The tip of the iceberg..

‘The tip of the iceberg, ‘my metaphor for how I see my daughter coping with her studies and Dyslexia. How I imagine she and others study within a school system that mostly does not cater for Neurodiversity, despite the rhetoric. To manage within a system that primarily does not cater to their needs, much less their strengths.

Schools are not, in my opinion, fully resourced to support each child assessed as having a Specific Learning Disability. From my experience, the support boiled down to extra time in exams, which was hugely welcome and appreciated at the time. But there was not much else. 

Does it need to be this hard?

After four years, the phrase also describes what I am learning about Dyslexia and how it affects our daughter.

Thank you Pixabay

Even as a parent, I do not see all the angst/anxiety. The effort required to appear as though everything is alright – to mask what is going on beneath the surface.

Everyday life can be energy-sapping and exhausting if your brain processes information differently; if your brain has an alternative way of making sense of the world.

The energy-sapping, exhaustion of everyday life can happen if you think differently if your brain processes information in a different way. It might not take much for someone to suffer from overwhelm, as they struggle to organise themselves if they are easily distracted and forgetful.

I can now recognise how tired our daughter was at the end of a school day and exhausted by the end of each school year. It all makes more sense, now.  

The ‘tip of the iceberg,’ for me represents the mountain of effort it takes to poke through the surface and appear as though we are coping, managing.

And this can result in limiting what we do, limiting ourselves.

So what have I learned in four years?

  • I am Dyslexic, though I only came to realise this for myself two years ago.  
  • To work with our strengths and accept where we both struggle. Accept our Dyslexic brains.
  • Dyslexia is ongoing; some struggles are daily. But then so are the things at which we excel.  
  • Patience, this is something that is occasionally in short supply, especially during these times. And I have no excuse to offer, even with my own Dyslexia.
  • To leave enough space for her to think, to avoid filling in the blanks and not jump in with my conclusions  before she has had time to gather and process her thoughts.
  • Unlike me, I now understand that she needs to process her thoughts verbally. She appears to need to hear herself think.
  • Coach her towards creating strategies that support her learning.
  • We both need to do our work in short, sharp bursts. And then we need to move physically, for an alternate focus.
  • Like me, I think she needs to prime her brain to be at her best. We can both cobble together something off the cuff if necessary, but being repeatedly asked to do this can be anxiety-inducing and exhausting.
  • To coach her to start, get something down on paper even if it is not perfect. Editing and reviewing are our new best friends. Trying for perfection first time is unrealistic and stops us both in our tracks. It is a kind of procrastination and avoidance.
  • We both need routines, but specifics work best for my child, not abstract ideas. We also need a clear structure – a container within which we can work, along with permission to break out at times.
  • To-do lists are helpful but not so long, they overwhelm and distract.
  • If you are the parent of a child with SpLD, it is probably down to you to drill down to understand what it means for your child. 

But most of all, I have learned to respect and love the brains we have. 

Until next time

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

A letter to the Queen………..

I first wrote about this incident in 2014, and again in 2016 to celebrate the Queen’s 90th.  Now in 2020 with the global pandemic and the general state of Christmas, I feel compelled to give it another airing.

It still makes me smile to this day, so without further ado, I give you: 

A letter to the Queen………………..

“Your majesty.”

Is how I imagine the letter of complaint about me and the service I was running might have begun? Unfortunately, at the time, I did not have the foresight to take a copy of the letter, or I might not have had the opportunity.

This incident which occurred in 1997, taught me one fundamental lesson. If you are going to put ‘pen to paper’ and write a letter of complaint – then go straight to the top, do not ‘mess about’ with the people in between.

As believe it or not this letter of complaint addressed to our Queen at Buckingham palace made its way over a few weeks (It did not take long) to my employer at the time. The first I heard of it was when my line manager waved a copy of it under my nose one morning and asked me to give him some background. Warning me that I was to be questioned further by Senior Management.

Luckily for me, or maybe due to some prescience, I had laboriously copied out all the correspondence between myself and the author of the letter and so had a thick file of correspondence to present to Senior Management.

I was not worried, to be honest.  I genuinely felt that we had done the best we could in the circumstances. We were operating in a time before emails, video links, Skype etc. So perhaps our mistake was in being too optimistic in agreeing to support this student living in Hong Kong.

