Why it’s important to define your own success

Success is a huge word. It means so many different things. It affects us whether we’re juggling our careers, studies, parenthood, creative projects or even our own health. Success can be a real driver to get things done or reach a certain benchmark in our lives. So why is it important to define your success before you move towards what you want from different corners of your life?

We’re told what success looks like…From an early age it’s about being successful. Whether it’s learning to walk or being successful at saying our first words. Success is about survival. We all live in cultures where success is important. It’s part of daily life. You can’t hide from it. That’s even more reason so start thinking about your own definition of success. Now that I’m forty, I know my definition of success looks very different to when I was in my early twenties and thirties.  

Don’t let comparison culture cloud your version of success….I often talk about comparison culture with friends and coaching clients. It’s so natural to compare ourselves to those around us whether it’s online or offline. So where possible, remember you can’t always compare yourself to what others are achieving or what’s making them successful. It comes back to everyone having their own story which I chat more about later on. 

Success can be about the small things too…It’s easy to assume success means big things. Many people strive for big things – maybe things that are more tangible or visible. That’s fine but make sure your definition of success is relevant to your lifestyle and values. Don’t ignore the smaller successes or one’s you didn’t expect. They could end up being the most important ones. Oh and talking of values…

It’s about what you’re about…Your values are so important when you’re focused on attaining achievements. What’s really important to you? Success isn’t always about things but about feelings too.  If you strip away the material things in life what  is it that really makes you happy? Is it your health or just being happy? Is it about helping others? Is it about having fun or just smiling each day? Jot down five values that are really important to you. 

It’s not always where you end up…Depending on what we’re talking about, I believe it’s not always about the end goal by what you achieve along the way. That’s what leading mindfulness expert Dr.Tamara Russell talked about at January’s Lucky Things Meet Up. If we’re too focused on goals we forgot about our experiences and successes along the way. We forget to think about how things felt. Tamara encourages us to think more about intentions rather than goals. You can read more about how thinking of intentions can help you right here

What comes first, success or happiness? Many people assume success creates happiness. I think it’s the other way around; if you’re happy then you will feel more successful. Success can also be a short-term feeling. That might be right for you but don’t rely on it if it’s your main driver of happiness. 

Your life, your story…You have to recognise that your story and life will be always unique. That means your journey and steps towards success will also be unique. A business founder I respect reminded me to “stay in your lane” the other week. She reminded me that I need to stick to my approach and plan; not to be tempted to jump into other people’s lanes and worry about what they’re doing. I’ve realised that the jigsaw pieces of our story as a little family are defining what success is for us and our children. Our experiences, whether they’re the ups or downs will help us realise what success really looks like. 

For us, our IVF journey was successful. Our lives would be very different if we didn’t experience this success. I think I would have really struggled not being able to be a mummy. I had always imagined having kids. That was how I defined my version of success for a long time. Going through IVF has certainly my shaped my definition of success. It has given me perspective on what parts of our lives really needed to feel successful. 

Is success always about winning? Over my career, I’ve loved receiving recognition for my work. I’ve been brought up in a fairly high-achieving culture. Maybe that’s why I prefer to be more of a collaborator instead of a competitor. Over the years, I’ve realised progress is just as important as success. 

Although I’m a finalist for a 2017 Top London Mummy Blogger Award, I can’t lose sight of just being a finalist in the first place! It’s an amazing feeling (of course it is). It’s pretty empowering when I hear what others think of Lucky Things. Competition is always fierce with these awards and there can only be one official winner. So whilst enjoying the nomination phase, I’ve been reminding myself how lovely it is to be part of the whole experience. 

What do you think about success? What does success look like to you? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think too…

If you’re interested in reading more about  Themother-hood.com Top London Mummy Blogger Award just click here. If you’d like to vote for me, that would be lovely too! 

How I really feel about being a finalist for the Top London Mummy Blogger Award

May has been an exciting month for Lucky Things. It was this time last year I officially launched Lucky Things blog. It’s been fab becoming a finalist for the Top London Mummy Blogger Award run by themother-hood.com. Over the past year I’ve always been nominating others for awards, competitions and accolades. I love it when people get some recognition for their hard work. So how do I really feel about being a finalist for the Top London Mummy Blogger Award?

 
Surprised…As Lucky Things blog has only been around for a year I certainly didn’t know expect to be nominated (for anything!). There must be hundreds of bloggers in London. So I did think how I earth have I been picked as one of the finalists?

