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- My Mini Digital Detox – by Anna Bell
More about Sally…
I married my husband Thomas Overhead at Lympne Castle in May 2003 and we have 5 beautiful children.
Evie (7) is my first baby and my gorgeous little friend. She is a massive fashionista and spends her spare time designing clothes and accessorising every doll and younger family member in the house. She is bright and caring and has caused us very little stress – so far!
Marcie (3) is my second baby and my little Minnie as we call her. She is my little shadow and just loves coming with me wherever I go (and I love taking her). She is very clever, sometimes too clever, and being a middle child can often be found dressed up in full character in her land of make believe (the playroom).
Ayda (18 months). When you are pregnant with triplets they name the triplets A, B and C and this is determined by the height of the placenta. Ayda was always A, with her placenta being the lowest. When they are born they then get a number in order they were born so Ayda, being born first, went from being triplet A to triplet 1! Ayda is a mummy’s girl! More so than any of her other siblings have ever been. She was always the biggest on the scans and is still taller than the others with bigger feet. She is very smart, walked first and is talking the most. She is obsessed with ‘shooooes’ already and knows how to pull the right face to get what she wants. Ayda is a very sweet little girl.
Phoebe is Triplet C and Triplet 2 (she sneaked out before her brother!) Phoebe is our littlest baby and was always the smallest on the scans. She is so much lighter and she is my little fairy. She is the most independent of the triplets and needs the least mummy cuddles, though she gets them whether she wants them or not! She fights her corner and can often be found giggling away with Marcie or causing trouble with Noah. She is very very cute and good natured.
Noah is Triplet B and Triplet 3. Born last and the only boy, bless him! He is not averse to playing with dolls or pushing a pram around; though there’s no mistaking he’s a boy! He loves cuddles – from anyone – and is most likely to go to a stranger for a cuddle. He is cheeky and loves to play and bundle. He throws things; he bashes things (including his sisters) and loves to follow my husband around the garden copying him. My little Noah is our adorable little boy and we can’t wait to find out what he is going to be like!
But back to the beginning – I knew that I didn’t want to stay on at sixth form, I had a burning desire to get out of the school environment straight away so opted for A Levels at college. After a few months I realised that lack of careers advice led me to choose subjects that I hated (well two out of the three anyway). So I left and went to the careers office and entered the apprentice scheme. I did a day release course at my local college doing Desk Top Publishing and Design whilst working in a local printers for about £40 a week!
I passed my course and decided to take a two week temping job at PepsiCo designing their training material for their restaurants division. It was a gamble to leave a permanent job but I wanted to see what the world had to offer outside of a small local printers and decided that the opportunity to work in a large organisation like PepsiCo was worth the risk. I stayed with them for nearly 3 years in the end and ended up in a training coordinator’s role working for their European division. I only left because the head office had relocated to Woking and the commute was a getting a bit much.
From there, I did a short stint in telesales before working at GTECH – the systems provider to lotteries worldwide – in a European HR training role again. I enjoyed the job but decided that I wanted to go travelling and see the world. So in 2000 I left the UK and travelled for 18 months with some friends and we were soon joined by Tom – who I’d just met. We had a brilliant time seeing the sights of China including Hong Kong as well as Thailand, Singapore, Bali and Australia – where I worked as a call centre manager for 6 months in Sydney. But the highlight of the trip was Vietnam – it’s the most amazing place I’ve ever been. You can’t go to Vietnam and come away the same person. It’s such a different culture, the war still a daily reminder for so many people with missing limbs, and the paddy fields and the sewers in the streets.
I came back to the UK in 2001 and took a temp admin role at Access Self Storage at their head office in Rickmansworth. I stayed there for 5 years working up to a senior management position reporting to the MD, running the Sales, Revenue and Marketing departments. When the company was sold I went to a competitor and then decided, with my business partner, to set up the Zebra Group.
My Business partner invested the start-up capital but stayed in his role at a separate company and I took the big step of leaving my career to pursue the dream of a company that I was in control of. We wanted to create a unique environment that offered opportunities to everyone and provide a secure future for all involved. We decided to do something that we all knew about and to offer a service we thought we could improve. This was never going to be our dream product but a good product we all cared about. The Zebra Group was set up when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter – a strange time to set up a business – but I knew if it worked out it would give me the work/home life balance I wanted. I never considered it wouldn’t work and took the plunge.
Evie was born in August 2005 and changed our world forever. A beautiful, easy baby who we just adored. I never wanted to not work, a symptom of not taking lots of time off allowed me to not become nervous about going back and as a driven person who needs to work to be me, staying at home for a longer period was never even a consideration. So I took a minimal amount of time off, but went back part time which I found to be a good compromise for me, I was able to stay in touch with the business and also spend time with Evie. The business grew at a manageable rate and in 2008 I fell pregnant with my second daughter Marcie.
I juggled work and childcare with Marcie attending a fantastic day nursery at my husband’s work and Evie being at school. We made an office move to allow me to be closer to home and the school and I would work from home and check on my emails when I wasn’t in the office.
In 2010 I became pregnant again; I really wanted a third child to complete our family. I had an early scare and was referred for a scan. We were told it could be twins but as it was early days to come back in two weeks! Those two weeks were interesting…we tried not to think about it either way as we were warned about something called disappearing twin syndrome and also told that there may be no pregnancy at all when we went back as no heartbeats were detected!
When we returned two weeks later, I was feeling pretty awful so was secretly confident that I was still pregnant and looking forward to finding out if we were going to have one or two babies! When we were told I was actually three babies, it was a big shock, to say the least, which I will leave for a whole different blog!
Fast forward again and we feel very, very lucky to have three very healthy babies born at 35 weeks and who more than completed our beautiful family.
During my maternity leave with the triplets I had time to think about starting Mojomums and spent many a night feed formulating the details. So when I returned to work a few months later I put the wheels in motion to launch not only this website but also Mojomums Recruitment.
Today I am a busy mum to my 5 children; I run two very different businesses from the same office and just love my busy life!