In 2018 Dromore mum-of-two, Lynn Campbell, decided to leave behind the daily 9 to 5 grind and long journeys to work, to instead travel a new path towards her true life ambitions for both her career and her children. Lynn is Mum to Mya (10) and Cara (5).
Interview by Nadia Duncan
Q) In 2018, you decided to take a leap of faith and leave a secure full-time job you had held for 11 years to launch your own business. Why?
After always being very career focused, a few years ago I became a single parent which forced me to cut down my hours at work to 20 hours a week. The daily routine of dropping my kids off at school, then nursery and getting back home in time to pick them up again was a real challenge. I thought when my youngest daughter started school I would increase them again as things got easier… but I was wrong. Different collection times and two sets of homeworks, on top of trying to fit in my job, became increasingly difficult to manage. I gotto the point where I was questioning my quality of life and how much of my family time waswasted sitting in traffic. I also realised that Iwanted to do something that involved my otherpassion in life apart from my children – exerciseand nutrition. I came to the decision it was now or never and jumped ship. I just got to the point where I didn’t want to live my life with that amount of daily stress anymore.
Q) So, what’s it all about and what is your ambition for your new career?
I had an eating disorder when I was younger and because of that I always had the desire to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. One of my life mottos now is ‘Strong – not skinny’. I had already started my blog, MoodyCowMum which is focused on exercise and healthy eating and the ups and downs of life as a single mum. I also suffer from depression and found the blog a great way of releasing those feelings (which all parents have sometimes) on ‘those’ days when it all just seems too hard and you’re full of worry and anxiety. I offer one-on-one personal training and nutrition plans to fit into an individual’s lifestyle, taking account of the time they have available and their goals. For time-poor parents I can even do this via live streaming so you don’t even have to leave the house. For example, I’ve spoken to a lot of mums who
are nurses and working long shifts. They come home exhausted and still want to spend some quality time with their children so fitting in regular exercise seems impossible. I suggest simple exercises which can be done anytime, in a little time, but still deliver results. Cost is another huge factor for parents and many of us simply can’t afford an annual gym membership but that doesn’t mean we can’t stay fit and active.
Q) A moody cow isn’t something we mums like to be called (even when it’s true) but that’s a moniker you have embraced – why?
I’ve been through a few things in my life which I jokingly said made me a real ‘Moody Cow’. Going through fertility treatment for three years to have my second daughter was certainly one of them. Some days I just really wasn’t in a good place trying to cope with everything. We (mums) often get labelled moody cows anyway so I just embraced it and I think people appreciate the honesty. But ultimately we really shouldn’t be quick to judge as no one really knows what’s going on in someone else’s life. I’m sorry (men) but I have to say that sometimes in life women are truly amazing with all that they have to cope with and juggle while trying not to let the cracks show and stay strong.
Q) So many of us say in January, ‘This is the year to make my dream a reality’ but rarely do anything more to make it happen. What was your biggest fear and your biggest achievement?
Surviving financially and providing for your children is always a concern, particularly if you don’t have two incomes coming in. I had some debt issues which I had to face up to and one of the first things I did was put a debt management plan in place. Now, I know what my monthly budget is and I just have to stick to it, no more splurging in the January sales. I make homemade presents and don’t go out for coffee as much, but I have adjusted and discovered there is always a way to make it work when you have to. Trying to build up a new business is always hard however (as a friend recently pointed out to me) when I look back, I’m also inspired by just how much I’ve achieved already. I have a website; my blog; a social media following; I’m planning an e-Book and I’ve done all that just from my phone!
Q) If you could do it all again would youdo anything differently?
I believe life is a journey and that things happen for a reason to take us to the place we ultimately need to be. I’ve had a lot of situations happen to me, which at the time were incredibly painful. I would feel that I was in a very bad place. However, without those times the truth is that I simply wouldn’t be where I am today… which is on the path to happiness. Life is absolutely what you make it. I used to be a negative person, often feeling sorry for myself but now I try to put a positive spin on everything. If we have a manic morning and the kids are late for school, instead of getting frustrated I tell them it’s fine and they’re lucky they won’t have to stand in the cold in the playground. Always look for the positive and you’ll find it.