08 Aug

The Magic of Coaching Continues to Impress – My Personal Story

I have been through a rough patch lately, but thankfully I am now through to the other side… and can tell you about it… partly because I think it helps to share these stories, but partly too because in this world, as adults we often expect ourselves to be perfect… but we are not. We are human and therefore perfectly imperfect…

Wonderfully I had a coaching session with Kristen (my coach) a few weeks ago and lots of good things have come from it.  The session gave me a good dose of an alternative perspective and a chance to reflect on the journey I have been on for the past year.

I usually have a coaching session each month, but Kristen has been a bit busy lately; five months ago she had a beautiful baby boy and we had lost touch for a while.  I hadn’t wanted to bother her, remembering how intense, amazing and exhausting the first few months of being a Mum can be… I also thought, ‘I should be able to handle this…’ but I was wrong… this one coaching session made a huge difference.

We all have ups and downs, and sometimes just when you think you have a handle on life – a little voice of uncertainty can creep in…why aren’t things working the way I want them to?  What have I really got to offer? Why don’t I get asked for job interviews?  Why don’t I fit in to what employers are looking for?  Why did I spend all those years studying to be looking at doing this?  Things can swirl around in our heads and we can become paralysed with fear of making the wrong decision as self-doubt creeps in…

Trusting that the right opportunity will present itself in time is a difficult thing…  How do you hold your nerve?  What allows us to say yes to something that we feel in our heart to be the wrong direction? It is doubt?  Doubt that we are good enough? Doubt that we know enough? Doubt that we are worthy?… Berne Brown says

“Overcoming self-doubt is all about believing we’re enough and letting go of what the world says we’re supposed to be and supposed to call ourselves.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Change and transitions for parents, is want I have been writing and thinking about for years now…  But even with my years of training as a coach and researching why change and transition has us tying ourselves in knots I still managed to tie myself in knots! Thankfully I have Kristen to turn to when things get tough.

It has been almost a year since Ardyn, my youngest son started high school. Even going into this change with my eyes wide open I have still had a challenging time trying to make sense of what was next for me.  In a flurry of activity in the last part of 2017 I opened to possibilities of what my next direction might be.  With Kristen’s help  I let go of writing blogs and trying to get workshops filled and put my energies into finding what was next…  Through this I found myself considering options that I had previously shied away from, retail, full time 9-5 work, any number of positions that I had not considered for years. This process, although often deeply challenge, has also allowed me to feel a freedom I haven’t experienced for a long time…   This process has led me in some new and exciting directions!

I am excited to announce that the result of moving through my ‘rough patch’ I have been able to realign my values and now alongside my work within Your New Wings – Life Coaching, I am now:

Director and Co-Founder of Enhanced Relocation, where my very talented business partner Linda Spencer and I offer a new way for families to relocate and integrate into the Heart of England. We would love your thoughts on what we have created! Check out www.enhancedrelocation.com  Any and all feedback very welcome…

Lead Coach at Teen Direct, where a team of experienced coaches provides career coaching for 13 – 19 year olds to empower and build the confidence of our young people. Teen Direct is the teenage component of the local company Career Seekers Direct the inspired creation of Eva Harrison who has been developing it over the past 5 years. www.teendirect.biz

An Independent Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic, a multi award-winning English wellbeing and beauty company whose environmental and ethical values are closely aligned with mine. This allows me to offer trusted, ethical, gorgeous products to families to enhance wellbeing not just for themselves, but for the planet… uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/tina/ 

I have recently learnt a new word.  Multipreneur… I guess that is what I am…  Human, imperfect and a work in progress, as we all are…

This whole experience has highlighted to me what I have always believed.  We all need a coach… Coaching is an almost magical experience where we get to choose who we want to be and get supported to create that in reality.  The journey is not a straight line, more like a 3D scribble!

Soon I will be updating my landing page for Your New Wings to better reflect the range of  what I do.  And remember, our journeys are not straight lines, but more of a scribble.  Adding coaching is like adding magic.

Who do you want to be?

xx Tina

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


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


06 Jan

A New Year – a new page… or could that be a new book?

The aspirations leading up to a new year, a new beginning, thoughts about how we would like to change our life for the better give us great insight into what our ideal self would look like. This is both exciting and daunting at the same time…there is so much to be gained by making statements about how we want to improve our lives. The problem is the gap in the middle; the space between where we are now and where we want to be… it’s like looking over a pond to the other side and all that is in between is water. What happens if we put stepping-stones in the water? The first stepping-stone is in a place that we can easily and comfortably jump to on our way across the pond? How does that change our perception of what is possible?

So I am suggesting that we can break our year-page into a book with each page dealing with a smaller amount of time… how would that feel?

Overall goals for the year are great (getting to the other side of the pond), but the planning, the breaking it down into strategies and actions needs to be done over a shorter timeframe, for each stepping-stone.

