You’ve Got To Make Your Bed

Mummy and toddler lying on the bed
A Little Motivation Please…

The Saturday before last, felt it was deemed to be a wasteful day for me. I could just feel it coming. I had all the best intentions, for my sacred time-off at the weekend, but for some reason I just woke up that Saturday morning, feeling sluggish and de-motivated. My plans to get the hoovering done and the garage organised first thing… basically went down the toilet. I was slow that morning – at best… and the more sluggish and slow that I was – the more guilty and dissatisfied with myself I became.

So, what did I do next ? Well, I had a little word with myself – and I then went upstairs… and I made my bed… nothing more. For something that sounds to be, such a simple and mundane task… for me – it completely salvaged the rest of my Saturday. And – here’s why…

Making my bed almost – first-thing that morning; meant that I had accomplished, the very-first task of my day… after fixing breakfast for my son that is. It meant that I had to move my body – instead of just flopping on the sofa. It also meant, that I had to pick the cushions up off the floor… and decide on how to make the room look aesthetically pleasing again.

I repeat, as mundane as it may sound – this one simple task, taking less than five minutes of my time – ended up being, the ultimate gateway… to the meaningful and productive day that would follow. It got me up and movingwhich is always a good start, it then got me thinking creativelyawakening my mind; and most importantly – I could feel the endorphins being released… as I began to acquire a small sense of achievement and pride.

As I admired, my immaculately made up bed – my energy levels began to increase leaps and bounds. The uncomplicated task – of making my bed, had spurred me on… to crack on with my household tasks... and before I knew it not only had I got myself ready to go out, I had also – hoovered the house, put the washing on… and cleared some of the junk out of the garage… all by 11am!

You see, making your bed in the morning, I feel – is what separates us, from the ‘teenager’ that once was – to the adult who now is. And as drastic as it may sound… bare with me on this; but, an un-made bed to me – would be the perfect portrayal, of a juvenile mind. It would be the representation, of a person who is struggling to master the smaller things in life. A-fully-made-bed on the other hand… represents a matured individual the adult who has learnt to master the smaller things; and who is therefore equipped to handle the larger things to come.

I should probably say – that I’m certainly not suggesting that you’re a child… if you do happen to leave your bed unmade – we all do it from time-to-time ; ). But what I am saying, is that it’s the smaller details in life that really matter… and that are unfortunately – often overlooked. If you’re reading this post… and you do happen to be feeling a bit sluggish or just generally down then I have a special request for y o u. As soon as you put-down your phonego and make your bed my friend… if you haven’t already that is!

Because, you may just find, that your beautifully made-up cosy-pit… provides you with just enough incentive – to get everything done that you need to do today : ).

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on all things motivation… so please leave a comment down below and subscribe to – Beauty and the Mum =)

With warm wishes as always,

Fly on the wall

AKA – Olivia


Toddler Tantrums – The Low Down

A toddler having a tantrum in a phone box

Erm no, my baby is so sweet – I don’t think this one will suffer with the ‘terrible twos’… she says!

‘The terrible twos’ – as they sometimes put it… meaning toddler tantrums, is a beautifully-chaotic phase, that appears to pop-up out-of-nowhere – somewhere around the age of two. It’s when your lovely baby boy or girl (it applies to both), really begins to develop their sense-of-self and mind. Unlike the baby that they previously were – craving mainly attention… they have now realised, that they’re an entirely separate person to you; and they have developed stronger preferences… that they’ll as-sure-as-sugar – try to demonstrate to you. At this point, a little power struggle commences – between toddler and parent… but try not to panic – it’s. perfectly. normal !

I remember initially – whenever my little boy was in the middle of a tantrum – I mean rolling around on the floor and screaming-the-house-down kind of tantrum… I always used to think – why are you doing this to me? What have I done wrong? At the beginning of it all I can recall sometimes getting upset… and honestlyalmost taking it personally. I just couldn’t seem to get my head around, how we were laughing and enjoying each others company, a short second ago – yet now, he was treating me as arch-enemy.

