Reasons that I’m so ready for the new term… I think

1. I need some space!!!

2. I’ll elaborate on no 1.. I literally have no minutes from opening to shutting my eyes when there’s not someone or something (cat) needing me.

3. I’ll elaborate on no 2.. ‘bedtime’ seems to be akin to a greek myth or legend. We’ve heard of it, can’t really remember the gist of it, and are not really sure what it’s about. More specifically, this is my girls’ understanding of the term. To me, it’s a fond memory in the near distance. A bit like believing in Santa.

4. No matter what we do or where we go, apparently all I ever do is work. Really?! I seem to remember a time when I had to pay people to take them to the beach (that sounds dramatic.. I mean they were with a childminder/nursery who did fun things whilst I worked in a glass box which had the windows sealed shut in case we jumped). No, I’ve told the girls that when they have to get up at 7 in the summer to go to nursery so I can get TO WORK, that’s when I’m ALWAYS WORKING..

5. When they’re at school it’ll surely mean that I will be done with the endless stationery, shoes, PE kit, uniform, random bits that I seem to be buying. Especially stationery… But, they’re my kids so I’m allowing that one. We have some of everything. It will be lost/lent/broken in days and that’s an excuse (reason) to buy more.  They’re costing me a fortune in preparing for school.

6. I’m tired. So tired.

7. It’s hard to please kids with such an age gap. We didn’t plan this gap, but it’s there. At certain points it’s been less significant, but it’s a fair gap, especially on wet days. Indoor activities rarely span this gap well. (Ideas on a postcard please). We love outdoors but admittedly this year haven’t done as much as I’d hoped, due in some part to breaking my bum (sorry.. my tailbone). Agony is the only word for it. We love adventure, we love nature, we love fresh air and imagination. All that is tough when I feel as though everything might fall out with each step, but we’ve tried our best.

8. Its hard to ‘work from home’ when you’re supposed to be all things to all people all of the time. I’ve loads of exciting things on my many to do lists and I just can’t get at them as my time comes last on the list. That’s ok.. But it’s frustrating when I’m champing at the bit to move things along with my work. I’ve got great ideas for the business world, for the education sector, for parents. I’ve some collaborative work planned with some exciting new partners and most of all I want to get admin done. Like properly done. Like all over the table in piles, folders with labels and brightly coloured box files… At present those papers would be stuck to jam, or be drawn on.. I’d also like to be able to make a work phone call without having to lock one child outside (on the trampoline) and ensure the other has headphones in upstairs.. everything takes so much planning! And whilst my children are not demanding, they just do not understand the international hand signals for ‘get out/be quiet please.. I’m on the phone’.

9. Quiet. There will be occasional quiet in september. I hope. I’ve got so much in my head that by the time it gets to bedtime (what is that?), noise can tip me over the edge. Unfortunately my patience is like thin ice past that mythological point of the day and I become demon mum. Sorry kids… xx

10. I want a tidy house! Sometimes I pick all the pruck up and set it on the stairs in the vain hope that the offender will take it up with them the next time they pass. This is not a good plan (see broken bum reference above..). No honestly I didn’t trip on anything, I just lost my step, but I’d secretly love to be able to blame barbies as maybe then they’d take them upstairs?  It is simply amazing how much stuff Lucy can bring downstairs each day then leave outside at the trampoline/in the car/ in the kitchen or living room. That last phrase was not suffixed by ‘delete as appropriate’ as she fills all of those spaces each day. I aspire to a routine where I cheerfully kiss the cherubs goodbye, nip home (alone in the car – bliss!), clean the kitchen, spend 20 min making beds, cleaning the bathroom and running the Hoover round before being able to start work at 9.30 at a tidy desk, make phone calls when I want and be able to concentrate!!

But..

Then I’ll miss them.

Lucy got upset last night as she realised she’ll be in school until 3pm for the first time and will only be home for about 45 minutes before Amy. She is a suck really and she eloquently described how it made her feel to be with me by herself.

I got a bit teary myself then..

I’ve loved the lack of routine, the late nights prioritising fun, sweaty tired children, impromptu adventures, meetings loads of friends, eating too much ice cream, realising how grown up they are getting when they’re mature enough to do new things each year, sitting round a fire built in a washing machine drum, drinking cider and toasting marshmallows, the pride I’ve felt at the challenges they’ve given themselves this summer and the hundreds of photos of smiley children in many many fun places.

I’ll miss a wee hand in mine, company, last minute adventures and the delight in little things.

But not right away.

 

Xx

 

 

 

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Emojis…

I haven’t written in ages. So long in fact that I got a bit of stage fright.

I’ve had some signs over the last few days that I needed to write and I decided that if I didn’t start I never would. Today I felt moved to write.

