#Endings are Beginnings

30/8/2016

This week was the official time to say goodbye to a business I worked extremely hard for over the last 8 years.  A business I built from scratch.  A business that was more than making money.  A business that was about unlocking young people's potential when they often didn't know they had any to unlock.   My business changed lives.  And that is pretty special.  

 

It has been tough but I know that it was the right decision.
 

Although endings in any sense can be emotional and more often than not the ones that matter will be life changing - you can also decide to look at them as new beginnings.

Where an ending can feel sad, demotivating and final - a new beginning has unlimited possibilities, excitement and anticipation.

If you are craving a new beginning or have found yourself at the end of one road - then it is time to take on the new challenge - to rise up as the strong powerful woman you are and go get it.

Endings and beginnings are how you choose to feel about them.  You get that choice.  Yes emotions will be high and probably will be up and down, but you still get to choose how to deal with it.

I achieved exactly what I set out to achieve with my previous business.  The lives I touched and the friends and colleagues I made along the way have made it such a special and memorable time for me.  The fact that my children know the business inside out as much as I do, and I got to work alongside my amazing mum, also makes it that more special.  And the fact I won an award for the work we were doing just shows how we were recognised for this amazing time.  

That time has now come to an end.  I am not sad.  I am proud. And I am so unbelievably excited about what the next chapter holds.

I now have the freedom to follow my heart again and have found the work I was always meant to do.  I have been coaching for over 15 years and have mainly worked with clients who may not have wanted to work with me at times, and that can be challenging - now I get to work with amazing, enthusiastic and motivated ladies who can make incredible changes and transform their own and their families lives.  I love it.  

Having a coach and mentor really opened up my eyes to these new possibilities and I am the kind of woman who needs to be held accountable to ensure I push myself out of my comfort zone and reach my goals - one step at a time.  I am focused and driven and have managed to get super clear on what I want.

Having a coach means...

 - you have someone outside your family and circle of friends who has your back.
- you have someone you can bounce ideas off and there
will be no judgement or negativity.  
- you will feel
challenged to take brave steps that you wouldn't normally have taken.  
- you will celebrate the success that comes with
pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and feeling amazing and exhilarated for doing it.
-  being clear about where you want to be and the
inspired action that will get you there.  

 

If you want to know more then please don't hesitate to get in touch - totally no obligation to work with me - I just love to hear from amazing and ambitious women like you and you can ask me anything you like?

Or why not come and join the party in our tribe of fiercemums who share and support each others experiences.

FM x

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#Sports Day Failure

Here it comes again.

 That sinking feeling when you get the school / nursery letter and it has all the dates on (that start within a couple of days) for sports day and other activities and they are all spread out over the last few weeks of term.

You know that because of your commitments at work you can't go to them all. You feel like the shittiest parent in the world.  Questioning yourself why do I work and miss out on all these special occasions.

 It breaks you heart – you know that other mums will be there cheering their little ones on and who will be there to cheer on your baby?  You know you can call in a favour (again) and grandma or auntie might be able to make it. Your kids will be happy but you wont be.

 It’s crap. No ifs or buts.  The guilty feeling. The missing out.  The not always being there.

 You speak to work and see if you can sneak off for an hour and make the time up – sometimes it’s a yes sometimes it’s a no. You hate having to ask for permission and having to take some of your valuable leave which you need to save up for a family holiday.

 It’s a juggling act this work / life balance. You are currently 'living to work' day in day out and wonder what it would be like if you could 'work to live'.

 You speak to your other half – he says ‘the kids will be fine it's just one of those things' 'you can't go to everything’ and doesn’t seem to have that aching guilt that you have. Maybe that way would be easier – but you can't escape the grip of mummy guilt.

It’s always there, sometimes in the background or sometimes right up in your face.  

But it’s always there.

 You think for the millionth time I wish I was my own boss. I could pick and choose when I would work. I would see my babies growing up. I could manage my time so much better.  I do have what it takes, the drive, determination, experience of doing a thousand tasks at the same time but you don’t do it. Why?

 Fear.

 Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being able to provide for your family. Fear of what others will think. Fear of being a big fat failure.

 But ask yourself this – What if not following your dreams and living the life you want is failing? What if not doing what you are passionate about and showing your kids that your dreams don’t matter and shouldn’t be pursued is worse than the fear of having a go?

 Deep I know – but definitely worth some thought. Time will still pass by anyway.

