Top Ten Tricks & Tips: Mindfulness for Mums

Top Ten Tricks & Tips: Mindfulness for Mums

I know, I know you’ve heard it all before, we all need to be practicing mindfulness if we want to be calm, zen mums. I see you eye rolling. You might have tried it and hated it, or think you haven’t got the time for yet another thing to ‘do’. But bear with me… you relate to any of these?

  • Often feel overwhelmed by responsibility and endless to-do lists?

  • Feel anxious sometimes, especially on busy days?

  • Feel guilty about something you’ve done or not done with your children?

  • Feel like you’re always ‘on’ and struggle to relax even when you’ve got space and time to (maybe you habitually reach for your phone or tv remote in quiet moments)?

  • Feel like you’ve got a million tabs open in your brain?

  • Feel scattered, exhausted and unfocused?

Yup, you guessed it. Mindfulness can help with all of this. I’m so passionate about helping mums integrate mindfulness into our days because (come close, I’m going to tell you a secret) we need it more than anyone else in the world.

Us mums are the ones with crazy schedules, a million things to do, little time for ourselves, constant challenges and opportunities for freak outs. Our minds are often wired and quite frankly, too many mums I meet feel like they are just surviving and getting through the days. I’m on a mission to change that. To help busy, overwhelmed, stressed mums find the joy in everyday life again. And practicing mindfulness is a massive piece of that puzzle.

But what actually is it? One definition I like is, Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us – (

But how on earth does it work? Can focussing on washing my hands really make me feel less overwhelmed at work? In short, yes.

It’s all about understanding our minds – the job of our minds is to THINK – to constantly think, think about the past, think about the future, think about everything that could go wrong and think about how we might handle that.

The problem with this is that if we’re in our uncontrolled thinking minds all the time (which most of us are) then we’re at the mercy of whatever it throws at us. We might be happily going about our day and see an image that reminds of us something from our past, before we know it we’re reliving that situation and reliving conversations with people in our head (I know you relate….). Suddenly we’re a million miles away from what we were doing and feeling a whole range of emotions simply because our mind was triggered by an innocent image.

So, what mindfulness does is by focussing on the here and now, gives us some ability to detach from our constant, whirring thoughts, so over time – we’ll be able to see our thoughts for what they are, random chatter in our heads and not always the truth. We’ll create some space between ourselves and our thoughts (yup, not the same thing.) And when we can create some space from or even challenge our thoughts, with more realistic and positive ones our lives change. Sounds like a big promise doesn’t?

So if mindfulness is so wonderful, then why aren’t we all practicing it and experiencing these amazing benefits?

I work with many busy, stressed mums and it mainly comes down to two things: time and willingness.

So here are my top 10 tips busting through those blocks so you can start to enjoy the benefits of feeling more calm, less anxious and guilty.

  1. Get an app – it’s like a friend coaching you along, it will track your progress and send you reminders. My current favourite is calm, there’s a daily calm meditation that lasts for 10 mins (everyone can find 10 mins if you really want to, just cut your insta / facebook scroll time down by 10mins) and the sleep stories are amazing, think Stephen Fry reading you a magical tale about the lavender fields in Provence as you drift off. Other good ones are Quility (especially for mums) and Headspace.

  2. Really read story time – unlike a sitting meditation, mindfulness can be done whilst you are doing anything, it’s just about being totally focussed on the task at hand. Reading the bedtime story is a great one. So many of us are reading the story on autopilot with our minds in our inbox, or planning dinner. Next time you read The Gruffalo, try totally focussing on the words, the images, the story. You might even get into it.

  3. Washing hands with the children – this is a great one, because we can teach our children how to be mindful too. So next time you’re all washing your hands, focus on the feeling of the water, the temperature, the texture of the soap, what it smells like, the feeling of the towel. Ask your children to describe exactly what they feel / see / hear too – they might surprise you.

  4. Breathe – it’s so simple but our breath really is our calming secret weapon. A few deep mindful breaths can work wonders. All the science is there to back this up. Next time you feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed. Stop and take 3 deep breaths in for 6, hold for 6, out for 8. You’ll be amazed how different you feel, trust me.

  5. Get curious in the shower – for us mums sometimes the shower is the only place we might not have a child hanging off our person, and it’s often when our thoughts go into overdrive, so it’s a good time to practice mindfulness. Focus on the feeling of the water on your skin, what the temperature feels like, how do you actually know if it’s hot or cold, what does that feel like? Get curious about it and when your mind wanders keep coming back to being in the shower. You could even say to yourself ‘I’m in the shower’ when your mind wants to take you to that challenging meeting you have in 5 hours time.

  6. Listen to the birds – I love this one. So often when we open our eyes in the morning, our minds kick in straight away and we’re off rushing, stressing, planning before we’ve even had a cuppa. Tomorrow morning try this, it takes 5 seconds. Open your eyes then open your ears. See if you can hear 3 different types of bird song. Then get up.

  7. Body scan – it’s amazing how many of us rush around through the day totally disconnected from our bodies, no wonder they sometimes fight to get our attention with aches, pain and illness. Try a 60 second body scan, start at the top of your head and mentally scan down your body looking for any areas of tightness or discomfort, when you find a spot (or 10) consciously relax it and send it love.

  8. Get mindful in the car – mindfulness works really well with triggers throughout your day. Getting into my car is one for me, everytime I get in my car I take 2 mins before I start the engine (yes, even if I’m in a massive rush) to take a couple of deep breaths, to notice what’s around me and how I’m feeling. Then I start the engine. This is guaranteed* to make your journey calmer, less sweary at other drivers and you might even find yourself busting out a song (*ok, not totally guaranteed).

  9. Challenge your thoughts – when you’ve been practicing mindfulness for a week or so, you might start to notice your thoughts more and be surprised at how negative / critical / crazy they are. Don’t worry that’s totally normal. See if you can spot a thought that doesn’t serve you and replace it with something positive such as ‘I’m doing the best I can’.

  10. Track your progress – we tend to stick to habits that we can see making a difference in our lives, so start to jot down how you feel each day after you’ve practiced mindfulness. You’ll start to see how you feel better on the days you do it and be more likely to carry on.

