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On Top of Things…

Staying on top of things is the aim of the game at this end at the moment.

That’s not always easy when you’re up at 3am to look after a little person’s needs, and then feel as if you’re pulled in every which way like a stretchy toy throughout the day.

Running on empty is what we as working mums do best – tending to everyone else’s needs rather than our own.

But once in a while it’s great to set aside some time for ourselves. Doing something little that will help re-new those all important energy levels will really help you have a sense of perspective on everything that’s happening in your life right now.

It’s why tonight I’ve made the time to finally book in to get my hair done and to find time for an all important massage. Self care is so important. No one will thank you if you run out of steam and there are no prizes for just keeping on going no matter what.

Hope this helps you if you’re feeling overwhelmed and under pressure to keep going no matter what… x

Setting Goals…

The importance of goal-setting…

Have you ever tried to set yourself goals and if so how did you get on?

The reason I ask is that at the start of this year, I began to get laser-focused on what really matters to me and I thought about how I could achieve it.

So I began to set goals for the year and then broke them down into monthly and where I could weekly ones so they became more achievable.

And lo and behold it’s working!

In January, I said that by the end of April I wanted to have booked in 12 more weddings to photograph. By 30th April, I had secured 10 bookings, and have just taken the 12th booking in addition to the others I already had. I’m seriously so excited that everything is coming together as I’d hoped.

When have you become intentional about something and what has happened as a result?

Would love to hear your stories… x

Listen to Yourself!

I started writing a post this morning at 8:30am. I will now finish writing this for you – think it pretty much sums up what I was planning to share with you.

All too often as working mums, we’re pulled in every direction, with lots of people and things competing for our attention.

At the moment at this end, we have a poorly little man, I have a horrendous toothache and work is as busy as ever. But there is so much to be grateful for, not least our upcoming holiday, which I began dreaming about within a few months of J being born.

You see there will always be competing demands on our time and everyone will want things from you as if it were yesterday.

But what matters most is this. You are surrounded by those who care and even the smallest things like getting a car park space should and hopefully will still put a smile on your face.

This is a stretchy man. One day last week he was over-stretched by our 3-year-old and his head came off.

Even though he was just a toy – It’s still a lesson to us all.

Listen to your body (your health is the most important thing you have) and listen to your heart. Doing what makes you happy is so important.

And if you’re surrounded by things or people that don’t put a smile on your face and you feel stretched to the max; then start putting a plan in place so you can walk away or change the situation you’re in.

Lovely ladies, never forget that you’re in the driving seat and no one else. Life is short – let’s make the most of it… x

What We Stand For…

Today I thought it would be a great time to remind our new followers of the five core beliefs of the Working Mum Association, and why it was set up in the first place… x

Support and Friendship
We’re here for you as you juggle being a mum with working life. We will encourage and support you every step of the way. We are here to connect you with other mums who are going through the same things as you. Together we are a community.

Inspiration
We want to inspire you every day, so you feel you can take on the world no matter where you are on your journey as a working mum.

Possibilities
Everything is possible — there’s no such word as impossible — I’m possible says it all. Through learning new skills, dreaming big and working on your mindset we aim to help you feel and be positive about all of the demands that are placed on you.

Celebrate!
We want to celebrate wonderful, unique, multi-tasking you! We want to applaud the amazing job you do juggling being a mum, your job, and still finding time to be you. We’d like to raise a well-earned glass to toast the constant tricky balancing act of being a working mum.

Learning (to Have A Perfectly Positive Year)
We would like you to look back on when you joined the Working Mum Association as the moment when you found a special community of like-minded, friendly and approachable women who you can learn from. Whether it’s tips to make your life easier or better or hacks that other members have found work for them — this is the place for education on a weekly basis. The Working Mum Association helps you to stay happy and sane at the same time!

Believe in Yourself…

I have to say though that this wasn’t always the way I used to feel.

I wasn’t getting up at the crack of dawn, publishing children’s books, photographing weddings and exercising whenever I could.

Mondays were always the hardest and the most heart-wrenching.

And there’s no easy way to describe how close I came to being at rock bottom. I couldn’t see my way out of what seemed like quite a hopeless place.

I was missing my little one, and only getting to see him for half an hour a day. Now I know that all of you here will get it. Will get that it was no wonder I was feeling low, and that nothing was clicking at the time. Because at some stage as you have been juggling work and looking after the little people in your life, you have faced this too, or maybe you still do.

Maybe you work in an environment where it’s just expected that you stay late on certain occasions instead of heading off when you usually do. And it’s frowned upton when you do walk out even though if you don’t, who will do the nursery or school pick up?

And some describe it as guilt. I’ve never felt guilty, it was more a sense of loss because this time is so precious and each and every moment counts. Before we know it they will be taller than us, earning more than us and going out into the world on their own.

But here’s the thing that changed everything for me.

I started to look at things in another way. I chose to focus on the time I did have and I made every single moment count and I still do.