With hindsight, I probably should have taken this to my manager at an earlier stage, after being sent the same pieces of work three or four times. Each time with the same mistakes, comments and corrections by the tutor, nothing seemed to move on.

Presented with my file, Senior Management could see what had happened, could see there was no fault attached to either party and decided that it made sense to refund his fees in full. They also wrote to the Queen’s office to assure them that the matter was now closed.

As for me, I continued with this employer for a few more years before deciding to move on and start my own business.

But it tickles me that somewhere within the vaults at Buckingham Palace there is a letter of complaint about me and it tickles me that it found its way to my employer. Today I also feel a sense of pride that I live in a country where anyone from anywhere in the world can write to our Queen and potentially have their cause taken up.

Now that is what I call accountability. 😊

So, there you have it, until next time.

Janice Taylor

https://www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk/

No Novelist here, thank you very much

‘It could be a novel, then?’

Six words that stopped me in my tracks recently while I was talking to someone about my writing, and my work in progress.

For three years, I have been telling myself that I am merely writing a collection of stories, nothing more, nothing less. And it is this mind trick, this sleight of hand that has enabled me to put down some 100,000 words for my project, alongside the writing I do for my blogs and the work I do as a career coach.  

In twelve years, I have published hundreds of posts on the four different blogs I manage. I have no idea how many words that represent, but if I had set myself the task of writing a novel, I would not have written a single syllable.

The idea of being a novelist does not sit right with me, and maybe that will be the subject of another post. But interestingly, it took someone else to point out the obvious that I have practically written a novel. At some level, I must have realised that setting this as a goal for myself would have limited me, held me back. Ironic, that I had to use a tale to write my own.

Though being Dyslexic, I tend to write in short sharp bursts; I cannot write 1000s of words in a single day, let alone in a single sitting. Which is why I started with one short story, this seemed manageable, doable. Then with the encouragement and support of my writing group, I kept writing and adding stories.  Putting down a few words, a few sentences every day. Spurred on by one remarkable piece of advice from one very dear member of the group:

‘Do something related to your project every day – does not have to be writing, could be research, note-taking, editing – but do something on it every day.’

Once I was further into my project, the same person then suggested I write a summary for each story. And this has helped me structure, my work and focus on what I wanted each to convey.

Bloody hell, my work in progress is now at 100,000 words, apparently the same size as a PhD thesis. Mum would be pleased 😊; she always wanted me to complete one 😉.

I have tricked myself into getting this far – now let us see what happens next.

So, there you have it until next time

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

Quotes for life, Quotes for work

No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted – Aesop

I still remember the kindness of the people I worked with, in my first full-time job, thirty years ago. One was a senior manager inviting two penniless recent graduates around for Sunday lunch with him and his wife. Two, whoever it was that voted to give me a second chance after a poor performance review. I would have been in big trouble had I lost this job; instead, I ended up staying with them for over four years.

So, who do you remember with gratitude and affection?

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for – Oprah Winfrey

This quote reminds me of a young woman who came into our Learning shop one day to ask if we were taking on volunteers. As the manager, I could see how nervous she was, in approaching us, but I still admire her for having the courage to come in and ask.

It also reminds me that it was during my first degree that I learnt to ask for more from life, the single most empowering thing that came out of those four years. 

So, what do you need the courage to ask for?

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall – Confucius

It took seven attempts for me to pass my driving test almost thirty years ago, but I am so glad I stuck at it because once I did it flipped a switch and I then went on to achieve a whole host of other things.

So, how will you pick yourself up today?

Instead of seeing the rug pulled from under us, we learn to dance on a shifting carpet – Thomas F. Crum

Makes me laugh as I imagine myself hopping and skipping about on a moving carpet. It is how I  think about change and the need to embrace it, go with it willingly rather than being dragged along.

So, how good are you with change? 

I’ve learned over the years, that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear – Rosa Parks

Reminds me that there are times when you need to commit and go for it. Direct your energy and focus on producing the change you want, rather than worrying over it.

So, what do you need to commit to today?  

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it; it just blooms – Lao Tzu

Reminds me that far too many of us are needlessly comparing ourselves to what we see other people, doing on Social Media. We are perhaps struggling with Fear of Missing Out and the accumulation of ‘likes’ on our feeds.  Now more than ever, I believe we need to focus on our own journey and allow others to do the same.   

