Monday, 29 February 2016

10 Things That Being a Mum Has Taught Me #Parenting

10 Things That Being a Mum Has Taught Me. 

When I was in my twenties, I was told I had a very slim chance of ever being a mum.  This news was utterly devastating to me as all I ever wanted was to have children of my own.  I believe it shaped my decision to marry an unsuitable man who already had children from a previous relationship. 

Fortunately, I did conceive, and although the doctors told me they didn’t believe I would go full term, my son ended up being two days late.  I then went on to have another two children and would have happily added to my brood had that unsuitable man been more…suitable!

Believing that motherhood would never be mine I was totally overwhelmed when I did finally hold my son for the first time.  That tiny bundle of happiness will be eighteen this year and that terrifies me more than the thought of giving birth. 

So what have I learnt over the years?  Here is my top ten:

Monday, 22 February 2016

Are You a Confident Person? #MondayBlogs

Are you a confident person?  I have fleeting moments where I am one-hundred-per-cent certain of myself, but equally as many days when I feel unsure and anxious.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to wake up every day full of positive energy?

During my teens and into my adult years, my dad instilled in me the art of ‘acting the part’ when it came to confidence.  He would often tell me to “walk tall with your shoulders back, chest out, and your chin up.” 

Act the part.

It does work.  I have acted confidently on numerous occasions and tricked myself into believing it by using my dad’s sound advice.  When I took part in my first solo holiday in 2006, I was complimented by our tour guide for looking like a seasoned traveller.  When I walked into the bar to meet her for the first time, she had assumed I wasn’t part of her group of singles because I looked so confident.  She went on to tell me how she could normally spot a new solo traveller because they looked frightened to death and often rounded their shoulders or crossed their arms.  I let her in on my secret – I was petrified when I walked into that bar but my dad’s words were echoing in my mind and so I stood up tall and proud. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Real Women, Real Lives - Meet Heather Von St.James, Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor

Real Women, Real Lives

We are surrounded by inspirational women on a daily basis, they are on the television the radio, or they've written the books we buy or the articles/blog posts we read.  It's easy to put a celebrity on a pedestal and desire their lifestyle, power and determination, but we don't need to turn to the glossy magazines, or the big screen, to find inspirational women who can motivate us to succeed.  They live next door, work alongside us, talk to us at the supermarket.
I wanted to highlight these incredible individuals on my blog.  Women who have succeeded on their chosen path, or turned misfortune into positivity.  Ladies who have conquered illness or gone above and beyond to help others and make a difference.  They are your friend, co-worker and neighbour.  I am honoured to be able to introduce a host of remarkable women for my new feature, Real Women, Real Lives.   Women who are happy to share their motivational journey and the inspiration behind their success.  I hope you enjoy this feature, and as always please feel free to leave us a comment below.

Meet Heather Von St.James, Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor.

For many of us, February is a cold and miserable month that must be suffered through to reach the bounty of Spring that follows.  Today, on my new feature, Real Women, Real Lives, I am joined by a special guest who has this February marked on her calendar as an exceptional month.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Be Careful Who You Spend Time With

I spend ninety percent of my time with my three teenagers.  Maybe this explains why I refuse to grow up!  An eternal teenager, trapped in a forty-something body.  The saying ‘you become like the five people you spend the most time with’ is so true.  One of the issues I faced on my road to self-recovery was the annoying ability I had to give my power away.  I would hand myself over to the first friend, boy or tutor who showed an interest.

Times change and I am happy to say that I’m getting better.  Unfortunately, I do slide back to my old ways now and then, but I’m getting there – slowly.

I’m not sure why I do this, why I feel the need to ‘fit in’ and give my power away as if that’s the only way someone would like me.  No doubt, it stems from a childhood issue that I don’t even remember. 

At the end of 2015, I did my closing down ceremony for the year.  A way to switch off the negativity that surrounded last year, and to start 2016 with fresh energy.  One of the most powerful realisations was about friendship.  I’d done it again – given my power away to energy vampires who had stripped me bare and then spat me out. 

With the ceremony over and a renewed sense of wellbeing, I was in a better place to build my new year.  I decided to look closely at who I was spending the most time with and to build on those relationships that matter and release the ones that didn’t offer me anything positive.

I realised how vital it was to my energy levels that my relationships with family, friends, colleagues and even online acquaintances were nurtured.