29 Sep

Have you noticed?

When we understand something well ourselves it is much easier to explain it to our kids.

Kids are naturally inquisitive and curious. It’s their job. If you have had a 3 year old you will have vivid memories of many ‘but why’ moments… Some of these moments extremely amusing – others infuriating!  And it doesn’t stop there, our kids are often asking us questions, to work out how the world works.  This gives us a great opportunity to help our kids to grow and accept change.

Our youngest son Ardyn finished primary school in July and his life has changed. He has now almost finished his first month of high school and it has been intriguing to follow this change. If you have a child going through a similar change then you will know all about the wonderings, the visioning, the trying to imagine with them what life will be like during this exciting next phase. And when it arrives – the excitement and the uncertainty as they become accustom to this new ‘normal’. We have been there ourselves, but for many of us it was a long time ago, (I just did the math and it is 35 years ago for me!) and often, in vastly different circumstances (different country, different school, different curriculum, different expectations). At these times I notice that what helps me most to assist our sons in these situations is my understanding of the process of change.

Having experience change many times in my life, having trained as a trainer, a facilitator and a coach I have had the wonderful opportunity to really come to grips with change – what it really means. I have some great insights for you.

When we understand the change process, we can do things that we know will help our children to adjust. Understanding the phases of change, why it is exciting and scary at the same time, what is normal, in which phase of change they need extra time to adjust. Being able to explain this to our children in a confident way helps them too understand change, and will build their resilience for the many inevitable changes yet to come it their lives. Teaching them how to navigate change and thrive is a priceless gift.

Thinking about change, about Ardyn, and about my clients I have been inspired to create a mini family guide to change – The 5 Keys to Families Embracing Change – which I am giving to you for free.

It is designed to help families no matter what change they are facing, moving, death of a loved one, divorce, a child starting nursery, primary school, high school, university, leaving home. You name it change is everywhere…

Here is a summary of the Keys:

Key 1 – Understanding that change is:

  • Natural
  • Necessary
  • Often challenging
  • Helps us grow

 Key 2 – Understanding the magnitude of change & that this is different for every member of the family.

Key 3 – Understanding the ‘Ending’ stage;

  • Often the most painful
  • Difficult to ‘let go’ because familiar is comfortable
  • We move through a grieving process
  • Important to say goodbye
  • Must let go to successfully move on

Key 4 – Understanding the ‘Transitional’ stage;

  • The old is gone, the new is unknown and you are in-between – it feels strange
  • A time to nurture self
  • Do something to feel in control
  • This is the awkward phase

Key 5 – Understanding the ‘New Beginning’ stage;

  • High energy
  • Requires patience
  • Take small steps to build your new identity
  • Try new things
  • Embrace this opportunity for growth
  • It can sometimes feel lonely
  • It may take longer than you want it to take

Grab your copy of my FREE Mini Family Guide to Change here to begin your journey of greater understanding, which will enrich your whole family.

Yours in parenting and with joy


27 Aug

Does Life Coaching Really Work?

Great question – I was sceptical in the beginning too…

So I want to share with you some research about coaching and its effectiveness.

Life coaching is still a relatively new field, and there is plenty to be sceptical about. To someone who has never heard of life coaching, or barely knows what a life coach is and does, the benefits and possibilities can sound a little far-fetched at first.

The truth is there are millions of people who feel stuck, unhappy, lost, confused and lacking confidence. Lets face it; we have all felt this way at various times in our lives.

Thanks to a study from the International Coaching Federation (ICF), there are plenty of statistics that prove the effectiveness of coaching. For example, here are 4 benefits identified by clients from an ICF survey:

  1. 80% of clients improved their self-confidence
  2. 73% of clients improved their relationships
  3. 72% of clients improved their communication skills
  4. 67% of clients improved their work-life balance

The following infographic shows that coaching not only works, but can totally transform your life!



20 Jul

Are you a family in transition? We are…

Where have all the years gone? Come September our youngest son Ardyn is off to High School to embark on a new and exciting phase of his life.

Hand-in-hand with his excitement, walks fear – as it does for all of us…

  • Will I find friends?
  • Will I find my way around the school?
  • Will I be able to keep up with the work?
  • What is expected of me?