 
Shy…Yes I feel shy. Believe it or not I was a pretty shy kid and that feeling has never really left me. For years I didn’t tell people about things I’ve achieved along the way. I didn’t think people would want to know about them. I wasn’t sure if my achievements warranted people’s attention. For a while I didn’t tell anyone about my Top Mummy Blogger award nomination. I kept thinking maybe they had emailed the wrong blogger. But I then had to remind myself there can’t be many Sunita’s out there!

 

Worried about what others think…I wasn’t sure if it was the done thing to chat about being a finalist. I love being a connector and used to promoting what others are doing. I struggle more with promoting myself and can feel anxious about what others think. If I talked about it, would others think that I am talking about my achievements too much? If they aren’t comfortable with hearing about it, I guess it’s up to them what they think about it all.  Also, would people even want to know about this award? Would they think I’m telling them because I want a vote? Yes and no (actually, yes as a vote would be lovely). Over time, I’m getting better with talking about what I’m doing (or what I’ve done). I guess this award nomination will be good practice.

 
Size isn’t everything…I loved that mother-hood.com has featured nominations for lots of bloggers who haven’t been around for years or who don’t have thousands and thousands of followers. So I do feel proud to be the top 21 finalist list. I’m apparently called a micro-influencer. I’m proud that I’m flying the flag for lots of new blogs and those with smaller followings. I’m hoping to demonstrate that you don’t need huge numbers of followers or high stats to do interesting things or make a difference.

 
Honoured…I truly feel honoured. As I’ve seen the other finalists being announced over the last few weeks I’ve felt that “wow” feeling. I’m also proud to be alongside other incredible bloggers and vloggers in the finalist line up. In fact I can’t wait to celebrate with them at the awards evening. For me, being part of the finalist line up is a real treat in itself.

 
It’s OK to feel proud…As a coach, friend and family member I’m always reminding others to celebrate their achievements. In my day job I help others to “train their thinking” so they feel more confident talking about their proud moments. So I’ve had to remind myself that it’s actually OK to talk about my own achievements. If I don’t, no-one will end up knowing about the exciting news and what it means to me.

I’ll be honest, my blog was born out of post natal depression. One evening, my husband Mr.H reminded me how I finally needed to start my blog; something that will be a lasting creative outlet for me. So I do feel proud about that too. A lot has happened over the last year; to me, my little family and with Lucky Things blog. I’ve decided to be bold and just feel proud about all of this as well as the mother-hood.com award nomination. As a few friends have told me recently, I’d be daft not to talk about the nomination. I’m sure all of the finalists feel fab about being on the line-up. After all, nominations don’t last forever so it’s about enjoying the moment whilst it lasts.

 

If you’d like to vote for me, I’d of course really appreciate it. Just pop over to this link for two clicks of your time. Voting closes on 25 May 2017.

Thanks for reading. 

Sunita 

Photography by Daniela Cadore

Why we will always have to live with change

Lucky Things is all about helping you and others to feel more confident about our wellbeing and our careers. A word that comes up lot in my own head is change. Not just because of my HR career but what we’ve had to deal with along the way. We all have different experiences of change. It might crop up every now and then or feel like an everyday thing. So why is it that we always have to live with change?

It’s here to stay…Earlier this week I came across the quote “The only permanent thing is change”. It’s here to stay. We experience big and small changes every day. Some changes are more obvious than others. Some changes impact us in bigger ways than others.

It’s beyond our control…Change is here to stay and more often than not, it’s beyond our control. From changes in government to changes to our daily commute, change is often decided by others. Many of us like to work and live with stability so we know what to expect from each day.  So it’s about learning how we can work with change.

It’s here to test us…Some changes makes us feel uncomfortable, give us anxiety or even heartache. Some changes are very hard to get used to. We are able to become more used to some changes. Depending on the kind and size of change, we may learn to become more resilient in our everyday lives. We react with changes of our own to help us deal with different things. We also learn a lot about ourselves along the way.

It’s part of growing up…Thinking of kids, they have to live with so much change. From being an only child to having a sibling in the house or from going to nursery to starting school. Grown ups are still growing up too. We still have to go through so many different phases in our lives, on the career side as well as the home and family front.

