time flies when you're being a mum

24 Sep, 2014

I’ve not made it much of a secret that I’m a bit lost at the moment (yesterday’s post anyone?! – I even sorted out the shoe cupboard!) – Do you ever feel like that? A sense of not quite fulfilling your potential, that you don’t quite believe in yourself.

I’m the first to admit that this is part of my personality – I’m a bit of a deep thinker (which is code for procrastination mixed with self-deprication) – and now I’m a mum, at home, working alone, I often feel a bit lost a bit more often. But not today ladies! And, do you know why? Because I did some things I love:

Believe in yourself – and do some things you love!

1. I got out of the house and away from my computer. I jumped on a train to visit two lovely ladies…I’ll get to that in a moment.

2. I did some scribbling in my notebook. Seriously, if I use a computer for too long, I start to get scared of using them. Like I’ll ruin it because you can’t backspace and make it perfect! But today I did some free writing. Literally what was in my head made it to paper. It doesn’t make all that much sense and there were spelling mistakes aplenty but it felt good!

3. I did some planning, again away from my computer (I think I might start wearing one of those belly armor blankets around my head because I swear my computer frazzles my brain!). This was advice from the lovely Seriously Hilary and she’s so right, just seeing it written down has really helped me clear my mind and focus on what I need to do.

4. I listened to a couple of albums in full, staring out the train window. Does it get any better than that? I used to be an avid music fan but these days…let’s just say it’s a good job I have DAB in my car so I can listen to 6music, otherwise my life would be silent or mainly The Wheels on the Bus related. {Incidentally, it was First Aid Kit and the Alvvays – loved it!}

5. And this is the biggie…I met with some lovely friends. I’ve not known Katie, from Pouting in Heels, and Vicki, from Honest Mum, long (and I was nervous – what do you wear to go meet such style gurus?! – I opted for long boots as Sarah told me leather was the thing for A/W!) but they are so, so lovely. It was a quick lunch date but just listening to their enthusiasm, discussing ideas, talking through problems, it was all just gold dust to my soul. Or to quote Vicki “my friends are my amour” (maybe I don’t need that blanket after all!).

Believe in yourself - how to be happy and successful!

Ignore the mess – my desire to tidy the house didn’t get past the ground floor!

Dramatic, I know! But the difference in my mood, motivation, moral…lots more Ms…between yesterday and today is immense. I believe in myself again.

Believe in yourself - how to be happy and successful!

So, I would say if you’re feeling down and don’t believe in yourself, whether you’re a blogger or running a fortune 500 company or looking after your kids (the hardest of the three), take a step back. Do something you love, preferably with people you love. It will help you to see what you have achieved and reset the system so you focus on what’s important.

Believe in yourself and be happy!

According to Gary Vaynerchuk in Crush It!, the secret to happiness and success is three things…

1. Love your family

2. Work super hard

3. Live your passion

I’ve got number one covered, but feeling it and acting on it are two different things. So taking a step back allows me to realise that I need to put them first and foremost above everything else. That makes me happy.

In terms of my passion, I certainly love what I do, otherwise I wouldn’t work as hard at it (covering point 2!) but I have an affliction called competitiveness. It is a real bummer. On the one hand it can drive me to really work hard and bust out some work that I’m proud of, but on the other it can stop me enjoying something like Bowling. That saying “it’s the taking part that counts” really is lost on people like me. So, for me, if I don’t take a step back to smell the roses and appreciate what I’ve got, I exist in a land of thorns. My competitive head tells me a) you’re not winning (winning what? I know) and b) there’s no chance of winning so you may as well give up/not bother (there goes that game of Monopoly). But in my real life, there’s nothing to win other than a career doing something I love, which gives me the freedom to spend lots of time with my son.

This is just my example, and you might not be competitive, but I bet there’s something else niggling away at yourself belief. Step away from it now!

I would add to point 1 that you should love your friends too. Because they are the ones that undoubtably bring me back to my senses. A place where I can put my competitive nature to good use, instead of letting it destroy what I’ve worked hard to create; which is writing and coming up with silly videos to do with my baby!

What do you think helps you believe in yourself when you’re feeling a bit lost?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…and do come and join the conversation on the Mums’ Days Facebook wall!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


17 Apr, 2014

I’m on a journey. A journey to work out what the hell I want to do with my life! I’ve discussed it before, the thing I think I want to be, the thing that stops me either looking after my son full time or getting a proper job!