The change however is more far reaching than change for Ardyn. Ardyn finishing Primary School brings to a close a whole phase of our family-life. This milestone brings to an end almost 10 years of two daily trips (in term time) to school and being our boys primary carer I am feeling it quite strongly…

Almost a decade of PTA meetings, after school clubs, dress-up days and play dates. It is all morphing into something quite new, not better or worse, just different. Although part of me can’t help but grieve for the connectedness, the craft, the impromptu crazy multi play dates (which included my friends and my boys friends).

It is all changing as they both embark on this new phase which is specially designed to help them distance themselves from their parents and to become independent individuals. (SeeThe Interdependent Stage’ in my May blog).

I don’t miss the sleepless nights, the endless nappy changing (and washing), the tantrums… but I am beginning to miss the connectedness, the blind devotion, the being the centre of their world…

So emotionally I am struggling at times with the grieving of what I am ‘loosing’ but as always, each day brings new delights, which are often unexpected…

  • The witty and insightful response to a teasing question…
  • The ongoing questions about how things work…
  • The asking for advise about girls…
  • The request to play a game…

Being a parent is at the same time the hardest and yet the most rewarding thing I have ever done… The ongoing mystery of each moment never allows it to become boring. From moment to moment I may see something I am mind-blowingly grateful for or that makes my skin crawl. I can just never tell which it is to be!

And so the process of growing-up continues in our house.

I am finding that despite spending the past 6 years working towards my personal goals of becoming a coach and helping other mums with their transitions, I am in dire need of my own coach right now!

My regular sessions with my coach (Kristen) help me to connect with what is most important and give me the time and space to listen to my heart around what I need to be doing. I am extremely grateful to Kristen for her assistance in helping me be the person I really want to be and to lead the life I want to live. It is not always easy, but it is never boring!

I truly believe that every person should have a coach.

xx Tina

30 Jun

How Would You Prefer to Parent? From a Place of Heavy Responsibility or Unconditional Love?

“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”

Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding

Of all the forms of the human condition, parenting is the one area most steeped in judgment, guilt and responsibility. As parents we live the life very much of being “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. If something bad happens to your child (and even if it doesn’t) there is that feeling of worry, fear and guilt associated with what seems like each decision we make. Will drinking that cup of coffee adversely affect my unborn child? Should I immunize this tiny being or might it be causing more harm than good? Should I put my child to bed early because they are exhausted or let them stay up to spend time with their Dad when he gets home? Should I hold my child back from starting school to allow them to develop more social skills? Which school is the best for my child? Should I encourage them to do things they are scared of? Thousands upon thousands of judgment calls made every day, week, year of their childhood. No wonder we are all so exhausted! How would you prefer to parent your child/ren from a place of heavy responsibility or from unconditional love. Being in the moment with your child or worrying about the next day, month, year, decade of their lives? How can we be the best parent? This is a question we all ask ourselves.

Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations… love without conditions…it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging …unconditional love is frequently used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships. An example of this is a parent’s love for their child; no matter a test score, a life changing decision, an argument, or a strong belief, the amount of love that remains between this bond is seen as unchanging and unconditional.” Wikipida

Unconditional love defined by Wiktionary is:

  • Affection felt for someone that is not dependent on certain qualities or actions. g. Mothers have unconditional love for their children.

Responsibility defined by Wiktionary is:

  1. The state of being responsible, accountable, or answerable.
    1. g. Responsibility is a heavy burden.

  2. A duty, obligation or liability for which someone is held accountable.
    1. g. Why didn’t you clean the house? That was your responsibility!

From the moment it is confirmed that you (or your partner) are pregnant and announce this to the world there is a sea of judgments placed on the relationship you have with your unborn child. We are all doing the best we can in a job that is one of the oldest. Why do we spend so much of our parenting in a state of heavy responsibility or fear, a state of guilt or blame?

In todays world there is increasing pressure on parents to be the ‘perfect’ parents as Brigid Schultes describes in her book “Overwhelmed – Work, love and play when no one has the time”, the pace of life coupled with the expectations society put on us and we put on ourselves:

  1. As mothers – there is the expectation to be both the ideal mother and the ideal worker at the same time. This effectively traps us into being the stay at home parent with little opportunity for external self fulfillment or the working Mother who feels guilty for not being the perfect Mother to her kids.
  2. As fathers –there is the expectation to be both the ideal worker and the ideal provider – which effectively ‘trap’ them into not having time to spend with their children even if they want to.

