What are you learning

Thinking about the essential skills that we learn as Mums, as parents, as well leading our own life, I thought I would write up all the things we can be grateful for as a way of appreciating what an important role it is we play during our lifetime in bringing up our children in the best way we can, and more so, whilst I am on a job hunt myself, to help us really appreciate the transferable skills we are learning and taking on board, and take that opportunity to celebrate ourselves and our achievements.

I don’t know about you, but I do sometimes compare my childhood back then to my kids’ childhood now, and in the process, I do have to stop myself as things are very different now. The challenges we are facing now with all this extra technology in the mix does make parenting a tough one as we really are dealing with a whole new generation of kids with much higher expectations. Having to navigate our way through it all “on the job” means we are always learning by experience and sometimes accidentally take a wrong turning or hit obstacles, but the key is to get back on track, to breathe and start afresh. With all the extra pressure kids themselves face at school, it is also tough for them too. At the same time though, we do still have all the other usual stuff to digest and tackle as parents so now it’s time to really appreciate the job you do and how amazing you really are:

  • As well as managing our kids’ social calendar, timekeeping and logistics, not forgetting the housework, we are ultimately responsible for managing their health, education and nutrition, including any related appointments (online or face to face) at school and after school hours.
  • We get to build great experience in multi-tasking, juggling different demands and deadlines on a daily basis, being proactive, setting priorities and paying good attention to detail.
  • We get to improve, develop and refine our organisational and people skills as we become responsible for organising yearly events including birthday parties and special family functions which can involve any number of people.
  • We get to develop a “can do” but at the same time, flexible attitude, especially with any last-minute changes that may arise and devising a new plan normally with little notice.
  • We are ultimately the best advocates for our children, and we do our best to make sure their educational, physical and emotional needs are met, though sometimes we can be met with obstacles.
  • As a parent, we have plenty of opportunity to develop the ability to engage and communicate with a wide range of audiences (for eg. teachers, SENCO, healthcare professionals, local council) depending on the needs of the child. We do this using different mediums, which allows us to practice good writing skills, exercise diplomacy and build trusted relationships.
  • We also get to develop a higher level of resilience in ourselves whilst managing different behavioural issues, whilst at the same time, being consistent in how we teach our kids to grow up to become good human-beings, especially when they transition into secondary school and beyond.

During my time as Mum and due to the nature of the role, I have grown to become more proficient in managing my own self-care (as best as I can!) and love to encourage others to follow suit as this is so important. I am always doing my best to improve myself and my daily habits to be the best version of myself I can be.

Although everything isn’t perfect and rosy all the time, everything that needs to happen always does need scheduling, even if it is self-care time, so my diary does need to be updated and looked at often to remind myself of the to-do’s. Ultimately, if I don’t make things happen, they don’t always happen naturally and time just disappears. Time is so precious, we must make it count as no-one knows what tomorrow holds.

There is a lot of stuff to take on board, and maybe you have more to add to the mix too?

Once you have taken some time to reflect, now we can take some time to stop and appreciate ourselves and all that we do along with all the beauty and love that surrounds us. Everything always feels much better once we have taken the time to stop, breathe and experience life as it is in the present and letting go of everything else for a short while – you can always get back to your to-do list later on.

Enjoy your day.

All you need is love

I have recently discovered the author Christie Barlow through subscribing to Kindle Unlimited. So far, I have been reading individual books and not necessarily been drawn to a particular author for too long, and books normally can take a while to plough through as I read 10-20 minutes here and there when I can in between everything else. I do incorporate reading into my bedtime routine when I can though I do have to sometimes choose between reading and meditating as there isn’t always enough time (or energy!) left in the day to do both.

There are a whole series of rom-com books she writes all based (so far from what I’ve read) in the Scottish Highlands. I’m now on book number 3 and getting quite addicted!

“Love Heart Lane” is the first book in the series.