So, with whom are you needlessly comparing yourself?

Talk to yourself like you would someone you love – Brene Brown 

Because, why would you not? And you are the one person who is always listening. 

So, how are you talking to yourself? And would you really, speak to your best friend like this?

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly – R Buckminster Fuller 

Do not allow others to define you; write your future out for you. Very little in my early life points to me having access to higher education, let alone running my own business. And this is from someone who had remedial reading classes in the days before we talked about Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.

So, how much do you believe in your potential? 

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘ I will try again tomorrow.’ – Mary Anne Radmacher 

With everything currently going on, I can recognise there are people living lives of quiet desperation, who still turn up every day to do what needs to be done.

So, how will your courage show up today? 

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose – Dr Seuss 

Another quote that makes me laugh but also reminds me that we can recognise the resources, support, and power we already have. We do not have to wait for society’s permission to make a start. Start the research, the writing, the singing, the degree, the apprentice

That’s it, until next time.

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

Keep showing up, come what may

In the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s killing – I found myself teetering between bone weariness and diabolical rage. I could not make sense of any of it, my outrage, my anger, my hurt, my dismay was all bundled up in a knot that took me some time to untangle.

I still do not know how this will affect me in the long-term, but one thing I am noticing is my fierce determination to keep showing up, come what may.

SSB 1 March 2019

In the early days, I watched in a daze as events unfolded around the world, on social media, and in the area where I live. I noticed and appreciated how some people were able to share their thoughts with care and consideration. I looked for and found leadership and guidance from those people who laid out their feelings in a coherent way. While I could barely string a sentence together, I was still in the middle of a rant, with thoughts like, ‘why bother?  Nothing is ever going to change,’ careering through my head.

So, what helped?

Two things,

I read – the articles and posts from other black people who were able to marshal their emotions and thoughts and express them so eloquently and, I followed others that were also struggling, realising that I was not alone in this.

I wrote, free-flow in my journal, allowing myself to put it all on paper. Get it out of my head, and my heart and dump it all on the page. Better to heave it out onto the page, my rage, my disgust, my fear, than have it churning around inside of me.

To quote, Alice Walker, ‘writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.’

Today, I am more contained and calmer as I have settled on a way of being through this.

So, as a black woman, I am fiercely determined to:

  • Keep showing up come what may.
  • Get my writing out into the public domain.
  • Have those conversations with white friends and colleagues.
  • Celebrate black excellence wherever I find it.
  • Remain vigilant, watch what people do as well as what they say
  • Continue to support those who speak out against racism.

So, there you have it

Until next time

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

 

 

 

Standing by your colleagues

‘Jackie Robinson was the first black player in the US to play major league baseball. While breaking baseball’s colour barrier, he faced jeering crowds in every stadium. Playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he made an error, and his own fans began to boo him. As he stood humiliated at second base, ‘Pee Wee’ Reese came over and stood next to him, put his arm around Robinson and they faced the crowd together. ‘

Source: – UCB July 2014

I am still processing all that has happened in the USA with George Floyd, and I have more to say around this topic. But for the moment the story above reminds me of an incident that happened to someone I know, let us call her Sue (not her real name) while in a meeting at work.

careerresilience friends

The story then goes onto explain how the crowd grew quiet, the game continued, and Robinson acknowledged, that one arm around his shoulder probably saved his career. There are times when others need to step forward and stand with you. When someone made a racist remark in a meeting with Sue present, there was no one who ‘put an arm’ around her. Over the years, we have discussed this and recognise that in many ways, this was the most disappointing and upsetting aspect of the whole sorry business.

Clearly, some of the people in that meeting had not heard the remark, some were perhaps shocked, others might have been deeply embarrassed, and others still might not have taken the comment seriously. We will never know for sure – what we do know for certain is that no one challenged the comment publicly (not sure if anyone else challenged privately, either). On this occasion, there was no ‘Pee Wee’ Reese to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sue.

After some reflection, Sue did take it further with her manager, and there was eventually some resolution as people were able to sit around the table and sensibly talk through the event. Sue did come away feeling that she had addressed the issue to the best of her ability, I guess we both wished that ‘in the moment’ someone else could have stepped forward to stand with her and acknowledge the wrongness of the remark.

