Gestational Diabetes – Understanding Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Eden, I was handed the diagnosis of “borderline gestational diabetes” after I did the ‘sugar test’ and was told to watch my diet.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, Jade, right from the very outset I was told to “watch my diet”.  My midwife helpfully talked about the Glyceamic Index and proteins and reducing processed foods because these are bad to our general health and thus bad for our pregnancies.  This nutritional counselling gave me a whole different outlook on my pregnancy.  Much in contrast to the stereotype of sit back and eat all the foods that you like because your body craves it, and give up exercise because you can, my body became my temple and when it came round to the gestational diabetes test, firstly I was told I had the choice whether I wanted to take it or or not, and secondly reassured that should I get the diagnosis, it didn’t really matter because I should be eating the kind of foods that were low on the Glyceamic Index anyway because high GI foods lead to higher levels of glucose in the blood and these can be passed onto baby.

Recently I came across a wristband that is soon going to be reading sugar trends in our blood.  It already reads blood pressure, which has been incredibly helpful to me because I’ve always had quite low blood pressure and suffer for it.  I realised this would be a very useful tool in pregnancy, both for blood pressure and blood sugar and could even rule out the sugar test completely, because right from the get go of your pregnancy you would be able to see how the foods you are eating are affecting your sugar level trends.

I checked in with my beautiful Midwife, Glenis Paulette, to guest blog on Gestational Diabetes from her perspective and the nutrition that can prevent it, so you can make your own minds up as to the best way for you to manage your levels of glucose in the blood.  Ultimately, the levels of glucose in your blood are what is passed on to baby.

Read on for Glenis’ Guest Blog to understand more, it was very eye opening to me.  You can read her bio and see her contact details at the bottom of the page.  She is also a great Homeopath and Acupuncturist, who has been of great support to me and my girls up to this day!

If you’re interested in learning more about the wristband to read sugar trends in the blood (non-invasively I might add!), please contact me.  You might also be interested to read my Homebirth Story with Jade and Glenis and/or learn more about Essential Mum!  If you have any questions for me or Glenis, do not hesitate to drop them in the comments below.

Much Love x x

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis in Pregnancy

The test for Gestational Diabetes (GD) in pregnancy is often considered routine and offered to women without counselling, explanation or consent. Many women are not even aware that they can refuse it. The diagnosis of GD is made by evaluating the level of a blood result taken from the woman after she has fasted for 8 hours and then given a sugary drink. Her blood is tested one and two hours after she has been given the drink to see how well she has been able to metabolise the sugar. If the woman fails the test she is then labelled with GD and her pregnancy is treated as high risk. The levels above which the woman is considered diabetic are arbitrarily defined by different health bodies and there is little consensus throughout the world what this level should be.

Studies show that the tests are unreliable and often give significantly different readings when repeated a week apart. Women who already have a good diet with minimal sugar in it also probably have difficulty metabolising such a sugar hit when it vastly exceeds what they are used to consuming. Also the same sugar load is given to all women irrespective of her weight, meaning it is much more of a load for a 60kg woman than one who is 85+kg.

There is also little evidence to show that this classification and the resulting treatment actually prevent the supposed risks of harm or mortality to the baby. Babies of GD mothers are at risk of being larger and at slightly increased risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition where a baby’s shoulders become stuck at birth preventing their body from being born. These babies can also suffer from low blood sugar levels after birth and be more at risk of being overweight and suffering from diabetes later in life. However, if they are medically managed by a hospital diabetes team they are more likely to be induced and subjected to the resulting cascade of interventions, more often resulting in a caesarean section. The resultant stress on the mother of having a ‘high risk’ classification also impacts negatively both on her and the baby. Obesity and excessive weight gain in pregnancy are more likely to lead to adverse effects for the mother and baby than a diagnosis of GD, although the two can go hand-in-hand.

GD is in fact a mild condition, without symptoms, that develops in the last few months of pregnancy. It is not the development of a serious disease. The level of glucose in the blood may remain higher for longer in pregnant women so that the developing fetus has an adequate and stable supply of nutrients to optimize their growth and well-being.

Managing this increased demand by the fetus can be optimised by giving the same practical advice to women diagnosed with GD as to all pregnant women.

Nutritional counselling should focus on the quality of carbohydrates they consume rather than the quantity. The most useful way to rank carbohydrates is according to their glycaemic index (GI). Pregnant women would do well to avoid or reduce those foods high on the GI as their metabolism leads to higher levels of glucose in the blood. These foods include simple sugars and honey, soft drinks, many processed breakfast cereals, white rice and white bread. Chemical sweeteners are also not good for the body. Many processed foods include excessive sugar, low quality carbohydrates and oils. A healthy diet is one containing fresh whole foods and complex carbohydrates because they are digested more slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy and also more fibre. Examples include wholemeal breads and pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and breakfast cereals based on oats, barley, nuts and seeds. Adequate oils and protein are also important.

