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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.

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

Beating the Overwhelm…

Sometimes things can feel as if they’re getting too much. I know that I certainly feel this way at the moment but on my way into work this morning I made a conscious decision and I hope that it will in somehow help you if you’re reading this now.

I started to run through a list of everything that I’m grateful for.

My gorgeous little boy, hubby, the fact that we will be going on a holiday of a lifetime soon, all of these amazing things.

And yes I am stressed at the moment. There is a lot going on all at once and demands are being placed on me, which I feel to a certain extent are unfair.

But by refocusing on the good things, the positive things, it has helped to calm me, to re-centre my focus and it will mean that I’m more productive, more present for those I love and more importantly am more in tune with myself in terms of what I need.

Give it a go – it works for me, and I really hope that it works for you.

The sun is shining, warm weather is around the corner. Today is going to be your day. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way… x

Ps Come over and join us in the Working Mum Association Group we’d love to have you with us

Staying Positive…

Sometimes it’s really hard to stay positive when it feels like everything is working against you. But in those moments where you’re about to say why me, have you ever tried to look at your situation in a completely different way?

So the parking ticket that you just received, instead of it being a source of major irritation, is it a message that you just need to slow down a bit and think more about your actions. Or that person who just barged past you to get onto the train, yes it was rude, but surely that’s more a reflection about them as a person rather than how you should allow it to then affect the rest of your day.

Are you starting to see where I’m going with this?

The thing is, as soon as I started re-framing situations, which I previously would have seen as negative. Everything began to shift and change for me.

I’m not saying I’m a saint, far from it, but I try whenever I can to think of the positive in any situation and it has genuinely made everything feel so much better.

Smiling more has had a huge impact too – as often it impacts on those around you too. A smile is infectious, so maybe on this Monday – why don’t you try and spread some happiness and positivity.

It would be great to hear how you get on with this… x

Space and Permission…

Giving yourself space and permission…

I don’t know about you but sometimes being a mum, let alone one that works, can feel like it’s all consuming.

It’s hard when a little person is so reliant on you for their every need. I’m sure it gets easier as they get older, although I’m sure that their needs just change over time.

But in amongst everything associated with being a mum, and a busy working mum at that, don’t forget to give yourself a chance. Moments to yourself, that you carve out in any given day, that are just for you.

Because by doing this, you are remembering who you are. Who you used to be and what makes you happy.

I must have read it several times over how a happy mum equals a happy family.

And giving yourself permission to think about what you really want from your life it’s the first step in making you and those you love the most, truly happy.

Taking that step to think about what your life could look like and then knowing that you really can make it happen, means that you are on the initial stages of an incredibly exciting journey.

It’s so easy to sleepwalk through week after week, attending meeting after meeting, and then wondering where the time has gone.

So please if you do one thing this week, take half an hour out on your journey to or from work, or when you’re able to just sit and write it down. What do you want from life?

I did this back in 2015 and it was a real turning point for me.

There’s No Such Word As Impossible

One step at a time…

It’s often the case that we can procrastinate and not get anything done, held back by fear or those around us who say, “Why would you want to do that?”

But if you allow your life to be governed by what if’s then you will never be able to move forward at all.

When I first put a line in the sand and said that I was going to be a children’s author, there were some people who at the time scoffed and said “Yeah, right!”

Needless to say I’m no longer in touch with those people, because why would I want to surround myself with negativity or with people who don’t believe in me?

Why would you want to have those messages going round and round in your head.

This is one of my favourite quotes – it’s from Audrey Hepburn and looks at possibilities, discounting negativity.

Because if you are to get to where you want to be right now – it requires you to start taking action. To move forward, one step at a time.

When I first returned to work after having J, everything was misaligned and I wasn’t where I wanted to be at all. I missed him terribly, and there was no balance.

I’m not saying that everything is perfect now, as it’s far from it – but I’m getting there – one book, one wedding, one more client at a time. And I’m building the life that I believe I deserve.

And I really hope that you get to do the same too. That if you have an idea, rather than allowing those around you to knock it down – that you take the first few steps to start making it your reality. Who knows where you could be in a few months or a year from now.

Isn’t it better to try and find out, rather than wondering what if?