A Fresh Start

It’s August! This year is flying by, isn’t it?!

Now that some areas of my life are starting to calm down, or maybe just get more settled, I decided that it was time to re-start this journal/blog/therapy, whatever you want to call it. There are a few reasons for this.

I ❤️ Digital Mums!

The first is undoubtedly thanks to my fabulous experience so far with Digital Mums.

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They are currently running a fantastic campaign called #CleanUpTheFWord – all about changing the the culture around flexible working in the UK and to “stop it being seen as a dirty word or an employee perk”. Get involved! Sign the petition here.

Anyway, I digress. I started their Social Media Management Course back in March. My original campaign was a foodie campaign that I was running with my girls to promote healthy eating and lifestyle for children. I switched to a different campaign about 8 weeks in as I decided to start a new business, more of that later… However, Millie and Ella really wanted to carry on the foodie campaign. As I can’t fit in three blogs, as well as actual real life, we decided to re-engage That Girl Thing as the platform for them to start writing, sharing and generally getting involved.

I’m well aware of the dangers of over exposure to young girls, so all their content (and what they are allowed to watch and for how long) will be fully monitored by me and their Dad. The way I see it, they are going to eventually get sucked into the world of social media whether we like it or not, so they might as well go in with their eyes open, knowing all about the dangers and delights shining back out from their screens.

The second reason is down to confidence.

As I mentioned before, I have also decided to take the massive leap of faith and start my own business again. It’s back in the world of weddings where I once owned a very beautiful bridal shop, but this time on the other side of the screen. I’m setting up an online marketplace for bridal retailers to sell their sample stock online. High stock value is a massive problem within the bridal industry, and one that needs fixing. Hopefully my new venture will be the answer! Before joining Digital Mums I never would’ve had the confidence to do this, now on a wing and a prayer it’s happening!

What does this have to do with That Girl Thing? Well, this journal is, in part, a way for me to track my emotional levels throughout the year. Right now I’m confident, full of energy and positivity. Things are looking up! My good friend Adele Hartshorn is a life coach  and she suggests setting interim goals to break down the bigger picture. Weekly, monthly, every three months etc. So I’ve decided to make myself accountable. I’m going to set myself monthly goals and diarise them here. I definitely think that bringing method and madness together has some merit, so thanks for that Adele. To find out more about her work here.

Finally, accountability. There’s that word again.

I’ve recently been introduced to a gym. Not just any old gym, but Strength and Performance.

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This is a ‘proper’ gym. Not your half-arsed, ‘let’s take a quick selfie while I pretend to sweat’ kind of gym. These guys have got your back. Their main aim is to make members be accountable for their fitness journey and the successes or failures along the way. Nutrition is logged, sessions are led and monitored by the incredible team of coaches and the community that they have built there is truly inspiring. I’ll be writing a post about my 30 day introduction to S&P later in the week, for now just know that their approach to progress has rubbled off and I’m making myself accountable. Follow my monthly journals for goals, successes and failures – both of which there’ll be plenty I’m sure.

Goals for this month:

1 // Enjoy a holiday to France with my bestie and all of our children without any drama. Easy.

2 // Manage my time effectively to keep up-to-date with my DMs course and business launch timeline.

3 // Keep on enjoying my S&P journey, and lose another dress size.

Peace.

LB Xx

📷 Header image credit: Emily Quinton, Makelight.

NB // If you don’t know about Emily and Makelight yet, you should! She is the QUEEN of pretty and she’s also a fab teacher. Check out her website here.

The Day The Game Changed

Since our very amicable and relatively easy separation, RB and I have come to blows only once or twice. There have been heated words and many compromises, but great big dirty rows I can count on one hand. Compared to the last 18 months of our marriage, this is pretty incredible. And, I’d have to say I’m pretty proud of us for that. Give us each a gold flippin’ medal. If you could put a picture on our journey so far, it would look a bit like this…

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However, last week things changed. Forgive me, this post is a bit wordy, but it kinda needs to be…

The Background

If you have been following me over on Instagram and Twitter you’ll know that I am in the process of doing up my first house as a singleton. I’ve done a few projects before, so this is not new to me. It is, however, very stressful. Managing a team of self employed tradesmen who appear and disappear at will, while trying to maintain a schedule of works so the girls and I can move in, can get a little tricky. They are all working on top of each other one day, then the next two of them don’t show up, so the other three can’t do what they’re supposed to as they need the absentees to have completed various tasks in the timeline. Fairly standard stuff when you are managing your own build. However, it saves ££££’s so it’s worth it.