I believe that in situations like these, you are fine if you know, your friends and colleagues have your back.

So, there you have it until next time.

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

 

Our delicate little flower

That is how I would describe our almost seven-year-old Viessmann boiler, an Orchid that needs lots of tender loving care. Because without fail, at least once and generally around this time of year the heat exchanger contained within it, gets clogged and the whole bloody thing shuts down.

For those of you interested in this type of thing a heat exchanger, and I’m quoting from the Viessmann site: A heat exchanger does precisely what its name describes – it allows heat to be exchanged between two fluids or substances, usually water or gas, without letting the substances mix together.

If you would like to read further, please visit the site: https://www.viessmann.co.uk/heating-advice/what-is-a-heat-exchanger

Pittabread April 1 2020

Since we replaced our twenty-year-old Worcester Bosch, which in my opinion was more of a weed and thus more robust. Our Viessman has required a more hands-on approach, more delicate handling. And before anyone asks we had a MagnaClean fitted on the advice of our registered installer, so there is no real reason for any dirt to get through.

So, during our seven years together, I’ve developed a bit of a ‘love, hate relationship’ with our boiler. I can sense its moods and read when the bloody thing is going to break down, no mean feat, with some of our extended winters.

And two years ago when I first noticed fluctuations with the hot water from the shower, I booked our heating engineer for midday on Monday 19th February and, precisely two weeks after making the call our boiler stopped working entirely on the Sunday before.

Since then, I have been pre-empting any problems by booking ahead with our heating engineer.  I was all set to make the call, as usual, this month, but then we had Lockdown, and it seems if our ‘flower’ stops working, we are on our own.

The minute there is too much detritus in the heat exchanger the whole boiler will shut down. And yes, I know this is to protect it, but if this happens in the next week or so, we will have neither heating nor more importantly, hot water on tap.

So, the question for the immediate future is, will our boiler make it through the current crisis?

If it does, I’m celebrating with cake and a glass of bubbly.

If it doesn’t, I have a plan 😉.

I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

A brief history of my hair

Looking back, I realise I’ve had quite a few different hairstyles over the years. And now it’s clear to me that each change of style signified a momentous shift in my life. So, as well as I can remember, this is what happened to my hair.

The Afro

Of all the styles I’ve had in my life thus far, my beloved Afro was the most labour-intensive. I spent at least an hour each night plaiting my hair and then a good twenty minutes each morning undoing it.  All, so I could maintain its’ softness and shape. I wore my Joan Armatrading sized ‘fro’ almost perfect in its’ roundness with great pride for about six years, through secondary school to my third year at Poly.

Mum finally said yes to an Afro when I was in my fourth year at school. Until then, I’d had it straightened with a hot comb every week and then braided.

Pittabread 2 Jan 2020

So, growing, up in the late 70s, in the Medway Towns, I then had to hunt down a hairdresser who was both able and prepared to cut it. And here I must say, ‘thank you, Chris,’ you took some finding, and I still remember the look of panic on your face when I first walked into your salon.

Mum had offered her services, but after seeing her use the green salad bowl to shape my sister’s Afro, I politely declined. I was determined to find a professional, though to be fair, my sister’s style didn’t turn out too badly.

Then, of course, I had to get the first morning of school out of the way. To say my appearance in the changing room, on Monday morning caused an uproar is putting it mildly. Friends and enemies alike had grown used to my shoulder-length braids. And I spent the next two years extracting, pens, pencils, rulers and various other bits and pieces from my hair.

Much the same happened when I left to go to college.

The Wet Look Perm

From the mid-to-late eighties, when I was in my early twenties, my style of choice was the wet look perm, the most expensive and time-consuming of all.  I spent hours, days, months sitting around in my local hairdressers waiting to get my head seen to.

With each treatment, a cocktail of chemicals was applied to straighten, perm and then set my hair, so I may well have shortened my life with the stuff I inhaled during this process. Mind you the same can probably be said of the two years I spent sniffing at the various chemicals as part of my Chemistry A’ level. I couldn’t always be bothered to traipse across to a fume cupboard or dip a bit of litmus paper into a tube.

