Can you tell our readers a little about ‘Forest Lodge Physical Therapy’, how it all began and what you aims and goals are.
Forest lodge Physical Therapy is a boutique physiotherapy and remedial massage clinic in Glebe. We aim to help the local community achieve good physical health so they can live full and active lives without suffering pain and discomfort. We believe in good old fashioned customer service, providing one on one treatment for our clients. Our physiotherapist has a wealth of knowledge, having practiced at this clinic for over 25 years and is loved and respected by the local community. I am a qualified remedial massage therapist who has bravely left the corporate world to pursue my interest and passion in massage and body mechanics. I love working with different types of people and I enjoy broadening their understanding of their own body and how massage can benefit them both physically and mentally.
My husband and I founded Forest Lodge Physical Therapy in January 2015. We revamped the existing practice by adding additional services, hiring new staff and creating an online presence. With a new bub and a new business it certainly has been a very busy start to 2015. We love our local community and believe in our abilities, this is what keeps us going even when times get tough!
Describe your work place to us…
The clinic is in a beautiful 1890’s terrace house. It consists of a bright reception area and a spacious treatment room, with a beautiful high ornate ceiling. My electric massage table is my prize possession, and I love placing clean, fresh towels over it each session. These days the clinic has a few new additions including a baby Bjorn, a bounce-a-net and a littering of toys.
How do you juggle working and a family?
Being a first time mum, the juggling act is quite new to me. I try not to be a super hero, and I try not to over commit to work, family always comes first. With Neha only being four months, it’s been a slow transition, each week taking a few more client appointments and leaving enough time between clients for feed and a cuddle. This is a family business so in some ways my work and family have morphed into one. My husband and my extended family have provided a lot of support and encouragement, which has made it all possible.
Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?
Fundamentally parenting has not changed, however the way we live our lives has and as a result the way we raise children has changed. Our lives have become fast paced and stressful, leaving very little time for our children and our partners. The little time we do spend with our children becomes very outcome driven. It’s very important for parents to take time out, restore balance within their bodies and forget about future outcomes and just enjoy the present. Having been born in India my mother tells me how the whole extended family were involved in my upbringing. I was constantly surrounded by aunties, cousins and grandparents who would interact and play with me all day. These days mum and dad are expected to do everything as well as return to work. It is a huge expectation for parents, so it’s important to ask for help when you can.
Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?
Absolutely, to me this is the hardest thing to overcome. Pre-child, I was a multi-tasking wonder women, studying, working, working on the business and keeping up with household chores. Post child, some days I can only get through one of my fifteen tasks, and that’s a good day. Over the four months I have learnt to accept this and try not to put too many expectations on myself, because being a mum is a pretty big task in itself. Prioritising is very important and being able to accept imperfections, whether it’s the house being a mess or not finishing some of my admin work. Being a manager of teams in my corporate life I reflect back and realise I never gave enough credit to the parents who made having children and working look so easy. It really is a tough gig and like any job it takes experience to get it right.
What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but do?
The list is too long! I have broken most of my promises, but the one that resounds the most is not letting Neha watch TV. I always said that I would hold off on letting my child watch TV for as long as I can. “It’s trash, it’s not good for their development, it will overstimulate her”, I would say. However, I have found at times when I’m just relaxing after a long day with Neha in my arms, she peers over to the TV screen. It’s worth it for those moments of peace.
Can you walk us through a typical day for you…
No day is ever the same when you are juggling responsibilities. Some days are frantic whereas others are nice and quiet. On a typical day, I tend to start the morning with coffee with my husband whilst Neha sleeps in for a few extra hours. I check my emails and review my client files for the day. When Neha wakes up, I try to spend most of the morning with her. By midday my mum/mother in law comes to take Neha off my hands so I can attend to my clients. In the afternoon I strap Neha into the Baby Bjorn so I can work a little more on the laptop, doing admin, marketing and sales responsibilities. In no time, it’s time for my after work clients, so I hand her back to my mum and get back to the clinic. Our clients use our online booking system so my days can be unpredictable at times but with the help of my mums I have the room to be flexible.
What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? E.g. book, person, website…
Well for me, it’s my mother and mother in law. They take turns with the babysitting and without them I’m not sure if I could return to work so quickly. Not only do they come with a wealth of knowledge, they are so helpful with household chores, food and of course taking care of the bub. As I’m pretty early in my motherhood journey, it’s great to have family that you can turn to when you need the help and advice. They love spending time with Neha and I really enjoy the company as motherhood can be a little lonely at times, so it is a win-win for all of us.
And one tip for us all on keeping it real…
Get rid of any notion of perfectionism, indulge and enjoy yourself. For example, a bath, a nice walk in the sun or a massage should be a regular occurrence. Enjoy the treats and don’t feel guilty about these pleasures, because you know you deserve it!
Forest Lodge Physical Therapy