home education · Homeschooling · In pics · Motherhood · Parenting · Self development · Uncategorized

one to one

I took a little time out from most things other than home life and kids these last few weeks. Maybe it was the whole turning 35 thing…

Melodie (age 4)  disclosed something interesting hinting at spending time with just me so I have been concentrating on one to one’s with the kids. If you have a big family or are from one I think you may get this. I think to value the individual child and just focus on them for at least a few hours, say even once a month if possible nurtures an open relationship and a lasting bond. It can be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life and chores, and if you are the only adult in the household it is easy to shut off and want time alone but do look for the hints in each child when they are reaching out to you. Behaviours that are undesirable can often stem from failed attempts to communicate a need. Don’t you think? So a shared outing or activity, even just a lunch date is never turned down here. I still do this with my 18 year old son and he’s not sick of me yet!

Full focus and total choice by the child in the way of chosen activity is the important part to incorporate (obviously within realistic terms, so trips to the moon or buying a live tiger is out). This gives a demonstration of your confidence in your child and shows that even if it is hard to be heard over the dinner table there will always be times when their opinion counts, is acknowledged and you implement their suggestions.

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It is so easy to feel guilt no matter your parenting style or situation and I confess I have been a bit distant lately, so this helps to get grounded and enjoy the simple moments of childhood.

Did I mention my son turned 18?! Maybe this explains my absence, I have been reflecting a lot, I guess it is a milestone and there is no book to refer to that gives definitive advice once parenting an ‘adult’ – haha! If you have teens how do you spend time connecting? I would love to know…

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Meet Abdulazez, an 18-year-old photographer, graphic designer and stranded refugee

Originally posted on InSheddingLight:
When I first met Abdulazez Dukhan, 18, we compared our cameras; his Nikon D3000 versus my Cannon Rebel T5i. We were sitting outside of an Eko gas station near Polycastro, Greece, where around 2,000 refugees have been living in tents for months. His English was nearly perfect and his pictures were…

business · Creativity · Self development · Uncategorized

what are you about?

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I was approached today by an MLM… I have a lot respect for network marketing, sales and the like. I am not suspicious but look at these systems with an open mind and believe if you sincerely believe in the product go for it!

I politely but assertively declined however was then probed about my ‘business’. I don’t really class myself as someone that has one, although I do have various roles that earn me a profit I guess I am just not the sort to push and promote to an audience I feel will not be my target buyer… am I incorrect in this way of thinking? Very possibly! I do have a business, I just don’t feel the need to label what I do as such, I want it to evolve organically to a need rather than force it into a pigeon hole.

This conversation was a good lesson, as I am keeping no secrets just because I do not pipe up what I do in every conversation! I always thought a good conversationalist was someone who asks about others and listens but in this instance it was almost as though I was coming across as cagey!

I guess there is a fine balance between exposure and oversaturation when marketing yourself so I said my main roles are writer, blogger, homeschooler, online store owner and vintage/collectables seller! These roles don’t define me though, they are just a small portion of me.

It is funny to me the phrase ‘what do you do?’

To me it always refers to a job role, as if that is our label and it’s connotations define us and that is the depth of us. A one word descriptive ending the conversation dead.

What about ‘what are you about?’ instead? Maybe this question would get some suspicious glances !

But me, I want to know, what are you about?

Imagine the conversations comparing what actually makes us fellow humans tick. We gain a deeper understanding of each other rather than ‘oh that’s John, the guy who sells Herbalife’ instead becomes ‘I know John, he was telling me about how he turned his life around after his divorce, he read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, joined an MLM, started researching health and nutrition and now helps fathers get into the best emotional shape of their lives because he knows what it was like to be overweight, unmotivated and lonely! I really respect his get up and go!’

We are a suspicious species us human beings and yet we have no problems asking questions that could be taken as personal to skim the surface so we don’t have to venture into unknown territory. Just look at how conversations delve deeper under the influence of alcohol! We are not always comfortable revealing our aspirations, goals, plans. I think I came across as funny today when I explained I couldn’t promote a product as had my own goals to achieve and my efforts were directed to that path. It was the truth!

So I challenge you, the next stranger you meet, ask them what they are about, it might surprise you…

Motherhood · Self development · Uncategorized

modern day mother?

My youngest turns 2 tomorrow

I have for the most part been her sole carer

It has been tough, exhausting yet pure and primal

I quit a 40 hour week to stay with her

I CHOSE to co sleep and nurse on demand

You could say in this day and age, in the western world that is, we can have it all.

We can have a career, alongside motherhood. Be treated on par with our male counterparts. Anything they can achieve we can too…

But at what cost?

Expressing breast milk locked in a side room yearning for our infant to release our ache, is this the success you speak of?

Can mothers  have it all?…

Creeping out at 6am whilst you were sleeping and hearing you murmur ‘mama’, is this the success you speak of?

