Do you feel life is passing you by as a mum?

plans

Are you feeling a little fed up?

Is you self-esteem a little low?

Do you feel it is too often more about them and less about you?

Do you feel a little frumpy?

Are you feeling isolated with the challenges you face?

Have you given up on your hopes and dreams?

Fancy rediscovering or reinventing yourself?

If ONE or more of these touch a nerve, we have news for you.

Welcome to Striking Mums!

Striking Mums is a simple initiative that can move mountains and help you change your life in tiny and huge ways.

You decide on what you want to change or to achieve and a supportive group of mums help you along the way.

It’s all about taking baby steps to a whole new you.

So how does Striking Mums work?

Every Sunday there will be a Striking Mums post on this blog. It aims to inspire and to perhaps suggest ideas you may not have thought about already. There is a linky so that you can post about how you are getting on. Other mums will visit your blog and lend their support.

We hold regular #strikingmums Twitter parties and welcome your input on what particular questions or issues you would like to discuss.

Meet-ups and retreats are on the agenda for the future.

So how does that sound to you?

How to feel better as a mum – it’s as simple as becoming a Striking Mum.

Striking – stand out as the individual you are

Striking – take some well-deserved you time

Striking – you are beautiful inside and out whether you feel that way or not.

In fact, I would love you to post on your social networks as often as you can about how you are doing on these 3 fronts and please use hashtag #strikingmums. The more we spread the word the more mums move forwards positively and proactively.

As for me this week, I can claim to be on of the #strikingmums as ..

1. I have looked through old photos and posted some on social networks to remind myself and others who I am.

2. I have stayed up late after the family have gone to bed to pursue some of my own interests.

3. I don’t like the way I look currently but I acknowledge that I am moving towards beauty as I take control of my weight.

You can link up any blog where you show you are taking steps large or tiny towards the present and future that you want.

Here are some tasks/questions that might help you compose a post but please don’t feel constrained by these. Striking Mums is possibly the most flexible linky on the planet.

1. Look at an old photograph of yourself. How does it make you feel? What hopes and dreams did that person have? What things did they enjoy doing? What might this person say to you now?

2. How will you carve out time for yourself and your interests in 2015?

3. What would you like to change about the way you look? What can you celebrate now about your own individual beauty?

4. What are your personal goals for 2015? Who or what can help you achieve them?

Let’s get striking and don’t forget to put the Striking Mums badge (you will find it in my right hand sidebar) created by my friend Jo on your blog.

Kate on thin Ice Striking Mums

If you don’t blog in join us on Facebook and/or Twitter and feel free to leave a comment on this post. We will show you how to be a happy mum.


I held off doing this today as I wanted to be able to report number one in a truthful way.

comfortzone

1. I have just completed a Fat Burner workout with Davina. I am obese and the 7 minutes was enough to get my heart pumping but not too daunting either. Plus as my daughter joined me I reckon that is our Physical Education sorted for today.

2. We got to payday after Christmas – always a good feeling.

3. My teenager has not made a friend to go out with at weekends since we moved last April. This weekend he is going out with a new best friend. This makes me cheerful as does anything which gets him away from the Xbox One.

He also did not go to a detention because he felt it was an unjust detention. I think he has a point but warned him actions tend to have consequences.

He also got a bad grade in RS for the first time ever because the subject was abortion. He tells me he did not really feel comfortable writing about it as he does not like the idea of it but respects that it is a very personal matter. His thoughtfulness again makes me smile.

2. My daughter is enjoying learning about Ireland. When I asked why, she said it is because she knows I am Irish and wanted to find out more about our country of heritage.

She also reports that she is enjoying eating toast.

Today she was delighted to receive a parcel full of amazing Baker Ross arts and craft materials.

3. My youngest son has reconnected with some old friends from Yorkshire. This has brought about such big smiles. He also had fun researching Icelandic rivers with his Dad and I enjoyed seeing them working together.

4. My husband has news of a tax refund today.

5. The cats are settling in so we are having lots of snuggles. They are at the vet as I write having their microchips done.

6. As for me, I am pleased to have set up two new linky things this week one on weight loss and one on learning at home. Please spread the word if you can as both involve parents supporting each other.

I am still eating healthily.

I am putting systems in place to manage my time more effectively.

