The Secret To Raising Young Entrepreneurs

This week it finally feels like Autumn!  The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping and my cashmere sweaters have been unearthed from the back of the wardrobe.

Autumn is also a great time to teach kids about interrelatedness and systems.

Enterpreneurialism is birthed through the experience of taking a raw product and turning it into something amazing.  

So in light of fostering my kids entrepreneurial spirit, we embarked on some simple activities which enabled them to follow a process all the way from birth to creation (and the result was delicious!).

We also had fun giving my car a much needed valet, early on Saturday morning.

Not only did my car get the spring clean it desperately needed, but the kids got to earn some money to spend in iTunes.

Click here to watch the video now!

As always I love hearing your comments in the discussion below.  What was your favourite lesson from the video?

With love 

Kim xo

3 Things I Learned In The First 2 Weeks of Passion Schooling My Kids

When we first embarked on the journey of conscious parenting, all of my rules about parenting came roaring to the surface.

Here are three that I discovered:

Belief:  If young children are in bed late (i.e. past 9pm) they will be exhausted the next day.  

Reality:  My children seem to need around 10 hours sleep.  If they go to bed at 10pm, they get up at 8am.  If they go to bed at 11pm, they get up at 9am.  Never at any point have they lived up to my internal idea of “exhausted”.  

Belief:  Suffering is a normal part of a child’s life. (i.e. Awwww do I have to do that/go there/have that/eat that/see that…. etc.

Reality:  When children are not being controlled all day and are free to explore their own passions, suffering doesn’t exist.  

Why would they choose to suffer over something they love and are internally motivated to do?

Belief:  When a child is throwing a “tantrum” or expressing a very strong emotion, you should ignore them until it passes.

Reality: Instead of ignoring my kids when they are having an emotional meltdown I have started kneeling down in front of them and wrapping my arms around them (if that’s what they wanted).

My aim is to show them that I’m trying to understand what they want because their needs are important to me.  

In essence, I look for the need underneath the behaviour.  

When you look for the need (the cause) of the emotion with love, patience and understanding, the “tantrum” is over in a quarter of the time.

I’d love to know… what are your beliefs that you’re scared to challenge?

Can you relate to mine, or have these always been normal practices for you?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

With love and deep appreciation, as always 

Kim xo

 

Pest control, worms and head lice (and that’s just the kids)

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Today wasn’t the “arms wide screaming with joy it’s a beautiful life” that I wrote about yesterday.

Today was a bitch.  

I was tired through lack of sleep and hormonal.

Oh, and I’ve got worms (yes really).  That’s what happens in a house of four kids under the age of 8… no one gets off Scott free (except maybe Ryan).

And I’ve only just gotten rid of my last batch of head lice.

So let’s just say I wasn’t in the best possible parenting place.

Since last week we’ve been allowing the kids to choose their own bedtimes, as part of our freedom journey.

I’ve really enjoyed this as it meant I’m much more relaxed in my own schedule.  

We’ve done things like go swimming at 5pm when I’m usually preparing dinner and we’ve eaten as late as 8pm as there’s no rush to get them into bed early for school.

But the downside is that I haven’t spent much time with Ryan.  I miss him.

My kids follow me everywhere around the house… especially Jack who’s two years old.  

Everyone wants to fall asleep beside me, and everyone wants to be wherever I am.

It’s lovely and annoying all at the same time.

So tonight I decided that it was okay to exert just a teeny tiny little bit of control, and get them into bed early.

They were tired, and we have a busy day tomorrow.  It was fine.

(You can tell this isn’t going to end well)

My four year old daughter refused to go to bed as she was watching Ben & Holly and everyone else kept getting out of bed and following me around because they didn’t want to be left out.

Ryan was peacefully watching another episode of Breaking Bad, warmed by the fire I had lit, in blissful, child free, silence.  (I’m not bitter at all)

In that moment, nothing was going the way I wanted it to go.  

I had it all planned perfectly in my mind.  The kids would be in bed early(ish), I’d be tucked up in front of a warm fire watching Sherlock with hubby, and my worlds would be perfectly aligned.

And when the reality didn’t match the dream, I got pissed off.

I remember having a realisation that if I never had any expectations, I’d never be disappointed.

(I don’t know what caused me to have such a profound realisation, but I’m sure there was gin involved.)