But no matter, I always felt great when I finally emerged with shoulder-length wavy hair, kind of Rita Hayworth like. Until of course, my natural hair grew back, and then I’d have to go through the whole bloody rigmarole again.  Not to mention all the potions needed to maintain the texture.  I had bottles of ‘Sta, Sof, Fro’ permanently stacked on my shelves.

I also spent a lot of time changing pillowcases.

Pittabread March 2 2020

 

Synthetic Braids 

Not too much to say about this one, I don’t think it lasted too long. I ended up with shoulder-length braids that were a mixture of nylon and my hair. All I can remember is it took at least eight hours to put them in and even longer to take them out. Still, there were no chemicals involved, and they lasted longer than the perms.

The weave 

I opted for ‘the weave’ in the early 90s while travelling around Australia for three months. I had my natural hair plaited in concentric circles around my head, and then a curtain of synthetic hair sewn onto it. The effect was shoulder-length straightish hair that I hoped would be easier to manage in the heat and humidity of Australia. It wasn’t a complete success.

The short perm

At the age of thirty,  I decide enough is enough and march into my hairdressers, demanding she cut it all off. Seeing my shoulder-length natural hair, she refuses, and after some negotiation, we agree on a short perm. I can’t tell you how much lighter I felt when I left that evening with a head of hair that was the shortest I’d had in years. Despite the chemicals, I loved it; and I said goodbye to Rita Hayworth, forever.

And this was the style I chose to wear on my wedding day.

The Number One

I lost patience again and perhaps a bit of sanity when I became a mother in my late thirties and decided hair was mostly overrated.  I didn’t have the will to bother. So, I bought myself a pair of clippers and had a few attempts at cutting it myself, with mixed results. I even persuaded my husband to have a go, which was even worse.

When we eventually moved to Brighton in the early 2000s, I found a local barber, who could cut it how I liked. And I oscillated between a number one and number two for almost ten years.

The Unloved Hedge 

My hair stayed short much to the chagrin of mum until she died and then, of course, I couldn’t bring myself to cut it. The unloved hedge is how my daughter chose to describe my hair for her English homework. By this time, it was not quite a full-blown Afro. I’d left it to grow a couple of inches, but without the benefit of nightly plaiting to keep it soft and manageable, it had become a bit unloved.

Things might well have continued in this vein had I not holidayed in Jamaica, where our housekeeper offered to ‘tidy up my head.’ She plaited it up for a reasonable fee and assured me that if I left them, they would, over time lock and I’d end up with dreadlocks. In the meantime, and to the relief of my aunt, I had a headful of neat and tiny plaits. Jamaican women don’t do tatty heads, especially when visiting relatives.

Dreadlocks Sept 2016

 

The dreadlocks 

Today, I am the proud owner of a head of shoulder-length locks just as the housekeeper predicted.

Though I strongly suspect if mum were alive today, she might see my dreadlocks as being a bit too ‘Rasta’ ;).

So, there you have it until next time.

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

A memorable end to a forgettable night

This month’s post is an airing of an old favourite, going back to my days as a single woman in my late-twenties and some of the bonkers things I used to do. After almost thirty years, this whole episode still makes me laugh but also demonstrates what a ‘nightmare’ I could be at times 😉.

So, without further ado I give you, a memorable end to a forgettable night:

Pittabread 2 Jan 2020

Back in the early 90s my friend, Fiona and I used to regularly go clubbing mid-week. We would faithfully promise each other to be back or at the very least heading home by 1am, which invariably ended up being nearer 2am. But in those days we were both able to get up for work at 7am the same morning, and still function. As I approach my sixties, I cannot begin to imagine doing this now, not without having at least one, maybe two weeks to recover.

In any case, I used to meet Fiona at her place, and we’d both then trot off to Charlie Chan’s in Walthamstow, for our midweek ‘boogie’. I can’t recall the last time I went clubbing, but I think the ‘peak’ of my clubbing career was from my late-20s to early-30s. It was a small window. Though, I do vaguely remember being turned away from Faces in Essex, some years later at a Christmas night out with work colleagues. Don’t think we were glammed up enough and it was a spur of the moment thing.