There is judgment everywhere and we are trying to live up to unrealistic expectations that are unachievable, which results in enormous misery, overwhelm and sense of great responsibility.


Even with the growth and self-awareness that has come from my years of studying the art of coaching, I still find that the area of my life where I still struggle the most is with my parenting. It seems that there are still buttons associated with being a parent, that I have not yet managed to defuse. Indeed it is my parenting that I am most challenged by as I continue to embark on my own journey of self-discovery and wisdom.   I can be having a wonderful day steeped in gratitude and light and then after 10 minutes with my sons I can be raising my voice and tearing my hair out! Conversely, I can be having a terrible day, steeped in self doubt and obstacles to my moving forward and I can spend 10 minutes with my sons and I am transformed into a grateful optimistic being. Nothing affects us more than the presence of unconditional love.

This is what I discovered when I took a step back and looking at why my sons can create in me such diametrically opposed states of being:

For the positive state

When my children are displaying behaviour in line with my expectations of them. They are being kind, thoughtful, resourceful and I am uplifted and experience a feeling of succeeding as a parent.

For the negative state

When my children are being argumentative, vengeful, mean and disrespectful, I feel empty and frustrated. In these moments I feel I have failed as parent.

Is it reasonable for me to expect them to behave as I wish all the time? No, they are learning, they are coming to terms with their owns interaction with the world. I need to be an impartial interface. I need to love unconditionally, let them know this and relax my expectations. They will be much more able to deal with the world if I can show them how and be a good mentor. They need to see me fail sometimes, this allows them to see that we all struggle sometimes and that it is OK.

As we release judgement we become better parents. As we set our children free to find their own truth, we become better parents.

We tend to think of ourselves as teaching our children, but ….

What can we learn from our children?

  • Children have the amazing ability to live in the moment. How can we meet them in these moments and connect?
  • Children have natural curiosity and wonder. How can we better experience the world through their eyes?
  • Young children have the enviable perspective of freedom of expectation, judgment and blame. It is us who teach them these things in order to survive in our world. How wonderful to be able to work together to be able to find a better middle road and for us to learn a way to re-embrace these wonderful characteristics.

Coaching application

I believe that through coaching it is possible to help parents take the time to reflect on their lives. To truly analyse what is most important to them. To help them let go of expectations (internal and external) and allow themselves to then construct their lives in a unique way that best suits their values and goals. This helps to shift the balance of child rearing back to that of unconditional love and living in the moment rather than feeling the heavy responsibility of our children’s future and being overwhelmed by the sea of expectation that surrounds families in our society. Parenting is hard; expect to fail sometimes because no one parents perfectly. It is being open to learning from these mistakes that makes all the difference in our children’s lives.

How might you more easily embrace the unconditional love you feel for your children rather than being weighed down by the responsibility of having to care for them?

Some questions to help move into unconditional love might be:

  • What have you learnt about life from being a parent?
  • What relationship would you like to have with you child/ren?
  • What have you learnt from your child/ren?
  • What would you like to do more of with your child/ren?
  • What do you most struggle with as a parent?


Questions to ask ourselves as parents include:

  • Is there a perfect parent?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen if you make a mistake?
  • What would you learn from making mistakes?
  • What would your child/ren learn from you making mistakes?
  • What is my responsibility as a parent?
  • What are the most important things to focus on as a parent?
  • Who and how much do I want/need to listen to from others?


Parenting is hard.  We are all doing the best we can. There is judgment everywhere and we are trying to live up to unrealistic expectations that are unachievable, which results in enormous misery, overwhelm and sense of great responsibility. I will continue in my quest to defuse my buttons around parenting.  Coaching has truly helped me to analyse what is most important for me and to become a better parent. I am not sure the defusing job will not ever be entirely done, but each time I notice a shift toward unconditional love I find immense joy permeates my life.  Hopefully shedding light on my struggle as a parent can help you to achieve more joy in your life too!

If you have found this blog useful, you may like to download the FREE Summary Infographic that I have made for you!  This has all the key concepts I mention above in a handy A4 page. Put it on your wall, in your glove box, anywhere that might serve a a reminder to you of how you would prefer to parent.  All you need to do is follow this link, sign up for my newsletter (which you can unsubscribe to at any time) and you will get the Infographic!

