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Guest Posts, Life Lessons, Parenting

5 Steps to Peaceful Decision Making {Guest Post}

Peace of Mind

Five Steps to Peaceful Decision Making by Meg Garrido:

You love your children, of course you do. Perhaps staying at home with them is all you ever wanted to do, or maybe you are missing going to work and contributing your skills and knowledge to the workplace. It could be that you think you would like to work part time but you are worried about putting your child into childcare.

The options are endless. What do you do .. and what do you do with your children each day? I recently read an article which stated:

“The most important factors contributing to a Mother’s happiness and life satisfaction are not really about whether they are at home or in an office, its about whether or not they have made a mindful choice.”

Here are five tips to help you move through the decision making process and find peace of mind:

Identify all of the options

It is empowering if you are able to make a fully informed decision by laying out all of the options for consideration. There will be many in most situations, some with no immediate appeal however it is helpful to acknowledge them all.

Know what you really want

Spend some time being very clear about what it is that you really want to do, not what you think you should do or what others expect you to do. Deep down in your own heart what will make you happy?

Think through all of the pros and cons

Now you have considered all of the options and identified  what it is you really want, you should make a list of the pros and cons of your favoured option. It is important to make sure that you have the support you will need, that financially you are able to proceed and that the logistics of your decision are viable.

Make your decision. Commit. Communicate.

When you reach the stage of having an option that you are happy with and that works for you and your family you need to make a firm commitment to the decision. Avoid procrastinating and ensure that fear is not going to delay your decision. Make the choice and to prevent any further wavering, communicate your decision. Start talking to the people who you will need to work with to make it happen and also to your critical support network.

Don’t over think your decision

Focus on moving forward now that your decision is made and has been communicated. Enjoy the happiness that comes with this mindful process, celebrate the support you have around you. Don’t be rocked by those who don’t agree, or by the moments when you may have a wobble. Don’t allow yourself to keep analysing your decision and avoid talking about your decision or your worries repeatedly. This type of over thinking is not productive.

Know that there will be challenges along the way and there will be times when it will be hard for you to remember why you made your decision. Other people can play a big role in making you feel guilty about the decisions you have committed to.

Having gone through a thorough and mindful process as outlined in these steps, you will always have somewhere to return for reassurance. Remember what it is that you really wanted and how you came to your decision.

It is also important to remember that change can be difficult and to give yourself time to adjust. Treat yourself with kindness while you are in the process of implementing any major decisions. Lean on your support network and ensure that you take some time out for yourself during these busy and demanding periods in your life.

Guest Post Author: Meg Garrido

Meg is the Founder of Playroom to Boardroom, a community for working Mums and those planning to return to the workforce. Meg’s background is in corporate finance and she has qualifications in economics, accountancy, primary school teaching and personal training.

Meg enjoys keeping fit, reading and speaking on topics she is passionate about. Meg has two daughters, Violet aged 5 and Jasmine aged 3.

I was so pleased to hear from Meg recently and to learn more about her vision to support and encourage working Mums, the more places and resources we have to connect and inspire each other the better!

 

 

Guest Posts, Life Lessons, Wellbeing

10 ways cancer has changed my life {guest post}

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I tend to naturally gravitate towards others who have known and survived the really hard parts of life. There is something about connecting at this level, sometimes it is unspoken and other times it is obvious and overt. The depth of learning, contemplation and growth that comes with making it through the dark and traumatic is simply not possible elsewhere. Sharing all of that with others, offloading the lessons, reaching where the hope is needed most, this lights me up!

Sammie is one of those people who shines without even realising it. Modest, humble and simply one of the nicest people you will find. We found each other on Instagram, met in real life thanks to Chantelle and through our shared love of blogging, dumplings and kindness we are connected, and I am so grateful for that.

Sharing the lessons that others have learned and being able to collaborate on ideas for making a difference is one of my favourite parts of blogging. I am so grateful that Sammie wholeheartedly agreed to share the ways that cancer has changed her life, it is a deeply personal topic and it perfectly represents her generosity of spirit and our shared vision to give back and change the world in whatever little ways we can.

10 ways that cancer has changed my life by Sam from The Annoyed Thyroid :

I live for today

If there’s something I want to do or a dream I want to achieve, I do it now and not later, because I’ve learned that I can’t always be sure there is a later.

I find the flip side

I always used to think of the worst case scenario. Now I think of the best outcome in any situation, and I take great pleasure in finding the flip side or the silver lining. Sometimes it takes a while to find it, but experience has taught me, there is always a flip side.

I’m grateful

I’m not saying I wasn’t grateful before my diagnosis, I was. I think I’m more consciously grateful now. Every day when I wake up, I’m thankful and feel very blessed. Even though every day might not be good, there is something good to be grateful for in every day.

I don’t sweat the small stuff

When life throws you a curveball, and you really have something to worry about, and you’re faced with your own mortality, the little things really don’t matter. I now have a much better sense of priorities and what matters and what doesn’t.

I control what I can

When I was diagnosed, I knew I had two choices. I could give up or I could stand up and fight. I learned a valuable lesson, I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control the way I deal with it.

I blog

In the beginning my blog was a place to brain dump all of the feels, and there were lots of them! As I have travelled along the road to recovery, my blog has evolved and has brought much happiness, some amazing people and some wonderful experiences into my life.