There are 12 books in total in this particular series so it will keep me occupied for a while – they are great escapist novels, and a fab way to switch off from the “to do” list of your day, especially with some relaxing music in the background with headphones. I really like the realness of the characters and how down to earth they are. As I work my way through the books, I feel like I am getting to know the amazing community of people that live there in this small village.

It is essentially a romance novel but which also really focuses on that sense of community love and spirit aswell, and how they all help each other in tough times. It’s an uplifting read especially when you see the light starting to shine at the end of the tunnel with the presence of love and community support, all helping them to work through some serious stuff as well as family and relationship issues we may at some point experience too in everyday life. We see how love (alongside hope and positivity) just melts them all away. It’s a novel that gives you that “cosy” feeling, but also, at the same time, the characters are so relatable…

The stories are really enlightening as they are also about how the characters chase their dreams whether it’s a particular romance or new business they want to set up to help bring that extra joy into their life that they need whether it be in memory of someone much loved who recently passed away or else to provide that much needed distraction from the mundanity of everyday life and more importantly, that feeling of self-worth, happiness and excitement inside.

Look at the endless possibilities

I started a painting class this week run by the Art Hub LDN. I wasn’t sure what to expect as even though I am musical, I don’t really see myself as an artist, so I went to the class with the main aim of relaxing, taking that time out that I need to ground myself and dive into increasing my creativity. And of course bringing more joy into my day and starting a new creative habit on a Wednesday morning.

Now the kids are back at school, it gives me time to reassess things and work out how to prioritise tasks during the course of the day. It is tough as there is still a lot of “life admin” and household chores, and it is a challenge to reduce the amount of time and energy they get to consume. However, this year, my two kids are now getting the school coach every morning, so I have some more time and energy on my hands in the morning, which is an added bonus after a long summer!

Change is inevitable whilst I look for more balance, as I embrace this somehow, I have to test the water, seeing what works well and fits into my routine to give me what I need and some more fulfilment….

Anyway, one of the exercises I set out to do in my art class was to paint a repeated pattern in watercolours. It could be a letter, a shape, any kind of squiggle I liked, but I had to paint it over and over again in “cold colours” which basically cover all the darker, deeper colours, blues, purples, greens, or else “warm colours” which cover all the yellows, oranges, reds etc, all those bright colours that normally fill me up with sunshine.

Not sure why, but because I was new, I just started with the darker, “cold” colours, and then as the painting progressed, I realised I should have started with the “warm” colours but there was nothing I could do about it. The painting was darker than I wanted it by the end of the first exercise. Already I was judging myself!

So off I went on a mission to add some speckles of light using some “warm” colours to my picture to make me feel happier about what I was doing. Once that had dried properly, I then went on to use Sharpies over the picture I had painted. I was just following instructions and guidance… I didn’t know what I was going to do with the Sharpie pens but I started drawing hearts in silver as this is a shape I like drawing, my “go-to” shape when I do art. I liked the silver as it was a light colour that stood out nicely amongst all the dark colours, so I drew different sized hearts across the page, which turned into heart balloons.

I then got out my yellow pen and filled in the white bits round the edges and inside the picture to fill it up with specs of sunshine wherever I could. Then I got stuck… It was suggested to me that I experiment with a black Sharpie, which I resisted for a few minutes, as I didn’t want it to ruin what I’d painted and already thought my painting was on the darker side.

Anyway, I started out using a navy pen, as navy is softer than black and would ease me into black later on. I started by drawing in navy the shapes I could see on the painting, and really surprised myself. I loved this activity, because as I progressed through this task, as I drew shapes, I began to see more and more shapes – it was fascinating, and before I knew it, my 2 hours of art time was up, but I still had more to do as the painting wasn’t finished.

Being the perfectionist I am, I had to finish it when I got home otherwise the momentum would get lost and I might not finish it. I didn’t like that thought of leaving things unfinished. So I was brave and chose a black Sharpie pen at home in the end and continued drawing shapes to cover the whole picture.

