My Wife Swap Experience

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When Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Lisa Burke from Northamptonshire,

When Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Lisa Burke from Northamptonshire, was approached by Channel 4's Wife Swap team to take part in The Wife Swap Reality Show she along which her family thought long and hard about the prospect. She was given assurances that the show would be an open and honest portrayal of her family's life and was told how the show was looking for a refreshing "intelligent approach" to the new series. Her 3 teenage children, Claire, Simon & Gemma all wanted to do it and Lisa along with her husband and Co Director Tony, thought it could be a good publicity opportunity. She made sure that the production team were happy with this motive and was very honest and upfront about it.

Lisa's swap is to be aired on Monday 23rd October and after having a preview of the show Lisa shared this reaction:

"I found the whole experience more difficult than I had imagined it would be. Living in a completely alien environment with no means of contacting my family was very draining.

I spent the first half of my stay cleaning my new home on a Liverpool Estate. I was also a little frightened as there were two shootings on the estate whilst I was there.

I was pleased when it came to rule change, I could now try and do something really positive for the family. I got a job for myself and one for my new husband, Vinney as I had two objectives

1) To give the 4 kids an out of this world day out at the end of the swap

2) To show Vinney how by applying more energy and confidence into his ability he could create a better life for his family. He had already confessed to wanting to live in the country.

In the end my overall objective, which was to motivate Vinney, was realised when I helped him turn his much loved photography hobby into cash and I really hope I can leave a lasting positive effect on the family and that as a result of the swap they will have the determination as a family to improve their future.

I swapped lives with a "stay at home mum" Nancy, from Liverpool and whilst I do not wish to comment on the "mum" or the family I cannot support the comment that 'All working mothers are selfish' which she made on film. With over half of all British Mothers now working outside of the home and a recent survey revealing that 95% of them feel guilty, comments like this are very unhelpful. Women who work outside of the home do it to provide a better life for their Children, they have to juggle plates and often make personal sacrifices, but they do it out of love. Lisa said "I want to champion women who choose to work outside the home. To show people there are options and that you shouldn't feel guilty, you can have an income, career and have a happy family and happy parents create happy children".

Likisma belongs to the Direct Selling Association which is the largest provider of part-time independent earning opportunities. Women who want a flexible income where their family come first is the backbone of my Company's philosophy and I want to tell women we have the opportunity for them to develop their skills, where they don't have to feel guilty, where they can gain huge satisfaction and bring home a great income.

I feel there was an unfair portrayal between the contrasting lives of our two families rather than supporting the quality of how hard work can be achieved whilst still enabling a working mum to bring up a happy family, and chose through selected editing to give a more favourable view to the "stay at home mum" rather than supporting the quality of how hard work can be achieved whilst still enabling a working mum to bring up a happy family.

It is true that to build your own business to a successful level you do have to make sacrifices, most of them personal to yourself particularly if you are a working Mother. And yes it is fair to say that my husband Tony does do most of the cooking but so do a lot of men in today's age. But we ensure we support each other and each use our given skills to support our family and create a good and decent life for our children.

Nancy had to step into my life and do a Likisma product party, earning over 100 in a few hours, showing her how she could still be a stay at home mum and bring income into the home. Unfortunately this was not shown. Which would have been responsible editing as it would have demonstrated where I started from and the foundation on which I built my Companies success and how other women could benefit from this opportunity?

I founded Likisma when I was 23. With 3 children under 3 I did not want to go back to working for someone else so looked to myself and my love of aromatherapy and sales and saw an opportunity to take aromatherapy and natural body care products to market. I am so proud of everyone's achievements in Likisma. We have won a number of business awards and have been applauded in the business community after building an International Multi-Million business.

I think it is important to stay down to earth and never forget my working class roots. I am not afraid of hard work and sometimes I have to work long hours but never at the detriment of my family. In fact only last week my eldest daughter had a crisis and I moved my diary around so I could take two days out to be with her. I manage to carefully plan and prioritise my life and that is why so many people are attracted to joining our business because they know it is headed up by someone who knows how important it is to ensure your family always comes first. The result being 3 wonderfully happy individuals who are secure, stable and independent, enjoying opportunities in life that otherwise they may not have had.

I went into the program to show people there were other options for women who wanted an income but still have their family as their priority, but sadly we have just gone back to the age old debate of demonising working mums which given today's environment takes in an awful lot of mothers who look for role models to give them support and encouragement. 'Stay at home Mum' or 'Working Mum', there are many women today who simply have no choice and no-one has the right to make them feel guilty in fact they should feel proud that they are supporting their children, working to give them extra opportunities in life and preparing them to live in tomorrows world.

Lisa's wife show ordeal is to be aired on Monday

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