I can totally relate to all of you that struggle with the work /life balance when working and raising your family.  I get it I really do.  And I have found it difficult.  

Don't get me wrong sometimes I need space from the kids and enjoy work (it's easier after all) and that's ok but I crave flexibility and I crave independence to make my own choices.  And if I can have that, whilst following my absolute passion then that has to be a win win for everybody and not just the fastest runner in the race.

If you are thinking about making a change and need some clarity to figure out what you really want then check out my strategy here.

 

FM x

 

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#legclinging

20th July 2015

So we have all been there.  The build up to the goodbye, the look from your little one's eye, and then they move towards you just as you thought you could escape and there it is the leg cling!  A grip so tight no man could break it!  And that’s not the only grip going on.  For me it's the grip on my heartstrings!  

Please my darling I will return but first I need to go to work (or shopping, or swimming, the toilet or literally I just need some god damm space for a minute) but no the cling is tighter than ever!

The impact that this can have on me as a mum is huge.  The sense of guilt I feel after tearing away the arms of my gorgeous one and having to say ‘I will be back’, with them looking up at you with disbelief in their eyes, is so difficult to bare.

I cry all the way to work (well for the first five minutes until the dreaded to do list pops into my head) but I can't stop myself from telling everyone at work that I was ‘leg-clinged’ before work today, so I could at least yield some sympathy from fellow mums to make me feel better again....meanwhile, as soon as I had left, my little one is having a ball - 'mum, what mum'!

So what’s this all about and what three tips can we do to ease the 'cling' (on the leg and heart strings):

1. Remember this is a healthy reaction to separation - it's not just your little one chucking a guilt trip at you!

2.  A 'goodbye' ritual is a good starter - blowing kisses, special words etc helps the little ones get used to you leaving and then returning too!

3. Just leave and don't stop!  It can be too traumatising for mum and little one if you stall the process and this then becomes a drama for you both!

Hold onto the hope that this does ease with time and to be honest, there will come a point where your little one doesn’t even blink an eye when you leave ...now that’s another story for another day and another pull on the good old heart strings! 

FM x

 

photo cred https://lessthancredible.wordpress.com/

#MotherRunner – Do I have what it takes?

22nd April 2016

So I have started running on a regular basis.

I have always wanted to be one of those women who loves running, looks great, feels great and is fit and healthy.  You know the ones!

The problem is, I am not very good at it.  Nevertheless, I started anyway, as I figured what the hell if I don’t start then I will never love it.

My motivation has been high, at first, then one morning I found it tough, and the little voice crept in saying what the hell are you doing just grab a cuppa instead!

This negative thought made me reflect on how running is so much like being a working mum (or any mum for that matter).

Some days, your motivation is high, you’re committed, excited, and you are well chuffed with how great you are!  Some days are low, you are tired, fed up questioning the choices you are making.  You don’t have the energy to go on.

But you do.  You have to.  Its not an option to stop being mum.

When I first became a mum, the shock and  intensity crippled me and, me, a professional and independent woman, was left feeling vulnerable and unable to get myself out of one of the most difficult situations I found myself in.

PND (Post Natal Depression) is a very difficult concept to describe.  At the time I could have described it as hell.  Here I was, a once strong women who had become this weak female supposed to be responsible for another little life doubting every decision I made.  Constantly considering ‘Do I have what it takes?’ Watching other mums or my own leading the way and being so amazing, but with my baby, and I couldn’t do it.

Or so I thought.

That was a number of years ago and since then I have done a lot of soul searching through my personal and my business life and had a huge realisation in the middle of last year that a lot of my self doubt has come from that period in my life.  The belief that stayed with me;

‘If I can fail at doing the one thing I am suppose to do naturally, then how can I achieve anything else’.

This moment of clarity came from working with my coach on my business plans.   It has made a huge difference to my life.  My life has taken a new path because of this and I am crushing other limiting beliefs that were holding me back.  Don’t get me wrong it can sometimes creep back, but now I can recognise it.

So no more holding back or waiting for tomorrow.  The time is now to be fierce with my dreams.  And I will.

I finished my run.  Ready for the next.

FM x.

 

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#depressionawarenessweek

 

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#Why me…(Guest Blog)

11th April 2016

Why do my children always ask me?

I am married with two children and have a equal relationship with my husband.  He does his fair share of the housework and parenting (which is probably because I work full time!) – it has not always been the case and when I did work less hours, I did a lot more of the household chores.

