Forging ahead with a family to look after

Confident in business
Confident in business
Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin were singing about it in the ’80s, The Spice Girls were shouting about it in the ’90s and Destiny’s Child were shaking their stuff about it all through the noughties.

I’m talking about Sisters Doing it for Themselves, Girl Power and Independent Women.

Today, more and more woman are verifying the point, establishing careers and setting up businesses, even alongside having children and bringing up families.

But it’s not always easy. As our lives become all about the little people in them – nappies, teething, constantly trying to prevent them from damaging themselves – the workplace can quickly start seeming like a foreign land.

It is also easy to let becoming a mother have a knock-on effect on confidence.

By that I mean confidence in the ability to communicate with other adults in a workplace, confidence in the ability to even get a job in the first place.

I worked on and off in part- time temping positions when my son was a toddler but nothing that really inspired me.

When I was living on my own with him, I was a stay-at-home mum and part-time undergraduate student and I remember thinking ‘what on earth am I going to do when he goes to school?’

Most of us don’t want to sit around twiddling our thumbs once our children get to school age – we want something to occupy and inspire us outside of our family lives, but that complements it at the same time.

I went round in circles in my head, trying to figure out how I could make any job (or one that I found interesting at least) work around school hours, with a lack of local family to help out, not to mention accounting for all those random sick/ snow/polling/inset days and other complications.

But I have managed to find something that I love and since editing Families magazine, I have met so many inspiring woman who are running their own businesses, whether as single parents or with the support of their partner, whether they have one child or five!

The general resounding opinion from many of these women has been that local networking groups and events have proved invaluable.

The All Woman Show, sponsored by Boots UK and supporting Naomi House & Jacksplace, is returning to The Mountbatten Centre Portsmouth this Sunday.

The compere of this year’s event is Rachel Maunder, from Inspiring Women to Work and regional director of The Athena Ladies Networking Group.

You’ll catch her on Sunday at The All Woman Show which runs from 10am to 5pm.

Now in its eighth year, the show attracts hundreds of women who come to shop, learn, have fun and be inspired. Tickets are £3.50 and can be bought in advance for £3 from allwomanshow.com.