Parents suffer from separation anxiety too

As our babies and kids go through the different developmental phases we often come across separation anxiety. It’s normal for little ones to feel separation anxiety. I remember reading lots about it when Big Munch was around 9 months old. I’ll be away from my two girls and Mr.H soon as I head off to the Mom 2.0 blogger conference in Orlando. I know I have mixed feelings about being away. So, what about the parents and their own separation anxiety?  

Are they going to be OK? It’s a question we ask ourselves as parents each day. It could be the nursery drop-off or saying bye at nap-time. We can’t constantly watch our kids and have to trust that they will be OK. However, they’re so little and it’s natural that we worry about them. That’s why I’m sure it’s normal for us parents to suffer from separation anxiety too. We’re only human right?

Photo by Katrina Campbell Photography

Trusting others…A big part of parental separation anxiety is knowing that our kids are being well looked after. We have to start trusting other grown ups to look after our precious babies. We have to trust our children’s independence. It’s something I want my girls to feel. I never wanted them to be super-clingy babies as I knew I’d be going back to work after maternity leave. For the first time, me and Mr H went away together on our own and to another country. We knew our girls would be fine staying the weekend at my Mum’s. It still felt strange knowing that they wouldn’t be able to see both of us over the weekend. 

Missing out…Kids are constantly developing. When we have to leave them at nursery or childcare we don’t always get to see their new tricks first time round. Parents can feel like they’re missing out. It’s like parenthood FOMO.  Not being together doesn’t mean not sharing special moments at other times. In fact being part can make us value the family hang out time we enjoy together. 
Getting used to it…I remember my parents working long hours when I was little. Working is part of life. It means we will be apart from our kids. Everyone’s getting used to doing their own thing during the day. As a mum I need my time out and I’m glad my two girls are getting used to seeing their mummy go off to work or her events at the weekends. I hope see this will encourage their own independence when they’re older. 

Will they be OK without us? We are their parents and they need us everyday. We’re their ultimate comfort blanket. I worry about if or when they feel upset or may hurt themselves and need a cuddle. All they might want at that moment is their mummy or daddy. What I’ve learnt is that kids can be really adaptable. They find their different sources of support. They also quickly move onto the next activity. 

Tearful goodbyes…Last week it was tears all round. Toddler Munch has started a new nursery and she just didn’t want to go in. Usually she’s OK with nursery but seeing her so upset brought out the tears in me too. I felt bad leaving her knowing she wasn’t in the mood for hanging out with new grown ups and kids. For the first time I felt a rush of hardcore mum guilt. I was leaving her when she was really upset but I had to go to work. Knowing how busy she would soon be at nursery helped my separation anxiety. 

Everyday reunions…One thing that distracts me from separation anxiety during the day is knowing we will be back together again. You’ve got to love the excited hello’s and cuddles at the nursery pick up. When I come home from my trip I’m excited about walking in through the front door and being greeted with some serious hugs from my two girls. 

Do you think parents suffer rom separation anxiety? What helps children to feel OK when they’re away from their parents? Any tips for me when I’m away from my children next week? Let me know what you think too. 

How do we explain sad events like bereavement to our children? 

We want our children to grow up in a happy world. We want them to see and appreciate the good in people. We want them to grow up to be good people themselves. Sadly, we are unable to control the outside world. During our own childhoods and lifetimes we would have experienced sad events, whether they were in the news, or closer to our home, our families and our hearts. So how do we explain sad events like bereavement to our children? Continue reading

Dealing with FOMO – the fear of missing out

The fear of missing out. FOMO contains a big word: fear. None of us want to fear anything do we? It can affect us from childhood, in our teens and in our grown up years. Even my girls have a bit of FOMO. Why end the day and have to go to bed? Last night I heard “I want to come in your room Mummy” a hundred times as Big Munch must have known I was planning my outfits for the week. Coming back to the grown up world, with people more on social media we can see what others are doing, where they’re hanging out and what they’ve been invited to. Here’s some tips on how to deal with FOMO – the fear of missing out.   Continue reading

Forty ways to look after yourself

At the London Lucky Things Meet Up in January, the theme was looking after yourself. Not only did we hear tips from one of the UK’s leading mindfulness experts Dr.Tamara Russell, we also heard each other’s ideas for taking care of ourselves. I encouraged the attendees to think of a nurture wish they would like to pursue during the following month. I didn’t suggest something for the whole year as sometimes you just need to try things out. It had to be something that would be good for them as individuals. So what better way to kick off my 40th year with a list of 40 ways to look after yourself. These are just 40 of the nurture wishes people shared with me at the Lucky Things Meet Up. Enjoy this list and hope it also offers a bit of self-care inspiration…

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Why failure can be a good thing

Failure. It’s not a word a lot us like to hear is it? It’s viewed as the opposite of success. But is it always a negative thing? As a word, it gets a raw deal. It makes us feel bad, when we can try and take away the good bits out of it. The word failure can even scare people. It can stop people from trying things out that might go well. What will people think of us if we fail? How are we going to move on after a bit of failure? In some situations, I think there are lots of things we can learn from failure. It can actually help us out. So here’s seven things that are good about failure.

