My Secret to Time Management

Every day is busy, even weekends are a whirlwind of swimming, family events, shopping and household chores.

I’m naturally an early bird, though I’m up with the sun I’m flagging at 9 pm.
So I nap, I have a scheduled, completely adult nap most afternoons. Not just for toddlers or your grandma.
Napping is underrated in the west. You can double your productivity by simply scheduling a sleep in your day.

Continue reading “My Secret to Time Management”

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How We Balance, Home Educating With Sucessfully Freelancing.

How to step outside the rat race and live a life less ordinary in just a few steps.

Just over a decade ago myself and my husband made some big changes in our lives, we left safe, comfortable jobs, he was in sales, I worked in retail, running a deli. We retrained in completely different areas and began new careers at the same time as beginning home education.

Life beforehand had been a mad rush every weekday to get out the door on time, Sul rushed to be able to drop our eldest off at school each day before his long commute across London to work, not returning until well after our children, then aged 7 and 2 had fallen asleep. Family life was strained and we struggled to make ends meet, we hadn’t had a holiday together for years.

The change came shortly after September 2001. We made some major life differences in our lives after the tragic events of 9/11. Like a lot of people, we began to value our loved ones, time together and to reassess.

It ended up with us changing our lives for the better. Sul used his illustration and art background to begin building websites, doing graphic design, print layouts and video introductions. Every evening after work he’d work into the night to get good enough to secure a paying client big enough to quit the day job.

I trained as a professional Birth Partner/Doula and became an apprentice, I worked with numerous families across London and was privileged to help many mothers birth their babies, an absolutely amazing job. Constantly learning and training, every year I added new skills to my repertoire. Exhausting and ridiculous hours took their toll, though. I missed anniversaries, Birthdays and celebrations to attend mothers. I finally hung up my Doula bag for good in January 2014.

Our children are now nearly all grown up, they’ve each gone into an industry they enjoy. Home education and the freedom of working freelance has given us time to nurture their individual talents and for their confidence to grow.

Together we’ve enjoyed a holiday almost every year, sometimes more, trips up and down the country to museums and historical places of interest. Summer holidays that go on over 3 months and long winter evenings together.

It’s been wonderful and I’d like to share with you all how we’ve managed it, answering common questions along the way and letting you into our secrets, tips and tricks from:

  • Mistakes we made in business and how to avoid them
  • How to successfully time manage to ensure you make the most of every day.
  • How to de-register your child from UK school and where to begin with Home Education.

All this and more will be answered in detail in the following posts throughout January 2017.

Change is good 🙂

The Kids are Alright.

 

 

Hello there people, I’ve read over the years scores of “signs of autisim/adhd/aspergers” lists and afterwards I’ve spent hours/days/weeks watching my kids and then deciding they have a problem, shock panic sleepless nights and worry.

I’m not alone in this, most mothers I know would agree that at least one of their children has an “issue”.

The simple fact is that your kids and mine are fine. Yes, FINE.

My eldest was referred to a speech therapist by the school nurse when he was 4 because he lisped, I didn’t take him, he out grew it within a year, he s an incredibly articulate young man and has won awards for his speaking abilities.

My second child had serious speech issues and years of speech therapy to over come them, he went to a primary school which had an attached speech and language unit so it was all done with little disruption to him, I can spot a real problem and deal with it! Its all the phantom ones I’m wary of.

I was told once that my son Mr A was deaf by his teacher, I laughed because I knew my son could hear me open a packet of crisps from another floor of the house, or hear the xbox be switched on from a mile away!

The truth is her lessons were boring and she shouted all the time, he hates shouting and was literally tuning her out as a way to cope with the day.

My youngest was a reluctant speaker and at the age of 3 would still only speak to us, his family. His nursery teacher told me “hes a selective mute” sorry but wtf?? Its not ok that she said that, its terrible that she took it upon herself to diagnose my child with a serious mental health issue, shes a nursery teacher not a phycologist.