For every action there is a reaction, for every choice a consequence…

Getting a text message informing me that you took a step…

Hearing you call me the name of your nanny, for she is the one who tends your woes most often

Is this what we fought for? Did we sacrifice to end up sacrificing?

There is no black and white in this,

The world is give and take

The question is

What will you give?…

What will it cost?

Is there a better way?

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Crafts · Creativity · Motherhood · Sewing · Uncategorized

Time out

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I have felt a bit overwhelmed this week. I often feel like a plate spinner and find crafts ground me. I’m trying to lose the guilt about giving myself time when the children are at the child minders. It almost feels like I should be working for the full time they are away , as if not doing so would be cheating! Yet cheating who? Them? Work time?

In fact not giving myself time to do things I need to fill my cup IS CHEATING. It is cheating MYSELF.

We cannot be fully present, energised, positive when we neglect our own needs. For years I tried to prove my abilities as a ‘capable’ teenage mother because I just did not realise the importance of self care. Instead I became withdrawn and sunk into a depression. Imagine if we were given the tools to put ourselves first. A checklist to nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual being. A self development programme, a journal to check in frequently, some books and an audio on financial planing! Reality means such a toolbox would never work as one size does not fit all.  That’s why it is so important to know you! Do you! Unapologetically!

Today was just a day, this morning I took some time out, practiced some sewing and read a little. I’m currently reading Daring Greatly, have you read it? I’d love to hear what you think!

I also managed to ‘freestyle’ Melly a simple skirt out of some craft fabric for £2 at The Works, one of my go to places for home education supplies. I only used half the fabric so not bad; a skirt for £1 worth of fabric!  🙂

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I wanted to practice bias binding. I’m pleased but understand practice makes perfect!

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As with anything, if you love learning something keep at it. We are so privileged in this age, so much information and resources are accessible that we can achieve most things we set our minds to! It blows my mind!

Angie x

Crafts · Creativity · Homeschooling · In pics · Motherhood · Self development · Uncategorized

week 7

I can’t believe we are already through the seventh week of the year!

I have been mindful to dedicate time to create and craft and am enjoying crochet, vision boarding and learning machine sewing so far!

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I have never made ‘proper’ vision boards before and got the prompt from my Leonie Dawson workbooks and can honestly say the difference to goal setting and focus is phenomenal! Here is a really simple one I made from an old Frankie magazine I had lying around to inspire me when working on my Etsy store:

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That very weekend I thrifted these:

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Cool huh?

This week was half term and we were blessed with a little sunshine in London so getting outside was a priority. Sounds idyllic but in reality consisted of a stubborn toddler wanting to be carried AFTER wading through mud and a boisterous pup nearly dragging me into a pond… I’m living the life hey 😉

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We also cherished some down time inside and had fun with our rats. I cannot recommend pet rats highly enough as friends for sensible children, I use the term sensible loosely! Here is Melly sharing a  snack with some of our mischief:

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Back to home education meets and working around the children tomorrow. I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Angie x

 

business · Homeschooling · Motherhood · Self development · Uncategorized

Mama tired

I often get asked why I use a childminder, in context to not just putting my daughter in nursery 5 days a week. Some people think I’m wasting money. I debated my decision surrounding trialling childcare and currently for 2 days (6 hours x 2 ) my two youngest spend time together with a lovely childminder and her two children.

The benefits of this far outweigh the cons but I am aware of the guilt tripping that goes on  in using childcare.  I have never had a childminder before (for my three teenage children I had their father stepping in for study/work schedule and my mother occasionally) and so I never realised how much of a shift in my lifestyle having some regular scheduled help as a single mother would impact my week.

If you like me work from home you will know that the boundaries between work, kids and house merge into manic chaos and at the end of the day I question what exactly I managed to get done other than keep everyone alive and no major accident occurring is always a bonus. Anyone else working from home feel like this? Do you wander from your workspace to tidy up, then put the kettle on, then do some laundry and before you know it it’s time to collect the kids, get dinner on and walk the dog?!  I have some tips in an upcoming post about getting stuff done working from home soon.

This past week was the half term week ( in the UK) meaning I have an extra two kids home and my to do list has basically gone out the window! I’m zapped! Five kids ranging from 17 down to almost 2 has been amazingly exhausting! We’ve laughed, ate, argued, attempted to go outside with the dogs and kids at the same time and made an almighty mess! It’s been great and insane!

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I miss my childminder! There I said it, and you know, I say that with no guilt whatsoever.

So if you are a homeschooler or full time mum or like me a single parent and find yourself needing the help of outside parties but feel that this makes you any less of a parent  I want you to know that putting your needs first is paramount to running a tight ship!

Lifestyle design is all about self preservation, delegation and balance. After all as mothers, if we are not meeting our own needs how the hell are we going to meet our childrens?

Now excuse me while I go lie in the fetal position on the bathroom floor…

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Angie x

P.S. Obviously that pic above is not me, as if I’ve had time to shave my legs this week! For your information I’d be lucky to pee in peace! Plus sleep?! What’s that?!! 😉