Tonight I had a vision in my mind of how it would go, and I wasn’t prepared to be flexible when it didn’t happen.

Inflexibility causes control, and perceived lack of control causes anger.

And being openly angry at kids, in my opinion, is the singularly most damaging thing we can do to them.

There is something wonderful about having a truly deep connection with my kids that I absolutely love.  

But there are times when I wish they’d all just piss off and leave me alone.

Freedom perhaps, then lies, in my ability to pause between stimulus and response so that I may uphold my highest values, and shape their lives for the better.

Thank you for reading my drivel.  I’d love for you to leave a comment.

Until next time…

Kim xo

P.S.  If you kinda liked this and want to read more, click here and enter your name and email address 

Kim’s Blog : What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed Working From Home

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When you work from home, juggling kids, house and business responsibilities, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.  

But overwhelm usually results from a perceived lack of control, so if you bring your responsibilities back under control, it eases the overwhelm immediately.

Try these five simple steps to get back in the driving seat:

1.  Schedule 10 minutes in your next working day to sit down with yourself – no distractions

2.  Make a list of everything you need to get done, to help yourself feel calm again (ironing, tidying, invoicing, VAT return..)

3.  Segregate the items into do it, dump it or delegate it (Tip – delegate as much as you can!)

4.  Look at your diary for the next 3-5 days, and schedule each of the things into your diary (Tip – schedule the delegating too)

5.  Do the tasks at the allocated times (Tip – in order to complete the process, the task must actually be done.  Don’t put it off!)

 

 

Kim’s Blog : Why Your Home Business Could Fail If You Don’t Know Your Purpose

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It’s increasingly evident to me that many mums starting businesses from home don’t take them very seriously.

But just because the stakes are lower financially, doesn’t mean that your business deserves less care and attention.  It’s a fact of human nature that the higher the stakes, the more effort we will apply.

So if you need a little motivation to get your butt into gear, just look to your kids.  Think of all of the things you could provide for them in terms of education, experiences and development, with a little extra finances.

Think how much easier life would be, if you were financially FREE.

I started my first company because I wanted my kids to have multiple languages from a very young age, after learning how the multilingual brain develops very differently than the unilingual brain.

The brain becomes more complex in nature, and children naturally become better critical thinkers and problem solvers.  I wasn’t content with the status quo of education that was available in my area.  I wanted them to have more, be more and see greater possibilities in the world than the average bear.

That was my motivation.  What I had to lose wasn’t really financial…It was so much more than that.

Once I had this information, I couldn’t go back.  Once I understood how this type of education would shape the rest of my children’s lives, I couldn’t possibly not try to give it to them.

  • I was connected to my purpose and it got me out of bed every morning.
  • It made me pick up the phone to make those sales calls.
  • It made me strategise, plan and learn. 
  • It made me go without financially, so that I could pay for my kids instead.

 

There was no sense of loss… just a sense of joy and satisfaction.

If you’re struggling with motivation to keep your home business growing, it’s time to maybe take a step back and remember why you started it in the first place.  Look for your higher reason that is beyond having more money to buy more things.

If it helps, write your purpose down and connect to it every morning.

If you liked the content of this post, please “like” our Facebook page, and share it on yours.

Thank you.  You matter to me.

(PS And stay tuned for the launch of the Work at Home Mums Network later this week)

 

 

 

Kim’s Blog : Why Women Should Not Be Compelled To Work Outside The Home

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I use Google Alerts to keep me up to date with things happening in my industry.

Today I got an email about an article that was published in The Catholic World Report about Stay at Home Mums.  Something which Pope John Paul II  said in his 1995 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio really struck home with me.

“The Church can and should help modern society by tirelessly insisting that the work of women in the home, be recognized and respected by all in its irreplaceable value.

While it must be recognized that women have the same right as men to perform various public functions, society must be structured in such a way that wives and mothers are not in practice compelled to work outside the home, and that their families can live and prosper in a dignified way even when they themselves devote their full time to their own family.

Furthermore, the mentality which honors women more for their work outside the home than for their work within the family must be overcome.

This requires that men should truly esteem and love women with total respect for their personal dignity, and that society should create and develop conditions favoring work in the home.”

Isn’t that just beautiful?  

