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Month

October 2016

Make That Change

Entrepreneurship doesn’t always come from a longstanding dream of having your own, making loads of cash and being the boss, but can also come from circumstances. As our lives change, so does our requirements and our goals.pic change.jpg

Many women are nowadays turning to entrepreneurship and freelancing activities online. It is becoming more and more common and we are becoming quite the experts at it! We learn how to market ourselves and our services, outsourcing them and providing good value with the world as our market. Imagine that, the world is our market. It’s such an amazing opportunity, if you think about it. If we have a solution to someone’s problem, a service someone needs, or can simply be entertaining or thought-provoking, we have a great chance to make money, and quite a lot of it. And, at the same time, we can remain in control of our time and be flexible.

It is for the flexibility that many mothers consider this way of working.

It is challenging, doing the 9-5 (or 6 or 7:() then coming home and trying to spend some quality time with your kids, at the same time as they have to eat, shower, do their homework, get ready for bed, etc etc. We miss many after-school activities and school shows/seminars, because the boss will not always show lenience and let you nip off early. The frustrations of always feeling like we are not quite enough at work, and not quite enough at home, drives us in this direction. And it’s a really great avenue to explore.

But (because there always has to be a BUT to something that sounds too good to be true) it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes TIME to build it up. Business online is much like any other kind of business. You can’t just open a website and expect the world to directly come running. It’s a long learning curve, lots of research and passion needed, but with time and serious effort, you can definitely get there.

Here are some of the activities loads of mumz are doing out there:

1)      Web design – Who doesn’t need a kick-ass web-designer nowadays, right?  A solid profession that you can easily launch online.

2)      Content Writer – Are you a talented writer? Are you good in research and interested enough in everything to be able to write about anything?

3)      SEO or Social Media Consultant – Much the way that you may need these kinds of services when you open a new online business, there are plenty of need for these services online. You don’t need any lengthy education, but you do need to be on top of you game, since competition is pretty fierce!

4)      Virtual Assistant – Have you got administration or assistant experience? Working as an assistant online is a very easy way to get started and build your network. There are several agencies specializing in these kinds of services.

5)      App development – Apps are here, and here to stay. The need for this service will only grow and it’s one that is easy to start with on a freelancing basis.

Any other experience you may have, for example legal, technical, financial etc, can be used to provide advice as a consultant to businesses or private people.

So, mummies, if you feel the frustrations of everyday 9-5 life, then start laying the ground for change. Allocate a little time every night, after the kids have gone to bed, and start building your profile online. For a while it will be tough, almost like having a second job at night, but after some time you will have built up a network strong enough to carry you financially and you will be in a position to  put that letter in your boss’s hand and say “Thank you and Bye Bye”!

L_O_V_E

A

“Negativity is not Productive”

I know a lot of people are allergic to the “Be positive” wave that has been going around for the past couple of years. Some people really implement this positive thinking as a profound lifestyle and find immense fulfillment in that, and some will try it out and find that it’s not for them.

I tried, quite actively for a while, to really police my own thoughts; I would cast away any negative thought that emerged in my head, I shut down other people’s negativity swiftly, to the point where my friends would start laughing every time they had some negative gossip to share, and they would hold their hands on my ears so to avoid me hearing them whine. It was a lot of work, to be frank with you, policing your every thought and constantly reflecting on other people’s negativity, but I sure wish I would have the focus and will to continue. It was already a good learning, during those couple of weeks, we surround ourselves with so much negativity, and it’s scary in fact. And it’s only when we start to cut that out of our daily brain-feed, that we realize the extent of it. We are definitely more negative than positive in general, we attract other negative people and adopt their negative energy as well. Someone talks about their issues and problems, and instead of focusing on them in a positive light, trying to find solutions as well as identify key learnings, we dwell in it, we love it in fact! And it’s a kind of sick love, loving something you know very well is not good for you.

It’s not a bunch of hocus pocus, positive thinking can really change the way you perceive your life, your surroundings and everyone in it. When you focus on the good in everything, you are by default acknowledging it, which is something that we are (in general, at least in the “developed world”) very bad at. We stare ourselves blind and beyond on the things we don’t have, and in that, we forget all the things we do have. Many of us are born with massive privileges, right from day 1, but we don’t realize it, and can many times be completely ignorant about it, as if all babies in the world are born with those privileges. We don’t appreciate, and according to the most popular positive thinking philosophy – “Law of Attraction”, receiving can only start from gratitude.

A few people around me would shake their heads, and say that it’s a load of hippie-crap, and we should go back to some good ol’ complaining whenever we feel like it, but its not only about how we feel, its also about what we produce here in life. As Sir Branson mentioned once on the radio here in Dubai “I realized, he said, that negativity is not productive”…. It got me thinking. Such a simple statement, just hit home with me on that day. Negativity is not productive. No one can argue this. There is nothing good that ever came from things like whining, gossiping and self-pitty, or bad attitudes. For sure, things can be bad sometimes in life, and there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that, but it’s all about HOW you choose to acknowledge it. How do you choose to face negativity and difficult situations? That’s what separates a person who will come up with creative solutions to a problem, implement it and move on with life, and someone who will complain and whine, which leads to further negativity and then they will keep running in that wheel. Round and round, until they don’t know their right foot from their left, and certainly have no perspective on anything outside of the wheel.

pic-hamster

So, I dare you, and in fact, I dare myself to:

-Think positive thoughts for 3 days.

