Giving up the ‘business’

I’m a problem solver. That’s what I do. Sort things out. It’s one of the things I do best.

Show me a ‘can’t’ and I’ll show you ‘can’. Show me an ‘I dont know’ and I swear I’ll show you an ‘I’ll find out’. Show me an ‘I’m frightened’ and I’ll show you a ‘hell, do it anyway!’

I started making natural skincare products to try and solve the ‘problem’ of my first son’s dry skin. I LOVE learning, so I studied and practised, and I made some lovely stuff for him.

And now, with baby number 2, both my kids benefit daily from their own little bespoke skincare range.

But the thing is, it was never meant to be a business. I guess that has been a byproduct really.

Its great that other people are using and enjoying the stuff. And hey, maybe someone will feel inspired by my journey, and be encouraged to do something to solve their own problem(s).

But I don’t enjoy business. No. Not at all. I enjoy creativity, and beauty, and peace and kindness. I enjoy people and new places, and new challenges, and learning. I enjoy overcoming difficulties, and finding the answer. I enjoy exploring natures gifts – the beautiful oils and herbs that are our natural healers.

But I don’t enjoy business. Not at all.

I enjoy the opportunities that it exposes me to. But I can’t stand the ‘selling’. The ‘transaction’. The value judgement that is made as a result.

I love my products. I love that I have preserved my childrens skin despite eczema, and chicken pox, and this rash, and that allergy. I’m proud of the work I have put into it. But I’m not a natural business woman.

And I’m wondering if and when it might be time to just stop…. After all, I solved the problem didn’t i?

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Theft

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Please don’t steal from me. I have worked so very very hard.

This was my studio.

I moved into it in May 2011.

My first son was 7 months old, and there was barely a square inch of his skin that didn’t have eczema.

I devoted (almost) every free moment to trying to help him.

I thought about little else.

It took me 12 months to perfect just that tiny bar of baby soap.

12 months.

I moved out of my little studio in November 2013, pregnant with baby number two. I spent many an hour, in those 2.5 years freezing my ass off in that studio. FREEZING. Developing recipes, creating products, formulating the wonderful butters and oil blends that my beautiful sons have now benefitted from.

I have absolutely and utterly poured my heart and soul into my little business.  It has seen me through some of my darkest times. I have earned awards. Featured in books. Become a writer for a magazine. I have worked so bloody hard.

Please don’t steal this from me. You know who you are.

Stress in pregnancy

In June last year (2012), the Royal College of Midwives published findings that “almost half of eczema in babies is due to stress during pregnancy”.

I experienced a great deal of stress during my first pregnancy – and sure enough, my boy suffered terrible eczema. Whether that was as a result of my ‘state of mind’ during the pregnancy, or whether it was simply unlucky, is impossible to tell.

And so here i am, pregnancy number 2. Armed with those ‘findings’ and wondering how will my next little one be?

And the ‘findings’ really are a double edged sword. Is this another way of making mums feel ‘guilty’? If your child develops eczema, might you think ‘oh i should have relaxed more/attended more yoga classes etc etc when i was pregnant’. In other words, might you think ‘its all my fault’?

Unfortunately, i expect so.

i’d love to have a stress-free, blissful, 9 months. Growing my baby. Rubbing my tummy. Practising yoga. Going for massages. However, in reality, this aint happening……

I’m sorry in advance baby number two. I’m trying my best. Now pass me that Lavender oil……..

Swimming with baby eczema

My boy LOVES swimming – but in the past this was always limited by his skin. Pool visits made his skin red and sore and itchy. And we always had a very unsettled, scratchy, night at home to follow.

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It all seemed so unjust, since i am such a water-baby myself. And i agonised over whether this would see a life of ‘dry side’ spectating for him – when i longed for him to be an ocean loving, swimming, surfing, sailing, lifesaving water-lover like myself.

We just did what we thought was best. He often asked to go swimming, and so we tried to accomodate that wish as much as we could. I found that applying a good layer of body butter to him before we enterred the water, and then again after we left, seemd to help – it created a ‘barrier’ of sorts, and the water seemed to ‘run off’ his skin rather than saturate it.

Luckily, his eczema is virtually non-existent now, and we are regulars at the local baths.

For those of you still battling with the same issue, theres a great article here:

http://www.scratchsleeves.co.uk/parenting-plus-eczema/great-things-to-teach-eczema-babies-kids/eczema-baby-swimming/