I remember trying everything with him – I would initially stay incredibly calm and wait it out. If this didn’t work, I would try to cuddle him – plastering him in kisses and sweet-talk. If this also didn’t work, I would try to be funny – which would inevitably make him become more hysterical. And then when all-else-failed – and I felt I had exhausted my energy resources… I would then become flustered and frustrated with him – which again… only amplified his hysteria.

For me, the time when the penny dropped… on this unfamiliar tantrum-territory – was a very surreal moment for me indeed. I had been bathing my little tot – and we’d been having lots of fun together in the tub, you know… all the toys and the sing-songs – the whole shebang! Everything again – was going beautifully well…until it was time to get out of the bath that is. My little one went absolutely berserk – I mean… probably the worst hysteria I have ever experienced from him.

This time… in place of trying to negotiate with him – I instead analysed, his every-moveincredibly closely. I got down on the bedroom floor with him – and simply sat on the carpet propped up against the drawers. He was screaming, slapping me, putting his head in his hands – he was literally all over the place.

So, I simply sat. Nothing else. I sat propped up with my legs open – so he could come in for a cuddle if he needed to… and I just sat and waited. He was climbing all over me, then running around the room – then climbing all over me again trying to have a hug, then walking away and screaming again. But:- Instead of trying to talk, lots of sugary-sweet-talk to him… I simply held, a gentle look of empathy on my face – so it meant that my whole demeanour, was down to his level and friendly. I then said – in the calmest, most sincere tone that I possibly could – ‘it’s okay darling – I know it’s hard, when you have to stop doing something that you were enjoying doing – yes, it’s okay to be upset darling’. And then I just waited.

Suddenly – my toddler now had his arms properly around me – he was still standing up on me, but every now and again, I just repeated ‘I know darling, it’s hard isn’t it’. I said this ever so calmly and gently – yet somehow, still firmly enough… for him to know that bath time had definitely finished. Eventually – and yet so suddenly… my toddler had stopped the hysteria; and he was now in more of a – sniffy-snotty state. In this moment, I then asked – ‘would you like to have a cuddle baby?’ – (he answered yes)… ‘okay then darling – let’s have a cuddle’ – you get the gist! And then, to my absolute astonishment – my little tot was now fully embraced, in a cuddle with me.

He was significantly calmer... and rather than yelling hysterically – he was now sniffing back much smaller tears. He’d completely “surrendered” – and before I knew it, he was agreeable to most things that I suggested. i.e. ‘would you like to choose some pyjamas now… yea. ‘Would you like to have some milk now darling?’ – yea pleaseand so on.

What suddenly hit me, was the realisation, that this little toddler he. is. just. that a toddler. I realised in that moment, that toddlers do not actually possess – a great deal of logic, or the means to be rational with us. Although their will and ideas are certainly strong… they don’t always know, exactly what it is – that they actually want; and they don’t always know – how to communicate what they are feeling to us. In my sons case, he was feeling frustrated – for the fact that I was going against what he wanted to do; and since he didn’t have the level of communication, or the ability to rationalise – it therefore built up into an explosive form of frustration for him – and he could only express it… in the form of a highly emotional tantrum.

I came to realise – by watching; and by really trying, to find it in myself to understand… that my toddlers behaviour was not in any way done on purpose… or for the sheer sake of it. I soon realised, that it’s simply all part-and-parcel, of this vital stage in their development – an outlet for the emotions, that they can’t quite understand… and of course – just being a normal two-year-old.

When my son was attending nursery, I was talking to one of the lovely nursery-nurses – about his behaviour. At that point, I was at the stage, where I was still getting used to the tantrums. I’d been trying various gentle methods, to help my son work through his anger, but the one thing I hadn’t thoroughly tested… was the ‘naughty-step‘. So, I asked the nursery nurse, what she thought about the naughty-step technique; and her response was, that she felt it would be fine – but, she explained that it was essential – that I stayed near my son – during ‘naughty-step time’.