How talking to my 7 year old self changed my life


How talking to my 7 year old self changed my life

When I first heard the phrase ‘inner child’ I was confused and if I’m honest, freaked out. 

But because I was serious about healing and changing my behavioural patterns, I had to look back at my childhood conditioning and the messages that got wired into my brain as a result. 

Our childhood (0-7 to be exact) is where our beliefs, behaviours and patterns get programmed.

I wanted to change this programming more than I wanted to stay comfortable in it, so I started working with my inner child. There are many, many ways to do this work (and some of it I explored I found complex and overwhelming to be very honest…) . I’m a fan of simplicity and action so this is the approach I took and works for me.

I looked back at how I was taught to navigate the world and myself.

When we’re children - we learn from observation, we don’t do what our parents SAY, but copy how we SEE them engaging in the world and responding to life. 

So I sat quietly on my bed night after night and I asked my younger self what’s true about you and the world?

This is what came up for me (and a few examples of how it was showing up in my life at the time - there were many more…)

  • Feelings aren’t to be felt, but numbed or distracted from 

How it showed up: Excessive drinking, numbing with work and TV, not able to be alone, always busy / running, stress, planning every moment of the day, scared of free time, mystery illnesses 

  • I am only worthy if I’m doing or achieving something, I’m not enough as I am

How it showed up: Workaholism, constant need to be the ‘best’ and achieve, superiority, over-achieving at anything I did, burnout as a result

  • How things look are more important than how they feel 

How it showed up: Perfectionism, making decisions based on how they looked to others rather than felt to me, excessive shopping, getting stuck in ‘prestigious’ jobs I didn’t enjoy feeling unable to quit or change things, staying thin and crash dieting before holidays / big events  

  • Other people’s feelings are more important than my own 

How it showed up: Keeping quiet at all costs, co-dependancy, people pleasing, saying yes when I wanted to say no, unable to end relationships or friendships, hyper vigilant to others feelings and reactions, fear of saying / doing the wrong thing, abandoning myself to please another

  • I need to be perfect to get the acceptance and I love I crave 

How it showed up: Over working, checking everything I did multiple times, over planning and controlling, high expectations of others and resentful when unfulfilled

  • I can’t trust my instincts

How it showed up: Anaylsed things instead of taking action, trusted others / books / experts over how I felt, got into unsafe situations, telling myself I was wrong about how I felt, dating men that I didn’t really like

  • The world isn’t a safe place to be trusted - it’s not safe to be vulnerable 

How it showed up: Controlling everything and everyone in sight to feel safe, wearing a mask, dishonesty  

A lightbulb moment.

I came to see none of this was my fault - I was simply acting from how I was programmed. I wasn’t ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ I was just running my programme. Like a computer hard drive. I became an observer of my behaviour.

From this viewpoint, my self judgement basically disappeared. 

This non-judgement also extended to my parents - none of this was their fault, they adored me and me them, but like 99% of parents, they were unconscious, hadn’t done any inner work and were repeating the same programming they’d learned from their parents. Generational patterns in action.

Parents can only parent from their own level of awareness - doing anything other than that is impossible. They were both doing their absolute best given what they knew (as we all are). 

Then the work began. I had to RE-TEACH that child, re-wire my brain to a new way of being, thinking and doing. 

I wanted to choose how I showed up as an adult (and now mother) not just living out these old beliefs on loop.

I wanted to show up as the empowered, alive person I knew was underneath all the layers of conditioning.

I knew my job was to get back to that version of me. To give my inner child a voice at the table and a chance to heal.

I re-wrote my old beliefs into new empowering ones (literally, in my journal): 

  • Feelings help me navigate the world and it’s safe to feel them 

  • I am worthy just because I’m alive 

  • How things feel for me are more important than how they look to the outside world 

  • My feelings are just as important as other people’s 

  • I don’t need to ‘do’ anything to get love and acceptance - I am loveable just for being me 

  • My instincts are there to teach and guide me 

  • I am safe, I can trust life and myself 

And then slowly, slowly I started acting from these new beliefs.

As I tried to change my brain fought to keep me the same - after all it was easier and my nervous system knew what it was doing the old way - I had to process grief, fear and massive feelings along the way. But that’s the nature of change.

When this resistance came up, I was kind and gentle to myself - I asked my inner child what she needed. I wrote letters to her and meditated to stay connected.

I asked myself these questions every day in my journal and I held myself accountable to new behaviour (with the help of my 12 step recovery group, meditation, yoga and therapy). 

What would I do if I knew my new belief was true?

What could a new way to approach this be?

What small action can I take today to become who I want to be? 

What does my inner child need?


And my life started to change. 

  • I met the love of my life (who also wanted to change his patterns) 

  • I finally quit the corporate jobs I hated and started my own business  

  • I ditched friendships that drained me 

  • I stopped drinking and all other numbing behaviour (tv, shopping, over working)

  • I started speaking my truth - saying no

  • I started setting boundaries

  • Eating well

  • Exercising 

  • Trying new things 

  • Having fun, feeling grateful, regularly experiencing joy

  • Doing things on my own and loving my own company 

  • Loving myself and being kind to myself. 

This work is not easy, it’s been 9 years since I started this work and I still find myself going back to my old programming (especially in times of stress, tiredness or overwhelm). And motherhood threw a whole new level of awareness my way (but that’s for another post). 

 This process will look different for everyone and this is just my experience of inner child work (some people call this re-parenting too) - there are many different ways to do this but I hope me sharing my experience has been helpful. 



Guest blog: Rosie from Mamawell

Guest blog: Rosie from Mamawell

Rosie from MAMAWELL writes about her experiences motivating postnatal women to exercise and find a fitness routine that gives them confidence.

So, you’ve made the decision and have the best of intentions of getting to the gym. Which if you’ve had a baby, is a hard headspace to even reach – so congratulations already. You’ve bought the leggings that make you feel great, you’ve downloaded the power playlist guaranteed to fire you up, and you’re pretty sure you have some moves organised that will make you stronger and feeling awesome. But then you cop out. Not feeling energised, haven’t got time, too much work on or the baby really needs you. The list of excuses is easy to populate, and don’t get me wrong, a lot of times these are not excuses, but just facts of life.