Regular exercise is also advised as this helps the body burn up glucose and increases the effectiveness of insulin.

The best thing to prevent low blood sugars in the newborn is to ensure that they are breastfed early and regularly.

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Full Circle Wellness

I’ve come full circle. I feel like a flower that is blossoming with Spring. I feel like the motherhood I have experienced thus far has been a journey that is now evolving into something else entirely, at whole new level of life, of financial freedom and opportunity.

The challenges with Eden’s health, my battles with my own demons and my decision to believe that my dreams are not beyond me have all lead to the place I stand now; welcoming a new opportunity to impact others in their wellness; to come full circle like I have.

What does this mean for Essential Mum?

I am going to be making some changes to this site. It will still be your place to go for coaching and essential oils. I am committed to getting back to blogging more frequently now I have freed some time up in my life. In the interim I am going to be putting some time into building a new website and coaching mums to Design Your Life; my ultimate 8 week experience to transform your life into one that brings you happiness every day.

Design Your Life isn’t for everyone, because not everyone has reached a comfortable place with the idea that it’s OK to put ourselves first as mums and live a life that brings us happiness every day.  Getting to that point is itself a journey and one I can help you with! (Join my free opt-in at the pop up here).

There seems to be this deep stereotype that I hadn’t noticed until recently around  #beingmum that makes it OK to get to the end of every day feeling like a complete failure, as long as you can grab a wine or lose yourself in the bottom of a pack of Maltesers. It’s OK because everyone else is going through it too right? Tomorrow is another day, another chance to do what you’ve always done and feel frustrated that nothing changes. I know I sound harsh writing this,  but 713 comments under the post of a popular mum blogger led me to this conclusion. The post had 12k likes!

What she said was fundamentally right.  I had a lot of respect for her observations:

1. We are too hard on ourselves as mums

2. The years are short and we will miss these challenges once they are passed

3. There is always a wine or a box of chocolates at the end of the day to set the day right.

What broke my heart was how this post was received.  Like an invitation to believe this is the only way it can be.  The repeated stories in the comments of deep struggle and belief that a box of chocolates really is the only answer broke my heart. One lady in particular deeply impacted me; she basically said she feels like a failure every day, that every day she feels like she could have done better, so I offered her a chance to look at Design Your Life, but she didn’t.

 

 

I get it.  You know that I was in that place of  struggle.  I shared that recently in my article in the Natural Parent Magazine, Why No One Should Survive Parenthood (read it here).

However, I also know that just a simple shift in expectations and a bit of time management can make a massive shift in how we cope with #beingmum, and that this is just the start of what is possible! I understand that it is only a select few who are able to see passed the crowd to a life that is easier and more enjoyable. To let go of the belief it’s OK to just survive parenthood and believe it’s OK to want to thrive because the years are short and we should make the most of them instead of struggle through. We deserve to feel fulfilled in our roles as mothers, we deserve to feel we are doing a good job, not just #beingmum, but as strong, empowered, independent women with our goals and dreams ahead of us.

So I will continue to work on with those of you who come to me open and inspired to change.  And I will begin my new chapter of Full Circle Wellness where I will share even more ways to feel wellness across your whole life!  Mind, body, wealth and more…drop me a line if you are interested in details or watch this space for my launch!

Much Love in motherhood and now, beyond x x x

7 Signs You Could Use a Life Coach

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again & expecting different results…  The difference between getting some life coaching and not is being limited or empowered.

I have NO doubt in my mind, that life coaching has been the vehicle for the single biggest, most fundamental change in me and how I live my life.

The thing is, I picked up the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to get coaching, rather than being proactive and seeking it out. The cost of this was that I spent a long period of time feeling deeply unfilled and unhappy, in which time I lost control of my basic emotions – got angry easily, felt down repeatedly and suffered anxious feelings regularly.  I lost precious moments with my children in an unrelenting busyness and beat myself up constantly that my intention was completely the opposite; I wanted to be the best and most present mum I could possibly be.  I was riddled with #momguilt for not achieving that.

At the heart of not having made that change sooner was a cluster of limiting beliefs and negative thoughts that were residing in my psyche and holding me back.

I am mum. Everybody else must come first. I will get onto me when the girls don’t need me anymore. I have to be everything they need me to be and be the best at it too.

