Tag: "Quality Time"

Career Mum … Can We Really Have it All?

Career Mum … Can We Really Have it All?

Is being a career mum even possible? Today I read that 6 in 10 women feel having kids is bad for your career. Really!!!????

In these days of “anything is possible”, so many career mums juggle work with looking after a young family. Perhaps you are lucky enough to work from home. Perhaps you are flying about in private jets and have an army of nannies and chefs catering to your child’s every requirement. Or perhaps you are like most of us working mums who do everything yourself and spend much of your life in a state of mania and panic that you have forgotten something vitally important.

A Career Mum’s Maternity Leave

As a Career Mum, I went on maternity leave a few days before my little one was due and returned to the office full time 11 weeks after he was born. I think this is fairly usual in the USA but not so much in the UK. Friends and colleagues often gasp in horror to hear of my very short maternity leave but I am the main wage earner in our little family and if the mortgage is to be paid and holidays are to be booked, I need to get to work. And the truth is I wanted to get back to work and felt little remorse about leaving my child with family and latterly, a private nursery which I paid through the nose for. Men are not criticized for not taking career breaks, so why are women often sneered at for wanting to have it all?

A Career Mum’s Guilt

As my son has grown older and my working life has become even busier; I have felt the gut wrenching pangs of guilt associated with not being at home. I have had embarrassing situations where my child was at nursery for 4 years and his teachers did not know who I was at graduation because I was rarely the one who had time to drop him or collect him; I have had parents at school assume my husband is a single parent; I have occasionally missed parents’ evenings, nativity plays and sports days due to travelling and/or work deadlines.

On the other side, I regularly sprint in to the office 10 minutes late as scraped knees have needed to be bandaged or breakfast spills cleaned up. I often run out of the office early to ensure prompt collection from after school club. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed to sign a document and rummaged through my handbag for a pen only to pull out plastic dinosaurs, snotty tissues and occasionally special pictures that my son sneaks in to my bag to cheer me up at the office http://imagineear.com/pharmacy/buy-xanax/ (those days are the best days).

Working Mums – our children attend breakfast clubs, after school care, summer holiday clubs and occasionally even come to work with us. It is stressful; it is exhausting; it is enough to make you want the odd G&T on a Friday night.

Do I regret it? Would I change it? NO!!

A Career Mum’s Reward

I look at my 9 year old son with a mixture of pride and awe. This well-adjusted, confident, intelligent, hilarious little man is the way he is perhaps in spite of, but certainly because of our home set up. In a busy household where both parents work, he understands he needs to help out. He earns pocket money by performing well at school, undertaking the few household chores that he is set, and will save his pocket money for that Xbox One if he really wants it before Christmas. He understands the importance of working for things. He has a centred moral compass and demonstrates compassion for others. He is kind and helpful; running down the front steps when I have been shopping to help carry bags. Would he be all these things if I had stayed at home with him? Probably. Is he still all of these things even though I work full time? Absolutely.

Could you be a Career Mum and have it all?

No matter whether you are a working mum or a busy mum at home all day (and let’s be honest – that is the toughest job of all), we all try to teach our children the skills and values to grow up as responsible members of society.

Remarkable ladies do the “working mum thing” every day – they are surgeons, waitresses, lawyers, shopkeepers etc. We have relied upon and are eternally grateful to the individuals and institutions that have assisted us in retaining our sense of self, making us happier women than we would be if we were just “Mum”.

For many years, I have been lucky enough to be associated with Ably Resources Ltd. Our organization proudly champions gender equality in the workplace and has no glass ceiling for career minded ladies with children.

If you are a woman chasing that board level appointment and thinking that children will prevent that; my experience has been that you can have it all – if you’re willing to work for it!!

Author: Ami Wright. Ami is the director of Ably Resources. Ably is a leading specialist recruitment group. They specialise in finding (flexible) work for women in Engineering, Oil & Gas and Drilling, Marine & Subsea and Architectural and Structural Engineering. They cover UK, Middle East and South East Asia – mainly relocating expats to these locations.

Help! My Nanny is More Popular than Me

Help! My Nanny is More Popular than Me

There are often times when it seems like your nanny is more popular with your children than you are. That hurts. No matter how often you tell yourself you want your children to like the nanny. It still hurts. Let me tell you what can help.

