Have a great weekend.
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I watched two programmes on television this week, where mums ended up putting so many people first, before their needs, the consequences were tragic:
• Weight gain
• Burn out
• Panic attacks
Mums (and I’m talking to myself here too), we only have 24 hours in a day, and it’s the same daily quota for every person on the planet. No matter how much we cram into the day, we cannot gain an extra hour, but you may lose yourself along the way…
Make time to put yourself first once in a while:
• Read a book – when my children (and my husband, for that matter) see me with my specs on and a book in my hand; they know that unless it’s urgent, this is one of Mummy’s ‘Do not disturb’ moments.
• Sit in the library and read a magazine. As much as I hint to family and friends that I would like a subscription to Good Housekeeping, it has yet to happen. When I take my daughters to the library, I pick up the latest copy and have a good read.
• Get a manicure – My local salon does manicures for £10 and pedicures for £20. If this is still a luxury, you feel you can do without, save up for it. I’ve got a little treats jar, where I put loose change each week. When it builds up to £20, off to the salon, I will go.
• Get an early night, once in a while. The dishes can wait and so can the washing.
• Sometimes, just a coffee in a café on your own, is all it takes to unwind, gather your thoughts and get on with the rest of the day.
I am ashamed to say that I was once given a voucher for a day at a spa. The voucher was valid for a year; I kept putting off going, because I was ‘so busy’, until the voucher expired. I’ve recently been blessed with another voucher for another spa date. I’ve learned the hard way, so I’m booking a date in 2015, for a well-deserved treat.
I’d love to hear your tips for indulging yourself as a mum. The more creative and inexpensive; the better.
There is so much negativity in the media around young people these days. So whenever I get a chance to celebrate the good things that young people are doing, I will champion them.
I was walking home the other day, when I saw a group of young men on the other side of the road. They were aged, anything from 14-17 years old. As the group gestured their goodbyes, one of them, slightly older, maybe in his twenties; crossed to the road and called out to the others “Stay out of trouble lil’ bros…I don’t want to hear that any of you are messing about and getting into trouble.” The young man continued walking until his step was in line with mine.
“Those are wise words,” I told him.
“I know what it’s like,” he said. “When I was their age, one of my cousins used to tell me the same thing. Sometimes, all you need is someone to remind you to stop and think.” I couldn’t agree more with him. “I don’t want any of them getting into trouble and bringing shame on my family.”
Never assume that the young people you are connected to have ‘got it all together’, sometimes that word of encouragement is all they need to stop and think again. So which young person are you going to remind and encourage to ‘keep out of trouble’ today?
*’My brother’s keeper’ by Carey Muhammad
At least once a week I receive an invitation to attend or speak at a women’s conference or event. The events are hosted by a number of organisations; faith groups, women in business, empowering women, to name a few.
Is it me, or has somebody missed a trick here? If you are organising an event, where your target audience is women, there is a high possibility that a percentage of these women may be mothers. Why not incorporate a crèche or childcare facilities at the event, especially of the event is at the weekend. By doing this, you:
• Take away the headache of women trying to find childcare in order to attend the event – if not, they then have to plan how to get the children to the babysitter/childminder or family member, attend the event and ‘remain professional’ and then make it back in time to collect their children (sometimes having to miss the keynote speaker…which was the main reason she wanted to be there in the first place)
• Empower the next generation – I have sometimes agreed to speak at an event only on the basis that I can bring my eldest daughter to the event. Allowing your children to see you in action will inspire and encourage them too
• Are inclusive – do I need to say anything more about that.
I have only been to one conference where they specifically promoted the event to women and highlighted the fact that there would be a crèche at the event. When I first started the business, Business Link organised a conference for women in business. I signed up to attend the event because of the availability of childcare facilities. A few days before the event, I was put in touch with the childcare providers and was able to ask a number of questions about the set-up and the facilities available. I took my six-month old daughter to the event, arriving early to settle her into the crèche room and talk about her routine (naptime, food etc). I completed some forms, my contact details were taken and was told I would be contacted if the staff felt I was needed; I I was also told that I could come in to the crèche at any time, to check in on her.
I had a brilliant day – it was probably the first time that I was not in ‘Mummy mode’ (read as not wearing maternity jeans, baggy top, with strategically placed scarf, to hide baby food stains) and felt like an all-singing-dancing-power-mum (I had a dress and jacket and heels). I had the opportunity to network and made connections with other women in business and other mums, plus I gained some useful information and resources that would benefit my business. I did pop my head round the door a few times, but Jemimah seemed quite jolly when I saw her. When it was time to go, she was fast asleep, and she only woke up, once we arrived home.
I would love to hear your experiences of attending events which may have included a crèche or childcare facilities. Maybe there was an event or conference you wanted to attend, but couldn’t because mothers with young children were left out of the equation.
Get in touch and add your comments to the bottom of this post.