I choose happiness

I spend most of my life in my happy pants because being happy is good for my health, its as simple as that. I do have some grumpy knickers but I don’t wear them that often and when I do, I rather like to laugh at myself.

I live with purpose

During treatment I read ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl and this was a real game changer for me. Frankl says “that those who have a why to live, can bear almost any how” and he is right, everyone needs a purpose. I like setting achievable goals and reaching them. I’m currently studying to become a counsellor (giving back is super important to me) and I am planning to run my 6th half marathon later this year.

I’m spontaneous

I used to micro manage my life. I always knew what I was going to do and when. I had plans for days, weeks and even years in advance. My cancer diagnosis, treatment and ongoing check ups have made all my plans pretty much redundant. These days I am embracing spontaneity and I take the time in between check ups to cram in as much living and laughing as possible, because I’m only as good as my next blood test.

♡ I value my health

There’s a quote, “she who health has everything”. I make a conscious effort to take care of myself physically and mentally. I eat a lot better, I exercise and I have an amazing counsellor who helps me keep my head in the best space. My journey has taught me that my mental health is just as important as my physical wellbeing, the body achieves what the mind believes.

I would highly recommend having more Sammie in your life, you can find her here:

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Guest Posts

Guest Post: Sarah Poppy from Working Mums Collective

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Guest Post by Sarah Poppy: Keeping JOY and PEACE amongst the chaos of balancing work and home.

Anyone with children knows that the hours before and after work can be chaotic. There is a lot to do and a lot to remember. Getting yourself ready is easy but getting the whole household ready and out the door on time can be stressful. Working mums have to multi-task like crazy.

This is a reality for many mums. More mums than ever return to work after having their children. Working mums split their energy between work and home life and this often leads to feelings of guilt and high levels of stress trying to juggle the two.

Work life balance is different for everyone and everyone will have different views on what the perfect balance is. I believe that everyone can find the balance that is right for them.

At times the balance can be out of whack. So it is important to regain the balance and get some joy and peace back into your life.

So here are my 5 top tips to getting the balance back into your work and home life:

1. Simplify your life

This is easier said than done. Make time for the things that are important. Don’t worry about putting on that load of washing or loading the dishwasher – wait until the kids are in bed.

Spend time talking about the day, eat dinner together. Family time is important, kids grow up way too fast. When you look back are you going to remember that you always had the washing up to date? Probably not but you will remember the moments shared as a family.

Say no to the things that are not important. Don’t commit to everything. In order to achieve the work life balance that is right for you, you need to set priorities. Focus on the things that matter the most and say no to those that don’t matter.

2. Take care of yourself

Self-care is so important. How can you be expected to look after others if you are not looking after yourself?

Managing personal health and wellness is vital to balancing work and life. When you are healthy, you have more energy to tackle each day. Often the first thing that suffers when we are busy is our health but this should be a priority. Me time, meditation, reading a book, having a bath, whatever works for you.

Make sure you schedule time out for self-care. When you look after yourself, you are happy and this will flow on to your family.

3. Focus on work at work, and family at home

Try to switch off when you get home (as much as possible). Mobiles, email and the Internet mean that we are more connected than ever and can always be contacted.

Depending on what job you do and what industry you work in, it may be easier than others to switch off. There isn’t much you can do when the office is closed. Tasks can wait until you are next back in the office.

When you are at work, focus on the task at hand and try not to think about the list of jobs you have to get done at home.

Technology also provides many distractions and time wasters – facebook, instagram, twitter, online games just to name a few. Implement a no technology rule from the moment you get home until the kids are in bed so you are 100% present.

Think of all the magic moments you will experience with your children. 

4. Ask for help

If you have a support network around you, ask for help. Share the load with your partner. You don’t have to do it all.

If you need some time just for you or for you and your partner to enjoy date night together (so important for your relationship) ask the grandparents to help out and babysit.

On the weekends, get organised with meal planning and preparation. Get your partner to take the kids out or keep them entertained for a couple of hours so that you can enjoy the time together during the week.

Depending on the ages of your kids, get them to help out with the household chores – have some fun with it. You might end up starting a family tradition.

5. Put it into perspective

Sometimes when you are at work you wish you were home with your kids but if you are like me, chances are that when you were home, you missed your work.

It is important to put it all into perspective and if you are comfortable with your decision to work and it fits with your values it may help reduce the guilt you feel and you will be a better mother when you get home.

Take the time to focus on what matters most when you are with your family.

Lastly, if you can afford it get a cleaner. I have just done this and it makes life so much easier. I don’t have to stress about the mess and the state of the house. I can just enjoy time with the kids. There are still times that I have to get the dyson mini out to clean up the biscuit crumbs but that is easy!

Just remember that you may not achieve the perfect balance everyday but if you follow the tips above and make some tweaks to your thinking and routine you will be well on your way to achieving that balance that is right for you.

About Sarah

Sarah is wife to Ben, mum to Hudson and Ashlee. In her professional life she works as a Marketing and Events Manager in the non-profit sector. She is passionate about Mums returning to work after having kids and has created working mums collective as a place for working mums to connect, share stories and advice, celebrate successes and really support and empower each other.