But there is something within me that is holding me back. It stops me from being the writer/blogger I want to be. It gets downhearted by stats and Facebook’s latest antics. Instead of feeling inspired it gets upset by other people’s successes. It ignores all the wonderful comments and feedback I get. It thinks too much about what it thinks I should be doing…(child/job)

I know I’m hormonal this week! I know I’m not alone. I know that seemingly half of all mothers (after the messages I got about the Evening Primrose Oil post!) are hormonal too and feeling less than great, less than useful. Not reaching their full potential. Not even knowing what their full potential is! The thing they must do.

Today, by chance, I was emailed this article: The Cross Roads of Should and Must. I feel like it was written for me! If you feel like you need a kick up the arse, I would suggest you read it. I found it particularly useful to write down my “what are you so afraid of?” list – it was meant to be 10 points long but I had more, and probably even more in my head that I haven’t even realised!

I’m not saying that I’m any closer to concurring my self-sabatage but I am at least a tad closer to recognising what might be holding me back! I have an amazing opportunity that I’m currently wasting, I just have to work out how to make the most of it…


#AllAboutYou Link & Pin Party Mama and More


24 Jan, 2014

When we were on holiday in Egypt, just after Christmas, I felt refreshed and full of ideas and enthusiasm for my blog. I still do, don’t panic! I was reading, writing (something I do not do just for the fun of it normally), planning my New Year line of attack, and crucially I was neither online nor connected. I didn’t look at my phone for at least the first few days, maybe even longer.

I’ve been reading a book (which I’ve already mentioned on here a load of times – including my reading list), called Manage Your Day-to-Day* in which I discovered that what I did on holiday was “reset my brain”. WHO KNEW?! By being online and connected all the time my brain was frazzled. Switching off helped my brain relax and then start working again. It was becoming creative!

In the interview with Tiffany Shlain, a film maker, artist and author (amongst an impressive line of other things), she highlights the creative benefits of reseting your brain. Every Friday night Tiffany and her family switch off ALL THE SCREENS IN THEIR HOUSE for 24 hours: TVs; mobiles; ipads; game consoles; laptops; the lot. This came about because when her father was dying she started to think about family and time, and how to actually be present.

Present and connected

I really liked this idea so, last weekend I was mindful of how much we use screens. How much we are together but not together. It was a lot. A LOT.

Mike and I had already discussed it and thought it was a great idea. I then talked to Gabby about the idea of switching off, imagining she’d be the least taken with the idea, but she also liked it. Once I had sugar coated it a bit – we’ll do cooking, crafting, playing, etc!

But actually, is it practical? I know I WANT to do it, but can I ACTUALLY do it? Do I need a whole bunch of things planned and organised to keep everyone happy, or do I just need to relax and see what our reset brains can come up with! Perhaps the point is you don’t need to have anything to do. Just be with your family and be present. Totally present and connected.

Tiffany says this simple act has changed her life profoundly…What do you think? Do you think it’s hippy, idealistic nonsense? Or do you think it’s important to be present and connected? Could you do a full 24 hours without your screens?!

*It’s quite possibly the best book I’ve ever read. I’ve been reading chunks at a time, savouring each little lightbulb moment. When I finally finished it this week, I almost cried! Happily I’ve noticed it says “Volumn 1” on the side.


one comment.

01 Jan, 2014

Happy New Year 2014 from Egypt!!! I am so excited for this year – for the first time ever, I feel like I’m in a pretty good place and looking forward to the challenges I’m going to set myself this year, my New Year 2014 Resolutions.

I normally pay no heed to resolutions – last year it took me until my blog anniversary to actually come up with any and then I didn’t stick to them! – but this year I’m feeling good and, rather than set myself up for a fall, I’m setting myself some real, achievable, easily measurable goals.