And yet, if I had have been a 35 year career woman in a challenging job I would have had no qualms using the services of a life coach to manage those challenges. So why not #beingmum, one of the most challenging jobs there is?

Here are some signs that you could benefit from a life coach, so that you don’t get picked up by the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff! Because the fall isn’t pretty…

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What might you get if you decide to engage a Life Coach?

For a start it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll see you’ve got way more in you than you realise and that you have dreams like any other person, even though you are a mum, and those dreams are not beyond you. And you’ll get full permission to live the life you want to design.

Across my own 12 week coaching journey I peeled back the onion layers of who I am and what I want. Coaching gave me a blank slate where all possibilities were valid options. My coaching space was one where nothing was holding me back from being or trying anything. It was liberating to cut the legs out from under the beliefs holding me back from true happiness and fulfilment. And with that I reclaimed my enthusiasm and energy to recreate my life.

Over 12 weeks I experienced at least 12 transformational results:

  • I shifted quickly out of overwhelm
  • I completely redesigned my schedule
  • I decluttered my whole house
  • I learned powerful prioritising
  • I gained the ability to let go; of the stuff that didn’t serve me and of limiting beliefs, which gave me freedom
  • I started purposefully working towards something outside of #beingmum
  • I rediscovered living in the moment
  • I got complete clarity over what matters to me; my values
  • I became friends with my fears, so I could work on them rather than ignore them
  • I understood myself for possibly the first time ever
  • I designed a life for myself that fit with my values and my goals
  • I started living on purpose instead of on autopilot.

The bulk of this happened across just 8 weeks. It just took creating space and giving my complete commitment to working on the areas of my life that were not serving me. The weight that was lifted following those 8 weeks was almost as transformational as the coaching itself! I was floating on air. I finally started to enjoy my children and reconnect with my husband and do the the things that made me happy, which made me better able to look after everyone else.

Thinking ‘I’ll have me some of that?!’

The good news is that I am a Life Coach working to empower open and inspired women with more balance, freedom, fulfilment and happiness in their lives.

If you are overwhelmed, stuck or simply shelving YOU right now let me help you find out whether life coaching can help.

If you feel lost in the demands of #beingmum or are just ready for some ‘pzazz’ in your life right now, let me help you find the space and time to find true alignment between what you want and what you have in your life.

My role as a life coach is to ensure that you start unearthing your true desires.  To enable you to re-discover the aligned, healthy, happy and self-compassionate inner-you.

You can thrive for yourself, within the demands of your family life and within the time you have. You just have to give yourself the permission to work on yourself and commit to following through.

My mission is to help mums feeling overwhelmed, unsure and unfulfilled to find balance, focus and happiness. I don’t see it as a luxury to be this way, I see it as our responsibility as mums because if our cups aren’t full we can’t fill the cups of those around us to our best ability. Plus, our children model their behavior on how we treat ourselves, so if we can’t put ourselves first when we need to we can’t expect them to ever do so either.

To coach with me is simple.

Just:

1. Contact me to enquire about coaching

2. Book a 30 minute Discovery Session with me, either for coaching or my Design Your Life Experience

3. Decide if we’re an awesome fit and then get started!

I look forward to connecting with you and sharing a journey together.

Much love, Clare X X

Happy Mum Happy Child

Happy mum happy child, that’s such a powerful statement.  I was curious, as I explore the idea that at the centre of designing a life you love, which brings you happiness every day, is yourself (read more about designing your life here.)  Specifically a version of yourself where you spend time filling your cup.

My  third guest blogger is Maria, a mum of two, creator of website / Facebook page Happy Mum Happy Child, which is dedicated to helping parents feel less alone in this parenting journey.   Having started in 2014, HMHC is now the top parenting blog in New Zealand.

I know firsthand that within the most beautiful picture perfect surroundings of family can lie our greatest struggles.  I know that we bring these tiny, helpless bodies into the world and from us they expect nothing, but love, but from ourselves we expect everything and we give everything, until often there is nothing left in our cup.  I wanted to hear directly from Maria how she maintains self care as a priority to stay happy and what happy mum happy child means to her

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– What has been your greatest challenge as a mum?

I find a lot of things challenging about being a Mum, but the biggest challenge for me was coming to terms with the fact that my life would never be the same as it was before I had children. I’m more used to it now, and I wouldn’t change it for the world – but it was a very difficult for me when my daughter was first born – I think it triggered my post natal depression somewhat.

– What has been your greatest learning as a mum?

That I am in fact capable of so much more than I could have ever imagined – the love I have for my children, the patience I have, the ability to clean up so much poo – honestly so much I have learned about myself

– How much of a priority is your own self-care in your life?

It’s more of a priority now than it was when I first became a Mum.