It’s amazing how lost I got, in a positive way of course, just finding and drawing shapes within what was essentially a simple watercolour painting. It was all very unexpected and a very calming experience. An hour later, I finished it, and felt better about it all – task accomplished!

My journey back to faith

These past five months have been a real challenge for me, probably the most difficult time of my life, just trying to navigate my life as it is now without my Mum…..

Some things have gotten easier of course, like the initial shock, but the intense feelings of sadness and loss don’t really go away, so it is a job in itself trying to manage it all. I do have to go easier on myself when I can and squeeze little pockets of time for myself to settle my nerves, my anxiety, my emotions, especially when things get too much.

A lot has happened these past few months alongside losing my mum, covid, moving house – plus also organising my daughter’s Batmitzvah party and celebrations which has now been and gone which thankfully went really well… so it’s all been a real rollercoaster ride.

Now aswell, we’ve had the school holidays since the end of July, so it’s been full on with the kids keeping them all entertained, playing taxi service getting them to camp, their friends’ houses for playdates, taking them shopping and to their activities. Then, because there’s a bit more breathing space without all the school runs, there is generally a bit more time at home, so it’s been a good time to declutter last year’s stuff, books, uniform, and for us, the house in general as we are still unpacking from the move. It’s a slow process… I’m also organising all my “old school” paper photos that I used to always get printed out from my local pharmacy (or Dad’s pharmacy) after every holiday or birthday celebration once the roll of film was finished. It wasn’t quite so easy to just click on “delete” like we do now when we’ve taken a bad photo!

It really is very hard to just SLOW DOWN… So much to do still but at least the hot weather has forced us to slow down a bit at least; we’ve had an amazingly hot summer this year in the UK.

Fortunately though, I did manage to go away for some quiet time a few weeks ago for two nights – my husband treated me to a trip to the spa whilst he went away to Brighton with the kids (we have also just come back from Tenerife which is where the photo above was taken).

Though I love my kids, I definitely got the better deal… As you can imagine, this mini break was the perfect opportunity to just “be” and connect with myself again, with those things that make me feel calm, at ease, and good inside so I can get back to feeling my more aligned, calmer and happier self.

Whilst I was there, I felt the urge to follow my natural instincts and start writing again. I haven’t really written much in the past few months, over which time I’m sure I’ve been bottling a lot up inside subconsciously. It does feel like the right time to get back into my writing habit, to get out of my own head and put “pen to paper”. My Mum always loved reading what I wrote online which gives me good reason to pursue this.

I have an interesting story to tell to start with…. When I went down for breakfast one morning whilst I was away and told the waiter my room number, number 99, he told me an interesting fact and weird coincidence, that no one ever stays in my room though housekeeping cleans it everyday…. Bizarre right? So I looked up the number to find out what this all might mean. I had been thinking beforehand about how I might be able to communicate with my Mum on a spiritual level, especially as I don’t have the luxury of talking to her whenever I want anymore. However, this number and sign felt reassuring to me that there might be a way through this – it felt like I had her approval by taking that time out at the spa to be still and have that quiet time I needed. It felt like I was moving in the right direction.

I’ve really struggled getting back into being creative again over the past few months, whether it’s with my music or art, but I did start to use my creativity again in the garden about 6-7 weeks ago whilst I’d been planting new things and moving some other bedding plants around to make it look how I wanted it, plus I tidied up some other flowers and took out all the dead leaves and cutting them down a bit. Another form of decluttering, but it did feel quite calming whilst outside, especially in the quiet of the night after my youngest was in bed. I normally leave gardening mostly to the gardener, so I don’t think I did too bad a job all things considered.

