Meet Emma….

Emma runs nails and lashes business, Licks Hitchin and is a full time mum. She grew up in Hitchin, and although went off to uni in Birmingham and has had time away, she couldn’t resist returning to her hometown. She’s a Hitchin girl through and through. In her words she’s a ‘Hitchin Bird’! A lot of people know her as one of the Musson twins.

Emma lives with her partner Jay and 2 children, Bella, 5 and Albie 3

Three years ago, when faced with redundancy while pregnant with Albie, Emma was forced to rethink her career. She decided to train as a nail technician as a stop gap. She set up Licks Hitchin in 2014 and the rest is history! It’s now grown in to a successful business and she’s inundated keeping the ladies of Hitchins nails looking amazing (I’m a huge fan!). The best bit is it’s offered her the flexibility to work, but also be a full time mum to her children. In April this year, after training with brand leader Nouveau Lashes, she added LVL eyelashes to her repertoire.

So let’s find out a bit more about Emma and how she manages to find a bit of time to herself in her busy schedule.

Emma, what is your favourite thing to do in Hitchin with your family?

We love Standalone Farm. The kids always have such a great time there. We love all the lovely parks that we have in and around Hitchin too. The kids learnt to ride their bikes in Purwell Park and my son loves Hitchin Rugby Club.

Bancroft splash park is great and we love a trip to the outdoor pool at any opportunity.

We’re really lucky to have events like Streetfood monthly in Hitchin, and I think all families agree a trip to Fabio’s has to be a favourite. We love a trip to The Fox and Duck in Therfield. Oh and our annual trip to the bluebell woods.

We also love a trip to Centre Parcs Woburn. My dad works there, and so we get to visit quite often. Friends call it my second home! We’ll often get the whole family together and go there for the day. I love that my mum and dad live close by to do things like that with us. Family are so important to me, especially my mum. I just couldn’t be without her. She supports me in so many ways. We recently had a holiday to Disney with the whole family, my mum and dad, my siblings and their children. It was wonderful having the whole family together and I just love occasions like this.

What does a normal day look like for you?

The mornings are the same as for most mums….a rush getting the kids ready for school and nursery!

I work 4 mornings a week and all day Tuesday so on those days its straight home to set up for my clients. I’m lucky that I can do most of my appointments during the school day or evenings, and work around all my mum duties. Most of my clients book in for their hands every 3 weeks so it definitely keeps me busy. I use Gellux long lasting gel polish and try to stay really competitively priced at £15 a set, as I want it to be a little luxury that people can afford.

Evenings I’m often working. So as soon as the kids are in bed my clients start arriving. I’m lucky I can do this job from home though and I really enjoy the buzz people get from having lovely nails or a bit of pampering to make them feel good.

Sometimes I’ll work weekends for ad-hoc parties or maybe do a wedding or hen party. I also need to be on top of trends and new colours so will spend some time researching and ordering products.

How do you unwind after a busy day?

It’s not really unwinding, but I tend to sit on my phone catching up on admin or replying to messages from friends. I often work until 10.30pm and so it’s sometimes my only opportunity to do this.

I know I don’t find enough time for myself and sometimes there’s only enough time to just clear my head and go to bed ready for the next day.

I do, however, enjoy watching tv with a glass of wine. Although I am also a bit partial to a glass of milk too!

What is your biggest source of mum guilt?

I feel guilty when I’m working. Sometimes my son comes home from pre school and will sit and watch tv, or entertain himself if I have a nail appointment. That’s when I feel guilty. I also feel guilty that I start work at 7pm and sometimes the kids want to be running through the house then, but they can’t as mummy is working.

But I feel so lucky that I get to take my kids to school and pick them up. I get to take them to clubs, swimming lessons etc. In their eyes I’m a full time mum and that’s really important to me. I have a great work life balance in that sense.

What are the important things that you make time for, for YOU each week?

Er, having a wash and brushing my teeth!!
My partner is actually really good at giving me time to myself — even if its just to do some chores. He will often take the kids out so I can get on top of housework. I know this isn’t strictly me time but it needs doing and makes me feel cleansed and happy knowing it’s done.

I do aim to do more exercise once the kids have gone to school in September. That will definitely be me time. I love going to Family Fitness classes, so I hope to get back to some of their Pilates and Dancefit classes.

For a bit of pampering I like my regular visit to Sarah Bucknell from Refined Brows Hitchin.

Where are your favourite places in Hitchin for some me time?

I do love going out. I’m quite a social person. Infact some of my friends call me ‘Out out Emma’!.

My favourite place to go is probably The Hermitage for a cocktail, or Pitcher & Piano. I love Los Reyes for amazing tapas and bar Azita is great too.

Do you have any mum hacks to create a bit more time for yourself?

One thing that’s great is a playdate. Amongst mums I think we all recognise that playdates actually help us. Just the thought of not doing tea and messing up your own house once in a while is lovely. Amongst my friends we have a pact that when you go round to someones house you leave all the mess behind, there’s no need to tidy up. It comes round to your turn and so it’s all fair, but when its not your turn its like a night off and you really look forward to it. It’s so lovely to know you have a playdate at someone else’s house. I think this is especially true for me as I work evenings at home so its nice to get away from my workspace but also nice to not have to worry about tidying before clients come round.

Plus now the kids are a bit older, playdates now mean you can actually catch up with your mum friends too, so its a bit of me time!

If you had a week with no work, childcare sorted and money was no object, what would you do with that week and who with?

I’d go away on my own! I’d happily be on my own for a bit of peace!!

No really, it’d be a girlie weekend. There would be a beach, cocktails, music, tasty food, some dancing and sun. It’d definitely be abroad.

Thanks for talking to Hitchin MumMe Time Emma!
To find out more about Emma and Licks Hitchin you can find her on Facebook and Instagram
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