Raylene Barton has quite the busy life, between running her own business and blog, and raising her three-year-old daughter Ariel, who also happens to have Down Syndrome. Read her interview to find out how she maintains this tremendous balancing act, and still makes a little time for herself every now and then!
Name: Raylene Barton
Tell us a bit about yourself and your child/children….
I am 43 and a single mum to a 3 year old, Ariel. Ariel has Down syndrome. She is doing really well and is such a sweet girl. I also have my own business manufacturing scented candles and flavoured lip balm for corporate gifting and promotional merchandise. I also have a retail range that I sell in the blog and part of the proceeds go to Down syndrome association and LifeStart NSW which is an early intervention program for kids with disabilities. Ariel attends a mainstream preschool so I work during the day and some nights. The blog is something I started after Ariel was born and I hope to raise awareness through my writing. Ariel and I love to travel. We love the beach and music. I am about to start to teach Ariel some basic piano.
What is the name of your business/blog and what does your work entail?
Ariel’s World is our blog. I have just had a break from writing in it but am planning to start regular updates again very soon. I have a home fragrance range and a few lip balms I make and sell on there as well.
one&co is the bespoke B2B business where I manufacture lip balms and candles with other business’ branding on it. The products are completely customized to suit the client. It is natural, vegan and handmade.
What made you decide to be both a mum and a career woman?
Prior to having Ariel I had started a small business but changed it to suit our circumstances. I really want to leave somewhat of a legacy for my daughter.
What challenges do you face balancing both roles and how do you overcome them?
I often get overwhelmed and very tired but have learnt to reach out for help. I see a counsellor off and on which is extremely helpful. She has given me ideas on how to stay in the moment and only do what I am currently capable of. Ariel’s Dad has become very hands on recently when it comes to helping so that eases a lot of the stress I had when I had 90% care. It is definitely best to focus on one role at a time and always put some time aside every week for a bit of socializing.
What is one tip you have for unwinding after a stressful day?
I have a glass of wine in the evenings and watch one of my favorite shows on Netflix after I listen to music with headphones whilst in the bath. With candles lit of course!
What is one fun weekend activity that your family enjoys together?
Our favorite is the beach and you will find us at Balmoral beach most weekends over summer. This winter we will join a dance group.
What is one time-saving parenting tip you can recommend?
I am not a fabulous cook and rely a lot on convenience food. There are plenty of healthy options these days when it comes to easy meals.
What benefits do you think there are to being a career mum?
I feel strong and independent and I hope this will be a good influence on Ariel.
Lastly, what do you do to ensure you maintain a strong bond with your child/children, despite having numerous responsibilities?
Lots of cuddles and singing. I also try to take Ariel on a lot of trips away and we really bond during this time.
So there you have it- what an inspiration to handle everything life throws at you with careful planning and the right attitude! Trying new things out with your children is one of the best ways to bond with them - even if it’s something as simple as setting up a slide in the backyard or bouncing around on a trampoline.