Name: LeighAnne Hedges
Number of children: 1
Job title: Funeral Arranger
Duties: Arranging funerals, administration, chapel of rest viewing, hair and makeup of deceased
Childcare arrangements: Afterschool clubs, parents
What I love about work: The ability to help people at a difficult time in their lives
What I find difficult is: The frustration that no matter what I do and how hard I work I can never bring back the person they love
My working life would be easier if… I was cloned!
Work/mum life balance: Because my job and charity are so serious it is important to inject some fun into my personal life. My daughter, Lucy and I ensure we do lots of fun things. Days out, comedy dvds and coming up One Direction in concert (purely for Lucys benefit you understand!)
How having children has changed the work I do: I do the job I do now because I want to make other people not have to go through what I did. I believe everybody however long their life has the right to a decent and dignified funeral and goodbye. No person is more important than another and everyone should be given the same rights.
Fantasy job / If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be… Fantasy job would be lecturing hospitals, funeral directors, hospices on the importance of bereavement care and how simple actions can help.
Mojomums helps mums get their mojo back – what advice would you give to mums who feel they have lost theirs? It is important to be a good mum but try to find time for you too. You have your own identity aswell as being a mum. Its not always easy to do this especially if you are a single parent without support but try to retain the essence of yourself. Ie if you play an instrument keep playing, if you lose yourself in a book do this when the kids are asleep, if you danced continue. Not only will you be happier but it enforces the importance of having your own identity to your children.
When you are a parent it is easy to become wrapped up in listening to what others say and meaningful advice. However the best advice I ever received and the only one I really listened to was from a friend who had had their son just before I had Lucy. He told me to make the baby work for you. Don’t pander to the notion you need lots of bags with newfangled equipment. Take one bag and let baby fit in with your routine. Don’t stop hovering just because they are asleep, don’t speak in hushed tones. Do what you always did but include baby/child. Having a child should be fun and enjoyable not hard work. This is the best advice I ever received and I stuck with it. Ok its not always feasible to live by but as long as you trust you are doing the right thing go with your instincts.
Along with my day job I also run a charity called Little Things – Which offers clothing to parents who need to clothe their tiny new borns who aren’t considered viable. My own child was discarded purely as waste and was not considered a child. This can have massive implications for the grieving process and the rebuilding of your life when your baby is not acknowledged as a human being with a soul. I wanted to ensure other families did not feel like this purely because their child did not reach the milestone of 24 weeks to be considered ‘viable’. For more information about Little things visit their Facebook page:
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