I had good contact with a very old friend and she made me feel better about something that has bugged me for years. It is awful when people make out like you made something up and you know in your heart it is true. Nice to have it confirmed as fact by someone who was there and who I can trust to tell me the truth.

8. I am breaking out of the comfort zone at the weekend and going to visit another home education family. Scary but may lead to something lovely.

So on the whole a positive week.

How was yours?

I am starting a weekly linky where I blog about learning at home and encourage others to do the same. This is open to any parent blogger those who have pre-schoolers, those who have children in school and those who home-educate.

learning at home

I am currently home-educating my 9 year old son and 10 year old daughter. My 14 year old son attends a local secondary school. As he starts working out what he wants to focus on in the future, I hope to support him more with his learning at home at weekends and in the evenings.

I have come up with some questions to help me structure my posts but you should feel free to link up any post related to learning at home and in its widest sense too (cookery, arts and crafts, gardening, literacy, numeracy, ICT< history, science, design, life lessons, languages, music, religions and more) 1. How we are feeling?

My daughter is feeling enthusiastic about learning at home. My youngest son is happy and varies between very keen and not at all interested in learning. I am very slowly learning to relax and to let our days take their course but find I do need to do some planning or I get very anxious. My son who is at school is enjoying debating issues with us.

2. What have I enjoyed most this week?

I like Maths Antics and find I am getting to grips with the mathematical bits I previously struggled to understand. I really enjoyed today where my daughter went on Scratch and designed a project to capture our learning about circles. During this she presented the idea of Scratch to me so well, played music, laughed and even got me dancing. I need to get my head round all this coding stuff.

3. What has my daughter enjoyed most this week?

My daughter continues to enjoy art most of all.

4. What has my son enjoyed most his week?

My son has got very passionate about Iceland so we are using that as a hook to learn about geography, history, art, music and more.

5. What is my daughter’s proudest achievement this week?

She says being awesome and considering the damage her previous school did to her mental well-being, this is lovely to hear.

6. What is my son’s proudest achievement?

Creating things on Minecraft.

7. What are our challenges?

I am now feeling fine about home-educating my daughter as she is keen to get involved and to try ideas. My son is more strong-willed and more challenging as he knows exactly what he wants to do but I want to broaden his horizons and ensure he is equipped for a positive future.

8. What resources have we found particularly helpful this week?

Science Museum – they have games which engage both my son and daughter.

Natural History Museum – we have plans to build a bee hotel!

Maths Antics

Scratch

A very affordable chest from Argos with lots of craft supplies in it.

9. Top outing of the week

A trip to the local town.

10. What are some of our plans for the next week?

We are going to look into nutrition and look at potential sugar swaps via Change4Life.

We are going to take part in the RSPB Garden Birdwatch

We are going to ensure time is spent on literacy and numeracy everyday.

We are going to do a good week or two looking at rivers for geography and will back this up with music and poems too.

I do hope you share your learning at home because I think a real truth is that we can all be inspired by and learn from each other.


I am starting a weight loss linky because I know it will keep me motivated and if others join in we can offer each other support along the way. I am calling it Muffin Top Monday but you can link up on whatever day of the week suits you best

muffintopmonday

You can post about weight loss as you see fit but perhaps to get the ball rolling you might want to borrow some of my headings.

1. Tell us about your weight loss journey

I have struggled with my weight for decades. I was slim in my teens and twenties but that was not my self-image. I thought I was fat due to the harsh taunts of bullies. I piled on weight after a relationship breakdown and then after becoming a parent. I have tried many diets including clubs such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers. I was told I had high blood sugar in November and got a diagnosis of prediabetes in December. I can’t keep playing Russian Roulette with my health so I have committed myself to losing weight once and for all.

2. How much do you hope to lose?

I have stones and stones to lose. I estimate it will take me between 1 and 2 years to get to my target weight with the support of the best weight loss linky.

3. Have you made a start or are you just beginning?

I stared losing weight in November. By 15th December, I had lost 12 and 3 quarter pounds. Since then I have lost 1 stone and half a pound and on this journey every half pound makes a difference. So a total loss quite quickly of 1 stone 13 and a quarter pounds.

4. How are you feeling about losing weight?

I feel really positive and motivated partly fuelled by Muffin Top Magic, the best weight loss linky.