– How do you keep it a priority?

I think it’s important to have at least one moment a week where you have no children around you (if at all possible). Whether the other half takes the kids to do the grocery shopping, or they go to the grandparents for the morning. Just a moment alone can do wonders for the soul.

– What happens when that priority slips

Thankfully for me my husband is an amazing friend and supporter – if I am struggling then I communicate with him and he helps out where he can.

– What stresses you out?

My children. Lol – honestly though, just the challenges of being a parent stresses me out. Kids fighting, being demanding, etc it all gets overwhelming.

– How do you avoid overwhelm?

I try and be honest with myself and my family if I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m also not afraid to put the TV on and say to myself “hey I just can’t do it in this moment, so the TV is going to help me out”

– What brought you to inspiring mums as your work?

When I started talking about my journey with postnatal depression, so many wonderful mum’s confided in me with their own struggles and told me it was so nice to hear someone talking about it. I don’t necessarily think I’m inspiring anyone, but just working together with everyone so that we all know we’re not alone.

– How do your personal challenges and how you overcome them influence your work?

90% of my work is off-the-cuff – so it really is dictated by how I feel each day. If I’m having a bad day, then I’ll share it with my followers. Not only to possibly make others feel like they’re less alone, but also for me to feel like I’m not alone. Even for me I can get stuck thinking I’m the only one going through something.

– What blogs do you read and who do you look up to in your industry?
I don’t get a lot of time to read other blogs, but do focus on a couple. Here in New Zealand, my wonderful friend Lisa runs No Filter Mum and it’s a wonderful page for me. She is open and honest about her own journey as a Mother, and she’s become a wonderful friend to me outside of the internet.

Internationally I love Tova Leigh – she predominantly does videos, but also has a blog and I love her and what she talks about.

– What does Happy Mum Happy Child mean to you?

Happy Mum Happy Child ultimately means if Mum is happy, then the child is happy. So it’s important to focus on yourself as a parent.

If you’d like to read more from Maria, visit her Facebook page

Or, Instagram

Of find her on Snapchat: happymumnz

Visit her website here

 

Motherhood, Muddles and Mindfulness

As I get close to launching my ultimate 8 week experience, Design Your Life, I drilled down into what it takes to design a life you love, which brings you happiness every day.  At the centre of it I found myself.  Specifically a version of myself where I spend time filling my cup.  So I decided to use my next few blog posts to explore this by inviting other enlightened mums.  Those who have been the stressed mum, the overwhelmed mum, the unhappy mum, but have come out of the other side.  I wanted to hear from them how they got there and what the benefits have been.

Meet my second guest blogger, Debbie.  She is a Spiritual Alchemist with over 20yrs experience in the mindbody field.  I spoke to Debbie because I have experienced that it is terribly hard to be mindful when you are a mum.  We are pulled in so many different directions that I reckon our brains actually rewire to always thinking about the next thing we have to get done, instead of enjoying being in the moment.

In this blog Debbie shares her experience and a 1 minute meditation you can do anywhere at any time.

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Mindfulness is a term bandied about frequently these days. But what is it?

It is consciously putting full focus and attention on what you are doing or engaging in.   Being present in the moment.

With its roots in meditative practices, Buddhist teachings see mindfulness as a path to enlightenment as one discovers that our mind is the cause of all our suffering. One then works to master the mind through being present and the noticing of the Monkey Mind or the mind‘s need and desire to be attached – to outcomes, behaviours, beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, and stories.

There are many studies that confirm the positive impact of mindfulness on our well-being and our worrisome minds. Sounds like a panacea for today’s world and the holy grail of calm huh?

It certainly is, but how does that fit for a mum who is struggling to juggle motherhood, business, finance, relationships, while still making sure the washing’s done and dry, dinner’s nutritious, cooked and eaten, the kids are happy, well and confident, and the house is not sinking under a foot of dust and grime?

How does it fit, when we feel like we have nothing left to give? And don’t know where to turn?

Less stress and topping up the tank

Taking a minute or two can more ‘space’ to breathe and be more of the mum you want to be – an empowered mum with more love to share. It helps our mind settle. Read – Less stress hormones = Happier mum → Happier children → Happier family → Happier community → Happier world!

We all know of the truth of making sure we top up our tank first as mothers, but it can be incredibly hard to do so. Our instinctive, unconscious actions are to attend to children/family first.

But remember the adage of the oxygen mask in a plane crash? We are no help to our children (or anyone else), if we have no oxygen and die. Implementing mindfulness practices are one way to support ourselves – giving our souls oxygen if you like, so we can support those we love in the chaos, muddle and joy of motherhood.