It’s about physical changes…Maybe I’m writing this one as I’m now forty. I can see the changes in my eyes and my hair. I know I will feel other changes as the years go by. People have to deal with way more serious changes in their lives; many to do with their health. People are dealing with long-term health changes and short ones. I’ll always remember realising how my first major operation started to affect me (a couple of years later). It changed my opportunity to become a mother in the future. Where possible, I try to maintain perspective to manage how change makes me feel. I know there are others who have or who are dealing with big lifestyle changes.

It’s about emotional changes…How we feel is constantly changing. If you were to jot down how may feelings you encountered during your day or the last hour, I wonder how many there would be? So emotional change is very normal indeed. I think a lot of it is down to us reacting and responding to external influences. We can’t hide our feelings from ourselves, even if we don’t show them to others.

It’s about environmental changes…Whether it’s where we live or where we work, we may decide what’s around us. We may be moving countries, renovating a room in the house or changing a few things around on our desk. These changes are more down to our personal preferences. Many people decide to change their working environment, whether it’s to support their productivity or their career aspirations.

It’s about our decisions…Change can be down to us. We can decide to change something. So if this is the case, do your best to own it. This means we need to just own our decisions instead of focusing our time and energy on what if’s and possible regrets. When we make decisions, we do this for many reasons and this is also influenced by what’s going on right there and then. So we can bring change on ourselves, sometimes because we feel confident about what it means or maybe we just need to see what happens. We also support change whether it’s through our values or actions. In 2017, the theme for International Women’s Day was #BeBoldForChange. Last week I attended a session run by Dove at the Mom 2.0 Summit. We were reminded us how we can help to change how young people view themselves and especially when they feel low self-esteem. So it’s about helping others to live with change too.

What do you think about change? Is it something that’s part of everyday life? Or does change to you feel like big things only? Do you have any tips for dealing with change? Leave a comment below as I’d love to hear what you think. 

Coaching services

If you’re dealing with a change, making a change yourself or anticipating a future change please get in touch about my coaching services. Feel free to send me a direct message for my inbox below. You can also check out more information on the Coaching hub on Lucky Things.

Inspire interview with Jamie Day, blogger at A Day In The Life Of Dad

Here we are with another Inspire interview. This time it’s with Jamie Day who blogs over at adayinthelifedad.com. It’s great featuring more guys on this series. Jamie, his wife Georgia, their two children and two dogs live in quiet village in Berkshire (where the says the Co-Op is the hub of any local activity). Check out what Jamie has to say about stepping away from his corporate City career, how men can look after their mental health and being unprepared to win a Best Baby Blog award.

You guys moved to Berkshire and used to live in London. Do you miss anything about London?

Cliché I know, but the ‘buzz’. I loved being surrounded by people who were not afraid to be different, creative and open-minded. Also, as much as I love the countryside, there’s  something special about London’s parks – we spent a lot of our time in Clissold Park, Victoria Park and Highbury Fields. Oh, and there’s also a decent boozer on every corner!

Your blog is doing great. What encouraged you to start your blog? 

My wife, Georgia is to thank/blame. I’d been writing for a few years before A Day in The Life Dad came along; I’d written a novel, some children’s picture books, I’d contributed to music blogs and randomly even a betting company’s magazine. I just wanted to continue writing. With the rise of mum blogs and Instamums, Georgia just said, “you should start a dad blog”. I’m a doer, so within approximately 12 seconds, it was up and running. Due to my insecurity and shyness, especially towards friends who I knew would rip it to pieces for not being very ‘laddish’, I spent a few weeks adding content before being brave enough to go live. Thankfully it was met with huge positivity and not too much ‘banter’ from the lads.

Tell us about your work?

I work in education as an IT and Comms Manager. That apparently covers anything within a school that has an electrical current, but I also work on strategy, social media, marketing and anything else that might require a battery.

Let’s chat about winning The Mads Best Baby Blog in 2016  – How did that feel? 

It was a complete shock. I headed to London thinking it would simply be a great chance to network and sink a few glasses of bubbly, and had no expectations of winning (as proved by my terrible speech). I was nominated in three categories (Best Writer, Best New Blog, Best Baby Blog) and as I sat down for my meal next to BrummyMummyof2, she told me in no uncertain terms, I would definitely win one of them – had she seen the results or something?! Then it dawned on me, I might actually win after all. In all honesty, I only ever nominated my blog to drive a bit of traffic to my site and boost my social media numbers! A few nervous trips to the loo later and my name was announced as winner of Best Baby Blog. I was so, so happy, and grateful to everyone who voted.

