Instagram

How to be the Perfect Mum – Top Ten Tips

Right before we go any further I just want to say There is no such thing as the perfect mum! Right Ive got that off my chest Ill explain later but first lets just take a moment to embrace the amazing mother you already are! You are here for a start right? You find yourself reading this you are struggling with something right now am I right? Well becuase you seeking ways to fix whatever is going on right now means that you are already AMAZING! So read on my friend to find 10 ways to be an amazing mum!

I want to be the perfect mum!

Ok so lets get that vision of perfect out of your head. What even is perfect? tidy house all the time? Always put together, always has time for the kids no matter what, fresh home made meals every night all sat around the table, limited screen time, drives the best car, never shouts, never has a bad word to say about anyone.

The list goes on! OMG! How boring would life be to tick every one of those boxes? To be Perfect? I would even argue that my idea of the perfect mum is different to yours, which is a different version of perfect to that of my husband, to that of the mum you already see as perfect’s vision of perfect.

Parents constantly seeking perfection actually harm their ability to parent! In fact “seeking perfection in parenting parents are less likely to parent effectively!”

This is taken from a study by Sarah Shoppe Sullivan

You are already amazing

I have already stated what an amazing job you are doing even if it does not feel like that right now. But you are just look. Look at the memories you have already shared, the dinners you have cooked, the night feeds you struggled with, the processes you went through to give you that job role of all job roles – mum!

What I would love you to do before you implement any of the tips here is to take a moment to ask your children (If they are old enough to answer.) why they think you are an awesome mummy. Now this question may need tweaking for children going through their own set of challenges so if you need extra support on this feel free to head into facebook or instagram and we can have a chat about where you could get some extra support from!

I asked my kids and they said things like “because you take us on holiday”, “Because you are silly”, “you give good snuggles”

Ok I’m an awesome mum but I still need a few ways to be even better!

One

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

I kept banging on about “trying to live a simple life” yet It wasn’t until I sat down and looked around one day that i actually had achieved it! Ok my home isn’t minimalist, but I’ve cut down on the crap in life, our family schedule is lighter, the list of things I often used to worry about are shrunk, I dont buy as much stuff, But my my own standards I feel like life is a lot simpler now than it ever has been. Even with what often feels like a million kids!

Two

Top Up Your Teapot first!

Self care gets banded around A LOT! It is often talked about as bubble baths, walks in the sunshine, a quick brew and a sneaky bar of chocolate and while all that is fan bloody tastic Self care is more than that! Its about your whole wellbeing. Its about what you stuff in your face, what you do in your day to day, how you sleep, when you move everything. If you want to find out more about your teapot filling I have an amazing Self Care program that is self guided for you! Lets get Self(ish) is such a great program that will talk you through why its important to look after you first and how to implement self care into you busy #mumlife!

Three

Morning has broken

Yeh morning chaos has broken me more like! If you are scraping yourself out of bed with the noise of the kids after scrolling for the past hour and now you are stressed because you cant find shoes, the kids have poured cereal all over and you haven’t even had your first brew yet then something needs to change! I find getting up and out of bed before the rest of the house gives me a chance to create a little morning ritual where I then head into my day less stressed. My morning ritual includes a little bit of meditation, my morning brew, a moment outside to breathe in the first morning air, as well as getting a few chores ticked off and getting the breakfast ready for the kids coming downstairs.

Four

Praise the good

We often find ourselves trying to stop the unwanted behaviours dont we? Yet how often do you praise the good behaviours? Tell our kids how thankful we are for the things they do. How good it makes you feel when they play with their siblings, take turns, talk nicely to each other, remember their manners etc. Next time you find you have a quiet moment think about the good the kids have done tell them.

Five

Healthy Food For Life

I know how hard it is to get healthy foods inside our children but if we start leading by example and cutting out the not so great stuff then our children will learn and start to understand about the healthy relationship with food. Often our children reach for snack after snack after snack. I am not saying you can never have a chocolate bar in the house again but we have to teach them and ourselves that these things are not for consuming every day. We can make simple swaps for healthier snacks. There are some great resources out there to make meal times a little easier.

