I'm not professing to be a blogger or writer, but I want to get down some kind of thoughts about stuff. With less than a week to go before the first event, everything is in a list, which feels like an achievement! Starting work at the same time as launching We Got This (sometimes) feels like a crazy thing to do, but if I didn't do it I would get absorbed into work again and never do a side hustle, so I guess I should have expected it to be a mad juggling act! Making the transition from maternity leave to work, whilst my husband starts a new job, we just moved house and the children started new childcare has been tricky but the reasons why it is tricky are different to what I expected:
a) I am much slower getting anything done round the house since my baby started crawling, he is EVERYWHERE. He is also making it known if he is displeased about being moved / doors being shut etc. He wants to play with all the things that are not toys. I had forgotten this stage.
b) Getting stuff ready for two children for pre-school and nursery feels like a new job in itself. I am not used to term times, being asked to do stuff (found a letter from the school from two weeks ago, so accidentally missed some asks), getting out of the house in the morning without losing my rag is rare, making packed lunches for the baby and it probably isn't actually that much but it feels like a big thing!
c) Expectations vs reality. I have a fabulous weekly structure (I hate routines but I get that we need it), and tasks are stacked like jenga bricks to meet deadlines, and then illness strikes, childcare is a no-no, and it unravelled very quickly! Doctor appointments, house was carnage, disrupted naps, disrupted nights. I did get the basics done but it did feel like Motherland was being channelled into my home. I’m becoming more accepting that it’s me that needs to sacrifice my evenings / weekends to make up the time lost to sickness but it's hard!
So I have been talking in my head a lot, muttering about how on earth am I meant to do this, is it normal, and the biggest revelations have happened this week, which has stopped the muttering (hopefully for longer than a few days)!
1 - The Help...I hate asking for help, I feel that I ought to be able to do everything myself, and if not myself then between my husband and I. My husband is away a bit over the busy launch period which isn’t ideal as I probably should be doing more stuff for the business. The amount of help I'm getting from my family and friends and newly met people and strangers is incredible for this little business and all in different ways. I'm feeling very lucky and women-helping-women is very very apparent. And my dad! He is coming to look after the kids on Tuesday, and is being very nice and calm about it all (while I conjure up all sorts of scenarios:-0).
2 - The Menopause. Yes a bit off beat, but I saw a video and it made this think 'whaaaat hang on a sec! I thought things are going to get easier when the kids are bigger but then this will happen! Perhaps I need to try and enjoy the here and now more!' Bit of an eye opener.
3 - The Elderly. A whole topic in itself, I am lucky enough to have grandparents still, however they are having a few struggles with health and it has been a reminder to look outside the small children bubble as well as a realisation to enjoy the kids now (as much as possible).
It's getting late and I don't want to be blasé and say things don't matter, but for me, this week, I've had a different view which has transformed my outlook. Hope this helps someone else who may be stuck in a rut and feeling low / like they have taken on too much!
If you are coming on Tuesday, look forward to seeing you! X
I know Paradox Living from a mother-stress-busting perspective following a bout of baby illness, house moves etc however this post is about their personal training service with a difference…it might help you or someone you know :-)
If you’re coming to see Katie aka Hurrah for Gin, you can pick Evan's (fitness) and Wallis’s (beauty and treatments) brains as they will be available at the event from 6pm for chat, inspiration, natural products and indian head massages (lots of lucky mums have snapped those up already)….
Read on to find out how Evan’s wellbeing approach changed the life of Christian Adams, who had a severe, debilitating back problem….
"I felt like I was one of those people living an independent life. I worked hard and did a very physical job. An array of hobbies kept me reasonably fit. I can say I didn’t have the most nutritional diet, but then again, I didn’t think it was that bad. I had my own house. I had a great girlfriend. But, all of a sudden, I injured my back and my world changed. I picked up a box, turned slightly and inevitably strained my lower back.
This led to two years of incorrect posture alignment that put more pressure on my muscles and spine. This continually worsened the problem which led to chronic sciatic pain and muscle spasms. Like many people I didn’t think to treat the problem until the pain became unbearable. In the later part of my 20s I felt like I tumbled from a healthy, strong 6 ft 5 active male to a crippled individual who suffered from bouts of depression due to the excruciating pain I often awoke to.
I went for Physiotherapy treatment every 2 weeks, tried 3 different Physiotherapists and also used the NHS for a short while in the hope to find the best care. I had a bad back for 2½ years.
Some of the treatments felt like they had no benefit, or eased the pain for a few days. After what seemed like a lifetime trying to find helpful treatments, I had given up and accepted that I would just have to live with a bad back.
I’m not going to lie, I felt I had exhausted all angles of finding a solution to gain full fitness and I was pessimistic about meeting with Evan.
