Aggie Maxwell, Director of Parenting North East, and owner of Grow Up Green
A typical day starts with either getting the youngest of my three kids to school, or walking my oversized cocker spaniel – my husband and I take it in turns who does what. I tend to get to the Parenting North East arch between 9.30 and 10am ready to start the day.
The most important job of the day is to get the coffee brewing, it sets us up for the morning and means we are ready to welcome parents when they arrive for help.
One of the things I love about what I do is that no two days are the same, but a typical day might look like this:
At 10am my first one to one of the day arrives. This might be straightforward like a mother of a newborn looking for something to help her manage around the house with a clingy baby, but might involve someone who has a complex health need that means they need extra support while carrying. The income from this one to one goes someway to helping us keep the arch open, and offset the cost of training Babywearing consultants.
They’ve just left and I’m checking through the Grow Up Green stock to see what needs ordering, when someone pops in to hire a sling for the holiday they are going. We sort them out with an out of hours hire and they go on their way.
A little while later someone comes in to collect a cloth nappy trial kit. With all the choice on the market with cloth nappies, and the cost of buying them up front, a trial kit is a great way of working out if cloth nappies are going to work for your family, and which styles and brands you like best. I spend a bit of time talking them through the different types in the kit, explaining washing and nappy care and answering any questions.
When they’ve gone, I work with one of our lovely admin volunteers in sorting out any outstanding hire paperwork and finance stuff that needs sorting for the day.
At 2pm we shut to the public, but there’s still a bit of paperwork needed doing, phone calls to make and a bit of tidying round to do.
I’m really lucky that my husband works from home, so he does the school run most days, and I get home between 3 and 4 to help with the round of after school stuff for three kids.
Once we’ve all eaten, the chores done and the kids are in bed, I settled down for another hour or so of paperwork. This could be social media or emails for Grow Up Green, finance stuff for Parenting North East, answering emails, sorting marketing, ordering stock etc.
After a bit of telly with my husband at the end of the day, we head up to bed.
I love what I do, the blurred lines between the Grow Up Green retail side, and the supporting families and sling hire side work for me. I love helping parents learn about slings and nappies and make the right choices for their family.