And I changed my mindset. I decided to be positive, to view the world in a different way. And lo and behold things started to change. Opportunities appeared, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and I became an award-winning children’s author and copywriter for small business owners and I started to help other authors starting out on their own journeys.

And then I launched the Working Mum Association because I looked at what I could do, and I went for it. I set goals, I strategised and I believed in myself and what I could achieve in terms of helping others. And not wanting any other working mum to go through what I did.

And when you hear at bedtime, “Mummy I love you, you’re my best friend,” then that’s what makes everything worthwhile. Because you know that you’re doing something right. Somewhere in amidst the hustle, the juggling and the crazy hours – that little person really does appreciate everything you do. Even though sometimes it can feel as if they don’t.

I Used to Wonder…

Becoming a mum really gave me a new found respect for everything my mum had done for me.

And then trying to balance work as well, it made me realise that time was even more precious than before.

But I was really struggling to fit in time for me. Time to think. Time to exercise and time to focus on where I wanted to be.

And then I read a book that helped to change everything. It altered the way I looked at time, what I could achieve, and what would be possible if I gave it a go.

It’s called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, and right from the very beginning I loved it, in a I can’t wait to turn the pages kind of a way.

I think as mums we’re now hard-wired to early starts anyway, so getting up just an hour earlier every day, gave me back a bit of me time.

And so now I do a quick-fire 10 minute exercise routine every morning and I also make time to think about my day ahead and what my priorities and dreams are and how I’m going to achieve them.

It’s given me a clarity that was definitely missing and is now very much appreciated.

If you have read something that has helped you on your journey as a working mum, please do share it below.

We can create a resource of the most highly recommended books, and you never know you might be helping out fellow mums without even realising it.

One Step At A Time…

This morning I really struggled to get out of bed and head out for a run.

Something was telling me that it wouldn’t be a good idea – probably the need for additional sleep and the warmth of the duvet. But I forced myself to go out and run the 5k anyway.

You see, I had mentioned to someone last week that no matter what the weather, every Friday morning I get up early and I run.

And then they sent me an email yesterday about work and ended by saying, “I hope you have a good run tomorrow morning.”

Knowing they would probably follow up on this next week, it spurred me on.

Accountability is a wonderful thing.

Having someone or a group of people who can encourage you to get to the next level, who will call you out when you don’t do something is so important.

So what one thing would you like to do, and what steps do you need to take to get there? Even if it’s the dream of booking a family holiday somewhere totally amazing or you’re planning to write a book, or you really want to ditch the day job and find something else.

One step at a time, what is it that you need to do? The more you write down your intentions, the more likely you are to follow through on them. And the more likely you are to achieve them. And this page can help with the accountability too.

Supporting Each Other…

Why supporting each other is important…

Sometimes we get so caught up in being busy that it’s easy to miss what else is going on around us.

We miss the fact that a fellow working mum is struggling, or could really do with a shoulder to cry on, or just a simple cup of coffee.

And yet there are times, and will no doubt be times in the future when we would all like to feel that we have that support.

It’s one of the main reasons that I started The Working Mum Association in the first place; so that working mums everywhere have a place that they can find inspiration, support and encouragement. In short, now that you have found us, you will never be alone.

And it doesn’t matter what stage of the journey you are at. Each one presents itself with its own unique challenges. So whether you’re a mum just returning to work from maternity leave, or your children are in their teens, please look out for your fellow working mums. Support and help them where you can, and you will find that support and help will come back ten-fold.

Together, we can build an amazing community of like-minded women because together, we truly can become unstoppable.

Reasons…

Sometimes I really have to question why things are working out the way that they are. I just don’t understand if it feels as if I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall with everything.

But taking a bit of time out to reflect and then try and get clarity on any given situation, really helps.

I didn’t need to be up this morning as early as I have been. I could have stayed in bed for a bit longer, rested a bit more, and begun my day in a completely different way.

But there are a couple of things that I’m unsure of. I don’t understand why I have seem to have blocks around them and so I got up earlier, sat down and wrote out how I was feeling.

I then found lots of lovely inspiring quotes for us this week and made them into graphics. Because there’s nothing that a bit of encouragement, support and inspiration can’t solve.

And as I was doing all of this, it made me realise that it’s ok that a couple of things that I thought were coming my way now haven’t. Because that’s what was meant to be.

So if you’re facing adversity or are thinking why not me about something this morning, know this. Something far better is about to come your way. Have faith that you will get to where you’re meant to be in the end, even if it takes you a while to get there.

Making the Most of Everything…

Making the most of everything…

In the UK at the moment it’s a Bank Holiday as we mark Easter – and I always think that having a few days away from work and actually not working can really help to put everything into perspective.

For instance, yesterday we spent the day together with some friends at a theme park, just enjoying each other’s company and today will be spent just chilling and if we’re able to, going for a walk in the country, in between the rain showers.

It’s moments like these – the memory making moments that are so important and equally precious.

So whatever you are up to on this Monday and wherever in the world you are, here’s to taking just a few minutes out of your day to appreciate all that you do have, and to building those special memories… x