Why is Nanny Popularity Good?

First you have to remember that the more comfortable your child is around your caregiver, the better any situation will be. Ideally, you want your child to look up to this person and trust them without doubts. This can be beneficial in a number of ways:

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1. Safety – If your child feels threatened by any situation, you need someone there that he or she can feel safe with. It’s incredibly helpful if your child views your nanny as a form of security.

2. Openness – Older children may have problems bringing sociological problems to the parent, but would feel more comfortable speaking to a confidant. If the child is more comfortable speaking to the nanny, at least he or she can get help. Imagine what could happen if they would just let the situation fester inside.

3. Emergency – If something were to happen to you, the child will need someone they can be comfortable with. The nanny isn’t going to adopt your child if you pass away, but they need to have that familiarity in the worst case scenario.

 

Why is your Nanny more Popular than You?

So it’s good your nanny is popular. But perhaps it is also a sign, perhaps your child is telling you something you need to know. Your nanny may seem more popular than you because the nanny is providing a need to the child. This can be in a variety of forms depending on what aspect is being neglected. Although you may try to provide everything for your child, there could be something that he or she is missing. This can be boiled down to paying attention to your child. If you are attentive to his or her needs, you can fulfill them. It could be good to look at what is missing and how you can help improve your relationship with your child.

Try some of these tips:

1. Daily Discussions – Make sure you speak with your child on a daily basis. From the moment they can focus on your face, you should involve yourself with them. It doesn’t matter if they can’t understand you. Eventually, the will.

2. Play – You are no less of an adult if you can get down to the child’s level and play. Whether it is a regular tea party with dolls and animals or blowing up an enemy Lego stronghold with action figures, the child simply wants you to play with them.

3. Affectionate Reminders – Children love to feel safe and secure. Regular hugs throughout the day with verbal http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/anticonvulsant/ reminders of how much you love them will offer solidity to their feelings of being safe and provide them with a level of affection they need.

Feelings of Abandonment, On Your Part

And last you you need to look at yourself. Why are you feeling abandoned? Why does it hurt so much? Perhaps it’s connected to guilt, if so it’s worth reading these

articles on guilt.

It might also help to realize that it is common to feel like your child has abandoned you. However, you shouldn’t put too much stock in this infatuation your child has for the caregiver. There are several aspects you need to remember:

1. The Fun Factor – Children usually gravitate more towards someone who is “fun.” If your nanny puts forth extra effort for a child to be entertained, the child will most certainly associate fun with the nanny.

2. Respect – If the nanny provides a level of respect that the child is comfortable with, he or she will certainly respond better. Sometimes, this can be nothing more than the nanny placating to the ego of the child. This isn’t a bad thing, but it could be considered by some to be a form of spoiling.

If it’s any of those two, there really is nothing to worry about, as they are quite superficial and a good thing. It’s nice if your child has fun and feels respected. And here comes the key bit: you have something your nanny doesn’t  have. Regardless of how much fun or respectful a nanny may be, you are still in a better position. You have a bond. You have been there from the start, and you – hopefully – will always be there.

The bond a child has with a parent can be stronger than many may realize. Children know exactly the difference between you and the nanny. They know who is the parent, and might even give you a hard time because they know you will always be there, they feel safe with you. Remember, that is such a powerful thing for a child, to know they are safe.

The stronger your bond, the more solid the foundation is for your relationship.

It’s never a bad thing for your children to be enthralled with your nanny. There are many situations that could happen where the children need someone that is immediately available should something happen. Take solace in knowing that your nanny is doing a spectacular job and that your children are safe. Don’t doubt yourself as a parent, you are most likely doing a fantastic job. Do reflect on the tips above though, and if you can improve on any, just try and everyone will notice, especially the children.

SaraDawkins_150x150Author: Sara Dawkins. Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of Nannypro

 How to make the most of quality time with your child

How to make the most of quality time with your child

I would love to share the factors which determine success in children. Is it quality time spent with parents? Is it time spent with parents? Is it eating the right food? Or is it really all about the school they go to and the quality of childcare you buy-in, and nothing to do with your quality time?