But the one factor often subconsciously holding us back from exercising is our own self confidence. From the insecurity we feel about our bodies, to the uncertainty of what we’re going to actually DO when we hit the gym, they are often strong enough feelings that prevent us from putting on our trainers and getting out there. 

As a trainer with a post-natal focus, I often find my clients are newly lacking in body confidence, despite their bodies having facilitated the most amazing thing in carrying and birthing their baby. They see many changes in their body and many people are much less confident initially about working out. This is where the home workout comes into its own and is a lifesaver when you have a new baby and all the unpredictability that follows. Providing you can motivate yourself to start, you can get that buzz of endorphins without having to work up the confidence to work out in front of others. Additionally, with the best will in the world, the leggings on and the mind ready to work out, it is sometimes impossible to leave the house with a new baby. Having a set of exercises that you can quickly do at home is useful and a great solution.

On the flip side, the support of like-minded people in the same stage of life as you can be hugely beneficial. The community and camaraderie of the group can not only inspire you to work harder, but encourage you to be accountable to attend class, even when you're not feeling 100% confident and energised. I set up the MAMAWELL Bootcamp with this in mind, observing the confidence of individuals growing as they attended regularly. The group offers advice, support, commiseration and congratulation freely. There should hopefully be no judgement about body, parenting, life/work choices resulting in everyone feeling included. 

Whether it’s just on you mind, or you’re sitting reading this ready in your active wear, my top tips for getting back into fitness with confidence include:

  1. Find a type of exercise that you love, as that will immediately remove a barrier of entry and make you more likely to commit. Whether its postnatal fitness, running, a team sport, men/women only classes - there is definitely something out there to inspire. If you can get to the first few sessions, it is highly likely that your confidence will grow as you get fitter, understand the moves and maybe start to connect with a few people in the group. 

  1. Schedule your sessions in advance and put them firm in the diary. Committing them to your weekly schedule will make you less likely to cancel, and the excuses for not attending will become harder to find. 

  1. Workout with a friend who is the same level of fitness as you. A little bit of support and competition when you’re working out with someone who knows you well can make it fun and social. You can spur each other on, and keep each other accountable when the confidence and commitment might be low. 

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There should be no pressure to ‘bounce back’ (what does that even mean? Who is bouncing anywhere after giving birth?!). I can guarantee the people with seemingly the dream bodies and fitness levels have just as many insecurities as the rest of us. If you miss a session (or end up eating a whole tub of ice cream one evening) just accept it and move on to the next day with positivity. There will always be another chance, so don’t beat yourself up too much. Life is a balance, and remember if you’ve had a baby you are most likely to be fatigued both physically and mentally. Anything you can get out and do is a bonus. 

For advice on ante/post-natal fitness and wellness in general, find Rosie from MAMAWELL at or Instagram: @mamawelluk

I'll never leave you

I'll never leave you

A few years a friend sent me this TED talk (it has now been viewed over 10million times) about self marriage and it resonated so deeply with me. I decided there and then to write vows to myself, a list of commitments to myself that I would strive to keep daily. One of them was to always be kind to myself, to see the best in myself and never again abandon myself to please another or the outside world.

I was already married to Guy when I wrote those vows to myself, but it struck me what a better wife I would be if I could keep loving myself too. Afterall, I can’t give to Guy what I can’t give to myself.

When I wrote my 3 month ‘Reconnect to you’ programme, I thought long and hard about the tools I’d used in my own recovery that had the biggest impact on me. This was one of them. At the end of the 3 months with me, I suggest clients do this in their own time, when the time feels right, if it feels right.

A few months after graduating the programme, my beautiful client Becky sent me an email with her experience of the ceremony and it moved me to tears. So I asked her whether she’d consider sharing her experience, and here are those words.


I always try and see the sea today. It helps me feel more connected, grounded. Encompassed by the never-ending stretch of possible beauties in the horizon.

You see, five years ago today I married a man I thought I’d share the rest of my life with, but as it turns out the universe had other (better) plans. And so, if we fast forward some 1825 days through challenging, painful, soul shaking terrain you’ll find me here on a beach about to get married again – but not to someone else, to myself.

When my marriage ended, I thought I’d lost everything, including and most especially myself. But what I’ve come to realise is that what I was given was infinitely more valuable, a golden opportunity to re-learn and re-build, recognise and acknowledge not a new me – but the me that was there all along. On this path I met myself for the first time with compassion and kindness, and even more extraordinarily I learnt to love this me.

This love is far from perfect and it’s ever changing. But it’s led me to the shore, my hair done, wearing a skirt, ring in hand, vows in another, ready to commit to forever.

When I arrive at the beach, it’s not as quiet as I would have hoped. I had hoped for empty. But there are families and dog walkers aplenty. I suddenly feel self-conscious and a little foolish. I plonk myself down as close to the water as possible to try and drown out the distraction of others and my own internal chatter. The sky is overcast, the water’s rhythm helps to calm my nerves. I spend some time sitting quietly, attempting to find some peace and connectivity. There is a little voice worrying what if I can’t? What if it all feels forced and false?

I tell myself to breath and trust – that I’ll know what to do when. I notice the clouds start to shift. Literally like a great curtain of darkness being pulled back to reveal the light behind. It’s like the sky is showing me the way, reminding me of what I’ve achieved over the last few years in one great atmospheric metaphor. As the sun breaks through, I smile and know its time.

I recite my vows to myself, slowly and clearly, repeating when necessary to make sure they are heard in all the corners of my heart. There are 15 in total and by the time I’m finished the clouds have completely gone and I’m left only with the bright winter sun warming my face.

I don’t cry, but the depth of what I’ve promised swirls around my chest and makes me swell with love, pride and happiness. I place the ring I bought specially on my finger – it’s engraved with my children’s names alongside one word ‘BECOME’ – and I breathe a sigh of relief. Some actions are so simple, yet inexplicably complex. They are nothing and everything all at once.