There is a new trend in business planning called the 90-day year (initiated by Todd Herman), which advocates not annual planning, but 3 monthly planning. I think there is something here to be learnt for our own personal planning. One year is a long time, a lot happens, things change. It feels much more flexible and free to look at a smaller timeframe. We can assess what is working and what is not and change things around. For those of us with school aged children the gaps between school holidays can be a useful segmentation. If you are anything like me you struggle to get things done for yourself (or your business/work/study) when you have the children at home for the holidays, so why not plan for the gaps and allow yourself the reward of letting go of some expectations while they are at home?

So what is on the first page of your 2017 book? What do you what to achieve by the time you have the kids home for school holidays at Easter?

There is no right way to plan, no ultimate way to get our heads around how to move forward. Something what works for others may not work for us. Give yourself permission to do it your way. If you work better by not writing things down and just doing what comes to you in any given day, week, month – then go with that. Experimentation is the key – if it isn’t working try something new, but if it is working, don’t compare yourself to the people around you who have a different way of doing things. You may not have a page, a book or spreadsheet. Do what works for you, and if you are struggling – be open to explore what others find useful.

I am off to work on my planning, good luck with yours!

xx Tina


18 Dec

Time Management: Part 3

Resources and further information…



Last post I shared my time management tips for busy mums. The umbrella tip was to seek internal and external support… here I will endeavour to give you a bit more explanation and some resources.

TRUCTURE – Seek structure that works for you and be cons
tantly open to new ways of doing things.

You are doing this already by talking to others about what works for them, getting new ideas and trying new ways of working.

SUPPORT – You are not alone – work as a family team

It is easy to forget how capable our children are becoming. We are so used to doing everything for them as babies and toddlers and we take a certain pride in ‘doing’ things for our children. It is also often much easier and faster to do things ourselves, especially in the beginning however we need to remember that it is our job to equip our children for life without us and so getting them to contribute to making our home a nice place for all of us to live is important.

This list of Age Appropriate Chores for Children may help.

PRIORITISE – Self-care is not selfish

As mums we tend to look after everyone else first. Lets look at why we shouldn’t …

Self care in not selfish

PLAN & DREAM – Work out your medium & long-term goals

This will alleviate some of the anxiety around what the future holds for you and help you to say no to things that aren’t in-line with what you are trying to achieve. To help with the planning and dreaming we offer you our ‘Happiness Evaluation Worksheet’ for free when signing up for our mailing list. This ‘snapshot’ helps you to take a step back and get an overview of you life. It is a great place to start. It can be tricky to work out the best way to move forward. If you would like some further help we offer both individual coaching and group programmes to help you get the life that you want.

OBSERVE – Notice how doing things makes you feel

Notice how saying yes to things make you feel e.g. say yes when you want to say no. Think of a time when you have said yes to something they really wanted to say no to. How did it make you feel? If things make you feel good – gratitude, joy, love – keep offering to do them. If they make you feel bad – resentment, guilt, frustration – work out a way to say no next time… To become the observer of your own life is a very powerful way to explore who you want to ‘be’. This article explains it beautifully…

Essential life skill – self observe

REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS – It doesn’t always need to be perfect!

Here is a wonderful article by Ann Smith with some excellent tips around perfectionism and motherhood.

The perils of perfectionism in motherhood

TRUST – Trust yourself! You are doing an awesome job.

I give you hear one of my favorite Ted Talks.

For parents, happiness is a very high bar – Jennifer Senior

This will hopefully help you to see that we are living in a time of great parental challenge. The fact that you are still reading at the end of my post shows that you are an engaged, caring parent!  Keep up the great work, and trust that you are doing an awesome job!

So, the last word on time management comes from one of my favourite books – “time never changes, the stuff of life never ends, you will never do everything you think you need, want or should do… So you have to decide… What do you want to accomplish in this life? …What is important to you right now? …Start with time for what’s most important…”

Yours in parenting


24 Nov

Time Management: Part 2

Mum juggling everythingKey time management tip for busy mums

I had the honour of working with some wonderful mums over the past 2 weeks who were brave enough to add one more thing to their to-do- list and come along to my free workshops.

These workshops were designed to delve into what time management is for each of us.  Everyone’s situation is unique, but there are some common threads that run though all our lives can hold the key to dealing with time management.  In preparing for this workshop I reflected on my work with mums over the past 4 years and pieced together these threads to identify what we all, as mums tend to struggle with.