-Whenever a negative thought comes into your head, actively remove it.

-Whenever someone is negative around you and try to transfer that onto you, please ask them to stop or stop listening if you must sit there : )

-Surround yourself actively with positivity, no depressing political debates on TV (no Trump please), no horror movies, nothing like that.

Then, tell me, if you somehow feel lighter, and if you have realized that life is actually pretty good, or, at least a lot better than it was 3 days earlier.

 

I

Dare

You

 

L_O_V_E

A

 

Kids, grades and vision

I remember hearing that when my mom and her siblings came home with their school grades, my grandma use to cover the part that had the actual grades, and sign blindly at the bottom where it said parent acknowledgment. She didn’t consider grades an important factor in learning.

portrait-child-hands-57449-largeGrades were invented to evaluate levels in order to deliver more targeted learning. The intention was a positive one. And sure, to a certain extent that still exists, but I would say that by and large grades nowadays are something that parents, kids and teachers take far too serious. Many times grades are a standardized system and is not reflecting the interests and real knowledge level of a child. It is a broad line that we draw, without really caring about what is on the sides, or above or below that line. As long as you reach it (and in some places you are not encouraged to reach above it) that’s the end of the story.

But what about the grey areas? What about students who may score just on that line, but be super interested in one aspect of the subject and be unmotivated and uninterested in the other. Nuances are lost, because we stare ourselves blind at the grade. I am not so audacious as to saying that grades don’t matter at all, I am well aware of their importance for entry to University in most countries, and also of the fact that certain groups in society, which are already discriminated against, to them grades can mean the difference between a higher education, a job, a career or staying at ground level, not being given the chance to excel in life.

As a parent, I am always trying to give my children a real view on life. I would rather give them a bit TMI, rather than too little and leave them oblivious to the world around them. But, in that, I am always cautious as to the language I apply, and the angles I push. We can push our own reality onto them, as if this by default has to be theirs, when in fact they are in a remarkable situation to change all of that. If you say to your child “In life you have to do things you don’t want, that’s just life”, or, “study this since it will give you a good job”, we may be stripping our kids the chance to visualize and create a better situation for themselves. Who says that you need to do something that you don’t enjoy? Why study something you are not interested in which will ultimately lead to a job you are not interested in? You are basically teaching your children to accept status quo, not to challenge, not to create change and most importantly, not to dream.

When we have kids, we put them into the world, hoping they will have a better life than we have, but in that we need to provide the tools for them to make that happen. Sometimes yes, those tools can be materialistic things, and schooling plays a bit part of that, but most commonly it is about guidance and support. Allowing your child time and space to try things and find out what his/her interests are.

However, providing those things can be hard, when your own scars are deep and you feel disappointed with the hand that life has dealt you, but you need to rise above that and embrace the hope that each child entering this life comes with, a better future.

L_O_V_E

A

Sweet Confessions 

Dear Chocolate Cake

I hate that I love you.

Best regards,

Anna

Sugar.

While the governments of the world are busy trying to forbid people smoking in public areas, drinking too much alcohol too young, and are using various forms of restrictions to combat other important health threats, one of the biggest threats to our well-being is constantly overlooked; Sugar.

This addiction is one that I would like to claim is perhaps more dangerous than some of the others because of numerous factors:

-It is socially acceptable to be addicted to sugar – No one will stare at you funny because you are shoving a 1 kg chocolate bar down your throat on a Tuesday morning before 9am, heck, they may even admire you if you manage to stay slim (note: I wrote slim, not healthy, big difference there, Mumz) in the process!

-You will not know that you are addicted, as it is difficult to detect, and is closely linked to how good you are at listening to your own body and reading the signs.

-Sugar is EVERWHERE! In EVERYTHING! Talk about conspiracy theories, that’s a big one for ya! Sugar in all shapes and forms, with more or less fancy re-wording is added to everything, because that makes a product more yummi and therefore easier to sell. Also, it feeds this widespread and ever so lucrative addiction and people will come back to buy that same product.

-Consumption can be linked to how you feel – emotional binging. “I had such a rough day, I deserve some Ben and Jerrys”, or, “I didn’t get that job I really wanted, so let me just comfort myself with some chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of coke”

-Sugar is easily accessible and soooooo cheap!

Sugar addiction is one of the most common addictions amongst our youth today. It starts from Coca-Cola machines being added in the school corridors to commercials for Kinder before the kids movie starts in the cinema. One can always debate whether to forbid your child to eat those things, but the question remains if that is really a way to deal with the problem, or if it may rather postpone and magnify the inevitable. Some of the children I know who grew up with such restrictions are today the biggest sugar addicts on earth. Then again, I had no restrictions, and so am I 🙂 hmmm

Perhaps the chocolate bars and the Coca Colas of the world are not the biggest threat, but rather the sugar nowadays added to our regular staple food, especially when you are eating out.

