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

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!