You made a big career move, stepping away from corporate life in the City to the world of teaching. How did that come about?

I’d been working in the City for 10 years or so for a number of large investment banks as a Project Manager. It was a pretty demoralising place to work, surrounded by wide boys in suits with too much gel, so I needed a change. Georgia’s family live in Windsor and with our first baby on the way, we made the decision to move out to where we’d be able to have a little help if we needed it. It all happened very quickly, and within a couple of months, I’d swapped finance for education, and the buzz of London for the social hub that is our little Co-Op.

We chat a lot of career stuff on Lucky Things Blog. So, what’s your top tip for people considering a career change?

If you’re unhappy and you can make it work financially, just do it. You don’t want to be sitting in your rocking chair in your 80s thinking ‘what if’.

Looking back, what three things have you learnt from your career?

1 – Remember when our parents used to say, “your schools days are your best days”, and we were all like “whatevs”? Well, because I work in education and I’m surrounded by children all day, I’m constantly reminded how special school days are. A school provides so much opportunity to learn and have fun, things a lot of us forget as we get older.

2 – I wish my parents had offered me a bit more careers advice. My dad was convinced I was going to make it as a footballer, so we never talked about an alternative career. When Real Madrid didn’t come calling, I didn’t really know what to do. My dad and my uncle both worked in the city, so I thought that was the only logical option. Looking back, I wasted 10 years doing something I didn’t enjoy.

3 – Linked to the above, I’ll make sure that our children, Edie and Arlo, have an opportunity to explore every option they have a passion for, so that they find a career they love.

As you’re juggling the day-job and a blog, what does work-life balance mean to you? 

It’s huge and one of the main reasons I do what I do now. I enjoy a lot of time off because of the school holidays and I know I’m extremely lucky to spend more time with my children than a lot of parents do.

Over to your wife Georgia…What’s the best thing about Jamie starting a blog (and what’s the worst thing?!)

Georgia: The best thing is definitely seeing him more fulfilled creatively. Apart from the kids and the dogs (and me!) he loves writing and he’s brilliant at it, so it’s a real joy to see him doing that and doing it so successfully. There isn’t really a worst thing, but sometimes his camera can feel like the fifth member of our family!

Back to Jamie…It’s Mental Health Awareness week. Something I feel strongly about is looking out for men’s mental health too. In your eyes, how can men look after their own mental health and wellbeing? 

Like many men my age, I’ve had some issues with my mental wellbeing over the years, but it’s only in recent times that I’ve realised it’s best to be just be open about it with family, friends and work.

Admit things aren’t quite right and seek help. That first step is so important. That might be through talking to people or taking medication, but the worst thing you can do is suffer in silence. Negative stigmas are lifting and unfair judgements people used to make are thankfully changing.

That’s pretty good advice for everyone, men and women come to think of it. What do you think could encourage men to be more open about their mental health if things aren’t great?

Friends and family are the key to spotting changes in men’s moods and states of mind, so without rocking the boat (as mental health is sometimes a tough subject to broach), gently coax them into seeking help or talking. I think the media can play an important role. I think it’s great when celebrities, or as in the recent examples Royalty lend their support. As much as I’m not a fan of the world of celebrities, I think they can really help, with men especially. If famous footballers, rugby players or actors openly spoke more often about how even they can be affected, perhaps more men would seek help.

You mentioned things haven’t always been great for you. So what’s your motto when things get a bit tough?  

It’s ok to not be ok.

Confidence tricks are also a big thing on this blog. What’s your top tip for feeling confident? 

I have real confidence issues whether in person or online. I procrastinate and over think everything I say, do or post, as I worry what people will think of me, and it has held me back. Sometimes I just need to give myself a kick up the bum (or my wife does), learn to forget what other people think and just do it.

What have your children taught you about life?

That life begins at 5.30am. Also, that children view life and the world with a wonderful purity and innocence. No judgement about shape, size, sex, colour or religion, all they care about is having fun. It’s a shame so many of us lose that. We could all do with being a bit more child-like now and again.

 

I think music is really important for our wellbeing too. So, what grown-up tunes do you and Georgia enjoy playing to your children?

Anyone who has ever watched any of my InstaStories will know that my children love a good dance (I use the word ‘dance’ quite loosely here – more of uncoordinated stomp). On a Friday evening, the Prosecco is popped and we blast out some classics Georgia and I grew up with, a bit of Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen), Can’t Touch This (MC Hammer), Faith (George Michael) and anything else that gets their little legs stomping.

And finally, what are your 3 lucky things (anything in life you feel grateful for or really love – but no need to say your family as that goes without saying!)

Firstly. my dogs. Soppy I know, but since leaving home at 19, I’ve had 5 dogs of my own and they’ve all given me so much joy. Secondly, good health *touches wood*. Thirdly, my childhood. We lived in an idyllic cottage in the beautiful countryside where my time was spent with friends, climbing trees, racing across corn fields, cooling off in rivers and playing cricket.

A huge thank you to Jamie and Georgia for taking part in the Inspire interview series.

Dealing with mum guilt

Mental Health Awareness week is 8-14 May 2017 in the UK  and so what better time to chat about the G word – guilt. It’s a weird feeling, sometimes we impose it on ourselves or maybe it’s others who make us feel guilty. When we become a parent, many experience a new kind of guilt – mum guilt (or dad guilt). I define mum guilt as feeling bad as a parent because of a decision you’ve made, how you feel or something you’ve done. It may even make you doubt yourself or create anxieties. It’s a feeling that can come and go or for some it’s an everyday thing. So here’s some tips on how to manage what people call mum guilt…

Is it self-imposed? I know most of the time, my mum guilt is self-imposed. The kids are just being kids; they don’t really know what guilt is. They just want their mummy to know that they’ll miss her when she goes out or goes to work. One thing they are good at is letting us know what they want. They may suddenly want you to stay with them or be around to read their books at bedtime. Mum guilt can make us question ourselves a lot. It can also generate lots of self-doubt and lower our confidence. So when guilt is self-imposed, remember you’re also the one who’s able to zap it!

When someone else is making you feel mum guilt…You may be a stay-at-home mum and you’re being made to feel guilty about not bringing in an income or being career-minded enough. It may be that you’ve decided to take a longer maternity leave. On the flip-side you may have to go back to work a few months after having a baby or you have to or decide to work full-time. There are so many external factors which create mum guilt.Other people questioning your decisions, actions or situation can be tough. So recognise when it’s someone else encouraging you to feel guilty. Are they trying to influence how you feel because of their own views or experiences? Say a polite “no thank you” in your head when that mum guilt feeling kicks in so they don’t ruin your flow.

What is it that we have to feel guilty about?…To be honest whatever we do, we could feel guilty about it. This week I’m going away for a blogger conference. It’s half-work half-play. I’m investing a serious amount of time (three whole days) in my own professional development. I won’t be looking after the kids and I can focus on myself. It’s too easy to feel guilty. At the end of the day, I know my husband is super-supportive of me going and I know I work hard to be a good mama. I’ve told my four-year old that I’m going away and “Mummy will be back in four days so you can be Daddy’s helper”. I know I will always be thinking of my little family so even more reason not to feel guilty about being away. I’d much rather use that energy on missing them and wondering what they’re up to rather than feeling bad about not being with them.

Let it out…As I discovered at the nursery drop-off the other week, you never know when mum guilt will take over all of your emotions. I had full-on mum guilt as Toddler Munch was in tears when I said bye. She did not want to go to nursery that day. She just wanted to hang out with me. So I cried too. I felt pretty bad. I had to acknowledge that I felt guilty. It’s only because I know I will miss her although I know she’s more than fine at nursery. So express your mum guilt if you need to. Chat to someone about it if it’s really bothering you.

Finding the positives…This tip may not be for everyone as I’m an optimist (most of the time). When we start to feel guilty, try and think of more positive feelings about what’s happened or what you’re doing. If you’re going out for the evening, is the break from family responsibilities going to do you good and leave you a bit rejuvenated? If you need some me-time, you’re just looking after yourself too. If you’re back at work, you’re providing your kids with a positive role model and another perspective on career life.

Do something…If you start to feel the mum guilt cloud hovering, then stop thinking about it and start doing something. Prepare a treat for the family or plan something nice to make you all feel better. Or just get on with something else that’s more important than feeling guilty. Tick something off the list is way more rewarding than spending your time on feeling guilty.

Would you rather spend your energy on something else? Mr.H always reminds me that it’s about focusing your time and energy on the right things. If you end up feeling guilty a lot, think about whether you really want to use your energy and time on feeling guilty? Wouldn’t it be nicer to feel something else more positive instead? It takes practice, but move on from the guilty-mode and use that energy to think of some nice plans or ideas to make you feel less guilty.

Own your choices…These are the words from a wise nursery mum I know. I love her directness. We were chatting about juggling careers and parenting and we soon came onto mum guilt. She said that we just need to own our choices and not feel guilty. She’s right. We all have to make certain choices for different reasons. So we just need to get on with it and believe in ourselves a bit more.

What do you think about mum guilt or dad guilt? Is there anything we can do to manage feeling guilty? Leave a comment below and let me know your views…

Faye’s IVF journey

This year I’ve launched the IVF Journey series on Lucky Things Blog. In hope of spreading awareness of what couples go through as well as reminding people how common IVF is. I’m grateful to be featuring Faye’s IVF journey. Faye blogs at glossytots.co.uk. She lives in the West Midlands and is a quality monitoring and training executive at an insurance company. Faye tells me how she is loving every moment with her five-year old daughter. Here’s Faye’s IVF journey…

Tell us a bit about your IVF journey?

I was able to have my baby girl through IVF, after a very long 3 years! I wasn’t able to get pregnant naturally with drugs, but I was able to have one round of IVF which worked.

That’s a real blessing as it can be so unpredictable if IVF treatment works or not. So, when did you first find out you needed to do fertility treatment?

I was 21 and I had been married a year. I hadn’t had any periods after coming off the pill and went to the doctors to investigate where they told me I had PCOS.

What were the reasons for needing fertility treatment?

I needed treatment as I didn’t ovulate at all on my own or with the help from drugs as a result of PCOS.

What were one of the hardest things for you, knowing you had to go through fertility treatment?

My biggest fear was it never happening.

When you found out, how did you feel about having IVF treatment?

I wasn’t shocked, I knew that I wanted kids so badly it wouldn’t be easy.

What kind of fertility treatment did you go through?

I had every drug under the sun… Clomid, Tamoxifen, some others that I don’t remember the name of! And I ended up with IVF.

You mentioned that you didn’t know anybody else who went through IVF. Were you scared about anything going through fertility treatment?

I wasn’t scared I was happy that something was being done about it and I wasn’t being ignored.

Did you seek any support when going through fertility treatment?

I didn’t seek any. I always tend to cope with things on my own.

Were you OK being open with friends and family that you were going to try fertility treatment?

I am really open about it and always have been I hate it when people go silent on the subject.

Were you able to tell your work that you were going through fertility treatment?  Yes I had to because of the amount of blood tests that I had to go to in work time.

What are your top tips for juggling fertility treatment and work-life/home-life?

Ask your work to be sympathetic, mine were amazing.

Did you ever feel embarrassed or self-conscious about going through fertility treatment?

Not at all. It’s not something people should be embarrassed about.

What tips would you share for others going through fertility treatment?

Have a positive mental attitude. Without that I wouldn’t have my daughter.

Do you have any tips for the partners of women going through fertility treatment?

Be supportive and don’t whinge when her hormones are going through the roof.

What have you learnt about yourself having gone through your fertility treatment?

That I am hard core and can go through a lot of s**t to get what I want!

Looking back, what is one of the most memorable moments of your fertility treatment?

Trying to inject myself for IVF for the first time… we were rolling around laughing as I am such a wimp

Can you describe your fertility journey in three words?

Positive, emotional and successful.

Thank you to Faye for sharing her IVF journey. You can also follow Faye’s blog over at Facebook and Instagram @faye_erin_jones.

More IVF journeys will be featured over the coming months.

Photo has been published with permission from Faye. 

Parents suffer from separation anxiety too

As our babies and kids go through the different developmental phases we often come across separation anxiety. It’s normal for little ones to feel separation anxiety. It’s just part of them growing up. I remember reading lots about it when Big Munch was around 9 months old. I’ll be away from my two girls and Mr.H soon as I head off to the Mom 2.0 blogger conference in Orlando. I know I have mixed feelings about being away. We hear and read lots about children’s separation anxiety. So, what about the parents and their own separation anxiety?
Are they going to be OK? It’s a question we ask ourselves as parents each day. It could be the nursery drop-off or saying bye at nap-time. We can’t constantly watch our kids and have to trust that they will be OK. However, they’re so little and it’s natural that we worry about them. That’s why I’m sure it’s normal for us parents to suffer from separation anxiety too. We’re only human right?

