Here’s this weeks Monday Mother: Emily Lusty; linguist, teacher, mother, founder of The Language Gap
Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.
I’m Emily, mother to 3 boys (7, 11, 14). This takes up most of my time; my husband works very long hours, so it’s a pretty full on job keeping the family going. I can only get so excited about folding washing, and clearing up Lego, however, and I’ve always wanted to keep some sort of work going for my sanity. After years of trying to juggle teaching and home life, and after feeling increasingly frustrated with the opportunities for learning languages in the British education system, I decided to set up a company to organise overseas language learning experiences for all ages, levels and interests. I can organise trips with activities and language learning all over the world for any length of time e.g. language + sailing, yoga, cultural visits, cookery, hiking, surfing, volunteer work, summer and skiing camps for teenagers, gap years and work experience. Each ‘gap’ is tailor made for the individual’s language learning needs and interests.
What kind of work did you do before having children?
I taught Spanish and French full time in a school in London, and spent many of the holidays accompanying school language trips abroad in order to pass on my passion for learning about foreign languages and culture.
How did you get into your current work?
The idea, the name, the concept all came to me in a flash early in 2016, born of a deep disappointment in the opportunities to travel abroad and learn languages provided by schools and a gap in the market for language tourism. I resigned from my teaching job and I’ve taken the plunge to make The Language Gap work. Setting up a new business is a real learning curve.
What drives you?
The thought that Language Gaps could help make the world a better place; by learning another language and doing something you love abroad, with people from that country, you will develop more understanding, tolerance, acceptance and openness towards others. There are no borders when you look down at the Earth from space; our differences are perceived, and learning another language definitely brings people together and opens our minds. It also keeps our brains healthy; we’re designed to be multi lingual, and I want to make that easier for people. I have the skills and the experience, and I love hearing about other people’s holidays, so I think I’ve found the perfect job. I can also take the family abroad and research new locations and contacts at the same time, and I love travelling with my family, so that’s a win as well.
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
Time (life outside school hours is like a pinball machine) and the motivation to sort out the social media and technology side of things. I find that side really dull; I’d prefer to talk to real people, but I know that the internet is really my best friend, although it often feels like the enemy!
What are you most proud of?
The moments when my children are kind and generous (they are normal children, so that’s not all the time!). The times I keep my cool when it’s all gone to pieces. Producing a meal based on what I’ve grown in the garden.
Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?
I’d like to feel ready to exhibit at The Language Show, maybe next year. It would be great to be a recognised and trusted brand, and the ‘go to’ company for what I do.
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
Step back, breathe, listen to your child, and don’t fuss. I found having my first baby terribly traumatic, and I tried to intervene and make things better for him all the time to make up for the awful birth. It’s lonely being at home with your first baby, and we should probably all live in a commune at that point in our lives so that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Watching your baby and listening to the different cries, wriggles and expressions can tell you so much about what they need. Babies also know when you’re stressed, and they respond like animals before an earthquake. My third baby was a breeze in comparison; he got attention from the whole family, and I wasn’t in a panic about whether he was OK the whole time. It’s also important to take all the masses of (frequently useless) advice you get as a new mum with a big pinch of salt; you need time and space to build a relationship with this new little person who has come into your life without everyone telling you how!
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup?
Fresh air, sunshine, open water, exercise, music, laughter, mountains, new places, and the company of my husband (oh, and a glass of wine sometimes helps too).
Your website and social media details please.
www.thelanguagegap.org.uk https://www.facebook.com/thelanguagegap/ https://www.instagram.com/thelanguagegap/
Do It Like A Mother provides kick ass hypnobirthing and pregnancy relaxation in Southend and Upminster. Our Motherhood Mindset Mentoring course runs online, and we support mothers in business (or those who want to be) in our facebook group (click here). Brand new Ts and Sweaters launching in the shop VERY SOON #doitlikeamother