Hes now 6 and speaks just fine except for a slight lisp due to recently losing his two front teeth. We home educate for many reasons but one of them is that we don’t want our talented, happy children to be labelled with a syndrome, they all have autistic traits, lining up toys, slow to speak, trouble concentrating.

Teachers and support staff are trained to “spot” the trouble children, and “help” them by referring to social workers, eek thats a nightmare isnt it, a noisy child or one who cant sit still and thats it your child has a label and you have contact with social workers.

In my experience social workers are often completely out of touch with the needs of their clients and their good intentions have harmed many people and allowed many children to grow up in desperate situations of abuse and neglect. I don’t have much time for the profession, though I am sure many are lovely. I’ve not met any.

My beautiful talented niece is autistic and has been pretty much since birth, her parents have had to fight tooth and nail to get her the support and help she needs, why should they have to fight for it? They pay their taxes, well I assume they do 😛 Shes gone from having a lot of probles at the age of 4 to over coming most of them and though shes had help and one to one teaching at school most of the work was done by her mum and dad who are easily the most positive parents I know. She is 16 and currently writing a book as well as studying for GCSE’s.

But my point is that if 1000 kids are labelled with syndromes they don’t actually have and treated for them then what about those who do really truly need help? The truth is they often don’t get anywhere near the amount of support they need, their parents become experts and its through their support and hard work that the children get on.


I’m sure we all have a family member with “funny ways”. If these things are not affecting them negatively then just ignore them, so the hat itches, the socks have to match, the forks have to be rounded not flat handled. So what? Everyone has unique ways about them, I drive my husband nuts by losing things all the time, he has a set place for everything. Which of us has the syndrome? Who cares !!

Some of the most creative, intelligent, inventive people to ever live would have been diagnosed with some kind of syndrome had they lived in the west today, dosed up with toxic prescription drugs or given counselling.

Sometimes having to have everything “just so” is fine, perfectionism isn’t a bad thing , its vital in many professions. We don’t all learn and develop at the same pace, we don’t all enjoy the same things, we are different and so are our kids, and thats OK.

I honestly believe we are all on the autistic spectrum at some point in our lives. The professionals are quick to label kids and this means the ones who really do need help get lost in the crowd of scores of kids who really are just fine and would be able to sit and listen for half an hour if they’d been given the chance to run to school and had a nutritious breakfast and not  sugar filled pop tarts or coco pops. I don’t hate schools, honestly, I just disagree with everyone being forced into the same shape whole.

So please ignore the lists going round online on how to spot the early signs of ADHD or whatever and trust your instincts as a parent, of course if you are worried see your GP but don’t worry needlessly. Your child’s childhood is sadly @ 9 short years from age 2-11, before 2 they’ll not remember much and after 11 they really are teenagers and will talk about “when I was little” as though they are adults ! Squeeze as much positivity into those years as you can.

 

 

Rant over.

Being Happy.

Happy, whats being happy?
Being happy is being Grateful.

Think about it, the most content people are the most appreciative. They are not ungrateful, no matter how little they have. The most miserable of humans are those who take their blessings for granted and are always picking faults in their loved ones or their belongings. Longing for things they don’t have, these people will truly never be happy because they will never have enough. It seems the more we have the more we want, we all know the anecdotes about the poor children who play contentedly with whatever they can find and fashion into toys while our own kids demand the latest games consoles, but the same goes for us adults. We lose things and people we love, do we take the time to think of what we have before its taken away?

I’m sometimes the most ungrateful wretch on this earth so don’t think I’m preaching, I’m mostly talking to myself, reminding myself, least I sit and feel sorry for myself and count the things I don’t have instead of looking around at the amazing amount of richness of my life.

The secret to happiness is to always appreciate the blessings you have. This makes it easier to weather the hard times, and times do get very hard. Life is one test after another, how we deal with these is the real measure of character.

“So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?”
Surah Rahman.