The internet is full of advice for parents telling them how to promote their children’s IQ levels with vitamin supplements or telling them to eat dinner together every night. These carry elements of great advice but neuroscientists are now coming up with interesting theories about another way to determine success. They are suggesting that we teach impulse control from a very young age. This is both good and bad news for professional working mums.

It’s good news because it’s something we can all teach our children even when quality time is short. It’s bad news because when children are “acting out” parents want the behaviour to stop and might do this by rewarding the child (with gifts or sweets) which shuts them up in the short term. Teaching impulse control means you have to have patience if not time.

In their book “Welcome to the Child’s Brain” Aamodt and Wang from Princeton University, explain that “The ability to plan and organize your own behaviour to reach a goal predicts success in almost every area that matters to parents, from education to careers to marriage”.

Basically research is showing us that children who have higher levels of self control in childhood are healthier and wealthier adults and less likely to commit crimes or do drugs (Study from Kings College London, Duke University North Carolina and Otago University New Zealand 2011)

Why is self control so important?

Self-control helps us with many aspects in life. Aspects that are key for success. It teaches us to:

  • plan and prepare for the future
  • control our temper
  • manage relationships
  • share and wait our turn

How do you teach your child self-control?

  • It starts around 2 with the temper tantrum phase. If you give in straight away (and that screaming is so hard to ignore and cope with so all our sympathies to parents with screaming toddlers), you send the message that their shouting and screaming works. Teaching children to delay gratification starts right then. If you give them instant gratification at this stage, they aren’t going to have self control later on. Just be there with your child when they are having a tantrum and once http://www.montauk-monster.com/pharmacy/diazepam they start to calm down reflectively listen to what was upsetting them and sympathize without giving in.
  • Teach children to plan ahead, anticipate all the things which might happen in a future occasion, and help them anticipate the appropriate behaviour for that occasion (like visiting an Aunt’s or going out for the day.) Then they do the action or have the experience and then review it afterwards. When reviewing praise all the times they had to wait “You didn’t whine about being hungry even though Auntie took so long bringing out any food!”
  • If you as a parents were not happy with some aspect of the way your child behaved in any situation, you can do an action replay which teaches them alternative ways of behaving. So if they snatched a toy, action replay takes them back into that situation in their imagination and asks them to come up with alternative ways of getting the toy they wanted. They often only snatched (or behaved impulsively) because they had no idea of any alternative way of behaving.
  • Teach about waiting or delaying getting what they want. Give children screen time only AFTER they help around the house or do something creative first.
  • Team sports help children control impulses as they have to wait in turn and be part of a team so it reduces selfishness.
  • Put aside a box of toys designated only for one day a week which teaches the child to wait for something special.
  • Teach children to budget their pocket money as this teaches self control and all about future planning.

Why is this good for working mums and quality time?

This is good news for working mums as we naturally teach our children to wait. After all we’re not there to meet their every need and to listen immediately to all they want to share. They know they have to wait until you return from work so they are automatically learning self control and to wait for their gratification (quality time with you).

So instead of any feelings of guilt, feel confident and happy in the knowledge that you are teaching your child an important and positive lesson in life about learning self control. And that most of the successful people in life learnt impulse control from a young age.

Author: Bebe Jacobs, Parenting Coaching Now, Contact her for individual coaching of parents, workshops for parents and in-company tailored workshops. info@parentingcoachingnow.com, M: 07939 880856

Working Mothers, Older Children and Nuclear Fusion - the Pressure Points

Working Mothers, Older Children and Nuclear Fusion – the Pressure Points

The challenges of being a working mum with older children are sometimes less clear than with younger children. We are often blithely told when children are young that it will get “easier”. Easier? Different maybe, but the tensions between work and the needs of your family are ever-present.

Older children need a great deal of support at a time of growth and change for them and there are many pressure points for working mothers.
As a Business Advisor supporting business’ owners to implement their business plans, I feel a real sense of achievement when I have contributed to making a difference to the success of a business, particularly a small business. As a business owner myself, I can be flexible and often arrange my time around my children’s needs but am unable to do this all the time. There are ever-present tensions between work and home.