Wishing you much joy in your parenting!

Tina xx






Schulte, Brigid 2014. Overwhelm – Work, love and play when no one has the time.Botross, Suzie 2013. Break free from Motherly Guilt.


04 May

Parental Development & Stages of Parenthood: We change as our children do

In my first Video Blog in March I spoke about parental transitions. Here I want to take a closer look at the developmental stages of parenthood and the transitions we undertake.

As parents we take on new roles as our children develop, transforming our parental identities as the developmental demands of our children change.

Because parents are critical to a child’s development a great deal of research has been focused on the impact of parents on their children.  Far less is known, however, about the development of parents themselves and the impact of children on parents.

Parental Development

Parenting is a major role in an adult’s life and there are Six Stages of Parenthood:

1. The Image-Making Stage (pre-birth)

Prospective parents get used to the idea that they will become parents soon and what parenting will bring. They think about and form images of there roles as parents, what type of parent they want to be and may evaluate the relationships they have with their own parents as a model of their roles as parents.

2. The Nurturing Stage (child between birth & approx. 2 years)

The parent’s main goal during this stage is to bond with their baby.

Parents often have to reshape their conceptions of themselves and their identity as they work out how much time for the baby and how much time to devote to other aspects of life. Parenting responsibilities are the most demanding during infancy because infants are completely dependent on caregiving.

3. The Authority Stage (child between 2 and 4 / 5 years)

Parents decide what kind of authority to be, how rules are set, what rules are, when they are enforced and what happens when they are broken.

4. The Interpretive Stage  (child approximately primary school age)

Parents respond to their children’s (easy and not so easy) questions and concerns as children are increasingly exposed to the world outside the family. This causes parents to review what they think, believe and value and to pull together their own beliefs so they can translate them to their children. This is a demanding and challenging process. Parents have to negotiate how involved to be with their children, when to step in, and when to encourage children to make choices independently.

5. The Interdependent Stage (child in teenage years)

Parents need to deal with many problems that they feel inexperienced in handling.

Two important facets to concentrate on:

  1. Communication with teenagers.
  2. Setting limits and giving guidance.

Parents must accept that the teenagers’ major task is developing a separate identity. Separation is a gradual process. Through this stage the parent / child relationship is redefined. The new relationship involves swinging backwards and forward between distance and closeness, separation and connectedness.

6. The Departure Stage (when the child leaves home)

At this time when the child leaves home parents evaluate the entire experience of parenting. They must redefine their authority and renegotiate their relationship with their adolescent child who is increasingly making decisions independent of parental authority and control. Parenting in this stage involves a complex set of tasks; caring, being available, helping without controlling, accepting the grown child’s’ separate identity. In accepting this separate identity, parents learn that to accept separateness implies the beginning of a new connection. This stage usually spans a long time period from when the oldest child moves away until the youngest leaves. The parenting role must be redefied as a less central role in a parent’s identity.

Quote from Associate Professor Marissa DienerEach of the above stages bring new challenges and things to learn for parents There is constantly a need for new strategies and techniques to support our children to grow through their own developmental stages. These stages also require different amounts of our time as parents, for example a newborn child requires 24 hour care, where as a teenager is often largely independent, but it is important for parents to be around an the ‘right’ times and this can be highly unpredictable.  The key is to maintain a strong connection to your child while pursuing and fulfilling your own life’s desires. No small task!

Parental Transition

I see parenting transition as the movement between these phases of parental development. I myself and many of my clients are currently in the midst of parenting transitions and it is something that isn’t often talked about. When our children move from one phase to the next our focus (understandably) on them – their excitement, hopes and fears – but I would like to focus here on development and transitions for us as parents.

As my youngest son Ardyn is off to High School in September I find myself reflecting on how these big changes affect not only Ardyn, but also the entire family – as needs change, logistics are rearranged and our lives morph into a new version of daily life.

Small transitions are constant (such as being able to help out with tricker chores or as they grow from one size of clothing to the next), but the change becomes more apparent at these types of milestones. Inevitably parenting transitions as I see them are integrally linked to our children’s developmental stages and consequently our schooling system. Here is a brief summary of the major ones (although as mentioned this is really almost continuous and different for everyone).