Today we watched the emoji movie. Classy stuff! But you know.. it spoke to me (I shouldn’t admit this..). Without wanting to spoil it for you as clearly you’ll be going to watch it..(!), it’s about being true to yourself.. about not confirming to the stereotype.. about speaking out. I know a lot of that will be lost on the majority of viewers (7 year olds?) but if that’s the case then I’m happy to spell it out.

I’ve been a long time supporter of being outspoken. Subtle I’m not. Indeed I often say my filter is broken.. if i think it, I say it. And in a way, at least you know where you stand with me. I can usually be relied upon to say what most people are thinking but have thought better of expressing. Sometimes I wish I didn’t.. but then I’m reminded that on my best days I’m my father’s daughter. Dad had a charm which meant he got away with most things. I’m a classic mix of mum and dad- I might be outspoken, then apologise..

Outspoken is a positive I think. I’m certainly outthinking. I try hard not to offend people.. but yet on my first day in the civil service, my boss suggested I join the union as I’d probably offend people. Really?! He was probably right. I have a low level of tolerance for ignorance, nonsense and bad manners. But maybe I need to keep it to myself..

Anyhow, today’s movie made me think.. I’m passionate about promoting personal development- I think everyone needs to know how to find their own voice, to trust what it says to them and to believe they can be themselves no matter what others say or do. Women in particular are each others most fierce critic. Not to each others faces though.. they’re not that brave.

At every personal development group I coach I talk about your voice. About respecting others voices. About respecting difference. About growth. It’s been well received thankfully. It’s a big gamble delivering something you’ve written and feel passionate about incase it’s not what people want. 99%of the attendees of my groups have been women. More than that actually, as there’s only been 1 man. I make it my business to tell them that my ideal world is somewhere where people can say if they’re not feeling ok without fear of what others will think, or of what they’ll say (to others about them). I know that many people who do not feel ok, keep this to themselves rather than risk the *ridicule/scorn/mockery/amusement (delete as appropriate) of those around them. This is literally a crying shame. I know everyone is different, but in those tough times, it is exactly those around you who get you through. If they know.

I remember at a particularly difficult time for me many years ago, my mum found it very hard as she saw my state of mind as a reflection on her, as in there was something that she’d not done to help. This couldn’t have been further from the truth but it opened my eyes to the fact that this is a very real thing. Friends often find it hard when you say things are tough.. because perhaps they should have seen it coming, could’ve asked how you were before you told them, could’ve done more. They couldn’t. Everyone owns their own feelings. Why is this so hard for people to understand? But yet it is.

If parents were given this wisdom perhaps they’d not see the toddler tantrum in asda as a reflection of their (in)ability to parent, but rather see an overwhelmed child.

If teenagers were given this wisdom perhaps the whole world wouldn’t be against them, and things that happen, just happen.. they’re not DONE TO YOU..

If staff inductions imparted this wisdom perhaps there would be no need for ‘managing difficult conversations’ or ‘conflict resolution’ training. No one enjoys those! But yet, they are 2 of the most common things I’m asked if I deliver. Next to ‘managing children’s challenging behaviour’. Oh boy does that grind my gears. Behaviour is not DONE TO YOU. Or done to annoy you. Behaviour shows you what’s going on in that wee head. Behaviour is communication. So that tantrum in asda..? Hungry, overestimulated by noise or light, bored, lonely…

If we’re honest we all feel like tantrums in Asda. It’s only social norms that hold me back as an adult. But I will freely admit to walking my kids out of the occasional shop if I’m ignored in a queue (stood for 10 min waiting for ice cream whilst the staff talked to each other right in front of me. ‘Am I invisible?’ I asked. Apparently not.. ).

I’m way off topic here.. but if you know me you’ll know I’ve often too many tabs open in my head! Indeed my friend and I were joking this morning that we’d make a great sitcom. A dash cam recording as we have about 8 simultaneous conversations (neither has the attention span to complete one at a time!) would make for hilarious viewing (but might need censored..😂).

Oh.. I’ve typed an emoji! Yes.. that’s my point..! Today we watched the ‘Meh’ emoji struggle to just be ‘meh’. I don’t think I’ve actually ever felt that emotion if I’m honest so I got that. ‘Meh’ felt a whole range of things but had to keep them in in order to be able to sit in the cube waiting to be picked by the guy who owned to phone to insert him in a text.

The movie tracks his journey through ‘just dance’, ‘candy crush’, ‘spotify’ and ‘dropbox’ to get to the cloud where he can be factory reset..

How sad. Why would you want to be ‘Meh’ when there’s so much else? Why would you want to conform if you’re not feeling it. Why not just be yourself?

The princess (👸) emoji explained that when emojis started to be used, girls were just depicted as a princess or a bride (👰) and that made me think too. We’ve come a long way, but this wonder woman thing is a state of mind. We do not have to change the world. It’s OK to save ourselves. That’s a big enough job.