Six

Date time

Spending 20 mins a day one to one time with our children is so beneficial to our bond with them, to their emotional wellbeing, to their development when they are young and for teaching them how to play. When you have multiple children in a family, add to that household chores and work commitments etc it can be hard to fit in one to one time each day for everyone. Another option for this one to one time os to have a “date” with our children maybe you could commit to each child on different days, maybe one week you can take the teen out for coffee and a chat, maybe you can kick a ball about with your 8 year old, it could be that you have a spa day with one of your children. What ever it is that helps you both connect a little more on that one to one basis.

Seven

Shut Down The Tech

Everywhere I go there is someone buried in a screen, whether in the coffee shop, the tweens bedroom, walking down the street, even the school gates. I love tech, its given me so much. An amazing community, friends that get me and have my back, hope when I was going through my toughest of days. There is so many positives to tech but there is also a down side to it. It distracts us, it can make us feel depressed even. So we should take breaks from tech often. Especially when we are with our children. I know that they are fantastic for a bit of peace every now and again. I mean there is something to be said for minecraft & cbeebies. So give yourself a break every now and again!

Eight

Non Negotiable and house rules

If we have rules that we expect everyone to follow, then everyone needs to know the rules by making a list of house rules. House rules can be anything from your non negotiables list. It could be no screens at the dinner table or no shoes in the house, being kind to siblings and friends which you can mix in with things like have an adventure each week, kids pick Friday night movie and other fun things.

Nine

Mistakes are Ideal learning opportunities

Let those mistakes happen, we all make them its how we grow, how we learn, how we develop a new way. Our children learn the same way, as well as seeing how we deal with our own mistakes. When we admit our mistakes openly our children can see they are ok to make mistakes too. SO admit and accept that sometimes mistakes can happen.

Ten

Get the Help

There is no shame in asking for help! it doesn’t matter what you need the help with! Maybe you are thinking about getting a cleaner, or your mum irons for you. Maybe you are thinking of working with a coach or mentor to help you get on track with your business, your health, your home etc. It could be that you have felt ashamed of getting some help for your mental wellbeing. But if you need help you need help! There is absolutely no shame in asking for help.

So remember You already are an amazing mum and there is no such thing as perfect however these few tips will elevate your motherhood a little bit more if you want that.

Nina x


If you have found this helpful and want to go deeper into making your motherhood less stressful, less overwhelming and start celebrating and embracing the imperfectly chaotic moments of motherhood which is where I believe the best memories live Then why not pop over to the Chaotic Motherhood tribe over on facebook where we chat about all things motherhood and life in general. We have guest experts come in to give us ways to improve our motherhood.

The community is a great place to find connection with like minded mums, a place where you will not feel alone!

Overwhelmed By Chaos – What Is The Cost?

You are handed this little bundle or two of joy then sent home with no manual and no guidance to how to navigate this new role you find yourself in. If you are lucky its a breeze, your baby fits in with how you live, They sleep and you just know what to get done, how to get it done and when! But for the majority of us this little tiny bundle brings chaos, or even adds to the chaos that you have in your life already.

Being a mum, can be hard, If we haven’t had the role models ourself to show us the way,. If we dont have the support of our family or friends around us it can be really hard to to navigate parenthood and the motherhood load that being a parent brings with it.

The Chaos of the motherhood load can look different for each of us and our level of overwhelm can also be different from person to person.

What does the CHAOS of Motherhood load look like?

  • Stuff – Too much stuff everywhere, stuff you need, stuff that well-meaning family buy for you, stuff you thought you would need because you saw someone else use it on instagram. The reality is bringing up humans does require a basic mount of”Stuff” however you really can get by with a minimal amount and when we have systems in place we can limit the amount of clutter that takes over our house.
  • Mess – While the Stuff can cause a lot of the mess around our home and decluttering can help reduce this sometimes day to day messes feel separate to our stuff. Mess could be the mess left around the sink while the kids brush their teeth, it could be rubbish strewn across the landing because there is no rubbish bin upstairs. Mess again is something that each person will have a different threshold for from house to house and from person to person within the same family.
  • Schedules– When those babies turn into school aged kids days can start getting filled with after school clubs, spirts clubs, scouts, play dates, homework, etc. Before you know it every evening is full and you end up overbooking and ending up overwhelmed with the chaos of getting one child to one thing and another child to another right at the other end of the town.
  • Too Many Chores – The never ending laundry pile, keeping the kitchen clean each day, washing bedding, cleaning the skirting boards, washing the windows, this area of the motherhood load can break even the calmest of parents. You can often feel like no matter how hard you try there is never an end to it!
  • Finances– When you bring another human into your world they do come with their own set of bills and outgoings. from food, to nappies, to clothes, childcare, entertainment costs – crafts, soft play and then looking to the future uni fees, first car, the list just goes on. If you are already struggling with finances it can get really chaotic when you add extra mouths to feed.
  • Relationships – Ok You decide to have a baby together but each of you have your own expectations, sometimes if you are the main care giver you can feel resentful that your partner doesn’t seem to have the same amount of responsibilities. Your non mu friends can lose touch because they just dont get why you are too busy for them or too tired. Your in laws, parents etc can get too involved or not involved enough and this can feel a little overwhelming.

So as you can see as a parent there are lots of areas where the chaos can build and you can soon feel like youre chasing your tail. When you let overwhelm in it can lead to burnout which brings its own set of problems.

Ok So what is the cost?

Again for each family, for each individual the cost of letting the chaos of motherhood overwhelm you is different. We need to start embracing the imperfect days, taking control of the chaos.

  • Burnout – Ive mentioned burnout earlier but constantly trying to get everything done can lead to burnout. Burnout can look like, anxiety attacks, loss of pleasure in hobbies, Feeling overly tired all of the time, constant negativity, lack of basic self care, headaches, digestive issues,
  • Relationship Breakdown – In some cases, being in the constant loop of overwhelm and being controlled by chaos can lead to breakdown in communication, a breakdown in relationships. friends, family, colleagues, you can feel resentful and end up getting into fights over who has it worse.
  • Mental Illness – I’ve mentioned Burnout, However letting the chaos take over can lead to depression, anxiety and a host of other mental illness which in time if left really can be life limiting and threatening.
  • Finances – When Overwhelm takes over it easy to get into poor spending habits. Not knowing what you have in the cupboards for instance can lead into buying twice, being late with birthday gifts can mean you end up paying more on next day delivery. You can end up missing bill paying deadlines when you get overwhelmed in motherhood Because days run away with you.

Ok so now you know the cost of staying within the overwhelming chaos of motherhood but how can you start embracing the chaos? How can you take control of this role you now find yourself in. The role of the CEO of your home.

The Chaotic motherhood Tribe is a great place to start. A place for parents to come together to know you are not alone.

In addition to joining the community, in the signature course from The Life imperfectly Academy “Intentionally Imperfect Home” I will hold your hand and guide you through the tools and strategies that have helped me from feeling controlled by the chaos to being in control of the chaos!

The Intentionally Imperfect home runs twice a year and is ideal for anyone who is snuggling to see where to start in tackling the motherhood load.

If you would like to know more about this and other programs or the Chaotic Motherhood Tribe head to ninaaspencer.com/links to find out more!

Take Care Friend

Remember Embrace the imperfect Chaos!

Nina xx

How to Embrace A Chaotic, Imperfect motherhood.

When you knew you were to become a mum you likely had an image of the parent you were going to be in your head. For me it was some kind of Earth mother, no stress, cloth nappy, breast feeding, living outdoors kind of mum. To be honest the image of this mum is still inside me somewhere. Then it feels more like a chaotic and imperfect life that you find hard to embrace.

We have images of what perfect means thrown at us all the time. A scroll through Instagram and there are mums creating reels of their perfect days out, there’s those mums who are creating artwork style snack for their kids. Now don’t get me wrong I love me a snack platter but I’ve not got time or patience to make penguins out of olives, cheese & radish. Besides no matter what shape some food is in my kids wouldn’t eat it any way.

Then we have a hop onto YouTube watching cleaning montages or “clean with me” vlogs Those carpets with the lines in and all of the rooms done in a min. I’ve even heard of someone trying to keep up with someone who was cleaning on a vlog not realising that it was actually sped up.

Now if the above are your thing that’s great. Everyone has a thing they love and are good at but we don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to have a show home and kids in matching pjs to be a good mum to our children. I went through the stress of trying to make mine wear matching. It just not worth it.

