MWH Spotlight with Nikki Smith of Earthway Parenting
Welcome to the blog Nikki from Earthway Parenting! We’re thrilled to have you here sharing your journey on the MWH Spotlight!
Describe yourself in 3 words
Aware, Authentic and Positive.
How do you juggle being a Mum and having a biz?
Good question but also a tricky one for me to answer as I am a start up business, so I am still finding that work/life balance (if it even exists!). I am a mama of 3 young daughters, so they have always been my inspiration for Earthway Parenting; therefore, I was creating content before I even knew that it was going to become a business! I created it for myself and for like minded parents.
Last year however after we had our third daughter, I came to the realization that it could actually become something else… I started to write my Infant Care and Connection Handbook which quickly became a workbook for my Postpartum Care Workshops.
For me the content was already there when I opened up enrolments for my workshop series, so I started to elaborate on the content I already had, but it has always allowed room for growth, and flexibility. Prior to my workshop starting and whilst creating the content, my website, marketing and research as well as writing and creating for all of that, I would work at night when my little ones were asleep or during the day when my littlest loved naps.
I don’t have designated days because I want my life to flow, when my kids are home I want to be present with them so my only opportunity to work is still during nights and daysleeps.
I don’t necessarily have designated days to work either. I'm finding on the weeks that I have my workshop series on, I am exhausted.
- Mondays – I'll prep material for my upcoming workshop depending on the subject.
- Tuesdays – I'll sort it all out and get my materials, food, etc. sorted so I'm ready to go that night.
- Wednesdays – I'm pretty exhausted, so if I'm tired I'll nap. If I have a tonne of housework, I'll do that and if I'm inspired to write or create more content I'll do that!
- Thursdays – Are a food shop morning for me and, no word of a lie, it will take me ALL morning with my 17 month old to do just that!!
- Fridays – I choose FUN with my little one!!
Because I have already created most of the content for my workshops, on the weeks that my postpartum care workshop is not on you'll find me researching and writing my ‘tuning into your toddler' handbook or I'll be creating social media content. Since my workshops are parent led and flexible, if something comes up within my workshops that my couples may want more information on, the flexibility that I've created within my business allows me to be able to focus on that.
Tell us about your biz and WHY you do what you do
Earthway Parenting came to me after the birth of our second daughter. I was a Registered Nurse at a busy Palliative Care/Oncology ward for the past 8 years, and I needed change desperately as I was becoming quite emotionally attached to my patients and their outcomes. Then I was coming home to my family drained, emotional, stressed and not myself. This lead me to decide that I needed to do a Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Nursing which took me two years (part-time), whilst working weekends and raising two daughters under three.
Time and time again, with my two daughters, I would leave the Child and Family Nurse feeling uncomfortable, doubting myself and my abilities as a mother as well as feeling guilt on top of everything else that an overwhelmed mother does NOT need. So I started this course with the intention of changing a system that I still feel needs a good shake up! Unfortunately though after my placement, I realized that very little would change in ‘boxing up families according to Government legislation' because it is the Government!
Our eldest daughter has always been (and still is!) our greatest teacher.
For me after her traumatic delivery and once home discovering that she would sleep no longer then two hours both day and night, she was misdiagnosed and unfortunately had a severe case of reflux! We had tried everything! Crying it out, leaving her in her cot for timed intervals, then responding minutes later… We tried long walks and 3 a.m. car trips, only to pull into the driveway an hour later and her eyes would spring open, wide awake!
We were beyond exhausted! I was robotic, I was quite the opposite of myself, unemotional and deliriously unhappy. My husband lost his job and we had to move in with my parents. Obviously this was not “in our plan!”
On my birthday my husband forgot to buy me a card. This was the beginning of my breakdown. But ultimately the beginning of me as a mother. An attachment parenting view came to mind, completely unintentionally and without even knowing what that was. I started to trust myself as a mum, and I began to listen to my intuition.
We as parents then decided to live consciously and to make decisions based on what felt right for us.
This was also the beginning of Earthway Parenting. I created an Instagram account based on my individual viewpoint of attachment parenting, ie. intuitive and conscious parenting. I felt a need to meet and connect with like-minded parents. This grew organically from there. After having our third daughter and seeing a Child and Family Nurse and again doubting myself and my intuitive knowing as a mother (yes, even as an educated mama of three!), I decided it was time to create a Workshop series based on Infant Care and Connection.
It's more than OK to hug your baby (no, you wont spoil them!), breastfeed them on demand, and yes, even to sleep! I researched co-sleeping safely, baby wearing, and postpartum depression, self care and care of each other. ALL of this is everything to create a happy, peaceful home… I didn’t realise it at the time, but in hindsight Earthway Parenting is stepping back from the ‘noise' of this century, the noise of Dr. Google, well-meaning friends and family.
Earthway Parenting is about stepping back into yourself, trusting yourself, because you already know the way to motherhood and fatherhood. Sometimes you just need a gentle reminder.
If you could go back in time and offer advice to your former entrepreneur-self what would you say?
My best advice to me would be to stay true and authentic. That self doubt will be your biggest manipulator, but don’t let it disrupt your process because what you're creating is needed and it's empowering for new parents. What I will do in the future will create positive, peaceful change within homes, so DO IT!
What does success mean to you?
Success for me is being able to be at home with my children, whilst creating a business that I adore, one that I am passionate about and leaves my soul feeling at ease because I am able to be authentic throughout it all.
Success for me is my family, and my loving marriage to my husband, his belief in me and what I do is unwavering, and I couldn’t ask for more than that!
What has been your hardest lesson learned?
That overcoming self doubt is a process. It’s always rearing its ugly head, but it's faith in what I do that keeps it down.
Finish this sentence – If I wasn’t my own boss right now I’d be…
working on the Palliative Care/Oncology Ward again. All of my weekends would be spent there and not with my family. We did that for seven long years and there was NO balance in either my husband's life nor mine and our children's.
I created what I’m passionate about, so I am not ever there again!
What are you most proud of to date?
I am most proud of creating a life that I love. I had a volatile childhood, I was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship from a very young age, and in my twenties I dabbled a lot in everything… To be able to pull myself out of that hole and fall in love with ME again, to marry an incredible man and raise a family with him, to realize that I am a product of my childhood until I decide to change that, and to do exactly that with my own children. I have created a business that I am passionate about and a home life that thrives on love and simplistic living, that for me is success in its purest form.
Fun facts about you:
Facebook or Instagram? Instagram
Favourite TV show? Anything on Netflix BUT if I had to pick just one it would be the OA! Oh and I do loveee Vikings! (OK that’s two!)
Coffee or tea? COFFEEEE!!
Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling? Channing Tatum!!
A random fact about yourself….
Hmmm, well I am veryyyy slowly learning crotchet, but it has to be with a good glass of red wine purely for inspirations sake!!
Nikki Smith is a Registered Nurse and Qualified Child and Family Nurse. She's a wifey and mother of three beautiful daughters ages 7, 5, and 17 months. She lives on the Tweed coast, 10 minutes to the Gold Coast and 45 minutes from Byron Bay. Earthway Parenting came about because Nikki strongly believes that raising children consciously is the beginning of a grassroots approach to creating a future generation brought up with love, compassion, empathy, as well as self-empowerment. That children are brought up with belief in themselves and who they are, while being raised with love and not fear.
“We as parents have the privilege to raise our children into extraordinary people, the next generation of humans.”
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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