I make myself take some photos before I leave – I’m on my own and feel more than a little self-conscious, but I’m so glad I did. To some it may be seen as a simple trip to the beach or an excuse to buy a new ring. To me it was a massive step away from the pain of separation, an unfurling of my body to stand tall, a renewed promise to allow this life in and my light to shine out. This wedding day was a beautiful marker for how I want to treat myself and how I want others to treat me too. And I’m glad that I have the images to show this.

Self-marriage may seem a bit ‘out there’ but really what it boils down to is self-love. A deep and meaningful commitment to love yourself. And when I look at it, if you’d make this commitment to someone else, it actually seems more bonkers that you wouldn’t give it to yourself too.

I think it’s important to say I haven’t waited until I’m the perfect version of myself before doing this. There have been no prerequisites to this relationship. I have just committed based on everything I know about myself and everything I am yet to learn.

And what an extraordinary, beautiful relief this is. Knowing that I’m all in. That my love is here for the duration of this terrifying, joyous rollercoaster ride through life. That I’ll love better having committed to fiercely loving myself first. That I will never leave me.

“I took myself to the top of a mountain, or maybe the bottom of the ocean, and I got down on one knee, and I said I’ll never leave you.” Tracy McMillan

You can read Becky’s blog here

becky marriage.jpg

5 ways to be kinder to yourself (right now)

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5 ways to be kinder to yourself (right now)

I don’t know about you - but I can be so hard on myself, I’m so quick to listen to the my inner critic telling me I’m not doing enough, or successful enough or a good enough Mum. Many of the clients I work with have this self-criticism constantly running in the background - no wonder then that we feel guilty, demotivated, unhappy or even anxious.

Learning to be kinder to myself has become mission and through Motherkind I want to help others learn to be their own best friend too.

I recently wrote a list for blogger Clemmie Telford called ‘How I finally learned to be kind to myself’ and it had such an overwhelming response, I wanted to share with you 5 simple ways you can start being kinder to yourself today.

1. Start liking who you already are - sound obvious but so many of us are stuck in the ‘when/then game…when I get that job then I’ll be happy’. Problem with this is we often keep moving the goal posts so we never get there. Write a list of what you like about yourself about right now. What you’re proud of, the qualities you like about yourself. Keep adding to it everyday.

2. Affirmations - a great way to halt self criticism in its steps is to say an affirmation to yourself (bonus points if it’s out loud and in a kind voice) some of my faves are: I’m doing the best I can / all is well / I can handle it / it’s all happening perfectly

3. Learn to say no - one of the most unkind things we can do to ourselves is not respect our own time or boundaries. I’m a recovering people pleaser so I know about how strong ‘the disease to please’ can be. Practice saying no kindly when you don’t want to do something and notice what happens to your inner critic, it’s likely to get louder (they hate you now, you’re a bad person etc) - that’s really normal when you try a new behaviour, so see it as a good sign, but don’t cave in to the voice.

4. Practice mindfulness - mindfulness is a vital skill in learning to be kinder why? Because it helps you notice when we’re being unkind and even that noticing is incredibly powerful. Meditating for as little as 2 mins a day can make a difference and try setting 3 alarms a day to take 2 deep breaths to come back to the moment.

5. Talk to yourself like you would a friend - most of us wouldn’t dare to a friend how we talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t have that friend very long. Next time you go to beat yourself up about something, think about what you’d say to a really good friend and try saying that to yourself instead.

Let me know in the comments - are you too hard on yourself too? What are you tips for self kindness? 

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Top London Nutritionist and wellbeing influencer (and new mum) Madeline Shaw shares her top 3 tips for healthy eating for busy mums

Top London Nutritionist and wellbeing influencer (and new mum) Madeline Shaw shares her top 3 tips for healthy eating for busy mums

Madeleine Shaw, Nutritional Health Coach and best-selling author, joined The Motherkind Podcast on Episode 29.

As a relatively new mum herself, Madeleine knows the problem facing so many of us mums -  we can be so focused on feeding and looking after everyone else, we almost forget that we have to look after ourselves too.

“Know you’re not alone” if you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed, but also know that what you’re feeding your body can have a massive impact on your mood, energy and sleep.

Here’s Madeline’s top 3 tips for busy, tired mums:

  1. Eat a protein-packed breakfast

“The way you start your day is really important”, so when you eat breakfast, making sure protein is in it is essential.

Protein “helps balance your blood sugar levels and keeps you fuller for longer” and won’t give you that “big crash” that so many of us experience mid-morning, Madeleine explains.

For us mum’s this is so important, as we're are so busy and constantly on the go - we need equal amounts of energy and patience! If you just have a coffee or a piece of toast for breakfast, “you’re going to crash and burn”, says Madeleine, who also adds it may affect your mood and make you feel more erratic (NOT what we need….)

Having protein with your breakfast avoids this “sugar roller-coaster” and will set you up for a better day.  

How to: Madeleine suggests scrambled eggs on toast, smoothies with protein powder, or adding high protein seeds such as hemp to your porridge.

       2. Clear out bad food from your cupboards

You can’t eat something if you don’t have it in your cupboard! She also suggests minimising the size of things you’re trying to limit - such as only having a small pack of biscuits or a tiny amount of chocolate.

Make sure you’ve got some “healthy snacks on hand” such as nuts, oat bars or fruit.

How to:  Don’t have anything in your cupboards that you don’t want to eat; but do make sure you have easy to grab, healthy snacks to hand. 

           3. Prepare meals in advance

“Prepping is everything” says Madeleine, it saves time (essential for us busy mum’s) helps make sure we eat the right things (to ensure we have enough sustainable energy) and can even help us save money by cooking in batches (winner).

Madeleine normally prepares her food on a Sunday, or in the night-time for the next day. It will save you time over the course of the week, allowing you to focus on getting the things you need to do, done.

How to:   Create a bircher cereal overnight by soaking oats or muesli in almond milk, to which you can also add seeds or protein powder. A quick meal prepping trick is to buy or roast a rotisserie chicken, which you can quickly add to rice and spinach or vegetables to make a quick healthy meal.


To listen to the whole chat with Madeleine, please listen to the full podcast, available on or on iTunes.