It was lovely when the flowers started to grow, especially the red geraniums which really loved the sunshine, and the begonia’s too after I moved them under the rose bush in a more shaded area. It really felt like an achievement to see their growth, and pretty flowers always make me feel brighter. It was also nice to see our tomato plant growing really nicely – they really do love the sunshine too, and it gives my 6 year old son joy to point out to me the tomatoes that have ripened – he now knows to only pick the red ones! We had a few strawberries grow aswell which was nice but we didn’t have quite as many of these and as soon as they grew, they were consumed very quickly…

It seems that in life, especially when things aren’t going quite so well, where there is pain and sadness especially, we do have to focus even more on what we can control, to keep looking for a positive way through it all, continuing day by day to heighten self-awareness, to make sure we do those things that light us up that give us the fuel and energy to enjoy life in the moment. Life isn’t easy and everything happens to us for a reason though we don’t always know why. So instead on focusing on the pain, we need to look out for all the things we can be grateful for by having this experience – lessons are here to be learned and taken on board to be able to move through life in the best possible way.

It’s time to make that choice to enjoy our life whilst we are alive, to live in the moment, to be conscious of what makes you feel good and make that a way of living, and along the way, being gentle with yourself, taking one day or step at a time, so that we are able to discover new, exciting things in life and be guided in the direction of love, compassion and inspiration.

As Dalai Lama said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive”.

The calm after the storm

After a tough couple of months, now some calm has resumed (aside from some major roadworks taking place near where I live making school runs very difficult and car journeys long), I can start to catch my breath a little bit…

With self-compassion and lots of rest and relaxation where possible, I am slowly recovering and getting more of my energy back whilst my body and mind have been processing the loss of my Mum, Covid (which I caught a week after my Mum died), all the “usual everyday family stuff”, preparing for Passover, and then climbing my last big hurdle of moving house, finally settling down in our new home which me and my family hope to stay in for many years to come. Hopefully, we can put the difficulties faced in the past 13 months behind us and look forward to all the exciting things to come.

Slowing down hasn’t been an easy task with so much overwhelm, but over time, whilst I piece together some of the puzzle pieces of my life, music and singing is playing an important part in helping me to start feeling more myself again as I continue my weekly choir sessions, and I also started recently organising some karaoke nights out too with friends. Focusing on the positive things I can do for myself to get my energy and strength back is a big help, as I know this is where I am happiest, when I am feeling strong and energised.

Pacing myself each day seems to be the only way to get through it all, with the support of my family too. Accepting that I was unable to get back to “normal” straight away was a big adjustment to make especially when there was so much to do and think about already.

Grief is a new experience for me so I do have to go with the flow and listen to what my body is telling me. Bottling up my emotions does me no good, as for everyone else too – all that happens is that it just stays stored in your body and causes anxiety, stress or pain.

Releasing emotions in a healthy way is always a good thing. I am still on a steep learning curve in learning to deal with those “big emotions” which I’m told should get easier over time as I find better ways to cope, and hopefully over time, I can find more positive ways of releasing those emotions and frustrations trapped inside my body and channel those energies into something good. I am slowly getting back to playing my flute more often than I have been which feels great. I must pick up my paintbrushes soon too as I know first hand creativity is a great calming outlet.

Since my mum passed away, it’s like I’m missing a part of me, it’s hard to explain… But even though I can’t physically see her, I can still at least feel her presence within me, her love sprinkled around me, watching my every step in how I go about my life now, songs I hear on the radio that she used to love, flowers I love to buy, little reminders of all that she loved – and using my heart’s intuition, I try my best to stay connected within myself where I can and cherish those happy memories I had with her whilst she was alive.

 “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Look inside

I had a conversation with my daughter this afternoon after pick up about strawberry Yoyos, a dried rolled fruit snack that kids love in the UK, and thought I’d make a little tale about it as I thought it was a meaningful way to end the day and start the weekend.

I had two packets. My youngest who is 5 wanted the perfectly packaged one and really didn’t want the crumpled one, so I asked my 10 year old to have the crumpled packet as I thought she could handle this as she was the older one, and does it really matter now it looks on the outside if it’s the same shape and texture on the inside.