For me, one of the things I struggled the most with over the years, was the feeling that because I wasn’t bringing in an income, I was somehow less valuable than my husband.

His earning the money always caused me to feel like my opinion didn’t matter as much and that his needs, pitted against mine, were somehow more important.

Over the years, much of my belief has shifted more in line with that of Pope John Paul II.  This is part of the reason why I am starting the Work at Home Mums Network.  I want to empower women; to help them to build belief in themselves and to find the confidence to do their best work, raising the next generation of society.

I’d love to hear your comments below.

If you agree, please help this post to reach more women by sharing it on your Facebook page or Twitter feed by using the buttons at the bottom of the post.

(Facebook will prominently feature a post with many shares and likes, so it reaches more people.)

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Let’s reach out and touch other mums lives, and help to ease a little of their guilt.

Your opinion matters.

Kim’s Blog : How I Learned To Laugh On The Worst Day Of My Life

Work at Home Mums face many challenges when trying to balance work and family.  

Kids don’t often understand that if you are in your office it means you need peace to work.  They assume, I think, that as long as you are in the house, you are fair game.

Take my son Kai for example.

He seems to see the lock on my office door as a challenge, not a barrier to be respected.

He almost shrieks with joy when he finds it locked, as he knows he can severely rattle my cage by banging the door and yelling whatever question he wants answered, as loudly as possible through the wood.

On Wednesday he spent exactly twelve minutes kicking said door, while I was on a conference call meeting with America.  It took all of my will power not to open the door, pick him up by the scruff of the neck and throw him full speed out of an open window.  (Seriously, sometimes I have a very clear insight into the motivation of serial killers)

So not only did I have to control my feelings of murder in the first degree, but I had to suffer through the embarrassment of explaining my wayward child the other people on the call.  (Cause the behaviour of my kids is directly correlated to how good I am as a mother, right?)

I made it through most of Wednesday, holding firmly on to my frayed emotions, until we reached dinner time.

I had lovingly prepared a vegetable lasagne that morning, and even went to far as to blend all the vegetables so they were unrecognisable as vegetables (lest they be rejected on appearance or colour).

Every single child threw down their fork and declared the lasagne disgusting.

There’s something very disheartening about spending hours preparing a meal, only to have it unanimously rejected.

And Goddamn it, I had put four layers of pasta  in the lasagne, hoping to fool them into thinking it was kind of a spaghetti bolegnese except with flat, long, steamrolled pasta and the sauce squished in between.  What an idiot I was.

During the rejection of the dinner, accompanied by a resounding choir of screaming/complaining/whining, my daughter Maya announced that she was off to do a poo.

Experience has taught me that when Maya is left alone in the toilet, a mixture of boredom and curiosity means that she unravels every single toilet roll she can find.

So I dutifully removed them all from her vicinity and left her to it.

Five minutes later, she came running into the kitchen and performed naked from the waist, dog head down, to let me know she’d finished.  So I frogmarched her back to the loo to collect some wet wipes.

I pushed the door open and was greeted by the sight of at least four unravelled toilet rolls on the ground around the toilet.

Reminding myself to Breathe Kim Breathe I stepped over the mess and pushed the door closed behind me.

That was when I noticed what she’d done.  

She was so intent on getting to the toilet rolls (which I had removed to the shelves behind the cloakroom door) she had decided to deposit a large turd on the floor, behind the door, as she helped herself to the forbidden treasure.

As I opened the door and pushed it closed again, a large semi circle of squished poo now decorated my beige carpet, having been perfectly lodged under the door.

That was it. I snapped.

Letting out a squeal of rage, I charged into the kitchen (yelling to my husband what had happened), to collect a sponge and bucket to wash the carpet.

Of course, any time I get angry, Ryan thinks it’s hilarious and was actually bent double, snorting and clutching his sides at the sight of me running around in rubber gloves,with steam coming out of my ears.  This just made me madder.

After I had cleaned it up and deposited the (still unfed) kids upstairs to bath with Ryan, I collected a cold beer and went outside to cool off.

You would think that the tale would end here, yes?  No.

Somehow, my errant three year old managed to escape the clutches of the bath and make her way unsupervised to the kitchen.  I’m not sure exactly what was going on in her head, but when I arrived back from outside, a little calmer and mildly inebriated, I found two litres of cows milk and one litre of soya milk poured all over my kitchen floor, decorated by four coloured cups and a pair of abandoned, pink socks.