I would still argue however that I run the household.

Whilst I may order my shopping to be delivered and pay a cleaner these days.  I check the bank balance, order the online shopping, ensure the children have the right things for school, organise play dates and additional childcare, book the dentist appointments etc…… the list goes on……. and if I don’t remember these things, they simply do not happen.

I have organised my life into a complicated system of to do lists.

I don’t resent this but it means I am not the fun parent, I am the one who gets things done.

An example of this would be ….. the other day my husband came up with a brain wave for helping my daughter improve her maths. A work book that she can do in the mornings if she wakes up early…… it was an excellent idea so he downloaded the worksheets with a view to printing them off and there his involvement ended.

My daughter asked me three or four times whether I could print them off for her……… so whilst I was running around doing this and 4 other things ….. whilst my husband watched the footy last Sunday, I wondered to my self – why doesn’t she ask him? why is it me? It was his idea, they discussed it but she wanted me to finish it for her.

I could have refused to do it and requested that she finish the task with her father…….

but then I thought………..

Does she ask me because I get things done? I am the one who sorts everything out.  She knows that it will happen if I do it. I am the reliable one.  This makes me proud to be “not the fun parent”. This is not to offend my husband, who is a fantastic parent.  I have wondered out loud with him why the children always ask me and his response was….”you always give them an answer/solution, if you stop doing that, they will stop asking”.  Shortly after this conversation he began to intervene in the exchanges with them to try and help me but somehow it did not work, it did not divert their requests to him.  They still ask me first.

 In the past I have resented having the dependable role in the house but actually it is a massive compliment.  The biggest my children could give me and whilst I don’t always appreciate or enjoy being the one they always ask, I would not have it any other way.

So I will try to remember this when they are driving me nuts and giving me a never ending list of jobs to do.  Also, sometimes I will ignore my list of jobs and have a little fun, just to even up the score a little.

Thank you for this guest blog by a fellow Fiercemum.

It is great and totally resonates

FM x

 

PS – Why not come and join our private group and safe space to chat about being working mums

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supporting each other through our ups and downs.

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#Clarity in Killer Wellies

21st March 2016

Clarity in Killer Wellies?

Sometimes we forget who we are when we become a mum and being responsible for others.  Focusing so much on how to be the best mother to our children and what being this ‘good mum’ really means.

I know I am a devoted mummy, committed wife, proud daughter, loving sister, loyal friend, and brave entrepreneur.

But is it even possible to be all these things at once?

I used to think so – but more recently I have realised that it is much better (for me and those around me) if I concentrate on being really present in the moment and being the one thing that is needed.  For instance if I am with my kids then I will be mum and not try to be everything else -although as women I understand we have the multi tasking gene which can be hard to deny- but this has started to feel so much better for me and my life.

It means I can show up FULLY as the women I want to be in that moment.

It is totally ok to not always want to be ‘mum’ and to be something or someone else.

To remember who you were before you became a mum.

This is also one of the reasons I love to work as it gives me independence and is a reminder of who I am, but it is also important to have some time out for reflection.

Who else am I? Have I forgotten what actually lights me up?  What do I love to spend hours chatting or reading about or actually out there doing?

What or who would I be if all my nearest and dearest said ‘here go and find yourself and get some clarity’. What would be the outcome. It’s an interesting one that’s for sure.

Last year I went on some training.  It was about creative arts.  No one else could go so I thought why the hell not.  What I didn’t realise was that the training would be an absolute revelation for me.

I am usually always the first to say “somebody else better do this part I’m not very creative”.  But on this training we delved into our childhood to see how creative we actually were.  It turns out that once I started reliving my memories I am bloody creative and I am an outdoorsy type; piano, art, photography, drama, gymnastics, swimming, walking, writing, orienteering, den building, making fires, camping, roller skating, skateboarding, biking the list goes on and on.

Nature. Yes! That’s my thing. So why do I spend hardly anytime in it?  Why have I forgotten?

I LOVE wearing my wellies.

Something calming comes over me.

A sense of freedom and that I can do bloody anything I want (my equivalent to killers heels)

In my wellies the world is truly my oyster!

They say go back to your 8 year old self to gain insight.

What is it you really love to do? What are you passionate about that maybe you have forgotten or just not had time for recently?

Isn’t it time we found out what we truly love and enjoy, so we can show our children how they can be great too!

Here’s to clarity – may it keep us sane.