To help meet the challenge of everyday pressure combined with the overlay of motherhood try my micro-meditation here. This meditation is one way to top up your tank and your soul. It is easy to implement, short – under a minute, and with the exception of driving a vehicle, can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime!

Expand time, create space; take a moment

By putting our full attention on what is directly in front of us, we potentially create more space and time. I know it doesn’t make sense, but bear with me.

Think back to a time where instead of finishing a task and then giving your children attention, you did it the other way around. I remember trying to complete some university papers when my son was one or two, and saying hang on, hang on as he vied for my attention. The times I stopped what I was doing and sat with him (and Thomas the tank engine!) for 10 – 15mins then gave me a full half an hour (magic!) to get my words in place for submission. You may have had a similar experience of giving your children full attention for ten or fifteen minutes which then freed up half an hour for you to get those accounts done or phone calls made.

As a mother taking a moment whenever you can, to be present, creates an opportunity to come back to centre. And sometimes we need to take it whenever and wherever we can. I remember taking an extra moment or two in the toilet to sit and centre as sometimes this was the only time I had any space when my kids were younger!

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What might mindfulness look like for an Empowered Mum?

  • Planning time to be fully present when the kids come home from school or kindy so their well is filled with your compassion and attention (even 5 – 10 minutes each child will work wonders)
  • I have found one of the keys to mindfulness is to surrender. Surrendering the shoulds, musts and need to’s
  • Exploring your ability to expand time by intentionally focusing on and enjoying the task at hand – yes even the dishes, cleaning the shower!
  • Try my one minute micro meditation to bring yourself back into centre regularly throughout the day

Further resources you might find useful:

Jon Kabat-Zinn and Eckhart Tolle are well-known proponents of the power of now and being present and are the authors of many books.

Sarah Napthali has written several books on Buddhism and motherhood which may also be of help.

Mindfulness is a growing movement and there are many mindfulness/meditative groups worldwide. Check out the web for something close to you.

See more of Debbie at her Facebook page!

 

Why You Should Do Something to Fill Your Cup

Let’s drill down into what it takes to design a life you love, which brings you happiness every day.  At the centre of it is yourself.  Specifically a version of yourself where you spend time filling your cup.

I decided to explore this by inviting other enlightened mums to guest post.  Those who have been the stressed mum, the overwhelmed mum, the unhappy mum, but have come out of the other side.  I wanted to hear from them how they got there and what the benefits have been.

Meet my first guest blogger, Amy.  She is Founder of Powerhoop NZ and has even created a group from her own journey of filling her cup! My HAPPY 100 is a place where she inspires and motivates more people to do more stuff for themselves.

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What does filling your cup mean to you?

Self care.

How much of a priority is your own self-care in your life?

It is something I am truly passionate about and of course it is a work in progress for me.

Care to elaborate?

There have been times when I see my own life passing me by and I am not grasping it enough and making the most of it.   I was using being busy in my business and being a mother of three as a reason not to do a lot of things I would love to do. It left me feeling depleted. I was attending to the needs of everyone else before me.

self care blog 1Can you share an example?

I had been wanting to do things like take my kids away individually on a little holiday to create some memories together.  This meant so much to me, but each year would pass and I just wasn’t making it happen.  So, I decided enough was enough, I wrote a list of things I wanted to bring into my life this year. Not a TO DO list, more of a THINGS I WANT TO BRING INTO MY LIFE list. Because I wrote my list down, and shared it publicly, I felt really accountable for it. It is now half way through the year and I have already ticked off over 50% of my list. And there are 100 things on there!   I can honestly say this has been my best year yet and taking my kids away was definitely one of the highlights for me.   As a result of doing more things for me, I feel less stressed, way happier, and much more balanced in my life. My cup is so much fuller and I finally feel I am living MY best life. I am doing things for ME!!

Wow! So are you the only one who benefits from this?

Well of course I do benefit, but my kids also benefit from having a happier mum, my husband benefits from having a more balanced mum, my customers definitely get the best of me and my friends must see the difference too.

So, what’s your advice to mums out there who aren’t putting themselves first?

First I’d say, I get it.  It is all too easy to wake up in the morning and rush out of bed only to find yourself  zapping around at 100 miles an hour, getting everything organized for the day ahead. It is like a hurricane of packing school lunches, looking for lost socks, feeding the animals, walking the dog, messaging a colleague about something or another, catching up with world on social media, checking e mails, feeding the kids / family, pouring that first coffee down our necks and so on. And that just about covers the first hour of the day!  The rest of the day can look equally as hectic if we allow it, just rush, rush and more rushing.