I stared, open mouthed at the mess.  I was stunned into silence.  So do you know what I did?

I laughed.

Actually that’s not true, I took a picture and posted it on Facebook, and then I laughed.

And the laughing was so liberating, that once I started I couldn’t stop.  It was almost as if the events of the day were so unbelievable – a procession of one thing after another, that by the time this happened I had no anger or frustration left.  I just accepted it for what it was, sat down at the kitchen table and waited for my husband to appear from the bath so we could laugh about it together.

I learned, more importantly, that sometimes you just gotta let go.

If you know a mum who could use a laugh, or just needs to learn to let go, please forward her this post or share it on your Facebook page or Twitter feed, by clicking one of the share buttons at the bottom of the post.

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(Here is the picture of the milk)

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Kim’s Blog : The Day I Broke Down In Front Of My Kids

desperate mother

One of the advantages of being a work at home mum is that when my kids are sick, I can take time off to look after them.

However, sometimes I really wish I had someone to take care of me as well as I take care of the kids.  Sometimes I’m in need of a little TLC too.

Take these last few days for example.  My eldest Corey had been very unlike himself from Friday.  He cried to come home early from a birthday party he’d been looking forward to all week, he cried going to Nana’s for a sleepover on Friday, which is usually one of his favourite things to do.  He didn’t want to go to his tennis class on Saturday morning and had little or no energy on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday morning he woke with a raging temperature and a barking cough and took to the couch to convalesce.  Then at around 10am he started vomiting.  Oh Lordy Loo!  It was one thing after another.  I spent all day rushing around trying to look after him as well as make dinner and tend to the other kids in the afternoon.  So come last night, I was totally beat and I took to bed at about 8.30pm to try to get a decent night’s rest.  (You know this isn’t going to end well, right?)

Since we came back from Australia I have been very relaxed about the kids sleeping patterns, allowing them to come into our bed in the middle of the night and stay there until morning.

However, this has backfired on me.

The two middle kids (5 and 3) have started taking advantage of this relaxation in bed rules, and have been finding all sorts of excuses for nocturnal visits (I need water/to go to the toilet/my room is too dark/my duvet fell off…).

Now I am what I would lovingly refer to as “hard”.  

By this, I mean, I’m a tough old bird: it takes a lot to wear me down or rattle my cage.  But I didn’t realise that the constant disruption of my sleep, combined with rising at 5am and daily yoga workouts, have been taking their toll.

As a result, I woke yesterday morning looking like elephant woman.

A seemingly harmless pimple on my forehead had turned into a swollen fluid filled mountain about the diameter of a golf ball, and a gland had come up beside my ear which was swollen and painful.  I mean, WTF?  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

Another night of constantly disrupted sleep last night (45 minutes sleep in every hour, then up at 5am to iron) meant that this morning the whole side of my face was also swollen and sore.

To top it all off, Kai and Maya decided to get up at 5am with me, then proceeded to fight, bicker and scream at each other due to tiredness as I tried to ignore them and keep ironing.

As I went about my morning chores trying to feed, clothe, tend to the sick and mediate arguments (no doubt they were reacting to me not being my usual chirpy self) it took every ounce of my strength not to either scream in frustration to make myself feel better, or break down in tears.

Alas, when Kai refused point blank to put his clothes on for school, all my fight was gone and I kneeled down on the floor, put my head in my hands and wept.  And once I started, I couldn’t stop.

The kids were a bit shocked and started rubbing my back and asking what was wrong, which only caused me to sob even more.  I kept crying until Ryan appeared with a look of surprise on his face to find me in this very unfamiliar position, and promptly took over the dressing in a very masculine way (i.e. No negotiation allowed and they were dressed and deposited downstairs within 2 minutes).

Once I had cried for a while, my tears naturally dried up and I felt a bit better.  I fetched a cup of coffee and and ice pack for my swollen head and eyes, and lay on the bed for a bit while it all got to work.

30 minutes and some caffeine and ice later, I felt like a new woman.  Allowing myself to release my pent up emotion and feel my tiredness and frustration had been incredibly freeing.  I felt lighter and more human.