World Renowned Psychologist shares the one tool that transformed her parenting

World Renowned Psychologist shares the one tool that transformed her parenting

On The Motherkind Podcast Ep27, the world renowned psychologist Dr Kristin Neff, shared the one tool that transformed her parenting, and can help you transform yours too.

Want to feel happier? Less stressed? More optimistic? Better connected to your children?

This one tool is proven to make you stronger, reduce anxiety, help you make changes and even make you happier.

This one tool is self-compassion.

Self-compassion is, “treating yourself with the same kindness, care and understanding when you’re struggling that you would show a friend”. Unfortunately the way we treat ourselves is often radically different to how we treat those we care about.

It is not just what you face in life that determines how you cope, but “how do you relate to yourself when times are difficult” Kristin explains an inner enemy or critical voice can only undermine and make life harder for us, while an inner ally makes you stronger.

If you can learn to be truly self-compassionate you will transform your parenting.

Far from being selfish, being kinder to yourself will have a hugely beneficial impact on your parenting and on your children. It will help you deal with the stress that comes with the day to day reality of being a Mum.

“As human beings our minds are designed to resonate with each other” and this happens at a “pre-verbal” level, mirror neurons allow us to feel what other people are feeling. These mirror neurons mean that in a difficult situation with your child i.e. in the midst of a tantrum, even if you’re trying your absolute hardest to be calm outwardly, but inwardly feel angry or frustrated, your child will pick up on your true feelings (and probably mirror your true feelings back to you - so more anger and frustration). This is exactly like when you come home and you can immediately tell your partner has had a bad day no matter how hard they try to hide it.

What would completely change this scenario would be practising self-compassion and soothing ourselves, through caring language and thoughts to ourselves. Simply recognising that we’re in an overwhelming situation in that moment can help.

But isn’t it selfish or narcissistic even to be kind to ourselves all the time?

Far from being selfish, self-compassion works so that “the more we’re kind to ourselves, the more other people will benefit”, Kristin says this is not only because we’ve got more resources, but because people including our children are interacting with a more peaceful and loving person.

For the practical ways of doing this and to hear more of Dr Kristin Neff’s incredible insights on self-compassion listen to the podcast.

Pop your email in below and I'll send you the full episode (45 mins) direct to your inbox, ready to listen to when it suits you. 

7 tips to love your post baby body (whatever it looks like) with the UK’s top eating psychology coach.

7 tips to love your post baby body (whatever it looks like) with the UK’s top eating psychology coach.

Speaking on The Motherkind Podcast Ep26 Mel Wells, bestselling author and the UK’s leading Eating Psychology coach and Self Love expert shared her 7 top tips for mums to love their post baby body.

1)      Throw away the scales

“We are so much more than what we see in the mirror” Mel explains, likewise we are so much more than what we see on the scales. If you are constantly obsessing with how you look or what you weigh, “I always advice to go back to how you’re feeling” says Mel. The real answer is always there, not in a number you see.

2)     Change your mindset from ‘getting your old body back’

You’re not going that way. Why would you want to go backward? Look forwards - embrace your new body and celebrate it.

3)      See it as a new chapter

See this time in your life as an opportunity to reconnect with your body. To love her. Afterall she has grown and birthed your baby.  If you’ve been punishing your body, see this as a chance to celebrate her - try new ways of moving your body, new ways of feeling good and always come from a loving, gentle place.

4)      Ban ‘Should’s’

Reframe the way you talk to yourself. Rather than saying ‘I should’ try coming from a place that feels good and brings joy.

5)      Listen to your body: notice when you’re full and when you’re hungry

“Be aware of emotional eating” says Mel. Emotional eating is a challenge for a lot of us, and people often eat when they are lonely, tired or stressed (tick tick tick for a new mum!). If you feel stressed it is more effective (and loving) to deal with the root cause of that stress, rather than mask it by eating. Learn to distinguish between when you are hungry and when you are emotional eating.

6)      Ask yourself powerful questions 

Having healthy food or pre-prepared food is fine, but we need to be aware of when this is about control or self-punishment. Two questions that are vital for any mother wishing to change her relationship with her body are; ‘what would someone who loves themselves do?’ and ‘what would I want my child to do?’.

7)      Learn about what makes you feel good

“We must learn what makes our own body feel good, rather than being told what is good from the internet or a book.” Certainly get inspiration and ideas from what’s around you, but ultimately know that this is your relationship with food. The key is learning to eat from a place of self-love for yourself and your body.

How I finally learned to be kind to myself


How I finally learned to be kind to myself

A llst for Clemmie Telford - The Mother of all lists . See the original post here

  • I’ve always been unbelievably hard on myself.
  • Even from the age of 8 I remember internally berating myself when I was bullied, believing it was something ‘wrong’ with me and willing myself to be different to be liked.

  • I always felt like I wasn’t enough and everything in my life reflected that.

  • I over-achieved, thinking if I did enough on the outside how I felt on the inside would change – straight A’s, 1st class degree, landed a competitive graduate scheme at a prestigious brand.

  • In my early 20’s I pushed myself working way too hard, staying in jobs I hated, saying yes when I meant no.

  • I was driven by fear.

  • I was expert at avoiding myself, keeping busy all the time and creating mini-dramas to keep the focus off having to look at myself.

  • I was massive people pleaser – I thought what other people wanted was more important than what I wanted.

  • I punished my body with an unkind mix of too much cheap wine, white carbs, sugar and stress.

  • I spoke to myself in a way I wouldn’t talk to my worst enemy. I was anxious and totally unsure of myself.

  • I was miserable – everything looked great on the outside but inside I was a mess.

  • When I was 24 a huge family crisis forced me to look within (and I’m bloody grateful for that crisis today, hands down the best thing that ever happened to me, but at the time it was horrific).

  • I joined a 12 step recovery group called Al Anon, went to therapy and decided to do everything I could to work on my relationship with myself.

  • I wanted to be truly happy, to like myself and learn to loosen up and actually enjoy life.

  • When I learnt to be with myself, I saw how most the time I was acting as if I hated myself.

  • It was quite shocking.

  • I started to understand why I was so hard on myself.

  • I did the sometimes painful work to look at my patterns and conditioning.

  • I came to understand why I found it so hard to be my own cheerleader, give myself a break and believe in myself.