She wasn’t happy about it as she thought it would be all crumpled and ruined on the inside, but I showed her when I opened it that it was just the packaging that was crumpled on the outside – everything else was perfect and whole inside. She then smiled and finally understood me.

Moral of the story: Don’t judge how things look on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts most ❤️

Mums are something special

In honour of my Mum who sadly passed away on the 26th March after a long 10 year battle with Motor Neurone disease, and as it’s my birthday today, I thought I would reflect on what I can be grateful for on this precious day and celebrate the miracles:

– Being born to a mum who showed me so much love, compassion and kindness over the years, and her love, support and guidance has made me who I am today. Without her, I wouldn’t have been born…

– The joy she brought to my life, the happy memories before she was ill, the fun, the laughter, the shopping trips, family time and holidays.

– Even during the time she was ill, she was still amazingly positive despite all the physical challenges she had to face, the emotional hardship and frustration at every new stage of deterioration that she had to learn to accept and adapt to over the years. She had such a strong, resilient mind and a positive spirit inside of her, right until very near the end, and I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend talking to her as much as I did. She always loved hearing what we were all up to, she loved all her grandchildren so much too and loved hearing about their tales and what they get up to at school and outside activities too.

– She was a great support for me the past year especially whilst we were house hunting which was a year-long process. I’m so glad me and my family got to celebrate with her when we finally exchanged on our new house only a few weeks ago. She was so happy, we were all so relieved the worst of it was over and now we could start getting excited about the move, and she shared that joy and excitement with us.

– My Mum also enjoyed playing bridge, and one of her good friends told me she played bridge online even just using the one working finger until the last possible moment she could. She really fought until the very end.

– It was a miracle, she managed to survive the pandemic and not catch covid, so I had more time to spend with her. Even in the days I would go round and talk to her through the window, she still remained so positive. Lockdown was hard for us all, but really for my mum, this is what her life was like on a daily basis, especially when it wasn’t easy to go out much anymore and she was very much housebound. I am however really grateful that Mum had such good carers (and my Dad too of course) and also for the friendship that she built with them, and the new styles of cooking she got to taste and experience which made life a bit more interesting – they were all from a variety of countries, Somalia, Russia, Hungary and the UK.

– My Mum had such a generous nature. She always loved taking me shopping for clothes when I was younger, and we often made a day of it and ate lunch out. Even during the beginning stages of the disease, when she was independent enough still and using the scooter, I remember going shopping with her to M&S, and I remember she bought some purple flowers, some for her but also some for me too – it gave her such joy to give them to me. Purple is one of my two favourite colours and I love flowers too.

– It is such a hard thing to lose control over your whole body that it’s made me feel even more grateful for what I have and the importance of looking after yourself and enjoying life whilst it lasts. My Mum loved going to the spa – when I was 18, she took me to Champneys, which I enjoyed then and even now, I do love a nice spa break and the pampering that goes along with that. She always took pride in how she looks, going to the hairdresser every week in the traditional way women used to do, putting on make-up most days, wearing nice, smart clothes, getting her nails done, all of which I now realise was all part of her own self-care.

– Especially when it was hard to talk to her over the phone, music became a way I used to connect with her on the days I wasn’t able to see her. I am grateful for the encouragement my mum gave me playing the flute, writing, learning languages, to do all those things that inspired me despite my challenges with hearing loss. She always managed to say the right thing to make me feel good. My mum did also love listening to a variety of different music – more so classical and opera – though I never remember her playing an instrument.

– I am grateful for my Mum’s positive spirit that will always live inside of me and will never be forgotten. She always managed a radiant smile even though things were getting really tough for her. She was very much like her Mum, my Nana, who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life and had a big heart.

What can you be grateful for today?






Have you completed your stress cycle?