  • Becoming a parent
  • Deciding to return to work (or not) after maternity leave
  • Youngest child starting Primary School
  • Youngest child starting High School
  • Last child leaving home

Parenting is a complex process in which parents and children influence each other. The complexity in families further increases with additional children and sometimes complex adult relationships.

Knowing the best way to support our children as they develop can sometimes be challenging.  But recognising that we are constantly growing and changing as parents as our children grow and change can help us give ourselves permission to not expect perfection, as we don’t expect perfection from them. Each new challenge we face is a new challenge for both us as parents and for our children.

If your child is coming up to a big transition soon, (e.g. starting primary school, starting high school or leaving home) know that you are in transition too and give it is natural to be feeling challenged. The best way to support your child through big transitions is to allow yourself the time and space to get a clear idea of what you want and need in the future yourself. This piece of mind for yourself allows you to be more relaxed, calm and able to be more fully focus on your child’s transitional needs. Above all remember to be gentle with yourself and your expectations through this complex time of new experiences and emotions.

It was because of my struggle through parental transition that I created my signature programme – The Revitalise Programme for Mums. I wish it had been around when I was in the midst of my struggles! It is specifically developed to help mums navigate this challenging but exciting time of transition.

I am working on a wall chart to more clearly show how the developmental stages and transitions fit together along with the common questions and decisions at each point. If you would like a free copy of the wall chart please email me tina@yournewwings.com and I will be happy to send it to you.

Yours in parenting

Tina Smith



Diener, M.L. (2017). The developing parent. In R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener (Eds), Noba textbook series: Psycology. Champaign, IL: DEF publishers. DOI:nobaproject.com (http://www.nobaproject.com)

Galinsky, E. (1987). The Six States of Parenthood. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books


27 Mar

Thanks Lee: Fasting – Now I get it!

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a book launch at Oken’s Kitchen in Warwick (Warwickshire, United Kingdom) organised by Warwick Books.

Lee Homes came to talk to us about her new book ‘Fast your way to Wellness’ and demonstrate some recipes from her book.

Lee Homes Book - March 2017

Lee is Australian, as I am, but until a few days ago I hadn’t heard of her or her work. So when my friend Katherine suggested we go to the launch I checked out her website www.superchargedfood.com

Here I was introduced to Lee’s philosophy and her work with food. It was very refreshing as I discovered it to be very inline with my own values and beliefs. Whole foods cooked from scratch, simple, fresh and made with love. Healing for the gut and the soul as preparing food is once again approached with mindfulness and gratitude. Very much the food ethos I grew up with on our farm in South Gippsland (Victoria, Australia).

Meeting Lee I discover a lovely, laidback Aussie who is living a wholehearted life with wholefoods. Through her own health struggles Lee found her way to health again through wholefoods. Lee certainly knows her stuff, and was able to fill in a number of blanks for me so that I now have a better understanding of how fasting works and how it is really good for your body.

My understanding of fasting has changed too. I thought fasting meant going without food, but apparently you can eat 500 Calories on your fasting days! And with Lee’s new recipe book to give some amazing ideas about what those 500 calories might look like. Lee helped dispel my fear of being hungry all the time (the main reason I have put off embracing it wholeheartedly for so long).

So for me today is my first official fasting day…

Peppermint & Liquorice tea before the school run kept the hunger away.

 My workout at 9am – before breakfast, unheard of for me as that mantra of “must have breakfast – it’s the most important meal of the day” always plays in my head. Right there – an underlying belief that I can just give the boot, after 46 years!


Breakfast at 11am – Orange and Cinnamon Buckwheat Porridge (p119)

I used several of Lee’s tricks to ignore the hunger pangs and then it was…

 Lunch at 2pm – leftover ginger stir fry from Friday nights dinner (Not Lee’s recipe – but one of my favorites).

Dinner at 6pm – I’m planning the Vegie Nori Wraps (p250) to which I will add some sausages and maybe mash to keep the 3 boys in my house happy (but which I can skip).

So begins the first day of the rest of my fasting life. Two days of extra mindful eating (that makes more sense to me than ‘fasting’) will allow me to eat mindfully for the rest of the week and not feel guilty or like I have to count calories on those other five days. Sounds great to me!

Thanks Lee for your inspiration, and your recipe book. I look forward to trying the rest of the recipes!

Have a fastastic day!