5. Do you have a top tip to share with us?

I have started to eat lots of fish. Most of it is low fat and low calorie too so you can have big amounts which fill you up.

As I say, you can link up any weight-loss related post and I look forward to getting to know you and celebrating our success in due course. This may well be the best weight loss linky.


Here is something I do on the blog every year. It is good to look back and reflect on a whole year. It helps to put things in perspective. I always tag people to do a post using the same questions but anyone should feel free to join in. Just take the questions and answer them in a way that makes sense to you and preferably although it is not a rule say that the idea for the post came from this blog.

Here is my 2014

1. What was your happiest event?

Seeing my husband get back into work so we could move forwards with our lives and discover a new area.

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?

Seeing my daughter hating herself after bullying by staff and children in her new school.

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

Me becoming a home educator. I have always fancied the idea but gave up on it as Him Indoors was very against the concept. Then 2014 showed me that sometimes home education is a necessity rather than an option.

4. Who let you down?

My daughter’s new school in blaming her for being shy and sensitive rather than looking for tools to help her settle into her new school.

5. Who supported you?

My husband. He always believes in me. He has made mistakes as have I but we are fundamentally a formidable team.

Auntie S.

Bloggers. So many do this throughout the year. I look back and remember so many encouraging tweets, offers of telephone numbers, emails and comments. I appreciate them all. They sustain me.

Home educators and also teachers who have helped me find my way on what is a very exciting but also daunting journey.

The Professor – a steady reminder that someone watches from afar and wishes me well.

Facebook friends from school, college, working life and places I have lived. I got more into Facebook this year having always looked down my nose at it before.

My half-sisters. I must try and make meeting them one day a reality.

My children – three amazing souls who take me as I am and love me all the same.

6. Tell us what you learned

That I spent 10 years in darkness when all I needed to do was go and get some anti-depressants.

That you should never give up hope.

That security is an illusion but that there is freedom in that very fact.

That I should have been far more vigilant about the education system.

That I need to look after my physical health better.

7. Tell us what made you laugh

We laughed more this year generally as things started to settle down for us.

My teenage son telling me over and over that a girl was “just a friend”

My sons covering their ears as my daughter continues to sing at any given moment.

Spending more time with my children allowing us to be daft and crazy sometimes.

Memories.

8. Tell us the things that made you cry

I cried when I empathised with others this year.

9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud.

My oldest son is growing into a lovely young man. He treats me all the time and wants to spend time with me. He has settled well into his new school and made friends. He has developed a keen interest in philosophy and questions everything.

My daughter stuck to her guns leading to her becoming very unpopular with her Head Master. Like myself, she may not always be easy to be around but she is genuine and hates unfairness. I am so very proud that she stood up to authority. I love how she has committed herself to learning at home.

My youngest son being so supportive of his Dad. Also his interest in cooking and how he teaches me as much as I teach him.

10. Tell us the things that made you proud of yourself.

Finally going and getting my depression treated.

Entering a writing competition and putting some real effort into my fiction.

Keeping on keeping on through challenges.

Taking on home education and knowing that my daughter’s mental wellbeing had to come first.

Losing weight.

Reaching out to suggest social events with others.

11. Tell us the challenges you overcame

Depression. This has blighted my life for a decade. I felt it was OK for others to seek help but not me. In the end, all I had to do was see a GP, get some happy pills and see myself in the mirror again. Simples.

12. Tell us the things you would like to change about your life in 2015.

1. To continue to make progress in work.

2. To continue to lose weight and get fitter.

3. To forgive myself for the things I am not perfect at. Why should anyone be good at everything?

4. To do better at blogging and also to actively seek other writing and social media opportunities.

5. To get involved in home education meetings.

6. To continue to build on friendships and have some fun.

7. I quite fancy seeing if I would be any good as a visitor to a lonely old person.

8. To not stress about the goals I do not reach.

Over to you. Any blogger can have a go at this one if they fancy reflecting back on the year. What were your highs and lows of 2014?

Tagging some lovely bloggers

@AutismMumma @OjosWorld @sarahjchristie @messedupmum @CupcakeMumma11 @usthreebythesea @IndigoChlo @dragonsflypoppy @Glasgow_Mummy @needaphone @pndandme @SonyaCisco @TheBeezleyBuzz

If you choose to take part, please tag at 3 or more other bloggers.