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We rush to get to work, rush through the traffic, super busy at work, rush to get home to feed kids / family, outside activities to attend,  and get everyone all organised for the next day.  Coffee is the fuel that gets us through.  Or maybe that is wine?

It seems like we never quite  “get it all done”.  We never quite get to tick off our entire lists. We might tick a few off, but we have added more and more.    The end may feel like it is in sight, but it’s not, it’s just a mirage.

So, my advice is to turn around your thinking.  Accept, it will never end. That’s the truth. There will ALWAYS be something left to do.  And if we allow it, LIFE like this can take over and we can end up like FRAZZLED MARTYRS with no time really allocated to just US.

What do you think is the main obstruction to mum’s putting themselves first and taking care of themselves?

Time. We are far too busy looking after the needs of all of those around us to even consider taking time out for ourselves, there are far too many things to get done first. We often don’t value ourselves enough to invest the time to do more things that will bring us that joy.  Everyone else comes first.

Has there been a time that you didn’t fill your cup?

Yes.  Only a couple of years ago, I ended up in hospital.  I had let stress get to me again and I felt done in.  I had a lot going on at the time, emotionally, and I just put NO time into my own self care really.  Yes I was exercising and eating well, which helped me so much, but I was having no down time.  So yes, we can end up like a frazzled martyr if we fail to care for ourselves properly.  I also think if we spend too much time making everyone else happy to our own detriment, then we end up resentful too.  And of course that means those around us, get the brunt of that build up of resentment too!  We end up lacking in energy, feeling wiped out, possibly a little depressed, and turning to narcotics to get us through!  It did used to be like that for me.

So, how can the mums reading this start to fill their cups?

Do anything from exercise, to meditating, to going for a walk, to a massage, to spending time with a friend, or learning a new hobby. Truly something that brings YOU joy when you do it.

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Being a parent is when you need to be the best version of yourself,  which means it should be the best time to take more care of yourself. Because if you take care of YOUR needs then you are in a much better position to help others! It’s that simple. You will have more energy, more lust for life and be happier.  If your cup is full, then, you can help everyone else.

Finally, this life is for living now, we are NOT guaranteed any time here, so I reckon we make the most of our time. And the more we can do for ourselves, the happier we are. And the more EVERYONE benefits from it.

To read more about Amy’s Happy List, visit her website.

To read more about how you can Design Your Life, click here!  (I am taking enrollments for 2018!)

Design Your Life! (3)

Creating Community

I had such a lovely day in the community today.  I was invited by the Beachlands Community Trust to take part in their Remakery.  This is such an amazing thing for the community! A chance to learn about composting, upcycling and more. I was there with my Make & Take Workshop teaching people how to make home essentials like deodorant WITHOUT synthetic fragrance and other dangerous chemicals, like SLS and parabens.

Those of you who follow Essential Mum will know that I am on a MISSION to get those things out of our family homes and get mums using easy, natural recipes with essential oils.

There was a great turn out from the community; young and old got their hands dirty!

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It was great opportunity to answer questions about essential oils and talk about doTERRA’s amazing Co-impact sourcing, which of course was of great interest to the people at the Remakery because of their desire to make a positive difference to our world.

I am so excited about the Remakery continuing and that I have been invited back! I was also approached by a local lady who runs breastfeeding workshops to bring the essential oil education to new mums there, to help with common issues like thrush, nappy rash, disturbed sleep and baby blues naturally. I loved this opportunity (and if course said yes) and would be open to more, if anybody out there has a group that they think would benefit?

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 Jennie’s Art Projects did this little project with a child. He brought his own laundry basket and mixed up his own paint colour from leftovers. Then they painted the basket together. Good fun and a proud boy!

I urge people to also put the next Remakery, on the July 8th, into their diaries. We live in a disposable world that is causing such irreparable damage. Our children have more opportunities to learn how to waste than they do to how to conserve and protect. The Remakery is one way to change that. There were a few youngsters getting involved in my workshop today, making deodorant and room spray and multi surface cleaner and learning about the benefits of essential oils. It was great to see!

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Jenny, who runs the Remakery, from the Beachlands Community Trust is full of great ideas and enthusiasm to keep our community great and improve it too. Essential Mum is committed to supporting her ideas and efforts. Especially because she said I reminded her of a young Anne Roddick… jokes 😉

If you came along today and enjoyed the Make & Take workshop, and you’d like to learn more about the essential oils you got to experiment with, I am running a FREE workshop on the 16th at my Beachlands Home. Learn more here!

To keep up to date with events like the Make & Take, follow me on Facebook.

My next event is a Creative Vision Board session as vehicle to looking within yourself for the guidance you need to be happy and healthy.