FM x

 

Why not come and join our private group and safe space to chat about being working mums

We are growing a fantastic group of high vibe super cool working mums

supporting each other through our ups and downs.

See you there.

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#kindness taken for weakness

26th Feb 2016

“All of my kindness is taken for weakness…” (Rihana)

So I love these lyrics and they got me thinking, that yes my kindness does often get mistaken for weakness by myself and others.

If there is one thing in this world that I find hard to live with it’s being taken for granted. I don’t mind doing everything, as long as it’s appreciated and not just expected – that’s the difference!

Why do we become mums and put what we want to one side. It’s never a priority. WE are never the priority. Then if we dare to step out of our comfort zone and book out a little ‘me time’ we then have to prepare everything in advance to ease the guilt.

What is this guilt about?  Are we scared of judgement from others? And where does our ‘got to do everything for everyone’ gene come from? Maybe our own mothers.  So if I don’t break the cycle then will my own daughter’s future be the same?

This links so closely to being able to say what I really want.

Outsiders see me as a confident and assertive woman, and at work, and in some circumstances, I am truly that – but in others, being mum, wife, daughter, sister and friend, I have struggled for years and worried too much about upsetting others that I never really ask for ‘what I want’.

I often beat myself up.

You know that little voice that gives yourself an arse kicking “why the hell am I doing all the washing again?”

“Why am I the only one that cleans the bathroom?”

“and why oh why am I the only one that has to stand on tiny bits of lego before I tidy it all up!’,

or that other voice, “If I’m a feminist and strong women then I’m sure the hell not acting like one – you big failure!”

What would my independent, feminist, 18-year old self say….

I did choose wife and mother and with that there is a responsibility. My little ones can’t wash their clothes or clean the bathroom – they can help (sort of) and they do and so does the other half, sometimes.  But I’m choosing to do these things.

Someone close to me once said “you are only treated as you allow yourself to be”.

I often come back to this line. And it can actually make you feel a hell of a lot worse or quite empowered depending on the way you look at it and what day it is.

So for me it’s…

New year new rules.

Yeah I’ll still do the washing, cleaning, tidying bloody toys and clothes away and make beds and clean the shower naked (weird but easier).

But I’m damn sure there is some time in that week for me.

Just me.

To stop the chores and to focus on me.  Space for exercise, reading, developing myself, finding clarity and meditating…basically whatever takes my fancy and I am saying NO to the guilt!

Are you saying NO to that guilty feeling and spending some important time on self care?

If we don’t take some time out for ourselves then others wont get the best of us!

She refilled her pitcher and in doing so was able to refresh everyone around her

(Anon)

You know you should.

Do it.  Do it now.

FM x

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photo cred vwscoconimonio

#resilience

12th Dec 2015

1 The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness:
2 The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity:

Children might as well be elastic bands.

I can’t quite believe how resilient children are. Sometimes it takes me by complete surprise and tugs on my heart strings. And now is the time I need to learn from them.

We moved house this year which meant that my daughter would have to change schools. She didn’t want to. But I wanted her to make friends she would have into secondary school.

Watching her on her first day. Brave but nervous. Nobody speaking to her as she was the only stranger in the playground.

My heart was broken.

Thoughts of ‘what have I done to my baby?’ ‘Was it worth the move?’ ‘Will she make any friends?’

Holding back my tears as she asked me to stand nearby, but not too close. She went in.

Fast forward three months and she is the definition of resilience. On the rare occasions I walk her to school (when I can escape work) she holds my hand, until arriving at school and then off she goes and doesn’t look back.

I can literally feel my heart melting. You ever had that? Melting from love and a certain proudness that only comes from watching those bundles of joy you helped shape and watched grow.  It’s F’ing amazing. Nothing compares.

This is my inspiration. It’s my time to show resilience. And I will. I won’t look back. I’ll go forward, be brave, yes nervous, but also proud that I’m actually surrounded by resilience that will support my journey.

I have done it before, through PND, through losing my dad, through hurting my back and I can do it again.

Broken Mind, Heart and Body.

Shit happens and happens for a reason – to make you stronger!

People are resilient; so am I, so are you.

You may be going through some tough times, making big decisions, feeling alone or unsure, but there is always a way through.  You have the answers inside of you, sometimes we just need space and clarity to find them!

Whatever your journey, you got this girl!

‘ you never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have ‘.

Bob Marley

FM x

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#bedtime-what bedtime?