I encourage everyone to read on the back of foods that you buy in the supermarket, even the ones where you could not even imagine that any form of sugar could be added, you will be amazed!

I am totally guilty, though. A complete sugar addict, and pretty much always been. I think that is why I enjoy researching it and informing myself about my own addiction. They say information is power. Hopefully I can go about some change or at least replace my bad habit with a less harmful one.

On that note…

…chocolate cake…

L_O_V_E

What is real??

whatisreal

Don’t you ask yourself sometimes, what is real?

Some of the very fundamental elements of our lives are not real anymore:

The food we eat:

-Heavily modified to increase shelf life

-Added chemicals to remove any trace of unthinkable bacteria that was once a natural part of our diets

-A million forms of fake sugar, to avoid actually having to eat the real one

All of these modifications, at what cost? Our food is no longer real.

The air we breathe:

-I live in Dubai, need I say more? Though this is common to most other countries that have a warm climate most parts of the year. I breathe more air condition air than I breathe normal air. It is to blame for regular neck issues due to the draft if you sit straight below one, as well as the lovely spread of all kinds of viruses from office to office/apartment to apartment.

-Polluted air, pretty much everywhere we go, we are fed with chemicals as a result of our fancy, modern lifestyle.

How is this going to affect our generation, when we grow old? Our air is no longer real.

The products we interact with:

-Do you know why they advise you to wash newly bought clothes before you wear them the first time? -How come toys need to be properly washed and dried off before given to your children, and preferably not plastic but rather wooden toys?

-Exposure to all these electrical devices we now feel are necessary for our social survival and for many also a source of income and information sharing.

We are constantly in contact with synthetic materials and artificial replacements of the good old stuff. Our materials are no longer raw, no longer real.

The internet 

-What was once meant to be the epiphany of realness, raw and unfiltered sharing of opinions and information, across the entire globe, is no longer real. It is so heavily geared towards what we like and don’t like. If one day I search on a particular topic, then the next day when I enter my facebook page I see ads and pop-ups and article links for that same thing. It is setup to dish out what we like, perhaps to avoid too much interaction with things we don’t like. Confrontation and questioning of your own standpoint has always been developing for people, so perhaps Internet is becoming another tool in a comprehensive system to keep us all in our corners, happily thinking the world around us look and think the same as we do.

The list goes on and on.

And if you look at all of these consequences, ultimately they are geared towards someone, somewhere, making more money from the basics that we require in life. Simple.

You may ask yourself, what in life is then real?

There is one thing, which we can always rely on, and that’s our relationships. Our human to human connections, face to face, unfiltered and unedited. There, we are still in charge. In particular, the relationships we have with our young children. Before they are effected by all the un-realness of the world, they are real and we have a chance at real discussions and reflections.

Embrace it.

 

Love

/A

Motherhood 1.2 – How our kids teach us not to give a s***!

Motherhood 1.2.jpg

Long gone are the days when you look around and consider what other people are thinking or saying about you. Long gone are the days of stressing frantically to make your baby stop screaming when in public places, only because you are scared to appear as if you are not in control. There is simply no time or interest in those reflections anymore.

After the first couple of weeks with the first baby, you genuinely start to not give a s***. It’s one of the great consequences of having children. Your level of interest in what other people think is heavily reduced, at the cost of all the energy, time and care you put into your new born. And it doesn’t stop there.

You come to an important conscious or unconscious conclusion: What other people think doesn’t actually matter! If they think you are an amazing mother or a crappy one, doesn’t make any bit of difference to your life. This newfound realization extends into your everyday life, even when you are without your baby. At work for instance, you may find yourself less bothered by certain trivial drama that used to get you upset and you will be shaking those little shoulders a bit more often at the office-politics you once engaged in. Perspective. Having children brings perspective.

You child also forces you to take a stand, have an opinion and sometimes having to defend it, to yourself, your spouse or to your child. You will reflect on your perception of yourself and of the world around you. These processes are strengthening and brings better self-confidence, which in turn makes you less inclined to care too much about what other people think about you. Few of my friends that are single, sometimes say they feel that newbie mothers can come across as slightly conceited to begin with, but I believe that is a natural consequence of the shift of importance in our priorities when entering motherhood. We must somehow shut out the rest of the world, if even for a little while, both in body and mind, to enable the focus and care a newborn deserves and also to facilitate our own healing and comeback. It’s hard, and it’s a lot at the same time. So, of course, we will not be able to engage fully, in the same way we have before, and our environment should not expect that of us.

I embraced this newfound sense of not giving a s*** and gladly extended it into other areas of my life, and I actually feel it has made me a better person. I was never very concerned with what other people thought about me or what they thought about my life choices, but after having children, I must say, I care even less.

L_O_V_E

A

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