A time to reflect

I suppose summer hols should be used as a chance to stop, standstill and reflect into the windows of our world.

I’m a manic, single, career mum who rides on the adrenalin of keeping all the balls in the air. Stopping and just chilling feels alien and hence rather a lot of blogs all of a sudden!

My thoughts of today are hovering over all that is our family’s divided life. A product of a single parent I have a lot of experience to draw upon, but when I got married it was a ‘forever’ vow for me. I have always had a determination not to bring my kids up with split parents. I now do feel naive and a ‘numpty’ really! As Britain has highest divorce rates in EU at nearly 50%. But despite a lot of awkward and desperate days the husband’s philandering got too much.

With wonderful hindsight, I can guarantee I’m happier, but there will always be the regular hurt and disappointment of not being able to give my kids the cohesive 2.4 I always longed for as a kid.

With external objectivity everyone who meets us comments on how happy we all are, so must be doing something right-may be I over compensate though. I regularly burn myself out juggling being MD, mum, mate and MILF haha! ensuring I do school pick up, cook all meals as well as after school club chaos in between directing all business activity, going out with the girls and running Marathons. Knackered just writing it down!

Dating seems to be last on my priority list. The ex seems to have easily shifted his gear up a knotch (not surprising) and after this holiday I will have the heart wrenching debacle that is him introducing the kids to his new partner.

Lots of reflection and more to follow…


Travel style

The all important travel outfit x4!

Never easy to stay smart, comfortable and kids stain-free throughout. Trick is simple, fuss-free especially with airports asking you to literally strip off if you beep!

Keeping the kids cool, clean and looking half decent is a trick in itself and I do admit to feeling proud when they behave and look good too 🙂 blame my grandmother’s Victorian standards! Gold stars for the kids they were fab from start to finish.

The two boys donned trilbys and matching Gap shirts with trendy Toms whilst the Princess Diva that is my daughter (not sure where she gets that from!) swished her way through the crowds in a cool cotton joules dress and straw hat.

Me. A thin bright neon jersey dress from H&M (this summer bargain less than £10!) which was a tad too hot in the queues but then a bit chilly on the plane-never can win that travel battle unless you carry numerous layers which is not for me-bag was already filled with kiddie entertainment and essentials, no space spare! Matching neon shopper, acupuncture flip flops (comfy but not sure if their medical benefits kicked in!) and striped straw hat from Accesorize.


School’s out for summer!

Well we did it, first time as solo flyer with three kids, two heavy cases and a full flight to Spain. Despite the 4.30am start, the car was packed last night and so it was literally get dressed and drive.

Airport was heaving with holidaymakers making their costa del sol exodus and this time I’ve signed up to follow the European invasion with my three intrepid travellers (age 7,5 and 3). Hot, sweaty and manic Manchester airport is never the most relaxing start to a break, but we did it with very little stress – wow.

kids seemed to have a sense of staying close and they had their own wheelie cases to pull as novelty that thankfully didn’t get boring. Their cases packed to the brim with new books, colouring, nibbles and the obligatory DS in desperation!

We’re heading to a sporty, kid-friendly safe haven for our first time doing it alone – La Manga here we come. We’ve been before so a little less intimidating than a completely new holiday as a singleton. To be honest you could be anywhere-not an authentic tapas bar in sight, but for a family break it ticks all the boxes…safe, plenty of kids, sports clubs, pools and dozens of cafes.

Easy on the energy is the mantra for this summer! Not done the cheapest but definitely the easiest-meet &greet parking at airport, hire car delivered to villa and tennis club booked to give mum a free hour each day-cant wait!

Being solely responsible for three dinky dots under 7 abroad is pretty hardcore but when it all falls into place i feel like supermum! Day one done let the fun begin!



Goalscoring brings smiles everyday

A friend recently asked do I set goals, and that’s pretty much all I do!

Driven? Yes. OCD? Probably!

Lifetime achievements, monthly work goals, personal achievements, weekly to-do’s and micro daily milestones probably fills 90% of my head.

Since the divorce I have been even more aware of identifying what makes me happy and not wasting excess energy on things that don’t. Kids was the obvious answer, but then came career, friends, fitness, style and love. And pretty much in that order I allocate time, energy and resource to those things and make sure I don’t spend much time doing anything that doesn’t fit into those categories. You can get so stressed and pulled in all sorts of directions doing things that really don’t have any positive impact for you or your loved ones.

Sounds very calculated and it is really! I’ve analysed that I subliminally break it down daily…75% of all my time, love and resources goes to the kids, 10% to career, 5% to friends, 5% to fitness and 5% style. I’m afraid love isn’t getting much attention at the moment – one to change!

It obviously fluctuates with some weeks me going out with friends every other night, but if that’s the case in the back of my mind I’m always thinking of finishing early from work to see the kids and going to bed early the other nights so I have energy for work and family. Every day I don’t just have a work ‘to-do’, I have a personal/social and fitness to-do. I always ensure I leave work to pick up and drop off the kids at school/pre-school and toddler group, and always back for tea-time. During my lunch I’ll email friends to sort catching up, I finish work on the dot and ensure I run from the office at least three times/week.

I know that, like my kids, I blossom and bloom with structure and routine, and when I complete a task whether it’s simply fitting in the hoovering or finishing a triathlon it brings a real sense of achievement.

Clear daily, weekly, monthly journeys make for a happy life 🙂

Diaries are Dead!

Syncing makes multitasking a cinch

Manic multi-tasking is a true art-form and women are pretty darn good at it. It comes naturally to most of us and it is the very best and underestimated skill to have on this earth!

The tests start rolling in with kids, the first real test with kids plus work AND the uber test comes with multiple kids, a social life (yup we are allowed!) plus a serious work schedule!

I’m a demon possessed most days and achieve a lot in 24 hours, but when I missed my son’s first non-uniform day my happy world collapsed and the guilt rolled in like a huge thunderstorm. I vowed never again.

I know you can’t always keep all balls in the air and I would have coped if it was a work-thing, but just the forlorn face of my five year-old still haunts me now 😦

So…..I googled, synced and installed plug-ins so now my work, home and social diary is all on my iPhone. This has been the most valuable tool for me to manage the manic circus life!

Every morning I switch it on when I wake and I get reminders beeping at me for school trips, after-school clubs, sports kits needed, dinner money, playdates, my girls nights out, yoga, meetings, awards do’s, when the kids are away, holidays (yes please!). I can create a calendar entry wherever I am-shops, playground, bath, bed (all the obvious thinking hotspots!) and it is immediately uploaded and never lost or forgotten.  I get so engrossed at work that it even beeps at me to remind me to leave the office to do school pick up – my phone beeps, my computer beeps and my Office Manager has my diary and also gives me a shout!

I had a few calendars which I needed to sync but this link here makes it sound so easy:


My mobile is now my world, but luckily it’s synced so if I lose it, it’s all saved in cyberspace and I can use Google calendars on any computer so I’m now safe from the roll of thunder!