Related post My Autumn Harvest Soup

22 Mar

YNW 001: Parental Transitions: We change as our children do

Welcome to my first Video Blog!

Parental Transition_ We change as our Children Do




In this video I begin to talk about parental transition and how our lives as adults are changing in parallel with our children’s. Many of my clients are in the midst of some type of change. I give our family’s current transition of our youngest son beginning High School here as an example.

Common parental transitions are:
– Becoming a parent
– Deciding to return to work (or not) after maternity leave
– Youngest child starting Primary school
– Youngest child starting High School
– Last child leaving home

Keep an eye out for more in one of my upcoming blogs!

xx Tina

09 Mar

3 Countries, 3 Continents, 6 Years – Lessons learnt from moving our family around the world…

Just over two years ago our family arrived in the UK to make a new life for ourselves. We have moved countries every 2 years for the past 6 years, moving around for Vaughan (my husbands) work.

There have been many challenges, big decisions and much uncertainty over this time period, but as I reflect back on our adventures I feel very grateful to have lived such an interesting life!

Our last 6 years has found us move:

Australia ==> Brazil (our boys aged 5 & 7 years)

Brazil ==> Australia (our boys aged 7 & 9 years)

Australia ==> United Kingdom (our boys aged 9 &11 years)

It is a strange feeling heading into a third year in the same place and I must admit that I am not in any great hurry to move again just yet!

We can only choose from what we have in front of us. We are given choices every day. We can choose to be courageous or to be safe.

As Vaughan and I tussled with the pros and cons of the possibly of moving to Brazil we looked at it from every angle, researching the city, the statistics, the language. We spent hours, days, weeks researching, discussing and contemplating.

One of our biggest fears as we explored the opportunity of moving to Brazil was not knowing what impact our moving would have on our boys…this was in the forefront of our minds as we made this first critical decision, to go or not to go.

The way Vaughan and I finally decided if to take the leap and head to Brazil with our boys (5 and 7 at the time) was by asking ourselves… “In 10 years are we going to look back and say we were glad we went or glad we didn’t go?” For both of us the answer was crystal clear… we would be glad we had gone.

When we took this ‘big picture’ view all the challenges and uncertainties faded into being almost insignificant. And if asked the same question today I can truly say that we are glad that we went. It was even more challenging than I could have imagined back then, but I am a wiser, more patient, more empathetic, more confident, more grateful and a more generous human being from having the experiences we have had. I see these qualities in our boys too, and even thought there have been huge struggles for them, they too have developed complex and unique parts of their own personalities. Would I choose the same again?… In a heartbeat!

Third Culture Kids - Growing up among worldsA wonderful book that was recommended to me by an expat friend is “Third Culture Kids” by …Having personally grown up in the same place for my entire childhood (a small farm in rural Australia) I had no personal experience of how our new lifestyle would affect our boys… this book help me to see the pros and cons of living and growing up outside our passport country…It helped us put strategies in place to ensure they maintain a connections with the things that are important. I would highly recommend it for anyone contemplating a change of country with children.

Some of the lessons I have learnt over the past 6 years are these:

  1. Fear of the unknown is normal, healthy and needs balancing with courage, research and faith
  1. When we are challenged – we grow
  1. We are not aware of what we are truly capable of until faced with challenges to overcome
  1. A coach is an enormous support during the upheaval of moving countries

Our first move was the toughest, in lots of ways that is always going to be the case. But one of the things that stands out for me as a big difference between the first and subsequent moves is that for the first move I didn’t have a coach… In later moves my coach was an enormous support for me (and therefore for our family) each time we have relocated. There is always so much to do in what seems like so little time. My coach helped me to get clear about what was most important and what I could let go of. Each move brought different challenges, but each time my coach helped me to stay grounded, focused and (relatively) calm. For anyone who has gone through something similar you will know that there are often sleepless nights, not only coming up to the actual move, but also well before that as you attempt to make the correct decision regarding every aspect of your current and future life!

And so if you are facing a big move in your life -be it your first or one of many – I would recommend a coach. A coach can help smooth out the bumps in the road, and this can be a lifesaver when your energy reserves are hitting rock bottom!

I am extremely grateful that I can now look at each challenge that I face, and overcome, to be a blessing. Each time I get through a challenge I am growing, becoming more resourceful and more able to deal with whatever comes next.

xo Tina


30 Jan

Is your youngest child starting school? What is next for you?