Mum and two kids sliding down a metal slide in the woods

I’ve made myself so overwhelmed trying to create a perfect life, trying to make our family look perfect from the outside yet inside we were hitting crisis point. Behind the closed doors I was failing miserably at trying to “get it all done” as the YouTube vlogs are titled.

It wasn’t until I had that moment that made me reevaluate how we were living that I really noticed just how much I had got sucked into striving for perfectionism.

The best way to stop the perfectionism cycle is to start being more authentic with yourself. Really look at how you live and how you want to live. The things you love, the time you realistically have.

5 ways embrace imperfect motherhood.

  1. Stop looking at social media as the bar thats been set for motherhood. Instagram is fabulous for inspiration but you must remember that often the squares you see are just one corner of the story. often behind that photo is lego all over the floor, yesterday’s pots still in the sink and a toddler that is only playing nice now because they were given sweets or chocolate as a bribe.
  2. Think back to your childhood moments, those moments where you were truly happy and in the moment. How many memories were preplanned, with matching outfits, penguin olives and vacuum lined carpets?
  3. Instead of striving for perfect, live for making the best life. Love what you live and live what you love.
  4. Surround yourself with positive energy. When we live more positively we are able to embrace those not so perfect moments more positively.
  5. Understand that imperfections are what make you human. We cant make ourselves perfect (in fact striving to become perfect can actually be more harmful) but we can change our reactions to our imperfect. Embrace that imperfect.

You may not be the perfect mum, but you are the best mum to those kids.It’s time to ditch that mum guilt, create your own groove, and start living a life with more fulfilment & passion for the things that truly matter.

If you want to be part of the community of imperfect mums who are in their groove head over to the CMT community ( Facebook.com/groups/Chaoticmotherhoodtribe)to have conversations about perfectionism, overwhelm, #mumlife and more.

See you next time.

Nina x

Bee Inspired – Mastermind My experience

So a few years ago there would be no way I would have put my hand up to be a part of anything like this.

The past couple of years however I have been stepping out of my comfort zone as you will have known if you have read previous posts.

Now if you are someone like me that has this strange scary desire to get up on that stage and be part of the event then this is the place to find out from an attendee and speakers perspective.

So I’m writing this in full on snow-globe effect, from my bed in floods of tears one moment then those post event anxieties and very very worn out!

Bee Heard

Ok let me take you back to May 4th 2021, the first day of the Bee Heard challenge, I had signed up after being in the virtual audience of bee inspired, I had seen the likes of Louisa Herridge, Jo Jo Smith, Emma Roscoe to name a few take that stage with confidence, with passion for their subject and I thought I could do that. I mean I have already done one or two speaking gigs in the past but nothing on this scale.

Anyway I went through the process of Bee Heard The challenge and it was great, It pushed me to go live more in my community, it helped me create something called a VBC – Or vocal business card so that when people ask who you are and what you do you dont fumble about or stutter. When you create and rehearse your vbc you actually give a clear insight into what it is you do!

Celebration

So the end of the challenge came – The End of challenge party with it was the premier of the Bee Inspired promotional trailer. I cried watching it. I had met jojo earlier in the year at a networking event and the work and passion she had put into being on that stage had given me the push i needed, the push to follow Dani who runs the whole IATQB hive, events and everything. Anyway I cried, for all the speakers, I cried because of the possibility of being on that stage.

Then winners were announced from the challenge, I won community engagement champion. Me I won! I had won because i had been a cheerleader for everyone in that group I had given encouragement, and helpful hints where needed.

At the end of the celebration I knew I needed to be on that stage. I messaged chris and said look, I want to do this. I think it would be a great platform, a great opportunity to learn how to structure my talk, I thought Dani would be a great coach to stop me feeling scared of the stage.

Bee Inspired mastermind

So I signed up! I took the plunge, now I couldn’t afford it in one go so i signed up to the monthly payment plan. I paid the first instalment and so I’m literally invested! The training sessions start with Bee Heard where Dan gives you a more intense version of her challenge. Then as the bee heard part finishes and we say goodbye to the ones who are not ready for Bee Inspired or not interested in the full mastermind. Then its time for Bee Inspired the mastermind. Dani is then on hand to help us get our story straight, There to help us make it structured and entertaining. There are experts from Dani’s team that provide extra sessions on confidence, on pr and more.

Friends

But The mastermind gives you so much more than just a talk, just the opportunity to be on that stage. The stories you work through, the moments you have you are going through them all with a bloody amazing cohort, those humans that take that mastermind with you will become such an amazing support to you.

We offered different things to help each other through, some woo stuff, some confidence coaching, support, encouragement and more. We connected so much during our training that when we met that first night it was just like we had been friends for years.

That cohort, my friends, that bee inspired family laughed together, cried together, laughed and cried separately but had each others backs.

Honestly those people, those incredible humans that I’m honoured to call my friends are as valuable as the mastermind itself.

Nerves

Now dont get me wrong there are times I wondered if I had what it take to get to the end of the mastermind let alone up onto that stage.

I had imposter syndrome many times after listening to the others rehearse their talks. There were times I wondered if I belonged in that world i found myself in.

Then on the night before after 2 weeks of emotional moments I had a panic attack, full on shaking, i had to message the group just for someone to talk to to calm me down. I felt really stupid, again maybe I thought I shouldn’t be in that world.

The following day i got up, got dressed and walked into that room and went on that stage and gave it my all.

When I came off stage I was shaking and I burst into tears. I have to say its one of the best, most nerve wracking, amazing, incredible heart pumping experiences I’ve had other than the birth of my babies.

I’d love to chat to you more if you are thinking of signing up to Bee Inspired just send me a dm in facebook or hit the email button at the top of the page.

Coming up Bee Inspired the event.

Nina x

If you are think you want to join the next cohort you can find out more here

If you fancy being in the audience to soak up the atmosphere of the event to listen to amazing speakers for business development and personal development then grab your tickets here

Top 8 What to pack on a road trip (With Kids)

We’ve not left our house for a road trip for over six months and If I’m honest I’m a little nervous to get my tribe ready for adventuring again. I’ve been putting in place little things to get us all organised. I have lived in a world of chaos for far too long. Having a bit of a packing list for our road trips whether that is a day trip or more Is essential to a less chaotic trip! Now just what do I pack on a road trip (with Kids)? Well find out with my Top 8 What to pack on a road trip (With Kids)

What Do I pack on a road trip (with kids)

First of all I need to work out what kind of trip we are heading out on. We often head out for the whole day not returning until bedtime sometimes even having an over night stop in a camper or airbnb. During that time especially with the little two needing a little bit off down time Its good to pack a few activities we can do together.

Here is my Top 8 What to pack on a road trip (With Kids)

  1. Sun Cream – We all know how important sun cream is when the sun is beaming down and there is nothing worse than worrying what you have been out too long in the sunshine unprotected – Slap That cream on and off you go!
  2. Snacks – Buying snacks while out can get really expensive especially when you are buying for a million kids. So I try and remember to pack a little picnic bag wit h treats in. They are also great as a bribe for getting them back in the car, or to leave the beach or walk miles.
  3. Flask or Two – I live from cup of tea to cup of tea and I have to say a road trip is only a road trip with 2 flasks. One for hot chocolate and one for tea. The kids get hot chocolate and I usually pack marshmallows and sprinkles too. and me & Chris get tea.
  4. Change Of Clothes – You can guarantee that if there is water around at least one of my kids will end up soaked top to toe. Or one will fall into some mud. A change of clothes is a must – Also If we end up by the sea without a swim suit at least you can say yes go paddle knowing you have spare clothes.
  5. PJ’s – As above imagine the kids have been playing in the sea you’ve had a hot chocolate and some fish n chips. its getting late and its an hour to home. Before we set off we put the kids into their pjs, then once we are home and everyone is half asleep we are not having to struggle to get them ready for bed.
  6. Basic First Aid Kit – Kids do i need to say any more?
  7. Activities for down time – If we are out for the day or overnight sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of quiet time. Playing a card game like UNO Or 20 Dreams is a great way to have a bit of downtime when on a day out.
  8. Toiletry bag – Containing reusable wetwipes, hand sanitizer, clean masks, toothbrush’s & Paste. – Again Kids & germs! The toothbrush is again a good thing to pack to use when putting PJS on.

I hope this helps you get back out there and get back to planning road trips with your family.