This year, I decided to pick the word Healing as the word that’ll be my “power word” for the year as this is the year I feel I need to really focus on all that I need to do to heal my body from all the chaos, pain and stress from last year, as I realise now that stress takes a big toll on how my body feels, how much pain I am in and how overwhelmed and unproductive it can make me feel if I don’t pay attention to it enough.

Therefore, I have been creating space for myself to heal the past few months, and in doing so, I am making a conscious effort wherever possible to not overwhelm myself so much, which for me as a Mum, is a very easy habit to slip back into…

I’ve recently re-read the audible book called “Burnout” and it’s been really interesting listening to it all over again on my car journeys to and from school (without the kids in the car of course!). Part of the reason why my pain lessens when I do certain creative or self care activities is because I am completing the stress cycle… We all hold a lot of stress within our body from all of life’s stresses and challenges that come upon us, which can cause pain. I know have a constant need to release and “complete” my stress cycle…. But due to my long “to do lists” and not always making myself a priority enough, I don’t always release it as and when I need it. This is however in working progress!

With this in mind, I have been looking to find more ways to improve my energy levels, to fill my cup with more joy, self-fulfilment and nourishment, to propel myself through this year which will also be a busy, stressful one, but ways to positively push through and making myself more of a priority and not letting my wellbeing slip by the wayside.

Creativity is something I have decided to make more of a priority as I really feel that there are strong, powerful links between your wellbeing and how creative you are as a person. I have felt recently called to focus on how I can explore my creative self, which can include 10-15 minute blocks of random musical improvisation on my flute, a series of weekly flute workshops, singing in my weekly Rock Choir group, as well as keeping up my passion for writing. I have also been exploring my artistic skills in signing up to a new membership group “Tend your heart” (see my last blog “What’s the story morning glory“). Just creating little routines that I can look forward to and which help to energise my mind and body, getting me that bit closer to my desires for my future, and stepping into that “being” that I want for myself in the future, claiming that for myself right now in this moment.

“If you want light to come into your life, you need to stand where it is shining” (Quote by Guy Finley)

What’s the story morning glory

About two weeks ago, I started a 5 day art Heart to HeART challenge (which actually took me about 13 days to do around all the usual “family stuff”) run by creative self-care coach, Liz Chamberlain. It was great actually, I really enjoyed the experience.

I haven’t practiced art much since before GCSEs when I was at secondary school though I’ve done the odd bit of colouring since, nothing major. I didn’t take it at GCSE level as I preferred to do Latin, something I thought I would do well at, and not something like art as I didn’t think I was very good at it. Though I do remember liking the art of drawing objects that were in front of me, or copying pictures. But to draw pictures on my own without any guidance…. really, I’m no good at that kind of stuff on paper. I get really “stuck” with creating these kind of improvisational works of art, wondering am I doing this right, mistakes being made along the way… Ugh, I hate making mistakes as I’m a perfectionist and want it to look nice, to look right. And what if I make a mistake with the colours I choose, especially if I make it too dark, and how can I change it to become more of what I like to make me feel happy about what I have spent time and effort producing, that feeling of achieving something good.

These were my thoughts as I travelled along the journey of this art challenge not knowing what was in store for me. I initially started the course thinking I would do it for the fun of it and see what happens and comes up for me. Couldn’t do me any harm, and if anything, it could well do me a lot of good, and calm down my life a notch and make me feel more grounded.

So off I went and started the challenge using watercolours, but then to go deeper, I had to start using the acrylic paints I bought… I’ve never used these types of paint before so it was all feeling quite new to me. Depending on the technique I was using, I either used it neat as it was, or added some water to it. I ended up making 5 different versions of my one painting over the course of 5 sessions. It was hard work sticking with it as all sorts of feelings came up as I didn’t like what I saw at the beginning, especially when the painting had gotten too dark, but then gradually, I kept adding another layer, brightening it up as I went along with the colours that make me feel brighter, especially after the clouds of darkness appeared on my painting the second day into the challenge, so I started on Day 3 with the colour yellow to let the sunshine in.