  • I came to see how I was lost inside, I had no idea who I was or what I really wanted (beyond what society told me I ‘should’ want), so I was chasing something ‘out there’ to make me feel better (jobs, success, clothes, boyfriends, stuff).


  • I realised I had to learn to be kinder to myself, to love myself (was that even possible?)  if I was going to create the joyful, free, happy life I so badly wanted.

  • I had to accept that only I could do that work and no amount of the right job, the right man or the right friends would fix what was an inside problem.

  • I became pretty obsessed with my healing, recovery and inner life.

  • It fascinated me, lit me up and made me feel so hopeful and excited about the future.

  • I read about 500+ books on self development, spirituality and psychology and went to 1000’s of recovery meetings.

  • I was a bit obsessed.

  • It was all I’d all talk about for a while (sorry friends).

  • I learnt that I had pretty wonky view of life and that my beliefs about life (there’s not enough of anything, life is scary, the worse is likely to happen etc) weren’t serving me.

  • I learnt I was biased towards negativity, lack and fear and this is what I needed to change.

  • I started to change my inner dialogue using meditation to get to know the negative chatter and then affirmations to replace some of the harsh internal words when l caught them.

  • I found that 99% of what I was saying to myself was harsh and untrue

  • I learnt I was a perfectionist and held myself (and others) to impossibly high standards.

  • I learned how I had a need to control people and events in my life to feel safe, which was an exhausting way to live.

  • I wrote down the things I believed about myself – some of the big ones were: I wasn’t good enough, deep down I was flawed, I needed a big, successful career to feel acceptable, I would never be truly happy. There were many more.

  • I started to look for evidence that the opposite was true and I found loads.

  • I started focusing on what I liked about myself, what I was grateful for and what I’d like more of in my life.

  • I accepted myself, exactly as I was. I started to accept others exactly as they were. All my relationships improved.

  • I allowed myself for the first time ever to dream, to start to explore what really made me feel alive and happy (Spoiler: it wasn’t becoming CEO in the city as my previous self believed…).

  • I started being kinder to my body, reading every positive nutrition book I could get my hands on.

  • I started to eat like I loved myself (even when I had to fake it to make it).

  • I stopped drinking (I haven’t drunk for 5 years now) as I saw that it wasn’t serving me.

  • In fact, everything that wasn’t good for me dropped away.  

  • That was really scary at first.

  • Still is sometimes.

  • I started to see myself as a real, imperfect, struggling woman trying her best.

  • My shoulders dropped 5 inches and I started to smile more.

  • I had weekly talking therapy (it’s been 10 years now and I’ve had every kind out there) went on retreats and started looking after myself like I was the precious, wonderful human I am.

  • I’ve developed a deep trust in life and I’ve learnt to go with flow and enjoy it all.

  • I don’t suffer with worry, fear, anxiety, negativity, depression much anymore and when that thinking comes back I have a set of tools that put me back on an even keel (meditation, yoga, therapy, recovery meetings, journaling and sleep in case you’re interested).

  • But my inner-kindness journey continues, daily.

  • I feel really lucky that I was forced to work on myself from a relatively young age and that a result I’ve totally transformed the trajectory of my life.

  • I think I would have ended up with severe depression, anxiety, illness, going through the motions of life ticking boxes, stuck in the ‘shoulds.’  

  • From being kinder to myself I’ve now married a lovely guy, had a baby and started a new career which is my absolute passion (I trained as a coach and meditation teacher).

  • I’ve learnt that self kindness often isn’t the easy thing.

  • Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is sticking to my promise to be kind to myself no matter what.

  • Refusing to let guilt consume me.

  • Resting without the weight on my chest of what I ‘should’ be doing.

  • Saying ‘no’ when the people pleaser in me screams at me to say ‘yes.’

  • Letting go of control, perfection and I how I think things ‘should’ be.

  • Constantly challenging my thoughts about myself.

  • It’s a daily practice that I’m committed to.

  • Even more so now I’m a mum, when I’m kind to myself i’m a much better parent.

  • Setting and holding boundaries are still a work in progress for me.

  • But today I know I’m doing the best I can.

  • I’m more than kind to myself today, I think I actually *love* myself (still feels odd writing that).

  • I see so many of us mums being so unkind to ourselves.

  • Pushing harder, feeling guilty, feeling unworthy, full of fear, going through the motions, stressed and overwhelmed.

  • At the end of my podcast (The Motherkind Podcast, check it out – sorry shameless plug) I always ask my guests the same question ‘what gift would you give to all the mums in the world and why?’.

  • My answer would be self-kindness.

  • I would give every mum out there the ability to give themselves a break, to realise how perfectly imperfect we all are and how we’re all just doing our best.

  • If I could say one thing to you it would be to do the inner work, it’s tough but trust me will be the best thing you ever do, find your true self, make the tough choices, love the real you, cherish her and most of all, be kind to her.   



Making friends with mum guilt


Making friends with mum guilt

Us mums can allow ourselves to feel guilty about everything, right?

We’ve worked too much and not seen our children, or worked too little and can’t afford to buy them every toy on the wish list. We’ve not played with the kids enough, or we have been playing with them and the house is a mess. We’ve not seen our friends because we’ve been with our children, or we’ve seen our friends and spent one less afternoon with our children.

It can be never ending.

In fact a recent study, showed that working mums and stay at home mums experience the same amount of guilt. So this isn’t about whether we work or don’t work. It seems we’re living in a guilt epidemic – a Motherkind survey I completed last year revealed 80% mums feel some level of guilt every day.

Every day.

Some of the rheterotic out there tells us that mummy guilt is part of the parenting package and we need to just suck it up and carry on regardless.

I disagree.

I think we all deserve to feel good about ourselves and our parenting choices. In fact, I believe our feelings of guilt can help us become better mothers if we can use it as fuel for self exploration.

I think we need to befriend our mum guilt. What we resist, persists. So by avoiding, denying or minimising our guilty feelings we are giving them even more power over us.

It’s important to remember that our guilt comes from a really good place, of wanting to be the best mum possible for our children and that we’re all doing the best we can. Our feelings of guilt show just how much we love our children and want the best for them.