New Year 2014 resolutions

  1. To read more – this is exactly the same as last year except rather than saying arbitrarily READ, I’m giving myself a reading list (see the reading list here), including some recommendations from my favourite bloggers Helen of Actually Mummy and Hannah of Make, do and push! I will share this over the coming days…
  2.  To blog every day for the year – I’m quite reticent to say this out loud but if I don’t, who’s going to know that’s my intention. I know nobody gives a shit if blog every day or not but if I say it out loud, it is my commitment to myself that I will do it. And the reason? Mike got me a great book for Christmas called “manage your day-to-day: build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative mind” – sounds like the dullest read EVER but I bloody love it!! That’s how well my hubby knows me. I have ideas, but I flap about, I never see things through and I feel like a failure. Most days. This book gives me all the tools to finally achieve the things I want to this year. Starting with ‘harnessing the power of frequency’. In short if you do something every day it is less daunting, it’s easier to get back into, it helps you come up with new ideas and makes you more productive. I loved the discipline of blogging every day during November with Vonnie from Nowt Special, so I guess, much like my diet, I need my work life to be strict if I’m going to achieve anything! Which brings me neatly to…
  3.  To lose a stone by my birthday (20th March) – I know this is both obvious and boring but this could be the year I feel ready to have another child. It might not. Either way, the fact that Gabriella honestly thought I was pregnant today means it’s time to take control and stop feeling like the victim. If I wait until after I have a second child, it is likely to be even harder. I’m not sure of my strategy yet but it’s most likely to be eat less and exercise more. I hear that works.
That’s it. I believe if I concentrate on those things, the rest should sort of fall into place because, in theory, I will feel content as I achieve the things I set out to do. Making me a happier person and a better mum and wife and friend.
Probably a bit deep for this kind of a hangover, but if you can’t get serious at the turn of a new year, when can you?!

What ambitions and resolutions do you have for the new year?


29 Nov, 2013

There’s only 2 days left of Nowt Special’s NaBloPoMo! I’ve not used many of Vonnie’s prompts as there was either other stuff going on or because I didn’t have much to say about it (tell us about your pets…I loved reading Vonnie’s post about it but then she has a small farm. I don’t have any!). Today’s prompt, after a little bit of thought, I decided I could do.

Tell us about three new blogs you found this year.

I find the internet an overwhelming place to be. Finding new blogs is easy but reading them is hard. I get a daily “new blog” email from Bloglovin’ but rarely read it. There’s always something else I’m trying to do in the snippets of time I have available. Making time to read more blogs was something I hoped would happen this month and I did definitely read some of my fellow NaBloPoMoers but not religiously, I’m ashamed to say. So 3 is a good number for me! There are 3 blogs I love, read, enjoy and look to for inspiration on a regular basis…

3 Blogs I Love

1. Katelyn Brookes – a website and blog designer for creative women

So Kate, blogs about her life, her design passions and also shares some fantastic advice for bloggers and small businesses. I love her “starred this week” posts, where she talks about what’s been happening and links to the interesting articles she’s found. I go through these articles every week because she is a researcher and finds the best stuff, that I would never have found in a million years! Gawd bless you Kate!

I also regularly go back and look at her “tips for better blogging” posts, in fact it was through her fantastic blog on How to make the most of pinterest that I first found her. She’s generally lush, a bit goofy (like me), responds to questions and she has a mind and a desk space I could only dream of (uncluttered). I think it’s fair to say I have a little bit of a girl crush on her.

2. Oh Joy! – by Joy Deangdeelert Cho a Graphic Designer, blogger, general wonderwoman

I’d heard of Oh Joy! but hadn’t spent much time there until I got her book back in July, which I started reading by Lake Windermere. The book is ace and gave me loads of great ideas for getting my blogging mojo back. It also pointed me to some great parent bloggers, who had achieved what I want to, such as Rockstar Diaries and Made by Joel. Joy and these other bloggers started out like me and with perseverance and hard work, they’ve now got really good blogs and more from it than they couldn’t have ever have anticipated. They didn’t always know what they wanted to be but by regularly sticking at blogging (and it can take years!), it came to them. So that’s my plan.

Joy’s blog itself is beautiful, as you would imagine from a graphic designer, and thoughtful and useful (her post on travelling abroad with a toddler is freaking inspired – we will be using it to the letter when we go to Egypt on Boxing Day!) and again, generally great.

blog inc - by lake windermere

3. Orange Mush – by Gemma Whiteford

I got to know Gemma’s blog by her commenting on my blog. She was the reason I finally wrote my stopping breastfeeding post (I’d been too scared of the breastapo before that), and she’s generally been a source of both inspiration and fun. But she’s stopped blogging!!

She turned 29 in August and then nothing. She’s busy. But I for one miss her. So I suggest you all go over to her blog, wish her a Happy Birthday and then tell her to get on and blog again!!


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