Every day brought up a variety of emotions. I was hesitant about building on my picture after Day 4 as I thought this picture was finished and I couldn’t do much more with it, but somehow, I managed to push through this on the final day of the challenge, developed this painting some more and ended up by surprise going along with my intuition and making the yellow bits more of a pink colour and added some sparkle with my new gold metallic pens. By the end, I was happy and the picture looked like it was shining a bit more, like the sun, with all my favourite colours and shapes included in the picture.

I didn’t feel so awful at art by the end of it. I found it quite a relaxing activity I realised I can easily squeeze into my home life, and with my goal of adding more calm and as a way of building upon my creative self care practices that I already do like playing the flute and writing. I ended up signing up to the new monthly membership group, Tend your heart as a follow up to this challenge to help me keep up my new creative self-care habits. Hopefully, it’ll help reduce the overwhelm and stress of daily life, and to help power me through 2022 which is going to be a crazy but exciting year for me!

What can you do to thrive

Wow, what a rollercoaster of a year… If ever there was a way to pack a year with so many challenges and overwhelm, 2021 was the year. Which is why we have to make a serious effort to sit down and think about what positive bits we can pull from this past year as this really helps us move forward this year in a more positive light.

Sometimes we do have to walk through the “mud”, the stress, the hardships, the pain, to then see some light at the other end of the tunnel. It is difficult making those steps in the middle of all of it when you can’t see the light, but we have to remember and remind ourselves each step of the way that it’ll all be worth it in the end, continually taking those positive steps even though they may seem tiny and insignificant at the time, and absorb those lessons we have learned from our experience and even more importantly, our achievements in the process, the moments we can celebrate ourselves.

Not enough time is being spent on actually looking at ourselves and thinking about what we can actually celebrate about ourselves instead of focusing on all the negative stuff.

I realised once I wrote my last blog, crikey I haven’t written a blog since the New Year’s Eve of 2020!! Time passed so quickly with all the overwhelm of 2021 without even realising… If you haven’t read my last blog, this what I am referring to! So, without too much thought, I automatically started to delve into the negative, judging myself for it all. However, when I caught my breath for a moment, I remembered that although the second part of the year was consumed with moving house, the first part was in fact consumed with completing my Copywriting Diploma, an online course run by the College of Media and Publishing), which I did and got a distinction in! All of which felt really good, and validated my passion in writing and made it feel like it’s all been for a worthwhile cause, restoring my faith and belief in myself. This was a big achievement at the time as I did this course during the last lockdown, around all the chaos with the kids which wasn’t easy at all. If you have experienced lockdown as parent, you know what I am talking about!

Another big transition we got through last year aside from getting through the lockdowns, was getting hearing aids finally for my son who struggled with moderate hearing loss throughout the whole of Reception last year (and with a whole load of wax stuck in his ear, the hearing loss did become quite severe).

This academic year, we “pressed rewind” and he repeated Reception so that with the hearing aids, he would get the full benefit of all the learning that he missed out on last year, including of course the phonics which is the main part of his learning, all of which had such an impact on his speech, language and social skills. It was amazing how even over the summer, his language skills improved after lots of time to chill at home with family and time at day camp, but even more so since he’s been wearing his new hearing aids. He finally got them late August after a long, tedious journey getting him tested and wax finally out of his ears (it’ll be a story to tell him when he is older!). Now, he’s a totally different child at school compared to how he was last year. So much more confident, his social skills are so much better, and he’s keeping up with the learning this year. Such a hard decision keeping him back a year, moving class and out of his comfort zone, but it was the best decision made. A decision that will really impact his whole experience at primary school, and beyond, that will enable him to be happy and not always be struggling and falling behind.

That is a lesson in itself, making that decision for him not to struggle, and instead focus on him thriving and being instead a happy and confident child. Though it is easy for us to forget our own needs for happiness and to thrive in life, adults and parents can learn from this too…

“You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness” (Diane Von Furstenberg)