I was recently featured in Wimborne Mummy's latest blog on careering mothers so thought i'd share it here with you too, encase you missed it...
Leanne lives in Wimborne, Dorset with her partner James and seven year old daughter and four year old son. She is a yoga teacher and Thai yoga massage therapist and founder of LeAnanda Yoga.
What do you do? Apart from being superwoman?! I’m a yoga teacher and Thai yoga massage therapist, mum, girlfriend, ex-wife, daughter and new business owner! (Not in any particular order!)
How has your career changed since having children? Where do I start?! Before I had kids I used to be a buyer for Tesco, it was a stressful, anxiety fuelled job. I started practicing yoga as a result of this and immediately knew I wanted to teach. I also quickly realised it would be something I could do working around kids. (Let me add…I’m one of those mums who wasn’t really sure I wanted to be a mum; I wasn’t even convinced I’d be able to have children but I did and they’re here and I wouldn’t change it for the world - well sometimes I would, I’m only human!).
Before I became pregnant I started teaching in and around north London and Cambridge full-time which was great. But when I became pregnant, I decided it was time to move home. I wanted to be back by the seaside and in the fresh air; London wasn’t somewhere I wanted to raise kids.
Being a self-employed teacher is difficult because your income isn’t guaranteed so after my first mat leave (I struggled with both mat leaves) I got a part-time job doing sales and admin at a builders merchants near where I live. It was easy, I had a good boss and it fitted around childcare. I only earnt enough to pay for childcare so I started teaching again on the side for some extra cash. The job and teaching were definitely both for my sanity more than the money. Then the pandemic hit and I was furloughed and spent A LOT of time with the kids again. We were at our allotment most days and that was ace, teaching the kids life skills and connecting to the Earth was magic. We had a fantastic time and it made me realise that life’s too short not to do what I’m passionate about and my passion is to share the teachings of yoga. (Honestly if it wasn’t for yoga I would be on anti-depressants and probably still struggling with PND.)
Then I found my studio!!! We opened LeAnanda Yoga studio in October 2021 and I am opening a therapy room this week (March 22) for all sorts of healing modalities. My journey has led me through counselling, CBT, reiki, massage, acupuncture amongst other things so I understand how important it is to have complimentary therapies working together with yoga. My hope is that my vision and dream serves others to find more peace and contentment in their lives. So now I’m a mum and full-time business owner. I’m loving how my career, journey and how the shape shifting is going!
How do you manage the childcare juggle? Luckily my studio came along at exactly the right time. My youngest started school in September which means no more childcare fees!! Yay! I now have more time to concentrate on the things that give me purpose and a sense of joy. I separated from the father of my kids in 2019, he’s still one of my best friends so co-parenting works well. We share the childcare 50/50 which means we both get quality time with the kids but also have dedicated free-time to focus on our businesses. In my opinion, we’re much better parents apart than we were together.
Top tips for other working mums? Do things that bring you joy and give you a sense of purpose. When we have kids we lose a bit of ourselves to the enormity of (nappies!) and becoming a parent which no-one does, or can, prepare you for.
Ask for help. My dad always said, ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get.’ And don’t forget that old adage, ‘it takes a tribe to raise a child’. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
Be tougher on dads if you need to be. Having a child is both parents’ responsibility and you bring different things to the table that are equally as important in growing/raising decent human beings. Of course, if the dad is a violent, narcissistic arsehole then find the community of people around you to support you and leave. Where there is a will there is a way.
Most importantly, keep doing the things that are important to you. My yoga practice (pre-kids) used to be 1.5hrs, 5 days a week. Since having the kids it’s gone down and fluctuates a lot. But I found a way to do something, not nothing, for myself. I’m incredibly grateful to the children’s dad, my new partner and my parents for all their support and help. And of course the incredible tribe and team of teachers and healers that are joining my team enabling me to live the dream and uplift the lives of others.
A simple meditation practice: 1. Chose a comfortable seat, where spine can be tall either on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the Earth. 2. Be still. Don’t move. Set a timer so there’s no need to move. 3. Focus. Focus on your inhale and exhale. As you inhale silently say the word ‘Let’ as you exhale silently say the word ‘go’. Let go of whatever is holding you back. You could add ‘Let Go, Let God’ if it resonates. For more about Leanne or to book a class or therapy, visit: https://www.leanandayoga.com/ careering mothers, yoga, yoga teacher, wimborne, Dorset, Wimborne Mummy, Yoga Teacher