I’ve always liked the idea of mindfulness. Like many mums, I suffer with a nagging guilt that I don’t pay enough attention to the present, that I spend too much time on my phone whilst my children are growing up fast in front of me. I also liked the idea that mindfulness might help with my lack of patience and that it might help me to calm my brain from the constant thinking, planning and worrying; to enjoy more of the here and now.
After a taster session in July, I got hold of the book that was recommended by the tutor, and was immediately put off by the fact that you had to follow mediation exercises every day whilst reading the book. I was sceptical. I came up with a load of reasons this would be impossible to do, mostly revolving around having 2 young noisy children in the house. But in January with my resolutions for books to read this year, I decided to give this book another shot and MAKE time to do the meditations mostly whilst the youngest was at pre-school.
I never set out to freelance. Prior to having children I had a job I loved as an Online Marketing Manager working for a clothing company in Central London.
After the birth of my first daughter almost 6 years ago, I assumed that I would be going back when my maternity leave finished. Things didn’t work out the way I planned. I had hoped to work 3 days a week and would have considered 4 if it had come to it. But my company didn’t agree. I suggested working from home for part of the week or working some form of condensed hours, but after several meetings I was told that the business could not offer me any form of flexibility. At all. I was utterly amazed that there was zero room for negotiation especially as I’d had such good relationships with my bosses and colleagues. One of the first posts I wrote when I set up this blog was about the lack of flexibility in the work place and even now, two years on, I still feel passionately that not enough businesses offer working flexibility for parents. In this digital age, there should be far more options.
Today, Valentine’s Day is my 2 year blog anniversary. Happy blog birthday to me! I was going to write a post about the stuff I’d learnt in the last 2 years of blogging but a week ago, after just a year of procrastinating and thinking about it for far too long, I finally took the leap to self-host my own blog.
You might think that the trick of getting your child out the door and into school should be a relatively easy one right?
On the good days it can seem effortless to get everyone fed and dressed without too much whinging, out the door on time and deposited into school without any clinginess or crying. Then there are the more hellish weeks where everything goes wrong.
Memories are a funny thing. Triggers like songs, films, people and even smells can transport you to another time, another place from years ago. It’s amazing to think how strongly memories and emotions are re-called over something so fleeting.
Music is a powerful reminder. We all have certain songs which instantly spark a memory of what we were doing or where we were and who with.
Here’s just a few songs which bring back instant memories for me:
- Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite and Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap – These songs always makes me think of driving around in a battered car with my school friends after we had passed our driving test.
- The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield – Was the first dance at our wedding and always makes me smile.
- Time to Say Goodbye from The Phantom of The Opera – I always found this song emotional but will never be able to hear it again without shedding a tear as it was played at my father in-law’s funeral.
- That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings – This reminds me of the summer before I got married and how it was played constantly at the festivals I went to as well as on my hen weekend in Bath.
- Anything by Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man album – This CD was played continuously on family holidays to Devon and Cornwall. They bring back happy memories of us on holiday as well as fighting in the back seat of the car with my sisters!
Let me start by saying that generally I am impatient about most things. Impatient to get the kids out to school, impatient to hear back from a client about work, impatient to get the kids to bed, impatient to get the sodding decorating finished!
I may or may not have inherited this particular trait from my dad who is not the most patient person I know either. But this week has seen my levels of impatience reach a new high (or should that be low?!).
Refusing to Get Dressed
For some reason the youngest, who has always been chatty, over confident and loves pre-school, has now decided that she doesn’t want to go. Her avoidance tactics this week has ranged from refusing to get dressed, to hiding around the house when it’s time to leave the house. I’ve tried to deal with this calmly. I wish I was one of those jolly mums who laughs at such behaviour and joins in the game of hide and seek, but I inevitably end up losing my temper and insist on her getting dressed and going to pre-school because “I’ve got shed loads to do today!”
I love reading but in between managing two small children, trying to keep on top of my freelance writing business and keeping up to date with the latest boxset viewing (currently catching up with House of Cards Series 3), there’s precious little time left. I often collapse into bed too tired to read at the end of each night.
The day before New Year’s Eve, I sat down and started writing out my resolutions for 2017. I came up with a list of 16 (yes sixteen!) goals which included everything from running, reading and writing more to less shouting at the kids, drinking less wine and spending less time on my phone. After a good five minutes, I decided to scrap the lot and save myself from the depression of never being able to live up to such high expectations.
But I did decide to set myself some writing goals for both my freelance work and for my blog which I hope are a little bit more achievable.
So it’s a new year and I thought this would be a good opportunity to look back at the best of my blog posts from 2016.
It was a mixed bag for me, I can remember in the spring feeling really motivated and driven to write loads and grow the blog. I was posting regularly and my stats were doing well. Then during the summer and into autumn my freelance copywriting business picked up. I was busy and struggling to juggle this along with childcare and as a result, the blog suffered a bit. It meant that over autumn and winter I’ve been posting far less regularly with an obvious effect.
Before you all think I’m a complete Ebenezer, let me start by saying that I adore Christmas. I love spending time with family, seeing the kids faces as they get excited by the tree, the presents, the advent calendars and what not. I love the fact that it’s an excuse for more drinking, eating and partying with friends. BUT there is no doubt about it, this season is, quite frankly stressful! So here’s my list as to why this season sends me slightly crackers: