What could have stopped me feeling ashamed about doing IVF?

Last week was an interesting one for me. I appeared on live BBC radio talking about blogging and we touched on my pre and post-IVF anxieties. The BBC radio presenter Shazia Awan also mentioned my Will we tell our children they’re IVF babies?  blog featured as Mumsnet Blog of the Day. One of the things I’ve been pretty honest about when writing and talking about our IVF journey is how I felt about having to do IVF. I felt ashamed. Looking back, I wonder if I could have felt differently and what would have changed this for me. I hope others who are thinking about IVF or going through it don’t feel ashamed like I did. If they do, I totally get why. So here’s a few thoughts on what could have stopped me feeling ashamed about doing IVF. Continue reading

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Top tips for encouraging confidence in children, by Livvy Gormally, Let’s Ask Livvy

In part 1 of Livvy’s guest blog for Lucky Things, we looked at children’s confidence as a behaviour and how confidence needs to be taught, learnt and nurtured, modelled and reinforced. She also talked about how it needs to be taught across environments and in different situations. Confidence can dip and how confidence can be boosted and the importance of praising the behaviours that we want to see more of. With this in mind, here are Livvy’s top tips for encouraging confidence.

 

  1. Break down big or daunting tasks or new activities into bite sized pieces and offer appropriate praise and reinforcement for each little step towards task completion. Breaking things down and praising the little steps helps build confidence by boosting the kids at every step along the way.img_9309
  2. Make sure you have realistic and age appropriate expectations for your children. Pushing a child into something that is not age appropriate, where they are yet to develop the necessary skills can have a negative effect on confidence levels. Similarly, pushing a child into something that you feel they should be able to do by a certain age can also greatly affect confidence. For example, leaving your little one at their first parents don’t stay party or your older one for their first sleepover, may not be easy, it may need preparation and work from all involved to enable them to have the confidence to try.
  3. Try to work out the function (the reason why) of any behaviours you see as result of trying something new. If your child experiences an increase in challenging behaviours when trying something new, try to work out why? Are they due to avoidance because the task is too hard, are they escape behaviours because they do not have the skill set to complete the activity, do they need increased support, are they getting too much support and want to do it themselves?
  4. Gradual increases in independence leads to confidence. It is essential to encourage your children to become independent, try new things knowing that to find something tricky is ok, have a go at something knowing that it is ok to fail as this is how we can learn and adapt for next time.
  5. Teaching your kids that sticking at something you find challenging can be so rewarding and even though they may find the activity difficult. Overcoming those difficulties with support and reinforcement along the way leads to more confident and independent learners.
  6. Reading is a good example of this as becoming a confident reader happens in baby steps it takes time, effort and practice and the child who refuses to practice is not necessarily saying I hate reading, they may just be really confused by the concept of language, feel frustrated they can’t read the book they want to or have a fear of failing. Teaching your kids how and when to ask for help. Knowing your own child, their levels of independence, resilience and how best to support them through their challenges. Knowing that each child is different and you have to work out what each child needs and play to their strengths, while trying to encourage further development by helping them tackle the tricky things.
  7. It is important to stress that we all lack confidence sometimes and it is not to say that if you feel like you lack confidence as a parent you are unable to raise confident children. Our children’s confidence comes from being loved and nurtured, from learning it is OK to fear things and that it is OK to fail at something. However, in behavioural terms every day is a learning day and I would encourage every parent to try and work out what makes them lack confidence. Is it the parents who make things look like a doddle, our parents, our friends, our partners or social media lives? I can assure you that each and every one of these people has their own struggles and lack confidence at times.
  8. I think it is important for our kids to know that even as adults we face struggles and lack confidence sometimes, but even as adults we are still learning and growing as people. That it can be strength to admit weakness, to ask for help and to being open to growth.

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Wellbeing: What does girl gang mean to me?

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. But now is a good time as this year I’ve also experienced a new definition of girl gang. Let’s go back, way back. So what did girl gang mean to me when I was younger? It was a group of girls who we couldn’t relate to. They had different priorities. They had a different boldness. They were extroverts. They ruled the school playground and our local shopping centre. They were busy being exclusive. Little did they know, me and my secondary school mates were quite happy in our own little gang with our own traditions. Ours was just more of an inclusive one, with no rules.

So what does girl gang mean to me now? More importantly, below is the kind of girl gang I hope my two daughters encounter as they grow up… Continue reading

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What does GEM mean to me?

There are few things that GEM mean to me and my family. GEM is an abbreviation for gemstone. If I were to flick through the Sunita-cyclopedia I’m sure it says something that is strong, sparkly and precious. Sometimes I find myself saying to others “You’re a gem”. It means someone who is so supportive and just fabulous. I always feel grateful for everyone’s help and encouragement.

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Time to Shine: 7 ways you can help someone going through a bereavement by Jeni Whitchurch

I met Jeni at the BritMums bloggers’ conference in June 2016.  I love Jeni’s writing over at Where I Write blog. Jeni writes stories, pieces of creative writing, and articles to express her joy and pain, fear and faith. To question. To examine. To celebrate. To express. She writes as she journeys through loss, marriage, motherhood, vocations and seeing the beauty of life that threads through it all.
Jeni and I have shared our personal stories with each other. I respected her honesty. We have both been through our own forms of bereavement. So, I asked Jeni to write something for Time to Shine (where people can borrow my blog). I wanted to feature something that we rarely talk about – what can we do or say to those suffering from a bereavement. My view is that a bereavement may not always be about death. Bereavement can be about the many losses we may sadly encounter through life. Someone who is no longer there or something that is no longer there. Over to Jeni…

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Lucky Things Blogger: 7 Things I love about the Instagram community 

I’ve always had a thing for pictures. Probably around the age I started getting into photography. Also around the time I arrived in London. Then a few years ago Instagram popped up. I loved it. I could look at pictures for ages. Flickr appeared in my life but we didn’t have the same bond. Having launched @luckythingsblog properly about 6 months ago now I’ve loved what my Instagram has grown into.

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Lucky Things Inspire: An interview with Yvonne from KemiKids

It’s very easy to not feel good enough for this or good enough for that. Self-doubt is a common feeling  even for the most positive and confident people around us. I first came across Yvonne and her amazing work on Instagram. We started chatting through comments on each others’ InstaFeeds and through our lovely mutual connections on Instagram. You probably know that I’m a fan of bright colours and how important they are in my everyday life. Yvonne’s InstaPics always brighten up my day. Her comments are real, human but also glow with encouragement and positivity. Continue reading

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Seven things I loved about The Mama Squad Assemble…

_MG_6144I first came across Mama Squad on Instagram. It’s a community set up by the lovely Donna. It’s all about celebrating mamas and supporting each other. Donna organised The Mama Squad Assemble so ladies could hang out, enjoy some me-treat time, learn about stuff and go home with a bit of inspiration. Even better as Mama Squad Assemble featured a talk by Grace Timothy of Mum Face. Grace has worked in the beauty journalism business for over 10 years including a role as Contributing Beauty Editor at Glamour. Yep, she really does know her stuff when it comes to looking good and more importantly feeling good.

Taking an afternoon off as mummy can feel like a big thing. When you have time to yourself, you feel like doing something worthwhile. Want to hear more about what we got up to? Here’s seven things I loved about the Mama Squad Assemble… Continue reading

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Time to Shine: Confidence tips from a career in TV by special guest Kimberly…

A quick welcome to Lucky Things’ Time to Shine…

Before you read this post, I just wanted to add a very warm and hi-five welcome to my first guest writer for the new Lucky Things series. Basically,  Time to Shine lets peeps (I know and don’t know) “borrow my blog”. The main reason for hosting this is because everyone needs their time to shine, be creative, write some nice stuff and not everyone wants their own blog! Plus it’s great learning about others’ real-life experiences.

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