I am a certified Life Coach and this session is part of my Design Your Life June & July Series. Come along and get creative. Bring what you would like to create on (white board/ cork board, pens/pins, something else) and I’ll provide paper and magazines, scissors, etc.

The session costs $10, including coffee and tea.

If you’d like to receive a copy of the recipes I shared at the Remakery, CLICK HERE and complete the contact form with “RECIPES” in the comments.  I’ll also send you the free copy of my eBook.

I’ll update this blog with names and links and photos as the other members of the Remakery share them with me, I was just too excited to wait before I shared the story of a wonderful day.

Thanks Beachlands Community Trust!

Much Love X X

 

The Truth About #Beingmum

Today I want to drill down deep.  This is a blog I have wanted to write for a while, but just couldn’t find the right words.

You see, the truth about #beingmum, for me and maybe you too, is confronting.  It is everything that I expect of myself and cannot be: successful and mindful.

What do I mean by this?

Let’s start with “success”.  What I mean by this is the constant expectations we set and have for ourselves and what we achieve #beingmum and how in this way we often set the bar too high and end up feeling like we’re failing.

Here’s some examples:

  • There has to be a healthy dinner on the table every night
  • We have to think of a creative, educational, stimulating activity for our children to do every day
  • Our house has to be spotless
  • We are never going to yell or lose our temper
  • We are going to respond positively to our children’s every need

Because your mum.  Because that’s your job.  Because that is what is expected of you.  And ultimately it’s what you expect of yourself.

But is it always realistic?

I’m glad you asked.

My belief is no.  What I am finding as I coach different mums is this common factor of expecting way too much of ourselves in the time that is available to us, in the reality of the chaos that is #beingmum.

This inevitably leads to punishing feelings of guilt and failure and adds to the pressure we put on ourselves to do better.  It makes us stressed and feel overwhelmed.  It pushes our life out of balance, limits our happiness and can ultimately make us ill.

Now let’s talk about mindfulness.  The truth about #beingmum is that it is terribly hard to be mindful when you are a mum.  We are pulled in so many different directions that I reckon our brains actually rewire to always thinking about the next thing we have to get done, instead of enjoying being in the moment.

And the worrying thing is that a lack of mindfulness and constant pressure causes stress and mums are just as prone to stress related burnout as any other woman.  The 4 walls of our homes and the arms of our loving families do not protect us from the mental health issues that are now prolific in our society.  The difference is that mum can’t “fall” and so the burnout manifests in different ways – a functioning exterior that covers a depression, low self-esteem, disconnection from partner and friends, or just a daily living hell as you fail to cope and feel constant guilt and anxiety, but you maintain a smile for those around you.

Why am I writing about this?

Because I want to help you. I’ve been stressed, I’ve been anxious and I’ve definitely been overwhelmed more times than I’d like to admit, but through these experiences I found a way out to the other side…

I believe life is beautiful (2)

And here’s the thing: Everything that pulls our attention in many directions, many of the things that challenge us and the even some of the things that cause us stress are normal parts of daily life #beingmum.

So we need to find a way for the pressures of #beingmum to exist in non-harmful ways and work on being more mindful.

How can we do this?

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1. Notice More

When you have a moment, instead of thinking or scrolling your phone, notice what’s around you. Enjoy the soft fluffiness of the clouds, study the smile in your child’s eyes, see the colour in the trees around you. Take the Zen Mum Challenge to learn an easy, useful mindfulness activity that you can practice every day

2. Commit Less

Can you really do all the things you’ve said you’ll do in one day (without ending up exhausted?) A good test is to see if you’ll have at least one 2-hour block somewhere between 9 and 5 without doing something. If you haven’t, you’ve over-committed. (There’s method in my madness – check out one of my Time Management workshops if you don’t believe me).

3. Look Within

When we manifest our deepest intentions, we stop falling out of the moment because we’re not ruminating over the next decision/action. The result is a satisfying and fulfilling life that we want to be present in and self-insight that helps us get clarity of what our expectations of ourself should be and focus on how to achieve them.

4. Just Be

Say you did get that 2 hour block with nothing in it; the housework is done, the children’s cups are filled with touch, love and attention and you don’t need to check your emails because you’re on top of the work to do list, could you just be?

Try it. Turn the phone off, have no agenda and just go with the flow. Say yes to the children, sit and play/read/cuddle. Be fully present in whatever you do for that 2 hour block. Each time you feel obligated to do something else, put it out of your mind, breathe and smile. Be proud of being in the moment.

To support these actions, try my Roll Easy Rollerball System. As you know, I recommend essential oils to support the work we do in coaching.