Photo by Katrina Campbell Photography at Olive Loves Alfie East store

Trusting others…A big part of parental separation anxiety is knowing that our kids are being well looked after. We have to start trusting other grown ups to look after our precious babies. We have to trust our children’s independence. I want my girls to feel independent. I never wanted them to be super-clingy babies as I knew I’d be going back to work after maternity leave. For the first time, me and Mr H went away together on our own and to another country. We knew our girls would be fine staying the weekend at my Mum’s. It still felt strange knowing that they wouldn’t be able to see both of us over the weekend.

Missing out…Kids are constantly developing. When we have to leave them at nursery or childcare we don’t always get to see their new tricks first time round. Parents can feel like they’re missing out. Have you seen my other blog post on dealing with FOMO? Now what I’m talking about here is parenthood FOMO. Not being together doesn’t mean not sharing special moments at other times. In fact being part can make us value the family hang out time we enjoy together.

Getting used to it…I remember my parents working long hours when I was little. Working is part of life. It means we will be apart from our kids. Everyone’s getting used to doing their own thing during the day. As a mum I need my time out and I’m glad my two girls are getting used to seeing their mummy go off to work or her events at the weekends. I hope see this will encourage their own independence when they’re older.

Will they be OK without us? We are their parents and they need us everyday. We’re their ultimate comfort blanket. I worry about if or when they feel upset or may hurt themselves and need a cuddle. All they might want at that moment is their mummy or daddy. What I’ve learnt is that kids can be really adaptable. They find their different sources of support. They also quickly move onto the next activity.

Tearful goodbyes…Last week it was tears all round. Toddler Munch has started a new nursery and she just didn’t want to go in. Usually she’s OK with nursery but seeing her so upset brought out the tears in me too. I felt bad leaving her knowing she wasn’t in the mood for hanging out with new grown ups and kids. For the first time I felt a rush of hardcore mum guilt. I was leaving her when she was really upset but I had to go to work. Knowing how busy she would soon be at nursery helped my separation anxiety.

Everyday reunions…One thing that distracts me from separation anxiety during the day is knowing we will be back together again. You’ve got to love the excited hello’s and cuddles at the nursery pick up. When I come home from my trip I’m excited about walking in through the front door and being greeted with some serious hugs from my two girls.

Do you think parents suffer from separation anxiety? What helps children to feel OK when they’re away from their parents? Any tips for me when I’m away from my children next week? Let me know what you think too. 

Mummuddlingthrough

April’s London Lucky Things Meet Up in pictures

Wow, what a great Saturday afternoon. Fifty of us gathered at The Folly in London for the second Lucky Things Meet Up  in London on 22 April 2017. We had a great panel featuring Alison Perry, from Not Another Mummy Blog, and fashion stylist Susan Alcindor. It was fun throwing in my own tips on feeling confident in your own style. There was plenty of time for catching up and meeting new faces.  So, another amazing Lucky Things Meet Up full of smiles, laughs and quality me-time. Enjoy the slideshow…

A huge thank you to the brands featuring treats in the Lucky Things goody bags – Next, Weleda, Rude Health and VitaCoco.

The October Lucky Things Meet Up sold out within 48 hours. Another London date for November will be out soon. Sign up to updates on Lucky Things Meet Ups below.

Inspire interview with Anna Lewis from Sketchy Muma

I love doodling, drawing and doing arty things with my two girls. My Mum discouraged me to do A level art. She told me you don’t need to study art to be an artist. She was probably right. Something I love popping up on my Facebook or Instagram feed are the Sketchy Muma drawings by the talented Anna Lewis. They are heartfelt, comical and always ooze emotion. There’s something calm about them although they document the ups and downs on parenthood. Anna lives with her husband and their (nearly) four-year old daughter in Cornwall. Here’s what Sketchy Muma Anna had to say about patience, constant learning and being unique… Continue reading

Top tips on how to stay calm and manage everyday anxiety

Lots of people describe me as a calm person. It’s a word that comes up time and time again. I find it interesting that people call me calm; those who don’t know me that well along with those who have known me for years. On the outside I probably seem quite calm but just like a swan I’m busy paddling quickly underneath. I guess going through different things have given me a perspective on what I really need to worry or panic about. So as we’re all different, how else is it possible to stay calm? Here’s some top tips on keeping your cool and managing everyday anxieties… Continue reading