6th Nov 2015

So recently I’ve been thinking…’I should have followed that Gina Ford woman’……’stick to your guns’, ‘get a routine’ ..but no not me.  Had my own plans and definitely made that rod for my back!

Bedtime and children – is there actually such a thing? Does it exist? I used to think so. And pretty much thought I had it sorted! Easy going parents with a new baby, go out for dinner, timing is everything and sometimes actually managed to eat a meal while baby slept…..(this is actually a distorted but sweet memory I’m sticking to for now. More on sleep dep another time)

Seven years on, and with additional sibling, bedtime is driving me insane.

I actually think I’m losing the plot.

Every evening I start positive. Give them the ten minute warnings, promise story time if they get pjs on and brush their teeth (yes I know good old blackmail) but even after giving everything, my heart and soul, after a long day at work it’s….’mummy warm me up’, ‘mummy read another story’, ‘mummy are their any tigers?’, ‘mummy where’s bunny?’, ‘mummy can I sleep in your bed?’, ‘mummy can you sleep in my bed?’, ‘mummy let’s play teachers’, ‘mummy you’re the pink power ranger’, ‘mummy I need a wee’, ‘mummy I need a poo’. ‘Mummy Oopps …. I’ve had a poo!’

Yep you know those little gems! I know I’m not the most patient woman in the world, and I do try, but sometimes I want to scream. Then, by the time I’ve been up and down the stairs for what feels like a 100 times, they settle, things go quiet…ssshhhh yes it’s me time what shall I watch or read?????

I can’t believe it so do a ‘last check’….THE most fatal mistake of all (don’t do it) it’s then the dreaded creak of the floorboard, you can guess the rest….

Why do my kids wake up when I, and only I, step on the bloody creaky floorboards.  My other half can bang, creak, sneeze, cough, or do F’ing DIY and the kids don’t wake up, but for me, nope, totally different story.  I totally believe it stems back to the baby sleep dep era and me creeping around the house like a zombie on hot coals!

Anyway, they wake up again!! Arrrragh.

Sometimes it’s gone 9pm when they finally sleep and I’m ready for bed…..where’s my evening gone. The only time I get to myself to relax.

So I convince myself  ‘nope I won’t waste it’ and stay up determined to enjoy it….

…Until I wake up on the couch with spilt red wine!

Did Gina ever wake up on the couch after hours of back and forth at bedtime….?

And would she ever be brave enough to admit it?

Doubt it.

FM x

 

 

photo cred http://www.instawebgram.com

 

#grumpymum

19th Oct 2015

Ever had the grumpy feeling?

That feeling where all you do is shout, moan or sulk at your kids.

That’s me.

Work is not great and to be honest the long hours and stress are taking their toll on my family life!  I can paint on a smile for most of the time but this last week, bloody hell, has been hell!  And the worse part is is that my kids and the other half are suffering….

Last night my 7 year old daughter told me that ‘the nanny will do it better’ (she might as well have said piss off mum you’re shit we want a new mum) for the impact it had on me.  I was devastated.  Most times my thick skin is like armour but not last night.  I melted.

Failure and guilt – why are those two feelings so often associated with mums?  Although I am a feminist by heart and believe in everything equal I sometimes wonder whether us women have made it harder for ourselves by trying to be everything to everyone!  I mean, cleaning, washing, running a business, paying wages, managing staff’s problems, parenting,  school drops offs, remembering birthdays, meetings, appointments, paying bills, parent’s evenings, packed lunches, shopping for packed lunches, remembering uniforms, helping with homework the list goes on and on… and to be honest I don’t want to write anymore for fear of crying again!

Is it just me or is this some trick roller coaster that I decided to get on and now can’t get off!  Don’t get me wrong there are the random days I think I’m the strongest woman on earth – ‘go on life – throw any shit at me I can cope with it’…but not at the moment!

I know things are bad when I fall asleep on the couch after the kids have eventually gone to sleep and I have been up and down the stairs for the millionth time!  The other half wakes me up and says lets go to bed…and I’m pissed off as its another night I feel I have wasted away, but off I go only to start this roller-coaster of life again the next morning at the crack of dawn…..is it just me?  Am I shit mum? The part that hasn’t featured on my list is actually playing with my kids? is life passing me by and one day I will think ‘Holy crap my kids just remember me for working all the time?’

I need some inspiration, and some space, to find some clarity…

FM x

photo cred www.mcquaig.co.uk