These rollerballs are a natural way to support mindfulness, calm and peace.  Check out how they work here.

They are formulated with doTERRA’s certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils, so contain no fillers, preservatives or other synthetic chemicals that are often used in essential oils used for flavoring and perfume. They have a strong therapeutic response and are even tested to be free of heavy metals, herbicides and insecticides. So you can be confident that what you roll onto your skin is completely natural.

(To see my Roll Easy System on Facebook, click here.)

I am about to launch my signature coaching experience, Design Your Life, if you’d like more information, please give me your details here.

I know you are thinking of a heap of reasons now why you don’t need to design your life, but I want you to ask yourself the question, if this blog has resonated with you, how close are you going to get to burn out or real unhappiness before you start making changes in your life?

I’m one of the unfortunate who has fallen over the edge and boy have I paid the price in the long-term.  The damage that chronic stress does to your body runs deep. For example,  I’m now the not so proud owner of adrenal fatigue, which has challenged many areas of my health. Thank goodness for my essential oils that are supporting my recovery in a big way!

So, I’ll leave it here and hope to hear from you soon…

Much love X X

Essential Mum

5 Easy Ways to Take a Breath from Life this Weekend

We’ve all done it.  Overcommitted ourselves, said yes to everything, tried to please everyone and got to Friday feeling drained, grumpy, anxious and ready for the floor to open up and swallow us!

Here are 5 easy ways you can take a breath and enjoy your weekend with your family, greeting Monday feeling refreshed and energised!

1). Don’t be afraid to say “no”

Gift yourself this weekend for you.  Don’t feel afraid to say no to those who want to encroach upon it, even if they are family or friends!  Say something like, “I would love to (do so & so/help you), but let’s organise it for when I can devote my full attention to you, OK?” Then, when you feel rested and ready you can set a date moving forward.

2). Identify your needs, and fulfill them!

We all have basic needs that need to be fulfilled for us to be content. I am actually an introvert.  I require time by myself, on my own, otherwise I feel a little crazy.  I don’t get that much anymore now I have 2 children, so I end up feeling a little crazy a lot!

You might need to be surrounded by others.

You might be an introvert like me who has a close friend who needs to be constantly surrounded by others… you see where I am going with this right?

When our fundamental needs aren’t being met we start to feel frustrated, bitter and burnt out.

Take a moment this weekend and identify the top thing you need to feel happy, fulfilled and unstressed:

  1. More downtime
  2. More ‘friend time’
  3. More sleep
  4. Something else?

Now figure out how you can get it!

3). Disconnect after baby goes to bed

As a business owner, the minute my children go to bed I start working because I feel overwhelmed by what I have missed during the day.  This leads to late nights, an overactive brain and a grumpy mum the next day!

You might not have a business, but feel all those unfinished tasks from during the day (folding washing, a phone call, the dishes, food prep, etc) need to be done now you have time.  What if I told you that time could be taken for you to wind down (or connect with your partner) and there is a way to support tasks not going unfinished during the day?

Make sure you hit me up on that question because I will answer it for you!  For now, just take one night this weekend to switch off and focus on you and what you want to do.

 

4) Set aside time for breaks in your day

This is a big one, especially on a holiday weekend like this one when the kids want to do the Easter Egg Hunt, your partner wants time to do some DIY, you need to make sure the cupboards aren’t bare because the supermarkets are shut and the Mother-in-Law has to have family dinner this weekend.

Stop.

Breathe.

When can you set aside some time to go for a small walk or do your favorite stretches/yoga poses/exercises ALONE?

Fresh air, some meditation and some exercise are the most re-energising things I know.  The challenge is to commit to doing them, so start the good habit this weekend of taking some time out for you.

5) Identify what you love & who you love and do & be with only that

This is another big one.  In my Design Your Life Coaching Programme we look really hard at these things so you spend more quality time doing what you love and being with the people you love, rather than feeling obligated to do stuff you don’t like and waste quality time with people you don’t care that much for, but your kids love them, or you work with them etc.  I know it sounds a bit harsh, but our days (and lives) are so very short!  And we spread ourselves so thinly and feel obligated in so many different directions.

Spend some time this weekend thinking about your ideal life.  Who is in it, what are you doing?  I made a guided meditation as part of my Find Your Flame Series which is all about being the architect of your dreams and building your ideal life.  If you’d like to listen to it, email me nzessentialmum@gmail.com.  Click here to talk to me about the Design Your Life Programme.

If you feel like these steps might be a little hard for you to take right now, you might be interested in my Free e-book, Zen Mum Challenge, which gives you 14 easy daily steps to be more zen!

«« Click here to access »»

Much love X X