What I have discovered is that as mums we…

  • Are on duty 24/7 – it is RELENTLESS, we don’t often get a break
  • Place enormous EXPECTATIONS on ourselves
  • Never feel like we are doing ENOUGH because there is always more to do
  • Often don’t see our SELFCARE as a priority
  • Are EXHAUSTED from all the decisions – big and small
  • Feel GUILTY that whatever we are doing it is not the right thing
  • If we are not making MONEY we don’t feel like we should spend money on ourselves

In line with these threads and in wanting to bring you an acronym to help you remember my tips (I still recall the order of the planets and the colours of the rainbow thanks to my school learnt acronyms!) I offer the following tips…

STRUCTURE – Seek structure that works for you

SUPPORT – You are not alone – work as a family team

   PRIORITISE – Self-care is not selfish

   PLAN & DREAM – Work out your medium & long-term goals

   OBSERVE – Notice how doing things makes you feel

   REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS – It doesn’t always need to be perfect!

   TRUST – Trust yourself! You are doing an awesome job

So my key time management tip for busy mums is to seek internal and external support.


1) Seek internal support by looking inwardly as summarised above, doing our own internal work, which is totally within our control.

2) Seek external support, as shown in my diagram above. To seek external support from those around us who support us not only in our day-to-day endeavors, but also help us to understand what is going on within us.

The truth is that time is finite, we can’t make any more of it. So it is what we choose to do with our time that is important

I realise that these tips are not just about time management, but also about life in general. Remove time from the equation and it boils down to what is important to us and ultimately who we want to be…

I feel that this post is inadequate in that I have not provided the stories and reasoning behind the ‘tips’ as I did in my presentation. I am endeavouring to work out how to record my free workshop presentation which would allow you a deeper experience… so stay tuned as I get that to work… (I am feeling a little technologically challenged right now… but I keep telling myself doesn’t need to be perfect!)

Yours in support


03 Nov

Time Management: Part 1

Mum juggling everythingWhy is time management particularly tricky for parents?

Our free workshop this month is all about Time Management Tips for Busy Mums. We are running two workshops in Warwickshire and would love to see you there if you get the chance.  Register here.  As the lead up to Christmas has begun we all find ourselves in an even more time poor state than usual during this busy time of year!

Time Management will be the topic of my next 3 blog posts. In each one we will look at different aspects of time management and the last one will include a free worksheet. If this post looks familiar that might be because you saw a condensed version of it in the latest Warwickshire Families Magazine…

There are no easy answers or quick fixes when it comes to time management. For most of us being a parent often means operating while overwhelmed. Our time management is particularly complex with lots of variables! So what makes it particularly tricky for us? Everyone’s situation is unique but here are a few thoughts…

  1. Unpredictability – The needs of the family are constantly changing. Different phases require different strategies. Humans are programmed to look for patterns so it’s a problem when there is often no pattern, or just as one begins to emerge – something changes! Try to relax into the chaos, know that you are doing the best that you can and that everyone else is dealing with this too! 
  1. Contaminated time– sometimes also called fragmented time. This is mental pollution that comes from having to deal with so many things at once, (for example – while writing this article I am also cooking dinner, baking a birthday cake, monitoring homework and writing the shopping list) and making it difficult to focus on one thing and feel like you are doing it well or even finishing it! Accept that occasionally it is important to isolate yourself, take time to recharge and allow yourself the luxury of focusing on one thing until it is done.
  1. Expectations – We all have expectations of what we should be able to achieve. Our expectations combined with what we believe others think we should achieve can create stress and anxiety. Look closely at where should is showing up in your life and ask yourself why you think you should.
  1. Proactive vs. Reactive – We hardly ever get a chance to take a step back and determine what we want and consciously aim for it – instead we are reacting to each crisis as it comes along. Setting aside time to plan (monthly, weekly or daily – your choice) can help with this.

Hang in there. You are doing a better job than you think. Only about 10% of our thoughts are conscious, so no wonder we feel like we are often on autopilot, because we are! Parents are constantly juggling priorities, making decisions big and small. Add things like a bit of sleep deprivation, a house move or a sick loved one to the list and it is no wonder we often feel overwhelmed.

Yours in overwhelm!



28 Oct

Why I choose to work with mums

When I began coaching I hesitated for years to specialise and say I was a particular type of coach. The nature of coaching is that it is of benefit to everyone (if they are open to it). I am also fundamentally opposed to any type of discrimination. I felt guilty about excluding anyone from accessing coaching and so I remained a general ‘life coach’ to feel like I was being inclusive.

img_5375As time has gone on I now see the advantage in specialising. It helps my clients feel comfortable that coaching is for them. So when I speak to mums on my website, in my advertising, in my blogs, that is not to say I won’t coach other people! Just ask me, I am happy to coach anyone, from any background. In fact I would love to expand out to developing programmes for dads and perhaps teenagers too sometime in the future. But I do feel a deep connection with mums (being one) and the job that we do. Not that dads don’t do it too, but everyone’s situation is unique and I feel that if I serve mums exclusively in my group coaching that mums will feel more comfortable to join in and to see that coaching really is for them – as a parent, as a woman and as a worthwhile human being – not just as an executive in a company.

With ease and joy