#MotherRunner – Do I have what it takes?

It's ok, not to be ok.You will find your way.

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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#Why me…(Guest Blog)

dann + kristof

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 🙂

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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#Clarity in Killer Wellies

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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.

Fiercemum Group

 

#kindness taken for weakness

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“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

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

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photo cred vwscoconimonio

#resilience

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

#grumpymum – what’s all that about?

Grumpy-People-from-The-McQuaig-Psychometric-System-from-The-Holst-Group

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 

 

#playfighting – what’s that all about

#playfighting

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So this is a little beef of mine!  Apparently it is ok to play fight with Dad / Grandad / Uncle Knobhead but then when the kids hit each other or someone else they get a telling off!

When trying to manage children’s behaviour mixed messages are a big No No!

How an earth can you expect them to behave in an appropriate way when the other half the time they are allowed to punch and kick and play fight!  I just don’t get the appeal and maybe it s a guy thing or I am just a lover not a fighter but this really bugs me especially when it involves friends and family!

Bet you’ve heard it already; ‘boys will be boys’, ‘they need to toughen up’, ‘she needs to be able to stick up for herself’.

I suppose there is a time and a place for a ‘rough and tumble’ and kids like to explore their social skills with other kids and understand their own strength and personal boundaries and it is fun to play in this way.  However as a mum it seems we have an enhanced superpower to spot when play is turning into aggressive behaviour and I am not just talking about the kids!  Some adults just take it too far and this can be seen especially with the boys.

Here are three ways I try to deal with this duplicity….

1.  Discuss with your kids what is acceptable and fun and when it’s time to stop (not easy with the younger ones or when you have both young and old but it is worth investing the time).  Then subtlety challenge the adult who is promoting the play fighting (or taking it too far) by reminding your child of the rules so the adult can hear it too!

2.    Distraction is key – try and distract both of them (the adult and the child) in order to stop the play fighting – Chocolate, TV, alcohol (adult only of course), questions about cars, food, gardening etc….that you probably already know the answer too 😉

3. If all else fails sign them up to a martial arts programme – the rules around using violence outside of the training is a great back up!

Maybe it’s just me and maybe I am being a little harsh and some Dads out there will crucify me for saying all this, but to be honest, all I have ever seen is that a little fun and rough and tumble usually, quickly, gets out of hand and then I find my mother falling out of my mouth “it will end in crying so don’t come crying to me” of course they always do!

FM x

photo cred – http://galleryhip.com

#legclinging – what’s that all about?

leg cling bigger

#legclinging

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/

#Fiercemum – what’s it all about?

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Fiercemum is a support network for those super cool mums that are doing it all!

We are all mothers and may have different ideas and values about raising our little treasures but we ultimately go through the same experiences and often wonder – what’s it all about?

I am talking about when our little darlings’ are pushing the boundaries and testing our patience on so many levels!

When we are asking ourselves the same questions?  Am I doing the right thing? Why is this not working? Why do I feel like crap?  How has everyone else got this parenting thing sorted? What am I doing so wrong?

I wanted to open up about my own experiences as a working mum and the things that have me being reflective (and often questioning myself) on a daily basis.

You are not alone and I can promise you that there are others feeling exactly how you feel right now!

Same thoughts.  Same pressures.  Same emotions.  Same feelings.  Same love

This parenting game is not easy but is the most rewarding!

I invite you to share this honest and funny (you got to laugh or you might cry) journey with me so I can share my personal experiences and you can choose whether to laugh, cry, take it on board or leave it alone!

After all we are in this together ….

FM x