However, on this one night we were joined by another friend, let’s call her Tina. At the end of the evening, Tina had the number of Gavin, the young man she’d been chatting with. I, on the other hand, had achieved nothing. After a few drinks and a few dances, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. So, when Tina emerged triumphant from the club, waving a slip of paper and declaring she had his number, I didn’t stop to think. I grabbed at it and shoved it straight into my mouth.

Fiona immediately dropped to the floor on my right laughing, and Tina swung round to stand in front of me, demanding that I return her property. I just stood there happily chewing away, and it was only when an increasingly frantic Tina started screaming in my face that I decided to do the right thing. It took some doing; I was on the point of swallowing. But in the end, I coughed up the ‘precious piece of paper’ and deposited it onto her palm. Much to the amusement of Fiona and the relief of Tina.

And rather wonderfully, Tina and Gavin invited me to their wedding reception, where he took the time to thank me for not digesting his number. It just goes to show, you can’t stand in the way of true love.

Now, as I listen to some of the old club classics, on my Spotify list and bob along, it reminds me – ‘you can take the girl out of the club, but never quite get the club out of the girl.’

So, there you have it, until next time

Pittabread.

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

Lessons from being a mum, 2019

I was amazed and very proud of my daughter, a few days ago as we sat discussing her progress on her two- year college course. She is currently studying a mix of A’ levels and BTECs. But it was her comment on her Summer exams that floored me, and I’m paraphrasing here; ‘if I don’t do well, I can retake. I’m not going to worry about the outcome too much.’

Now before you all write in to put me straight, let me point out; clearly, I would prefer she does well and is happy with her result. Before her GCSEs, both my husband and I encouraged her to focus on putting in the work, rather than worrying about the result. But to hear this from a little girl who was always petrified of failure and putting a foot wrong, this is a huge step forward. As her mum, I am hugely relieved to hear she has a plan B and whatever happens, we’ll both be there to support her.

Isobel on beach 2016

So, now, I’m thinking again about the lessons I’ve learnt from being a mum.  Both the serious and the not so serious:

  • First things first, despite tummy bugs, infections and sickness, the preschool years were a walk in the park.
  • ‘Mummy I have a tummy ache,’ ninety-nine per cent of the time all that is required is a trip to the loo.
  • I learnt to cope with just about anything that emerged from either end, through sickness or illness. I was amazed at what I could get on and do when I had to.
  • You will be hijacked by your emotions when you least expect it. I remember bursting into tears, when our daughter emerged on the stage as a star in her preschool, Nativity. I then laughed as the star I’d made for her started to slip off her back.
  • ‘Mum, I am bored is not a cue for me to leap about providing entertainment. The ability to manage boredom is an under-rated skill.
  • You feel their pain when they are upset and hurting.
  • There are times when I need to act as a buffer between her and the rest of the world, school and life in general. To give her the time and space, she needs to just ‘be’.
  • When I need to step in and play, ‘bad cop’, and say ‘no,’ on her behalf. There is at least one P.E. teacher who is still probably shaking her head at the mention of my name  ;).
  • That I can start to relax a little and let go of some of my anxiety. In the early days, I always felt I needed to be especially alert and watchful over her.
  • I’d fight to the death for her. But I can’t fight all her battles, as she matures and grows I will need to step back and allow her to face the consequences of some of her actions.
  • That I’m tougher in certain situations than I thought and will hold it together if I perceive that my daughter needs me to be firm and clear, interestingly I am noticing this in my work with vulnerable young women.
  • I need to ‘pick my battles’, know when I need to stand firm and when to simply, ‘let it go.’ In the past, more experienced mums have said to me, ‘you will not have the time and energy to fight everything, decide on your priorities and stick to them.’
  • These days our children seem particularly anxious, something that is not helped by social media. There have been times when I’ve said to my daughter, ‘if they are not friends with you in the real world, they are not your friend in the virtual one.’
  • Not everything is a drama; I don’t always need to get swept up in it all.
  • I am far more interested in her resilience and her ability to persevere than her exam grades which will always be relatively short-lived.
  • Being consistent is helpful, I am consistently ‘grumpy mum’ as far as my daughter is concerned, but I am there for her, and I think she knows that.
  • Get the help you need when you need it. There is no shame in bringing in professional help.

And my final lesson:

Our daughter is a wonderful gift, pure and simple.

So, there you have it

Until next time

Pittabread

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk