days each week, he is in charge. He is the one to drop everything if our children need collecting early from school or are at home poorly. On those days, he prepares the evening meals and makes sure drop-offs and pick-ups are arranged for any out of school clubs.
Because simply, why not? We both work more than fulltime hours and as partners, it is down to us to share those responsibilities.
Luckily for me, I do have the option of going into an office. Hybrid working suits me. The time I spend in the office around others in my profession is invaluable.
Working in an office environment has been crucial to my personal development and learning. It gets me out of the house – away from the chores – and interacting with like-minded professional adults. I expect it will be something I will continue for the long term, even if it is just one day a week.
We are getting there. It will take time and I will continue to strive for that magic balance so that we establish a routine where we are all successful and happy in what we are trying to achieve.
We just sometimes need to take a step back and accept that we cannot be everything to everyone – no matter how hard we try.
With thanks to Laura Hanson BSc (Hons) CeMAP, Mortgage and Protection Advisor