  1. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not…We are not super-beings. Yes we’re masters at juggling all kinds of things and winging it through life. But we can’t do everything. So accept that failure is going to crop up here and there.
  2. It teaches us something we didn’t know before…When something doesn’t go to plan, it’s always a chance to learn something. Failure teaches us about ourselves but also about things that are beyond our control.img_5914
  3. We know for next time!..Ever experienced a failure and then afterwards saying to yourself “That won’t happen again!”? Sometimes it shows us what we’re not comfortable doing. It also hows us what we can try differently next time. So don’t let failure put you off trying out things again. Failure can happen for a number of reasons, some might not affect things next time.
  4. It’s part of the journey…Whatever we’re trying to do or work on, dealing with a bit of failure on the way is part of moving closer to success.
  5. It doesn’t mean we are complete failures as human beings…Just because something goes wrong it doesn’t mean we are failures or incapable. It also doesn’t mean that things won’t go right next time.
  6. It happens to everyone…It really does. Anyone you admire – bet they’ve experienced some kind of failure. At some point everyone has failed in their life. Not everything can be plain sailing. Some people are better at hiding at managing their failures than others. Some people are more comfortable about experiencing failures. Some don’t realise they’ve failed and keep going anyway. Failure doesn’t discriminate so it can affect all of us at any point.
  7. It actually makes us stronger…When you’ve experienced things going wrong, the experience makes us more resilient and more importantly more aware.

Check out next week’s blog on top tips on how to deal with failure.

Over to you…What do you think about the word failure? How does it make you feel? How do you deal with failures?

Mummuddlingthrough

Top tips on looking after yourself

Where are the weeks going? There is always lots to do so it’s important we take time to look after ourselves. If we look after ourselves then I believe we’re also able to feel more confident and focused.

It was pretty cool sharing my top tips for looking after yourself to an inspiring crowd at the Lucky Things Meet Up in January. I wrote these top tips especially for the event. As promised, I wanted to share these on the blog too. I know I’ll be looking back at this list throughout the year! Here you go… Continue reading

Mindful shopping – guest post by Antonia, Tinker Tailor Online

This weekend we have the first Lucky Things Meet Up of 2017 where Dr Tamara Russell is chatting about mindfulness. I didn’t realise that we could practice a bit of mindfulness to so many everyday things. As Tamara says, it’s not about going off and meditating on a mountain. So I asked Antonia from the lovely lifestyle blog Tinker Tailor Online for her views on how we can be mindful when we’re shopping. The sales are still on so I’m sure a few of us are still on the look out for some last minute bargains. So over to Antonia…

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Mindful shopping

I really enjoyed catching up blogs and social media over the Christmas holidays and I spotted a common thread: to buy better, to support small businesses and to make more considered purchases. It got me thinking about my own shopping habits and how January is traditionally a month when we all tighten our financial belts.

Since we’re talking shopping habits, resolutions and money I’ll come right out and tell you that I am a compulsive shopper, I am extremely suggestible and delighted to be swept up in any retail experience. It gives me a real buzz!

Shopping is a very physical thing for me. I feel a heady excitement when I enter certain shops or spot an item that I love, I make snap decisions then gleefully head to the cash desk without giving my shopping list or my budget a second thought. If you are anything like me the festive season can leave you with a bit of a financial hangover come the new year.

Those of you who regularly read my blog Tinker Tailor Online will know that I took my first steps towards practicing mindfulness this year and whilst I am no expert, I do believe that the practice helps to improve your quality of life so I do my best to spend a few minutes a day with my mindfulness app. Mindfulness helps you to experience the moment, to be aware of what is actually going on and to see the bigger picture. It is the opposite of being on autopilot which incidentally, is exactly how I shop.

There is some evidence to suggest that mindfulness training can be an effective tool in combating the compulsive shopping behaviours that lead to overspending. I would definitely benefit from being more in control of my emotional shopping habits so I spoke to mindfulness expert and founder of No More Shoulds, Amy Malloy who identified being on autopilot as the principle cause for some of the challenges that lead to overspending. Between us we put together some simple and helpful tips on how to be more mindful when shopping and how to make considered purchases that will help you to stay on budget and potentially save you money.

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Ways to practice mindfulness tips in your daily routine

We’re hearing more and more about mindfulness. Life is getting more complicated, with and without the use of technology. Lots of people spend time living online. I’m looking forward to hearing Dr Tamara Russell chat about mindfulness at the next Lucky Things Meet Up at the end of January. So I thought I’d share a few tips on how you can use mindfulness in everyday life and weave it into your daily routine. Continue reading