Sara Hall and husband Ben, a primary school ICT manager, have lived in Alwoodley for just over eight years. The couple, who have been married for 15 years, met at university in Nottingham. A primary school teacher for 12 years, Sara left the profession after their third child was born. During maternity leave she discovered Pyjama Drama and bought the Leeds North franchise. Their girls are Isabel (aged 10), Jasmine (six) and Gracie (five).
What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask?
We like to use a little reverse psychology. ‘You will never be able to eat all those carrots on your plate’, ‘You won’t be able to put your coat and shoes on by the time I come down the stairs’, ‘You can’t possibly do all that tidying up by yourself’. A little play acting goes a long way!
What family task takes you the longest?
Getting ready for school and work in the mornings. The younger girls have been known to get their uniform mixed up and we only realise when they start to walk and their skirt falls down or is so tight that they have no room for breakfast.
What’s your favourite family day out?
We love going to Harrogate. The journey is full of things to spot – still lots of Tour De France yellow bikes. Valley gardens is a firm favourite, especially when the paddling pool is full and a picnic is part of the deal. Bead is a fun place to visit as the girls love making pretty jewellery and precious things.
What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done?
A lot of this is centred around our children’s ambitions. Jasmine said she wanted to be a woodlouse when she grew up, Gracie wanted to be an ice cream and Isabel wants to be a vegetarian but doesn’t like vegetables.
What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed?
Going back up to the children and tell them that, yes, it is time for bed. Then my paper works starts – answering emails, invoicing, writing/learning sessions and checking finances. Luckily Ben makes the tea.
Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why?
I picked my girls up from school last week and they all asked me how my day went before they asked about a snack or when they could play.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?
Running a business while being a mummy - appearing to be calm on the outside while juggling a million things on the inside.
What one item can you not live without?
I can’t live without my fluffy onesie. After a typical Pyjama Drama day looking for baby hedgehogs, partying with Michael the monkey in the jungle and having a picnic on the moon, I put it on and feel all cosy.
What’s the children’s favourite food/meal?
Isabel loves cooking and her chicken Korma is a favourite. It is something we all ate and enjoyed. We are waiting for her to cook it again…
What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why?
We all love Indian food and our favourite restaurant is Nawaab Khan in Oakwood – hence the inspiration behind Isabel’s cooking. We go to the buffet so there is no waiting and the children get to try lots of different food without the pressure of finishing a whole plate. Staff are friendly and it is a no stress environment for us.