I always thought that the worst thing ever would be allowing my kids to see me cry, as I was supposed to be the strong one.  But the tenderness of their response surprised me.  They weren’t scared or freaked out by it; they seemed to understand my need to release through crying.  Corey even told me that after a good cry he feels better, which surprised me that someone so young would be so aware of his emotions.

I also immediately made an appointment to see my chiropractor who helps my body to realign and naturally heal itself.  He told me the bone structure in my head and face was out of alignment which was causing the swelling and he worked on me for about an hour.  As a result the swelling has reduced and I feel 100% better.

The moral of this story?

Don’t be too strong all of the time.

Don’t deny your emotions or judge them to be bad or wrong.  Sometimes an emotional release is exactly what you need and your kids are the best people to comfort you without judgement or trying to make it better.  It’s good for them to see that mommy is a human being too.

Maybe if we allowed our kids to see us more as human beings and less as human doings, it would help them to understand themselves better.

But more importantly, it would teach them that crying is okay.  Pain is okay.  It comes and it goes in the same way happiness does.

Emotions are part of life.  Don’t deny yours.  Embrace them for a richer and more expressive existence.

And remember to be a mom being, not a mom doing.

Please will you do me a favour?  If you enjoyed this post and have ever felt the same as me, please share it amongst your friends by using one of the sharing buttons at the bottom of the post.

Let’s encourage and support other women in their incredibly hard and emotionally challenging journey into motherhood.  Let’s tell them that it’s okay to feel sad, and scared and helpless.  Cause we’re here for one another; without judgement and with lots of love.

Take care of you

Love Kim x

Kim’s Blog : Rich and Complicated or Poor and Simple?

This morning I took baby Jack to a mothers and toddlers coffee morning group that I went to for about four years when my oldest kids were young and I was a SAHM.

I found this group through a friend, that ironically, I met online many years ago, when we were members of the parenting website contented baby.com.  This person and I quickly struck up a rapport and became firm friends, spending a lot of time together with and without kids.

I greatly admire her.

She has just given birth to her fifth baby, and is one of the most gentle, compassionate and caring people I know.  She has an inner strength that I don’t find in very many mothers.  She admits that she doesn’t have all the answers, but yet seems committed to the decisions that she does make.  We also share similar philosophies in parenting and education, in health and in family.

When I was running my first company (that I recently closed) I was making a fabulous income and worked with a big team of people on a daily basis.

But you know what?  I was desperately unhappy.

I was stressed, run down and overwhelmed with the sheer volume of work it took to keep all the balls in the air, both at home and at work.

Making the decision to close it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  But if truth be told, I’ve never looked back.  My income has dropped sharply, yet I’ve never been happier.

I spend less frivolously than I ever did before, yet I am richer inside than I have ever been.

The reason I started the company was so that I could provide a better life for my kids.  Yet, they were the ones who were suffering the most from me constantly saying “Not now, I don’t have the time”

Now, thankfully, I do have the time.

I’ve also noticed a huge shift in my kids’ behaviour.  They spontaneously hug me a lot more, ask for cuddles all the time, argue less and are more helpful.

I rarely feel like we’re rushing anymore and feel more deeply connected to them than in any time I can remember.

I also have more time to spend with friends like Anna.  Friends who lift me up, inspire me, uphold me and are committed to making this world a better place to live.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Dr Seuss, which pretty much sums it all up for me:

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

If a situation is making you unhappy, change it.  Sometimes making the decision is actually the hardest part.

Kim’s Blog : Why Sisters Are The Best

I went to yoga this morning with my sister, and then for a coffee afterwards.  I had forgotten how much I love spending time with my sisters.

Here are some of the reasons why sisters are the best:

1.  We are the bestest of friends and so easy in each other’s company.

2.  I can tell them things knowing that they will immediately understand what I mean.

3.  I can share my most intimate secrets and problems with them, and not feel in the slightest bit uncomfortable.

4.  We share values in education, child rearing, health and fitness.

5.  Because we are all so close in age, we never remember a time when there wasn’t three of us.

6.  I trust them implicitly with my children, knowing that they are being loved and cared for in the same way they would get at home.

7.  We are all the same dress size and can borrow each other’s clothes and shoes.

8.  They always wash dishes and tidy up when I have a party at my house.

9.  Like me, they get drunk on one glass of wine, so we can have a rip roaring night out on just one bottle of wine between us.

10.  I would be incomplete without them.

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