So, I have had a little kick up the bottom to write this entry – which is good because if I am brutally honest, I have been lacking a lot of self-motivation this week, ha!
I took part in a zoom conference meeting hosted by Ann from @bloomsburybeginnings on Tuesday and mentioned one of the goals I wanted to set for our next meeting would be to publish another blog post.
I enrolled to Ann’s ‘Grow your idea start up’ course this time last year and found it extremely useful. You can read more about my experience here: https://www.threelittlepandas.co.uk/post/bloomsburybeginnings
Ann asked me a couple of days prior if I’d be interested in taking part in more sessions (but fortnightly and remotely) and of course I said “YES!”
You see the thing is, creating Three Little Pandas from scratch and running it alone is A LOT. I have mentioned this previously in posts that the daily juggle can be difficult at times and sometimes it can get overwhelming.
It’s impossible to do many things at once, no matter how good at multitasking we think we are and sometimes we need the extra encouragement, words of wisdom, an outsiders perspective to give you critical feedback in a relative way. Ann does this and I admire her a lot for it.
I have had a mixture of productive days followed by flat out stay in pjs, forget to brush your teeth until it’s time for bed type of days, which I have learned is completely normal if you are human!
I feel that I’ve been able to re-evaluate my outlook on things be it business or personal related a bit clearer this week (I have had my fair share of teary moments too but those emotions needed to come out and now feel better for it).
Saying that, I wanted to share with you some of the things I have noticed and changed and how it has benefitted myself and the family during this lockdown (so far):
1. Laid back approach to HOMESCHOOLING: Those first couple of weeks were a nightmare. I had this vision in my head of what homeschooling three children should be like and I simply couldn’t match it. I heavily criticised myself if we didn’t complete all the work that was set and drove myself crazy as a result.
Since then I have implemented a new “rule”. One piece of work from the list needs to be done each day (for the younger two) and if not then to be completed the next day. – we have smashed this target and find ourselves doing more than we have set out to achieve even if we do “skip a school day” and as a family I think we are more relaxed because of it.
2. Taking a TIME OUT when things get heated: Sharing a space 24/7 and us being two adults and three children in a small, two bedroom London flat there are bound to be disagreements. Both Papa and I would agree that I am the more patient one in the family and it takes a lot for me to raise my voice but when I do or I feel ready to explode I take myself into the bedroom, or the toilet (ha!) to just breathe it out (the frustration that is). Which leads me nicely into my next point...
3. Talk, don’t shout: I switch off when I hear raised voices. I don’t know if that’s the rebellious child in me but I simply don’t respond to people shouting at me – unless of course I am at the end of my tether to which I would remove myself from the situation to have a time out. I am a believer in that you don’t need to be loud to get your point across. If your message is strong and articulated in a way that the other person will be able to understand, shouting really isn’t necessary. - Plus, we live in a small quiet block of flats and the noise echoes up to the neighbours and I’m not ready for police to be knocking on our door anytime soon (eek).
4. Get creative: I’ve always been a creative type. I love art, painting, making things. As you may have noticed I am also finding writing more enjoyable – once I get into the swing of it. Whilst Shayne and Sienna have been staying with their father in East London, Benji and I have been doing quite a few creative projects which we’ve both enjoyed. It makes a nice bonding time for us and is also very calming (win!).
5. SLEEP: Sleep has always been a weaker subject but lately it’s been getting better – ish. Still room for improvement but bringing sleep time earlier definitely makes a difference.
6. Phone a friend: I have a close circle of friends I often speak to and genuinely think that keeping in touch with them and family has helped maintain my sanity (arguably perhaps worsened theirs – but we love each other and that’s what friends are for 😉)
7. HOUSEWORK: I like a tidy home. If you follow my personal Instagram @finz_g you would notice a lot of before and after posts of me decluttering and reorganising to make our small home a more practical space. Truthfully, I think it’s more of a therapy for me. Tidy house, tidy brain. If I can see clarity physically, I am then ready to tackle the next thing mentally. However, I have learned that this can sometimes put an unnecessary pressure on myself and so I have days where I don’t do any housework (gosh, you should see our kitchen and floors on those days - yuck!). It’s nice though, because when I am ready to be proactive I feel a further sense of accomplishment - like I’ve climbed the top of the icy mountain of laundry and made it melt (wow, some superpower stuff).
I think those are the biggest things I’ve noticed this week and hope that by sharing this with you gives you the opportunity to reflect on how you deal with/feel about certain situations.
I know we are all doing the best we can given the current circumstances but I am always open to learning different ways of dealing with different topics so feel free to start up a conversation.
Papa is off work for the next few days so I am really hoping we manage to do our first podcast together.
If there is a particular topic you think would be good for us to address let us know in the comments or send us a message. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Super look forward to hearing from you and until our next blog, take care and stay safe!