Earlier in the year I very publicly set myself to goals to work on across a broader area of my life. I’m not one for new years resolutions but things have started to shift for me. I’m no longer the mum of a teeny boy. He’s going to be four in July. He’s finally started sleeping more (Fred was never a sleeper) and well, he just needs me a little less.
That season of having a baby, toddler and pre-schooler seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. Everyone say’s it - but it does. I feel like the season I’m moving into this year allows me more time for me, a first and also more time for reflection.
If you haven’t read my original post you can do so by clicking here
I outlined in that first post that I wanted to work on different areas of my life, they fell into six different categories.
It’s April already so I wanted to give you an update on how I’ve been getting on. So here goes.
aka the one I dreaded the most
In January I started to dance. Apart from country dancing in primary school and some group dance for the Urdd in secondary - I have never really danced. Well, I was a regular in Crystals nightclub but I’ve never danced particularly well. I do however love the feeling of dancing and I really LOVE music.
Before I had Fred I was quite into fitness. Now, I’ve never been skinny but I used to go to Crossfit 4 times a week. I was pretty great at lifting weight and I’d choose to run 5 or 10k on a day off because I could. I liked it. Actually, I loved it.
I have never loved it since Fred. I’ve been too tired. Fred never slept more than four hours straight till he was three years old. I’ve only just managed to get him to sleep straight through, in his own room so ladies, when I tell you i’ve been tired - You know where I’m coming from.
This year I really wanted to find something I loved to do in the hopes that my motivation would remain high enough to get me to attend twice a week. So I started Turn’d Up Fitness classes after stalking them online for nearly a year. It’s a high energy dance class to a soundtrack of R&B, HipHop and Dancehall music. I knew I’d love it but I was scared that as a size 18, on the downward slop to 40 - this may not be the place for me.
Well, let me tell you. That class has changed everything for me. I don’t just enjoy it. I absolutely LOVE it.
After a couple of weeks of going to two classes weekly, I started adding in an extra class, and then an extra class. I found I regained that familiar antsy feeling on my days off and I dusted off the gym equipment in the garage or practised the dance routines at home.
James told me my shape was changing. My clothes started to feel looser. My skin looked brighter and I was sleeping like a log.
It took that small step of finding something that could lure me into exercise again but I’m very proud to say I now try and do 4 classes per week, every week. I also work out alone twice a week at home. Last week I ran a 5k again - just because I knew I could do it. I’ve lost a stone in weight, I feel more comfortable in my skin and I can confidently say that I think that this is a habit that is here to stay.
allocating more time.
Fred starting primary this September has got me shooketh! It seems only two moments ago that I was strapping him into a buggy and trying to walk that little blighter to sleep twice a day with strolls round our village. I don’t miss a lot of what went on in those days but when people tell you it goes fast, you really can’t fathom how right they are.
One of my priorities for 2019 was to spend more dedicated time with my family. I’ve not been perfect with this but things have definitely improved. Fred has half day’s at meithryn on a Tuesday and Thursdays so these have become a dedicated time where I do not attempt to do any work and we go out somewhere. It’s usually soft play but it allows him to feel like he’s having a special trip out and also occupies him more than if we are bumbling round the house.
Family wise we’ve probably not been as good as we should be, mainly down to the self employment situation. Sunday is the main day we have to go off and do something the three of us and we would usually have not got to bed till 1 or 2am after 3 days of long working hours. We have done some things and I’m hoping it improves as the weather gets better.
I also wanted to spend more time with my parents. I’m probably failing at that one. I do see them often but it tends to be in small snippets, during child drop offs, or picking them up from bingo. I am taking my mum out today for a Mother’s day treat and we’ve done a few dedicated trips out but I think this is an area I could be more dedicated on.
the one I never have a problem with
This is the one I knew I’d commit to without hesitation because business stuff, I find a breeze. I can always find the time, I can always find the motivation. It’s just never a problem. the problem for me is just doing a handful of things. I come up with business ideas every week, every week without fail. I think of new ways to grow the catering business, new directions I could take This Welsh Mother or Business Mother Club. My problem is not the intention or the action. My problem is focus.
I split myself across the week.
I’m a mum to Fred, Partner to James. I am a business partner in the catering company. I run This Welsh Mother on my own and last year I launched Business Mother Club. I don’t have any help.
Mon -Business Mother Club
Tues - AM Catering Business/ PM Fred - Night Time - Accounts and admin
Wed - This Welsh Mother Night Time - Accounts and admin
Thurs - AM Catering Business/ PM Fred Night Time - Accounts and admin
Fri - Catering till late
Sat - Catering till late
Sun - Fred/Family
From January I’ve been very dedicated to sticking to this plan. There are days that I have to miss. A Catering job comes in mid week, my parents have a hospital appointment, Freds off sick etc but I have a very structured routine and I have stuck to it.
I do want to work less. That is the goal. But the catering company is in a period of growth so we have to run with it and I don’t want the catering company to be the sole thing I do. I love This Welsh Mother and I believe in the mission behind it, so I can’t give it up. I also know I’m not happy if I don’t have an outlet for my business stuff. I’ve been coaching for years, firstly in a corporate environment and now women/mums in business and though I don’t have a huge business, huge numbers and thousands of pounds it fulfils my need to work with people, empower people and educate them, so i won’t stop that either.
I’ll have new ideas. I’ll want to start and will start new things - That’s who I am. But this year at least I am trying and actually achieving some focus.
I’ve also had some great growth points. I’ve had a meeting for a couple of great projects. I was asked to speak at a female entrepreneurship event for Natwest. I’ve been approached by two other big organisations off the back of that so It’s just about staying the course and showing up for now and I like that.
Let’s cut to the chase. I still don’t have any.
I started with amazing intentions. I set up a separate account with an online banking provider N26. The card never arrived. Dealing with them on chat or the phone was a nightmare and they are still charing me for the account that I’ve never had access to.
Some money had been set aside, yey and that’s now been used towards having a new electric handbrake put on the Landrover (there was a reason I drove a Fiat Punto for so long let me tell you).
Savings will happen but I know I need to really work on my financial mindset, it’s actually something I think a lot of us ladies need to improve. I really want to help people and therefore I do it for free but that is terrible business - I know that and I’d advise a client against it so I’m trying to remember that me being in a better financial position enables me to help more people.
I’ve read and re-read Denise Duffield Thomas - Get Rich Lucky Bitch which I found really motivating and will carry on trying to work on this area in the next 3 months.
I’ll be there for you
Abysmal. Let’s just throw that out there. I spent the latter half of last year being a terrible friend. I can’t put it any other way. I’m an introvert by nature - people seem genuinely surprised by this because they fall into the trap of thinking that introverts are shy and retiring. I am not.
I am outgoing, loud, confident and then I need a ton of alone time to recharge my batteries - social situations drain the heck out of me and one of my personal traits is that I need to go through things or process things alone. I’m not a talker when I’m dealing with something. I’m not someone that leans on other people. I deal with things by myself and I’ll talk to you about it when I’ve sorted everything out in my own head.
I had a lot going on last year and a lot of it continued into the first three months of this year. I’ve been present, I’ve been out there but in the background I’ve needed to take a huge chunk of time for me and that has meant that I’ve not been the most brilliant friend.
I’m hoping that by sorting some of those issues it is seriously something I can focus on towards the summer.
My relationship is not perfect. I don’t actually believe anyone’s is.
I felt awkward including something so private in my first blog post this year but I think it’s really important that we have a narrative about relationships that doesn’t sugarcoat it, that doesn’t lure us into a false sense of what love is and what a relationship should look like.
James and I have a great time and we get on like a house of fire. We are silly and laugh a lot. We can get a lot of stuff sone and we work very well together in a business and life sense. I’m proud of all those things.
We bicker like crazy. I’m less proud of that. Considering we both work from home and run a business together we spent very little time together and never really do anything just the two of us.
I knew we needed to work on that. I’m trying to not get involved in the bickering (but i’m quick and sometimes it’s out of my mouth before I’ve even engaged my brain). I don’t want Fred to think that bickering or speaking disrespectfully to someone is a valid form of communication so this is an area that will need to be worked on continually.
that’s why I’m including it, so that if you happen to read this and your relationship isn’t that type you see on Instagram - with lavish gifts, regular date nights and plush weekends away. that’s OK. Relationships are really hard work. they need constant attention. It won’t always be great but if you are committed to working on it - work can be done.
One of the great things that has come out of the 1st quarter is that James has been very supportive of me getting out to exercise classes. This makes me happier because I feel less mum guilt and I’m really thankful that he’s making it easier for me to prioritise me.
So there’s some great strides and some work to be done on my goals for the next quarter but I’m pleased that I’ve stuck with it. I’m also really pleased that i’ve documented it because it’s given me some amount of accountability. Were you working on any new goals this year? If you want to share you wins please feel free to do so over at Facebook OR in our new app community “The Village”