The Online Business: Grace Lillywhite, Centred Mums

“I’m usually too busy watching my clients and giving feedback, so I’m not as fit as people think I am when I say I’m a Pilates teacher.” says Grace Lillywhite. She talks about what her typical day looks like with Centred Mums, teaching pregnancy and postnatal pilates online…

Grace Lillywhite is the founder of Centred Mums. She originally trained as a dancer but has been teaching pregnancy and postnatal Pilates for the last 10 years. She is also a trained doula, nutrition adviser and hypnobirthing teacher.

What time do you wake up in the morning?
Whenever my four-year-old gets me up. It can be anything from 6.30 am – 8.15 am. 

What’s the first thing you do?
Go downstairs and join in with the morning madness (I also have a 7-year-old who gets up at 6am without fail and my husband gets up with her and a puppy who is up the moment anyone else moves in the house!). One day a week I do Transformational Breathing at 6:30 am, which sets me up for the day but is hard to fit in around getting everyone out of the house.

When’s breakfast?
As soon as we get downstairs – the most important meal of the day.

What time do you start work?
9.15 am after the preschool drop off.

Where do you work from (home, studio, office etc)?
Currently my loft, but pre-Covid I also in rented studios and people’s homes. Going forward it will be a mixture of both as the online side of the business will be continuing alongside the in-person work when it’s possible. 

Tell us about the work you do, including the online side of it…
I’m a pregnancy and postnatal Pilates specialist, women’s wellness coach and doula. I teach group classes and one to ones in person and now I have online courses too. 

Do you break for lunch – and if yes, what’s on the menu?
On the two days I have a full day of childcare I usually eat lunch at my desk, three days I finish work at 12 to pick up my youngest from preschool. It’s usually a tuna sandwich or halloumi wrap – nothing exciting.

How do you lift yourself from the afternoon slump?
I have to power through when I have childcare as I have so much to get done on those days. I don’t have time to slump.

Do you incorporate exercise into your workday?
I have a standing desk, I take the dog out for at least an hour a day and I do at least two exercise classes a week. When I’m teaching online I demonstrate quite a lot, but in-person I’m usually too busy watching my clients and giving feedback so I’m not as fit as people think I am when I say I’m a Pilates teacher. 

Where do you go for inspiration?
I enjoy doing training courses, I’m currently doing Your Pelvic Matters online training and have just signed up to Burrells Education’s Third Age training. I’m doing an Advanced Pilates Mentorship in 2021 which I am sure will be hugely inspiring. 

What tech could you not live without?
My laptop – I use my phone a lot too but I much prefer sitting down at my laptop to write blogs and respond to emails. 

Finish this sentence: The Internet is…
A saviour and the devil!! 

What time do you finish for the day?
It depends – two days a week I teach evening classes that finish at 9.30 pm and I then usually do a bit of admin until 10 pm. Days that I don’t teach in the evening I usually break to look after the kids from 12 – 8 pm and do an hour of admin in the evenings. 

Are the evenings for rest, work or play?
As above. I’m strict about Friday nights and weekends though. I rarely break that rule as it’s the only time I see my husband.

What are you reading/watching at the moment? How do you switch off from work nowadays?
I am reading Nobody Told Me by Hollie McNish which is BRILLANT but a little work-related as I will be using some of the poems as Instagram content. Reading is my main way to switch off but my husband and I are watching Ozark in the evenings we get together, and I watch Strictly with my girls. 

How do you sleep?
It depends on how my four-year-old sleeps. We usually end up co-sleeping so I rarely have undisturbed nights but she’s been better lately so fingers crossed I will get to sleep again soon.

Finish this sentence: This time next year, I’ll be…
Getting architect drawings done for my home studio and sleeping through the night.


Want to start or grow an online business? Check out our courses.