We need to learn to give ourselves a break.

But I don’t think that means we should ignore or try to minimise our feelings of guilt. In fact looking at your guilt, head on, can be really illuminating especially if you’ve been running from it or never questioned it. Even the simple act of writing down when and why you feel guilty can be extremely powerful. We can only change what we’re aware of, so the first step is to become aware on when and how you feel the most guilt.

Then get interested in it. Through my work with many mums on helping to reframe, befriend and shed the mum guilt I’ve come to see that most guilt falls into two categories;

1. Unreasonable guilt, when we feel guilty for not living up to our own or an external version of parental perfection.

An example of this might be feeling guilty for not feeding our children organic, home made meals for 3 meals a day every day or for not playing enough with our children or for buying them a birthday cake instead of making it.

The problem is we often haven’t defined what our values and goals are for our parenting, so we end up measuring ourselves by some undefined idea of perfection and feeling guilty when we don’t meet that. It’s so easy to totally lose perspective of what’s important to us. For example how many hours would we like to play with our children a day or week? What’s realistic given our circumstances? What feels right for us? Once that’s defined, then we’re less likely to feel guilty for not playing with them all the time, as that’s not what’s reasonable for us.

Many of us who experience high levels of ‘unreasonable guilt’ need to mindfully assess what is reasonable and good enough for us. So many of us unconsciously are trying to live up to an external idea of motherhood, that perhaps we got from our own mum (who was raising us in a totally different era), books or social media which presents a totally skewed version of life.

We need to get clear on what’s really important to us and our family and then do a ‘good enough’ job on the rest. Have a go at writing down your top 5 values for your family and how you want to live them in your day to day interactions.

We also need to look inwards – it might be that you’ve always set yourself high standards and goals or often felt like deep down you weren’t ‘good enough’. You may have used control and perfectionism to mask this in your pre-mum life – keeping your life highly organised, efficient and being successful on the outside. This is often the case with mums I work with and so what looks like mum guilt is actually a deeper belief about yourself that needs to be changed.

2. Reasonable guilt – in my experience, this is by far the smallest category of guilt – normally only one or two things end up in this category. This is the guilt we feel which is reasonable – when we have done something or not done something that doesn’t align to our values or who we want to be and we feel understandably guilty (the ones I asked you to define above).

For example, if we want to be calm, connected mothers and we find ourselves constantly screaming at our children for everything they do, we would probably feel understandably guilty about that. The trick here is not to change our values but to look at what’s going on for us and what we need to do to re-align back to who we want to be.

So continuing the shouting analogy, are we shouting all the time because we’re stressed, over-worked, disconnected from ourselves, exhausted or maybe something bigger like being unhappy in our marriage?

Again we need to look inwards and empower ourselves to take action. The first step is always self kindness and understanding, you are doing your best. What action do you need to take? What needs to change?

We can also take the opportunity to model to our children what taking responsibility for our actions looks like, by explaining why we acted like we did and amending our future behaviour – this shows them it’s ok to make mistakes and how to grow from them.


7 ways to transform your mum guilt


7 ways to transform your mum guilt

Ah mum guilt, a constant companion on our motherhood journey or something we can let go of and skip off into motherhood nirvana?

So often we feel guilty for going to work and leaving our children, guilty for not working and not contributing financially or being independent.

Guilty when we don’t see our friends, guilty when we do see our friends.

Guilty for not playing with our children enough, guilty when we spend time playing with them and leave everything else undone.

Sometimes it feels like we can’t win.

Many people believe that feeling guilty is a natural part of motherhood and we need to just learn to live with it, but I don’t subscribe to that - in fact I’d like to call BS on that - I believe we all deserve to feel good about ourselves, especially with the most challenging and incredible role we’ll ever have.

Feeling guilty is often what I call a ‘trigger’ feeling - there is usually something more going on underneath, something bigger that is making us hold onto guilty feelings and buy into the feeling as if it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth. With mum guilt I believe that’s fear - and when I work with clients to get the core of that fear, it’s often some variation of ‘I’m not good enough’. Which nearly makes me cry everytime I hear it come from an amazing mum.

Not a good enough mum or boss or wife or friend.

It’s not surprising, that in one of our most significant roles as a mother, our fear is triggered. It’s often a sign of how much we love our children and desperately want the best for them.

My favourite acronym for fear is False Expectations Appearing Real. We may feel that we’re not good enough, but it’s not real - you are absolutely good enough. The good news is that we can learn to let go of the fear and reconnect to the truth of who you are - a perfectly imperfect mother doing her best.

So what can we do about mum guilt?

It’s totally normal to feel some event specific guilt, just as in any area of our lives when we do something that is out of line with our values (such as forgetting a friend’s birthday). But feeling a constant or nagging sense of guilt is not ok. So here are some of the ways I work with clients to help them let go of the guilt:

Make friends with it - knowing where your guilt is coming from can be really illuminating and helpful - especially if you’ve never investigated it before and have been running from it or accepted it as part of mum life, so making friends with your guilt is the first step to transforming it. Jot down when and why you feel guilty - you might start to see a pattern, or see how unbelievably hard you’re being on yourself. Accepting without judgement how guilty you feel is the foundation for change, because we can’t change what we don’t first accept as our reality.

What we focus on expands - if we focus on feeling guilty it will grow and grow in our heads until we feel all-consumed. Conversely, by focusing on what we’re doing right (however small) that will grow and grow. It’s up to us what seeds we choose to plant and therefore what will grow - so make the conscious effort to choose feeling good about yourself and if guilt comes up, balance it out with a positive - so you were late for nursery pick up, but remind yourself you’re planning to put your phone down and fully connect when you get home.

Embrace your imperfection - so often we expect perfection from ourselves, which is not only totally unrealistic and can never be achieved - it also stops us from demonstrating to our children how we love ourselves despite being imperfect - one of the most important lessons we can impart.

Self-compassion - following on from embracing imperfection, self-compassion and kindness is one of the most vital muscles we can flex as mothers. We are so hard on ourselves, yet often so understanding and kind to those around us. A good exercise is to look at a picture of your younger self (aged 10 or under) and speak kindly, encouragingly and gently to that little girl, especially about your feelings of guilt, then know that the little girl is you. Or you could imagine how you would talk to a friend feeling guilty, how kind you’d be, how you would tell her all she’s great at and then turn that kindness onto yourself.

