Name: Nadine Mellor
Number of children: 2
Job title: Kids Collection Editor for boutique hotel website www.i-escape.com
Duties: I’m responsible for marketing and promoting the 900 or so most family-friendly properties featured on i-escape.com, a curated collection of boutique hotels and hip hideaways worldwide. This means I research small independent hotels and rentals which are both stylish and wonderful for families, and invite them to join the site. I write blog posts for the i-escape blog on family travel and showcase our extensive properties, as well as promote them on our dedicated Instagram and Twitter feeds. Our reviews offer insider tips, a lot of detail on what is available for families at and activities near each property in the Kids Collection, as well as our trademark highs and lows for each place.
Hours: 4 days a week, which I am lucky enough to be able to take over 5 days so that I can collect the children either at the end of the school day or after an after-school club.
Childcare arrangements: Both my children are at primary school, so I do the morning drop-offs, and 9/10 of the collections (my husband takes our daughter to a climbing class on Tuesdays); fortunately our primary school offers both an after-school club and extended day every day so that allows both parents to work and provides a stable routine. My mother helps out occasionally too.
What I love about work: The variety within my role: I get to do marketing, writing, and contract negotiation, and, yes, also get to visit our stylish family hideaways to review them in-depth for our website, which is a lovely treat!
One of our favourite discoveries last year was the new family resort Martinhal Cascais on the Lisbon coast, which the kids absolutely loved. 18 months ago, we had a terrific half-term in Languedoc staying at a great value rustic chic cottage called Languedoc Hideaways. The year before, we went to Puglia, and discovered a delightful B&B called Masseria Prosperi. When our first born was a toddler, we had a magical trip to remote Baja California, Mexico, staying at Villa del Faro above a private beach. And of course, there are trips without kids (my husband and I have a weekend away without them every year), and highlights include staying at a cute cottage in Reykjavik, an elegant boutique hotel in Palma de Mallorca called Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, and we had our first night of married life at the a meticulously restored townhouse hotel in Clerkenwell. London.
I also love being in touch with folk from all over the world, even if I can’t travel to far-flung destinations very often! And it is wonderful working in family travel: we’re offering a great service (we have our own bespoke booking engine and a great team of booking consultants to assist clients) and terrific range of places for families to really enjoy their time off at, and I am a firm believer in travel being a good thing for children to experience different cultures, quality time with their parents, and to see how others live.
What I find difficult is: There is no end in sight to the emails! And the scale and scope of my role means I feel I am covering a lot of bases.
My working life would be easier if… People replied to emails promptly and succinctly 😉 And I could get myself to bed earlier!
Work/mum life balance: Parents are hard-wired to feel guilty about the lack of time available for their children. I do feel it is very important for my kids to see that I am an individual in my own right as well as a wife and mother, that I have hobbies/interests/responsibilities that are not all about them. And that I work. Inevitably I wish I had more time for them, more time for myself, and more time to get it all done at work. That is the juggle of modern life unfortunately. I do a minimum of half-an-hour yoga every morning, go for a swim every week, and jog about 3 times a week.
How having children has changed the work I do: It absolutely has: I have worked at i-escape for a decade, previously primarily being responsible for getting new properties to join the site, and switched to the Kids Collection Editor role after my second child was born. It really speaks to where I am at in my life, combining my love of travel with my enjoyment of having adventures (big and small) with my adored children!
Fantasy job / If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be… Doing outreach programmes to get children to get out into nature and birdwatch!
Mojomums helps mums get their mojo back – what advice would you give to mums who feel they have lost theirs? If going to work isn’t palatable/possible/available to you, get involved in the school/nursery so that you’re part of a community and making a difference, and you’re able to spend productive time with your children. Being involved with the next generation is so rewarding. There are always plenty of local initiatives and worthy causes which never have enough volunteers, so consider those. Having a baby/small children can feel very isolating at the beginning, especially if you live away from your family or all your peer group are at work (I had my first child 10 months after moving to a new country), so it is crucial to make/maintain local connections, and connect with other adults.
For more information visit www.i-escape.com