I decided I had nothing to lose, so went to see if Evan could help. He advised a complete plan that he altered as my posture and core strength improved. I can tell you first hand, Evan’s plan simply changed my life. After three and a half months, I simply couldn’t believe it. I could now turn over in bed and was regaining confidence in my life. I was coming out of depression. It was truly amazing. It’s now 2 years on since my first session with Evan. I feel great. I have now moved to Cornwall, I cycle, surf, have a physical job again and I am once again enjoying my life.
I am eternally thankful to Evan for helping me solve an injury and indirectly help me get my personal life back on track.
I share this story with you in the hope that if you do ever suffer a back injury you know there are solutions. Don’t give up. There is light at the end of the tunnel."
3 things that made We Got This happen
We Got This started from thoughts of what do I do now I have two kids…as a brand manager working from home I was lucky that I didn’t have to be at an office everyday, however buyers need meetings when they need them and it was when I was crying at Stowmarket train station as I’d got off a stop too early, pregnant and clock watching to pick up my daughter from nursery that I thought I can't do this with two babies! I was on the phone to my boss and I thought the station looked different but maybe it was a different side?!!?! Cue a very pregnant weeping women snotting to the train man about how long would a taxi take etc etc. Anyway.
So. Will was born. I searched for something to help his dry skin and came across a coconut brand Kokoso (which I now use myself!), and saw a pic of Mother of Daughter's lovely twins and of course found Mother Pukka and her extremely relevant and epic Flexible Working campaign then scrolled and clicked and scrolled and clicked and found a whole world of mothers parenting, earning, having fun, learning, sharing mishaps AND actually connecting in real life at events.
But not to Norwich…and that’s why I said to Mike one night, maybe I could host the events here as maybe other women would like to get inspiration from each other like me.
If you have an Idea-to-Do-Now-You-Have-Little-People, here are my top 3 things that made We Got This happen...
1> Little Black Book: A Toolkit For Working Women This is a brilliant tiny book, really easy to read and its quite pragmatic, looks pretty, and I felt like I’d been given a little guide of how to own a little space and it was perfect for shifting my brain from full on baby mode to start-to-think-about-earning-again mode.
2> Podcasts. It's like going to college or listening to your mates chatting but actually you are sterilising/washing/driving (I wish I could say running). One Girl Band - I LOVE Lola’s podcast. Bit like a pep talk if you are thinking about starting up a business. Cherry Healey's are really good, I especially love the one with Steph from Don't buy her Flowers, and of course Scummy Mummies make me HOOT with laughter (do NOT listen with kids though!). I have also partaken in some Side Hustle School listening, and for stuff completely unconnected with parenting, Ctrl Alt Delete makes me feel like an intelligent adult, which is nice. Please tell me what podcasts you find!
3> Running the idea past a life coach, my long suffering friends and husband and anyone who would listen! And then asking actual Norwich women if they would come. That could have been a school girl error.
My intention is run workshops / talks / supper clubs that focus on different bits of all of this...it's coming!
Juggling lots is second nature to women, however when babies come along, the juggling gets faster and more tricky.
Those lovely days of all day binge watching box sets, or leisurely leaving the house at 11 on a Saturday for brunch vanish and it takes a good while to get used to it. I was hoping this wasn’t just my view on the world, as movies, books, magazines all make being a mum look kind of peaceful, happy, and wholesome.
When I first read Katie Kirby’s (disclaimer, she is one of my best friends) blog when my daughter was about 4 months old, I literally crapped myself. It was the most honest, warts and all account of looking after two children I had ever read, and my first reaction was what on earth have I done! My second reaction and how I feel about it now is thank god it’s not just me. And I am ok in general with the highs, lows and averages of what can be a minute by minute or hour by hour change in our days.
So, I really like the idea of getting together with other people who want to do stuff, maybe creative / money earning / socialising and when I properly discovered instagram I found inspiration in The Parent Pause in Rugby, Mum’s the Word in Tunbridge Wells and Cheltenham Maman. The baby classes are excellent at getting out of the house in the early days but I also wanted to learn stuff for me too.
To check it wasn’t just me, I asked 93 mums in Norfolk to complete a little survey, which is amazing when you consider they’d rather probably be chatting to their mates on what’s app if they’ve 5 mins spare! So thank you to them.
- 72% of Norfolk mums with two kids are looking for ways to manage the ever lasting juggle, citing me-time as the most out of reach challenge
- Me-time is considered fitness, doing nothing and socialising
- 65% of mums have more than one child, making the balance between kids, relationship, work, house, friends and self even harder (Katie’s plate juggling illustration comes to mind↓)
- Mums life balance, parenting, food hacks, wellbeing, fitness and working for yourself are the most popular interests, which this new company We Got This will host events and workshops to help with
Keep an eye on the website and social channels for the next events, or sign up and I’ll drop you an email when an event is all organised. I am a bit excited about this, I really hope it will be as useful and help parents like me carve out a bit of time to do the things they love, as well as enjoy family life. Let's do this!