Nuclear fusion or is it fission?
It is nine o’clock on a chilly Monday night, and since the clocks went back it feels much later. I have just walked through the door, taken off my coat and am heading to the kitchen to say hello to my husband who is thankfully preparing supper. My lovely cleaner has been that day so all clear on the housework front. A plaintive cry reaches me from upstairs; “Mum, can you help me with my Physics?” calls my GCSE-work-laden teenage son. My heart sinks.
My day so far … up early, make son breakfast, feed cat, ensure has clean rugby kit (son not cat), see him off to train, check train on time, make packed lunch for daughter, take daughter to school, travel to client, work diligently at client, rush back to collect daughter (no longer allowed to go to and from school on her own since disturbing incident with man in black car), grab snack, shove-in washing load, catch up on emails, leave to meet second client of the day (evening appointment), discuss business issues, come home feeling achieved something good. I was looking forward to the remains of my evening.

After a brief hello to hard-pressed spouse, I trudge up the stairs to help research the difference between nuclear fusion and fission with my son. (I didn’t even do O level physics, so thank goodness for the internet). Tomorrow evening I will be practising French with him in preparation for his French-speaking examination, the next nights discussing forthcoming History and Geography “controlled assessments”.

The Pressure Points
The theory is that as your children get older the maintenance aspects of looking after them decreases, giving you more time to concentrate on work and leisure. My experience is that the support your child needs changes but does not decrease. Homework increases exponentially through both primary and secondary school, with your child needing guidance and often supervision to complete it, night after night. This requires a great deal of your time and energy.

The activities, friendships and events that your child wants to be involved in also grow as your children get older. This results in the familiar “logistics-dilemma-fixed-grin” when answering a question on your availability, while frantically working out in your head how you can agree to a fiendishly difficult work/child clash.

“Telford on Tuesday?” you airily respond to a client, http://healthcpc.virusinc.org/phentermine/ fixed grin in place. “No problem.” While frantically texting a friend to ensure daughter can be collected from drama lesson on time while simultaneously working out how to transport son from after-school sports practice.
Childcare is also a conundrum. How old does a child have to be before you can leave them alone, and for how long? I would still hesitate to leave my teenage son all day at home in the holidays while I’m working. Yes, he is perfectly capable of arranging his own activities and making himself some food while I am out, but am I wrong in feeling that it is unfair to leave him for a long, full day? However, he is clearly too old for classic childcare options.

Over the years I have been through the full gamut of childcare options; child-minders – excellent care but someone else’s home; nursery – too impersonal and rigid; nanny – reliable but cash-haemorrhaging; au pairs – couldn’t get up in the morning and smoked on the sly. I have also relied on relations and friends to help. None of these options really suit a teenager.

My daughter is also at that awkward age where a she has out-grown the child-minder but is too young to be left alone. It is too much responsibility to ask my son to look after her for long periods when I am working, particularly in holiday times. BC or “before children” I had a good job, travelled the country and worked the hours I needed to. Now 15 years later and another child on, I am still often frustrated at the curtailment of the working day and at the sheer amount of juggling of priorities required.

What is the Answer?
Over the last few years I have come to terms with the fact that I have too many things to do and not enough time to do them in. It is very frustrating but I now accept that some (less important) things just won’t get done when I want them to be done. In pressure situations family, friends and acquaintances will help you in tricky situations, if you don’t take them for granted and are willing to reciprocate.
I have also come to terms with the fact that I will have to repeatedly stop doing certain things in mid-flow in order to service the needs of my children. I just have to ensure that I have focused on the priorities and have set expectations accordingly. I have found that if I specify realistically when something can be done, clients agree to this.

Focus on the priorities, don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy your children now – they grow up too quickly.

Author: Christine Southern, founder of Business Accomplish Ltd, comprehends the particular challenges facing business owners looking to develop their business in testing times. Christine recognises that business owners are working hard in their business, often with limited resources and conflicting priorities. Christine’s track record of working with small and medium-sized businesses has convinced her that by supporting business owners to clearly determine what they are trying to accomplish, and by implementing prioritised actions to achieve this, owners can make real progress.

Email: christine@business-accomplish.co.uk, Twitter: @chrisiesouthern; Tel: 07931 174 500