I have a confession to make. When I trained as a beauty therapist back in 2005 and then did my diploma in 2007, I had no intention of working as a beauty therapist. Being a perfectionist, I wanted to know the secrets of personal maintenance: how to take care of myself and to teach my future children to look after themselves without using harmful products.
The cost of the training was exorbitant. When I found I was pregnant with my first child, before I completed my beauty training, I went into a bit of financial panic. We had spent money and didn’t expect a baby soon. So, I decided to look at my career options. I used to work as an administrative assistant, and then in customer services and occasionally waiting tables at restaurants, but with the pregnancy came morning sickness and there were some jobs I just could not do. So, I decided to work from home practising my new beauty skills. I had been giving a few ladies free treatment, and I decided to start charging them a small fee. Soon, I was advertising my business and the business grew. But it wasn’t easy. I had my baby monitor and would run upstairs when the baby cried and then back down to finish the treatment. At first this was fun for everyone. The clients loved it. I did too and my baby daughter had her mummy on-call. But after a while it became difficult. I wasn’t enjoying the extra preparation I had to do before a client came. Feeding the baby, changing nappies, putting the baby to sleep, taking our dog for a long walk so she wouldn’t bark when the clients were here. All this was stressful. So, I worked for six months and then took a long break and reopened my service when I felt I could cope. I had loyal clients who went to other therapists but came back to me when I re-opened. This continued until I finally closed the business permanently in 2020 when Covid-19 started to be mentioned in the news.
This wasn’t just my decision, but a family decision. Being a single mum, I like to include Mummy and children in some important decisions that affect our lives. I have three children: ages 12 to 9, and they have never experienced having our house just being ours. It was shared with my clients even though my clients didn’t meet my children.
My children shared their thoughts about their wish to just have our home as ours and not to share. So, in order for me to not be tempted to reopen the business, I turned my old beauty room into a kids’ entertainment room. It’s not perfect, but they love it. And it feels so good to just walk around the house and know it is our space, our home. I am still working from home but this time it is different. I am selling stuff online and coaching via video chat which means that we don’t have strangers on the doorstep any more.
That is when I noticed my relationship with my two daughters changing. They wanted to learn to take care of their little bodies. They used to ask me questions and I was so tired I would brush them off with ‘ I’ll tell you later’ excuses. I now have the energy to sit down with them, talk to them and work out the answers.
My two daughters asked me about looking after their nails. They wanted long nails. I explained that during the holidays and lockdown I was okay with them letting their nails grow, but when they went back to school, they had to cut them short.
In part, the lockdown has brought my children and me even closer. And they are closer with each other than ever. They still have the five-minute-sibling sibling fights, but not that often.
This is what I shared with my daughters regarding nails
1. Nail Biting: Don’t do it. One of my daughters used to like biting her nails. I explained that biting your nails all the time causes a bacterial infection that slows skin and nail growth. So, first thing was to stop biting. I made it clear that if they wanted me to help them, the nail-biting had to stop.
2. Always Start With: The base coat Apply the nail polish using the base coat first. The base coat acts like proactive solider, protecting the layer between the nail polish and the top layer of the nail.
3. Multivitamins: Take them All my children have grown up knowing the importance of taking multivitamins. I told them to continue to take them every morning. It will help them with nail growth and help strengthen their immune system.
4. Last, but not least; They have to practise for themselves I was going to paint their nails but decided to let them do it themselves. I bought them their kit and encouraged them to practise on each other. They have now become very proficient and are proud to come and show me their masterpieces.
My girls listen to what I teach them. We disagree on some things. I am not always right. Teaching is not about being right all the time. It is about learning together. I teach them, but sometimes they teach me We all learn better when we share what we know. Both teacher and taught. The goal behind my initial beauty training has started to unfold before my very eyes.
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