Our "March of Inspiring Mums" interview series celebrates women who are doing some amazing things, whether through business, a campaign or just being fabulous! - hope you enjoy the "March of Inspiring Mums" series!
Our latest interviewee is Bhavini Lakhani, mum to two girls (aged 8 and 5 years old) and a freelance graphic designer, specialising in branding and design for print, with her business B81 Designs.
Today Bhavini shares with us her top tips for managing the daily juggle of children, work and me-time as well as what her daughter has in common with Prince George and also what she wears to feel invincible!
She lives in Milton Keynes with her family.
Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the job you’re now doing?
I’ve always been quite creative, and after doing a BTEC foundation course at college I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer.
I went down the traditional route of uni (BA Hons Visual Communications) and then got a job as a junior designer at a local Milton Keynes agency in 2005.
In 2008 I got married and moved to London, and started working as an in house designer for a recruitment agency. Then in July 2009 I started working for a digital marketing agency and about 3 months in I fell pregnant!
When I went on maternity leave in 2010, there was never any doubt about me returning to work, as far as I was concerned it would happen! But in 2011 I was told my role was no longer available and that I could either return to work as a web designer (not an option because it wasn’t what I was passionate about!) or take redundancy. So I took the redundancy... I decided that I would try freelancing and I haven’t looked back! I had my second daughter in 2013 and it really reinforced the fact that self employment was the best thing I did!
Tell me one interesting fact about you?
My youngest daughter was born on the same day as Prince George. She’s 1 hour older than him! I’m really hoping they meet one day!
Please can you share 3 tips for managing the juggle of motherhood, life and business?
The juggle is real. I don’t have it perfected yet but these three things really help:
1. Plan the week in a good diary or app! I prefer a diary, as there’s something about writing a list and being able to then tick that task off. My diary has a monthly section at the front where I put in all school holidays, any appointments and networking events etc. Then it has a week to a page where I put in meetings with clients - and the opposite page is where I list my projects for the week. Every Sunday eve I go through my diary and plan my week.
2. Make time for you so that you don’t feel overwhelmed! For me this comes in the form of weight lifting 3 times a week.
3. If you drop the balls, it doesn’t matter! Don’t put pressure on yourself, just pick the balls up and start juggling again!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a new mum?
The best piece of advice I can give a new mum...enjoy each moment with your baby. Don’t compare yourself or your child to anyone else! I guess that’s two bits of advice!!
Colour can make a real difference to our mood - what’s your favourite colour? And how does it make you feel when you wear it?
My favourite colour is red. I feel happy and invincible whenever I wear something red.
What’s your favourite activity to do with your children?
I have a couple of favourite things to do with my children. I love baking and cooking with them, and seeing their faces when they eat what they’ve made!
I also really love taking them out for walks around local lakes or in local woods. We love exploring and going on adventures!
What do you like to do for some me-time?
I started training with a PT in July 2018 and I absolutely love it. I now do weight lifting with her 3 times a week and it’s amazing! I was the type of person who hated exercise and now I crave it – I can’t function well if I haven’t had my fill of training!
Thanks Bhavini for sharing your story with us. I think so many mums are faced with the dilemma of what to do after maternity leave when they want something flexible around their children. Turning redundancy into an opportunity is so inspiring.
I love your tips and advice on motherhood especially not comparing yourself or your child to others...sometimes easier said than done but an important reminder!
Bhavini's business focuses on logo designs and full branding packages, right through to marketing collateral and large format graphics. For more info about Bhavini or B81 Designs head over to her website or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.
If you've enjoyed this interview, make sure you check out our other "March of Inspiring Mums" series here
And if you're a Mumpreneur in the making, check out this fab set of essentials to keep you going through the day...our Mama-preneur Gift Set