Why a gender equal society starts at home

Why a gender equal society starts at home

This term - for the first time ever - our junior school introduced the uniform option of trousers for girls. Previously, they had needed to wear a loose tartan tunic with either a plain turtleneck or shirt and tie (I know - at least my 5 year old already knows how to get dressed for the boardroom), and now they can opt for long grey trousers like the boys.

The idea was a slow burner. A couple of innovators came in on the first day of term with trousers, tie and shirt (respect), a handful more joined them a couple of weeks later with the trouser and jumper option, and my 7-year-old daughter – an early majority in this respect - took until half-term to bite the bullet.

The weather plus the current girl craze for handstands (no-one wants to show their pants off at this age) has helped sway a late majority and now we are probably at a third of the female population of the school in trousers (my 9-year-old won’t go near them).

Which I think is brilliant. Because it’s been a child-led innovation and it shows just how little they are even aware of the gender stereotypes that society and we as parents so often unconsciously project onto them.

5 reasons why all mamas should try life coaching

5 reasons why all mamas should try life coaching

So why would you need a life coach when you’re doing perfectly well on your own, thank you very much…

Well, ARE you? Truly?

Are you living the life that you envisaged for yourself before the life bomb that is kids? Are you, for example, being paid to do what you love? Are you mothering in a calm and positive way? Are you successfully managing the work/life/parenting tussle? Do you feel confident and happy? Are you proud of your body and the way that you look? Are you carving out some regular me-time?

Sadly, most mamas aren’t doing many of the above, regardless of how talented, balanced and brimming with self-esteem they were before embarking on the parenting adventure.

Not that it’s anyone’s fault. The will is usually there. Just not enough energy to go round after everyone else’s needs have come first…

How to manage the mama juggle...

How to manage the mama juggle...

Breakfast prepared and wolfed down? Check. Teeth washing/hair brushing/face cleaning/bag packing supervised? Check. Snacks/games kits/coats and shoes dished out? Check. School run done and dusted? Check. And it’s not even 8.30am.

Now all that remains is to deal with the carnage that has been left behind before getting on with YOUR stuff. Sound familiar?

It’s not exactly the most calming start to the day.

And yet if you are an ambitious, multi-tasking mama who also either runs her own business or works for someone else, this is just part of the course. It’s called the MAMA JUGGLE.

Its just one more responsibility that was secretly allocated to you when you unwittingly signed the Motherhood Contract (from which you are never allowed to resign): managing the house and all of its contents, their upkeep and emotional wellbeing…

The question is, how do you manage it successfully?

Going on a mama sabbatical and why naked, wild swimming made me cry...

Going on a mama sabbatical and why naked, wild swimming made me cry...

And this, I learnt, is what being wild means. Not just the outdoor camping, the cooking on an open fire and the lack of electricity but the unfurling of the constrictions that we unknowingly place upon ourselves. Being wild means peeling back the layers of conditioning, being untamed, unfettered and giving yourself the permission to be messy rather than permanently nice, neat, kind, happy, caring, good and flexible. It means trusting that what you are feeling IS who you truly are and that you don't in fact need to fit in. In essence, being wild means revelling in the freedom to be yourself. 

Duties versus needs? Welcome to mama guilt!

Duties versus needs? Welcome to mama guilt!

Today I'm feeling guilty. That special kind of guilty that only mamas feel. The kind that implies that you are not doing what you should be doing, that you are putting yourself first before the kids, that the kids are your duty and therefore somehow you have failed and above all, that you are selfish.