Making a change: What’s all the fuss about?

Change is scary. It makes us nervous, anxious and unsure. What will happen, what will my life be like if I make a big change to it? What if I start a new career, move house, go travelling, get a pet, start a family, take up a new hobby or ditch negative acquaintances and moving to a different friendship group? But here’s the thing, change is as necessary as it is frightening, and the confidence to make a change just can’t be taught. It is so easy to maintain the equilibrium, even when you’re not happy. It takes real bravery…

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Dear mum, you’re doing a good job

Dear mum, I see you every day, though you don’t know I’m watching. I know how hard you work to make sure I have everything I need. At home, we all play games, bake cakes or watch TV. Sometimes, we do colouring, paint or play outside. We go on days out to lovely places. We go on holiday too and have such a fantastic time, just being together as a family. I know you look after the pets and the house and garden, cook for us, clean, tidy and do our washing. I know that when we’re poorly, we ask for you…

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In defence of boundaries

We have come so far from the terrible times that my dad tells me about when he was a child. He and his brothers would be beaten by the teachers simply for having a German surname. Even when I was young, it was considered acceptable for parents to smack their children who were misbehaving. These days, such punishment is quite rightly frowned upon. Increasingly, the focus is on raising well rounded, confident children. Giving them the building blocks to one day function as strong, independent adults. Many people go as far as to avoid using certain words to their offspring,…

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New Beginnings

New beginnings don’t need to be about life-changing decisions, new year’s resolutions or grand announcements. Sometimes, they can just be about stopping and taking stock. I am terribly guilty of taking on too much. There are so many things I want to do, places I want to go, career aspirations and personal goals like losing weight and getting back to competitive triathlons. The problem is, I get so tied up in trying to be all things to all people that sometimes, I forget to take the time to just stop and smell the flowers. I spent mother’s day putting a new…

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Isolation and humanity

Since starting to work from home when Libby was a baby, I have become gradually more isolated. Initially, my career involved meetings and a little bit of travel. As things developed, a lot more of my time was spent working alone. These days, I work entirely from home. The only time I go out for work is if I attend a press or blogging event, which is infrequent. As a result, I have very little contact with anybody outside of my immediate family. I don’t have a problem with the isolation per se, but it has made me notice a…

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The curse of the underachiever

Every day of her life was filled with achievements. From the first smile to rolling over, from the initial tentative crawl to those inaugural wobbly steps. Then running, jumping, talking, singing, painting, reading, writing and the world of possibilities these huge achievements opened up. Like every child, she craved attention. Clamouring to tell her parents what she’d done today, why she was the best in the class and who she had beaten in the latest test, music exam or egg and spoon race. As she grew older, the desire to be the centre of attention started to wane. She realised that some days, her best just wasn’t good enough. She sensed…

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A letter to a busy mum

Dear mum, Please mum, stop a minute for me. Dad says you’re busy. He says you work hard until late at night when I’m asleep. He says there’s lots to do around the house and you’re trying to look after us children as well. Dad says I can’t come and see you because you’re working. I don’t know what that means, so I sneak up to your office. I try to talk to you, ask you to read me a story or take me to the park. We could go for a bike ride or run around the fields. We could…

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