Jaelithe Leigh-Brown doesn’t waste a minute. When she was breastfeeding her third child in the middle of the night she didn’t just sit there trying to keep herself awake. She wrote a chapter for a US book on teen girls’ wellbeing on her phone through a free app that allowed her to write in Word. It has just been published.
“It was either that or develop a Facebook addiction,” she says. The book, Teenage Girls: The Guide for Health, Wellness and Self Esteem, was published in August in the US, is currently being sold on Amazon.com and will soon be launched on sites across the globe – including the UK.
Since then Jaelithe, who works around her children, has created her own tv studio in her front room so she can record fitness and coaching modules for her other businesses when her children are asleep and her husband is on night shift. She also plans to write more chapters and books, including a short book about how busy women can be happy, based on her experience as a life coach, her experience as a busy mum and, oddly, interviews with a dog behavioural expert.
Jaelithe is used to multi-tasking. A former radio journalist and charity press officer, she now does life coaching and teaches fitness as well as writing.
She moved out of broadcast journalism when she found she was getting too cynical and getting excited about bad news stories. She turned to PR which also paid better and worked for the Salvation Army, covering the north of England.
In 2006, she moved up to Glasgow because of her husband’s job in the police force and did freelance PR work as well as courses in life coaching and fitness. She took a job in PR at a housing association, but found it was less about helping people than she had hoped. While she was there she was building up her coaching business, Mrs Mojo, and did some yoga teaching. She stayed at the housing association through her first pregnancy and when she returned she was already 20 weeks pregnant. She worked till she was 39 weeks pregnant and handed in her notice. Two years later her daughter Eden was born.
Jaelithe’s husband works shifts and the couple have no family nearby. When she was pregnant with Eden, who is now 20 months old, she thought about the logistics of childcare costs and holding regular face to face classes around the schedule of three children under five. She decided to move online and all her coaching is now done on the internet. She started by helping people to lose weight for their weddings, but has since gravitated more to coaching mums about issues related to their health and wellbeing, building on a psychology degree she also did when she moved to Glasgow and on her fitness work.
“Since giving birth to Eden I’ve completed a number of courses for my business, written over 100 articles for my brand new website www.mrsmojo.co.uk and qualified as a Nutritional Adviser. Most of this has been achieved in the wee small hours,” she says.
“My next step is to start building brand new online Bootcamps to help busy mums find time to be healthy, happy and confident. It’s really hard to juggle everything at times, but I am determined to spend quality time with my kids AND be able to help people with my relaunched business. Oh and I will find time for sleep at some point too.”
Jaelithe admits she has not always paid attention to her own well being and says there came a point when she was checking emails in the morning, writing press releases in the middle of the night and talking through her yoga classes while she was giving the children their bath. “I realised something had to give as I felt I wasn’t doing anything well,” she says.
She came across the advert for the teen book via LinkedIn and applied. To write the chapter, she drew on her own experience as a teenager, on a past relationship which had chipped away at her confidence and self esteem and on the experience of women she had coached, many of whom had self esteem issues. She also thought about what she might like to tell her daughter when she becomes a teenager.
Jaelithe hopes to keep building her work. Although she says some of her work has been done at night, she does manage to get some done during the day. Currently, her oldest son goes to school, her second child goes to nursery 2.5 hours a day and her husband works shifts, four days on, four days off. His second day off is a Daddy Day and she gets as much done as she can then. She also works when her daughter sleeps. “I walk around a bit until she is asleep then get some work done,” she says. “It makes you work very efficiently.”