So, that very night – when my little one threw a big hissy fit – I set out a comfy little leather foot stool… and had him sit there for two minutes. I explained to him why we were doing this – and I told him, that if we are naughty and don’t listen to mummythen we will be taking time-out… on the naught chair. Of course, my son began crying… and crying some more, but… to my absolute astonishment – he stayed on the chair! While he didn’t like the experience – he bizarrely seemed to understand, that he was there as a consequence, of his behaviour. I sat on a chair very near to him – and gently talked him through the process. As we approached the last few seconds, I went over to him (at his level) and asked if he was going to be a good boy?. He said yes – and so, I asked him if he would like a cuddle… and he again said yes. So, we had a cuddle – and then after that, he was happy and also behaved… result!

Something I always wonder as a parent, is what it would it be like – to be a fly on the walljust to observe myself for a moment ? This is a thought, that I now live by – when it comes to dealing with my son; and I would like to share it with you – because it’s a really thought-provoking concept. During any given tantrum, I always try to think to myself, okay – so how would the fly-on-the-wall, be perceiving this? What would the fly have to say, about what the toddler is doing – versus how the parent (me)… is reacting to the toddler? The toddler being two-and-a-half – and me being thirty…? ?

With this in mind… I now always try to look at situations… from the outside in. Meaning, that instead of firstly paying attention to my own emotions – and acting based on what I am seeing with my own eyes… and to what I am feeling inside – Instead – I first look at how I’m behaving… in the ‘eye of the fly’. Because, the eye of the fly – can see everythingnot just your child like you can… they can see you too. The fly on the wall – is your perspective. And perspective – is a really useful and beautiful thing.

Honestly, it’s really not easy being a parent; and I can thoroughly identify and empathise – with every single one of you, who are struggling with this challenging phase. None-of-us are perfect – and we’re all only human, so it’s tough… it really isn’t easy. My sincere hope is, that if you do take anything away from this post… I hope it can be a little strength; and also the courage to know – that you’ve got this. Because it does. get. easier.

With warm wishes as always,

Fly on the wall

AKAOlivia xo

The Quick Messy Bun – A Mum’s Guide For When Time Is Limited

Blonde mummy girl wearing her hair up in a messy bun

Hello lovely people – I’m really delighted to see you here… at Beauty & The Mum =)

Today, I am going to talk about – the topic of TIME – a touchy subject for some of us… I’m almost sure of.

Instead of just talking about it though – my intention for this post… is to offer you some ways, to save precious time in your mornings. With this exciting thought in mind – I will be sharing with you, my favourite hair-hacks – that will no-doubt shave off some minuteswhen you need to get out that front door !

In a nut shell – as my life began to evolve in various ways, I certainly came to realise, that as a mum of a little tot, finding time for myselfwas indeed going to be tough. Everything-had-changed. While plenty of things have in fact changed for me, in such stunningly-beautiful waysat times it can also feel as though; there just aren’t enough hours in my day. As a mum – I can often feel like I fail – to tick off my growing ‘to do list’ – and even worse… fail to make myself look presentable at times. Not an ideal reality right… ?!

When you’re a parent – there’s this little human-being ‘creature’, just wanting to follow you around… all of the time. Yes – a real little personand in any ‘spare’ moment, that you might manage to grab for yourself… boom they appear! Of course, daddy may be watching your little tot… but when toddler sees mummy taking a moment to herself… they just have to be part of that moment too. In all – your free time belongs to your little beauty. What’s yours is theirs… and what’s theirs is erm… usually their own 😆.

I’ll say it – at times, it can be tiresome being a parent – and I feel that there should not be any shame in acknowledging this. It isn’t meant in a derogatory way – in any way shape or form. My son is my life – he is my world – and I adore him – – – as you will adore your tots too. B u t, as parents – this certainly doesn’t mean, that we shouldn’t find little ways – to help ourselves feel better from time-to-time ; )

Have a little watch of my video – it may just shine some light on some fantastic hair tricks, for when you are really lacking in… time:

I hope that you enjoyed this video, on how to take your ‘not-so-clean’ hair – and quickly turn it, into a completely acceptable messy-up-do. This versatile style, will work for a casual day look, a work look… and of course – it will be perfectly okay for an evening occasion too ; )

If, like me – you feel incredibly pushed for time sometimes, then feel free to give this convenient hair style a try; and do let me know your thoughts in the comments section below 🙂

Remember – it gets easier… with time!

With love and warm wishes,

Fly on the wall

AKA – Olivia xo