Now, I have been quite used to relying on RB, as we have remained close since our split. This all seemed to change last week though. Here’s the rub. We have a family calendar planner so the girls will always know where they are meant to be on any given night. We share our parenting roles 50/50, three nights with him, three nights with me. Simple!

It’s organised, the structure of the week remains the same, everyone is happy. We occasionally make changes to accommodate each others separate lives, but generally we try to stick to it. Yay us.

The Row

On this particular week RB asked me if I would mind switching things up a bit as he had a function to attend (It was a funeral, nobody he knew personally, but someone close to his new GF and he wanted to support her). Fine, no problemo. I am a generous easy-going zen-like flexible co-parent. It’s all part of the ‘amicable separation’/’conscious uncoupling’ game, right?

Fast forward to the next day when I required a similar favour in return. Going back to the building site timeline, I had some jobs to do so that next tasks in the schedule of works could happen the following day. I was hoping to work into the night to get the task completed. So, I asked RB if he would mind returning the favour of the previous day. A perfectly reasonable request I thought?

He said no.

 

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I was a little annoyed, but then he said it was because he wanted to work late, to make up the hours that he had missed the day previous. He had a deadline to meet before the weekend. Cue mini argument and a bit of mudslinging both ways.

During the back and forth of whatsapp arguing, I suspected that he wasn’t intending to work late at all. Why else would he be so difficult? Especially after me helping him out without any issue at all the day before. This was not the usual run of things, one does a favour for the other, and that favour is returned at some other point. It’s just The Rules!

Then it hit me, maybe he was actually going to spend the evening with his new GF. Duh! He continued to maintain that he was working late and that I was a crazy super bitch for accusing him of not putting the children first. I felt bad. Maybe I was wrong and blowing the whole thing out of proportion, in a slightly crazed jealous ex style? Was I?? Did I make the whole thing up??

N.B. I’m not the crazy jealous ex type – at all. Could not give less of a shit. But, when it upsets the balance of how we are managing our lives as co-parents. That gets on my nerves. A large part of maintaining an amicable separation is having respect for one another, along with a fair dollop of give and take. I felt strongly that this was not being reciprocated, whatever the reason.

The truth is he was flatly refusing to help me out.

Whatever the actual truth of the matter isn’t important, really. What the whole drama DID mark was the start of a sea change in our relationship. So that was it. I knew that things had changed forever. Gone was my reliable, if not slightly harassed, baby daddy. He had been replaced by an ex-husband. There was now someone else in his life and our journey was about take a totally different direction.

 

 

Top Image Credit Mark Williamson – www.mrandmrsw.com

 

 

 

What’s the story?

So, what is That Girl Thing all about? And why now?

It has taken me a very long time to pluck up the courage to write this blog, but now that the dust is settling on my total life reset, I’m ready to share.

When my babies were born, I was well aware that I might be affected by the thing that many pregnant women dread, post natal depression. And, just as my own Mama predicted, I was. It happened differently with both children, and wiped me out for two years both times. I won’t lie,  it was horrendous. I’ll go into more detail in the posts to follow, find them under Wellbeing.

Yep, that.
Yep, that.

So why now? My youngest is 4! Well, after the initial PND induced fog had cleared, I also lost my business and livelihood during the recession, and then decided to leave my husband. It’s a long story, and one I will be sharing, but yes, I’ve been a busy girl!

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I am also a very lucky girl. My ex (RB) and I have a fantastic relationship now, and we are one of success stories of amicable separation. This is my second reason for writing. I am very proud of my decision to call time on our marriage, and doubly proud of how we have both dealt with it – but it hasn’t been easy. There have been lots of compromises, bitten tongues and tolerance on both parts. We are now at the stage where we are both open to meeting new partners, this is the next step in our journey as co-parents, and one that I hope will continue to be easy and open. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting.

And then there is the horror of realising that I am now a 36 year old single woman, who might need to get naked in front of a new man at some point. RB and I got together early 2004 – twelve years of easy street! You get lazy, I’m sure you know what I mean. It scary! I have now idea of The Rules?? Well, I’m about to find out about the new world of dating, sex and love. It is both exciting and terrifying in equal measure…

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That Girl Thing is about loving the girl/woman within. Putting her first (sometimes) and respecting her for all her awesomeness. After all, a happy mama equals happy babas. So, today is the day. Today is the day that I took my last antidepressant. And I like the date, 1.11. It feels like a good day for day 1.

N.B. // A parenting blog, this ain’t. I’ll happily admit that I’m not the best parent in the world, but I’m not the worst. My kids think I’m OK so that’s fine with me, although I feel that I could be a lot better at it. There is always room for improvement, so I suspect there will be the occasional ‘imperfect parent’ post along the way…