With school beginning in Australia this week, even though we now live in the UK, I am reminded of when Thane and Ardyn started primary school. Both of these occasions were intense, exciting, emotional times for us all. I found it particularly confronting personally when Ardyn, my youngest started school.

There where of course the practical and emotional things I wanted to be certain to have in place to ensure Ardyn had as easy a transition as possible. (This post from Mumsnet, ‘Starting primary school’  might be helpful for those of you with children starting primary school for the first time. You have probably thought of most of these items already, but it can’t hurt to check everything is in place). But the less talked about and bigger unknown was my changing role.

I find it interesting that this is the mumsnet advice around this point of how we feel as mums is …

“It can feel horribly empty if your child has always been around for some of the day and then they’re gone for all of it. Well, you can get a hobby, go for tea with other mothers, shave your legs again, get a job or work more hours. And there’s always the holidays.”

I feel this is a big gap.  It’s really not that simple, at least I didn’t find it that simple – which is why I work with mums (and dads) to help with their decisions about what is next for them moving into new phases of family life.

For me, to this point, my entire existence for the past 7 years had revolved around our two sons… who was I now? I was a different person, and it was time to start a new phase in my own life now that the intense baby / toddler years had come to an end. It was an enormous opportunity to reinvent myself, of course I had been thinking of this often over the years and in fact I was enrolled to start a masters of teaching (which I had deferred the year before because my Dad got cancer) but it still didn’t feel like quite the right thing to be doing…I felt the pressure of needing to make the ‘right’ choice now…

The prospect of a few child-free hours a day can be very exciting, especially if it is your youngest child starting school. But it can also be daunting, as you deal with all the expectations both you and other people have of what you will ‘do’ now, (as if running a household with young children isn’t enough). Many of my clients use this time to really look hard at what they want do next in their own life.

This is a fantastic opportunity to start something new for yourself – but it is often difficult to decide what that will be, as it needs to fit around the family. Give yourself time and space to deeply contemplate this.  A coach can be incredibly useful right now, as we can often get stuck with so many options and our fears around each of them (I know I did!) The most important thing is not to rush it and jump into the first thing that comes along… you may feel pressured to ‘fill the void’, to be seen to doing something useful, but I encourage you to give yourself time to really consider the bigger picture. What is the right direction for you and your family right now? What is the right direction considering that the children will eventually leave home? Take this chance to really create the life you want to be living for the next 50 years!

For those of you in the Northern hemisphere it is a good time to start preparing for September…

If you would like to explore how coaching may help. Please contact me; I would love to show you what is possible. Many of my clients are from far afield, as coaching over the telephone or via Skype is very common, and amazingly effective!

UPDATE on 7th of  February:  Today we have launched the Online version of The Revitalise Programme – this is a fantastic opportunity  to work with other mums I encourage you to check it out, it may be just what you need right now!

Yours in juggling



24 Jan

The Revitalise Programme… I made this for you…

I made this for you…

As you fiercely strive to be the best mum you can be

I made this for you…

When some days you feel it’s too much to bear

I made this for you…

As one beautifully imperfect being to another

I made this for you…

As you strive and sometimes fail

I made this for you…

As you have fleeting moments of happiness almost too amazing to believe

I made this for you…

As you walk the path of so many before you, but with unique challenges

I made this for you…

As you enter each day with great intent to inspire, nurture and endure

I made this for you…

For when you have given your all and feel more is needed

I made this for you…

To help you understand what an awesome job that you do

I made this for you…

So that you may know the incredible gift that you give to this world

I made this for you…

So on those days you despair you can pause and relax into a smile as you gazed upon the beauty you created and know that the striving you feel each day (in this busy crazy panic of the world that is our home -) is totally worth it. Revel in the imperfection and the crazy mess as this is the essence of life and from this is created beautiful moments beyond compare

I made this for you…

So that you may boldly face each day knowing that you are more than enough and that you create beauty from the mundane, worth from the toil and that you have the ultimate choice of how you want to show up in this world

I made this for you…

So that you may dare greatly and step up to the challenges that you face each day, to show up be real and be proud that you have…

I made this for you…

To help you give yourself permission to relax and be yourself wholeheartedly, without reserve… For it is when we show up in this way, as our true selves, that we can change the world!

Tina Smith