MEET THE MOTHER: Bridget Daley
Introducing Bridget Daley, mother of five and founder/director of Parents in Biz; an online platform supporting self-employed and freelancing parents. We chat about her journey towards launching her business, managing the juggle, and roller-skating during lockdown.
“It’s all about supporting…and empowering parents”
I first ‘met’ Bridget through Instagram and was immediately impressed with her targeted approach to running a business. “The Parents in Biz platform supports business owners who are parents. It’s all about supporting parents through their business journey and empowering parents to manage the tightrope of growing a business and having harmony at home”. If anyone understands how important it is to support and empower parents, it’s Bridget. “I started my career working in the finance sector, but my desire for supporting people began in 2003 when I embarked on an educational and practical journey of becoming a counsellor”. With weekends spent studying, she became a qualified counsellor before achieving a 2.1 in Psychological Studies at university. An incredible achievement in its own right, and even more so as she was in full-time employment, a single parent, and had three young children at the time, “I had to become great at multitasking”.
While Bridget credits her trusted support circle in helping her achieve her dreams, it’s her passion and determination that has seen her flourish, carving out an intuitive role in line with her goals. Having been self-employed for ten years, it was while running her second business, a women’s ecommerce website, that Bridget realised she’d moved away from her “core passion for supporting people and that was how Parents in Biz was founded”.
“I’m no stranger to wearing multiple hats and the juggle”
Being a parent herself, Bridget understands the demands of running a business while feeling grateful of being able to fit it around her family; “throughout my business journey, my children have gone through all the stages of child development; baby, toddler, pre-schooler, school age, teenagers, and young adulthood. So, I’m no stranger to wearing multiple hats and managing the juggle”. While it seems like creating a platform for self-employed and freelancing parents was a natural progression for Bridget, it wasn’t until she launched the Parents in Business Magazine that she was able to truly measure the impact it had on the Parents in Biz community. As readers have gotten to know Bridget more, “the business has gone from strength to strength”.
Indeed, it is her experience and empathy that signals Parents in Biz as a truly authentic platform. For parents of young children, Bridget reassures us that juggling motherhood with running a business does get easier as children get older, yet an important tip she shares is automating as much as possible using project management tools (such as Trello) and setting realistic time goals. With such a busy schedule, Bridget emphasises the need for us to take time out, recharge and rest when feelings of overwhelm take hold. As we have seen over this past year, with multiple lockdowns, many mothers are working full time while home educating. Bridget is managing to cope with plenty of family time watching Marvel movies on Disney+ and roller-skating around her local park.
“I was born to be a mother. I’m very maternal”
Mother to five children (aged 10, 17, 23, 25 and 28), Bridget’s motherhood journey began when she was 16. By the age of 21, she had three children: “Being a young mum had so many challenges; I was a young mum in the early 90s, and it was very much frowned upon. Many people doubted and talked about me and that knocked my confidence at the time, but it is one of the reasons I am so resilient now”. Although engaged to her long-term partner “for like forever ha-ha”, Bridget’s greatest joy is found in mothering her children.
“I actually think I was born to be a mother I’m very maternal. I love being a mum, and there is so much I enjoy about it. I enjoy watching my children grow and develop their own personalities. It warms my heart every time I’m having conversations/discussing with my children and hearing them voice their opinions. I love when my children express and show their appreciation for me even though I have made mistakes; My motherhood journey started early, we have faced many challenges and difficulties, and validation from them is everything”. Bridget generously admits that motherhood as a whole is demanding, with the teenage years presenting specific challenges, yet facing childhood illness, such as meningitis and infant operations, have been the most difficult aspect to cope with.
“Make use of your support network”.
It comes as no surprise that Bridget champions the use of support networks, especially for new mums. On the much-discussed topic of childhood sleep, Bridget shares her own challenges with her youngest, a problem sleeper from infancy. Bridget has found that winding down an hour before bed has been highly beneficial, yet wisely reflects that had she had access to a sleep coach she would “definitely have hired one’. It is this experience, completely free from any judgement, that Bridget applies to both her parenting and her business. Crucially, she understands that mistakes are inevitable, yet do not define who we are as mothers; a philosophy that rejects the idea that we need to be ‘perfect’ to be happy mothers. As evidenced by Bridget, oftentimes a happy mum is a working mum and it’s this important factor she understands.