Quieten your inner guilt gremlin - yup, we all have one. That little voice that tells you’d be a much better mum if you stayed at home (if you’re a working mum), or went to work, (if you stay at home). Learning to see this little voice for what it is, not your reality or truth can be incredibly freeing - they are just thoughts and are you are so much more than your thoughts. If you manage to catch your guilt gremlin in action, see if you can stop mid thought and replace it with a kind, loving phrase such as ‘i’m doing my best’.

Stand by your choices - by getting clear on what you value - what’s truly important to you? Make your choices based on your values, then stand by those choices. It’s totally natural to wobble once you’ve made a choice but if it’s come from a conscious, considered place aligned to your values it’s going to be easier to stand by that choice and own it when the guilt gremlins come knocking.

Perspective - it can be so easy to get lost and all consumed by the petty, day to day niggles and worries of life, but a great tool is to put guilt into perspective - you might feel guilty that you took your children to school when they weren’t 100% as you needed to work, but raise it up a level and ask yourself some powerful questions ‘Am I a loving, present parent? Am I trying my best?’ Reconnect back to the reasons why you work and watch the guilt gremlin climb back into its box.  

And finally, remember that what we need from ourselves and each other is unconditional love and understanding - and that is more important than anything the guilt gremlin will tell you.

Zoe’s coaching package ‘freedom from guilt’ currently has spaces, so get in touch if you are struggling with mum guilt and are ready to reconnect to the truth of who you are - a perfectly imperfect mother doing her best.



To drink or not to drink.....


To drink or not to drink.....

This is something I get asked about, a lot. Because I talk about being in 12 step recovery and not drinking, most people (understandably) assume that I’m an alcoholic and in AA. Which I’m not - I'm in the sister fellowship called Al Anon (for family and friends of alcoholics) but I did decide to stop drinking 5 years ago, aged 30. I didn’t suddenly stop one day, it was a gradual realisation that a sober life was right for me. So why and how did I come to that decision and what is it like not to drink…..especially as a mum of a toddler?

I definitely drank dysfunctionally in my teenage and early 20’s - drinking to get drunk, doing things when drunk that I wasn’t proud of and feeling terrible the next day, mentally and physically.

Once I started on my inner-journey at 23, through recovery, therapy, yoga and meditation I carried on drinking although I definitely became more conscious about how and when I was using alcohol, but I was in my mid 20’s and I didn’t want to stop altogether - I was having too much fun and if I’m honest, I didn’t feel secure enough in myself to be the sober one amongst a gang of prosecco drinking friends.

So what changed? Well, the first thing was the physical and mental torture that were hangovers! I got really bad hangovers, even from one or two drinks and felt so sick the next day. But far worse was the mental hangovers - at this point in my life I was feeling good, happy, connected to myself and the world around me. Being hungover felt like going to back to the pain of my past - feeling anxious, insecure, less than, disconnected. I started to ask myself if a few glasses of wine was worth it? 

I was learning how to tune into and listen to my instinct and open myself up to guidance from life and I found when I drunk (even one glass) I couldn't do that anymore. It felt like drinking was blocking me from accessing my best self, who for the first time in my life I was starting to like and trust. 

But one of the main reasons I was still having the odd glass of wine, if I’m honest, was to fit in. To be able to share in the giddy joy of the first glass of prosecco or sit with a friend to share a bottle. I wasn’t sure what my social life or friendships would look like if I was the one nursing a water all night.

The inner work I had been doing at this time, particularly with yoga and meditation has really shifted this for me. I was feeling more and more secure in myself, confident in my own choices, trusting that friendships are far deeper than who drinks and who doesn’t. So I slowly started being the sober one on night’s out and guess what? It was totally fine. It was odd at first but now I can honestly say I love being sober on a night out, dancing the night away with bags of energy and not a hint of fear for what the morning might bring.

I thought I might miss the buzz of the first drink, the connection of bonding with a new pal over a bottle, the thrill of the first rose of the summer, but I really don’t. Not drinking gives me so much more than drinking ever did.

One of the main benefits of not drinking (apart from the massive cost savings, hello new clothes….) is time. I’ve always had a love for reading and now I’m able to read about a book a week, because I’ve got the time and energy to. My friendships have deepened too, some of the drinking based friendships have definitely changed, but my heart-level friendships are stronger than ever before, and when I go out with a friend, I’m present, able to really listen, available and I’m pretty sure I’m a better friend because of it.  

I had two years of being sober before I had Jessie, but I was interested to see how it would feel to cope with the challenges of parenting without the crutch of a glass of wine to ease the tension at the end of the day. I’ve found that challenging as it is, I’ve found other ways to relax, let go and calm down that feel more nourishing to me; an online yoga class, a guided meditation, a long bath. I feel that instant calm wash over me, just as I did with a glass of wine, but with the added benefit of feeling more, not less connected to myself. I was surprised when I became a mum, how strong the media-narrative is around motherhood and drinking and as a sober mum that didn’t resonate with me at all, in fact one of the reasons I started Motherkind was to be a different voice for anyone who felt the ‘wineoclock’ rhetoric didn’t resonate as a solution for the intensity of parenting.

I’m not anti-drinking at all, but for me not drinking as been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel happier, more productive, more secure and I’m deeply proud of myself for making this decision because it feels right for me right now. Who knows what will happen in the future, but my sober life is so bloody rewarding, I can’t see myself swapping it for a glass of anything any time soon.

Do you drink? Not drink? Want to stop drinking? Would love to hear your thoughts on this.



5 ways to reconnect to you (in the madness of mum life)


5 ways to reconnect to you (in the madness of mum life)

This was an article I wrote for The Early Hour. 

Life as a modern mum can be madness.  There is so much to do - picking up, dropping off, cooking, working, cleaning, packing bags, unpacking bags, spending time with the husband (occasionally), let alone trying to find time to have some sort of social life.

Our modern lives as mums have never been busier, more stressful or pressured. It can be so hard to turn the attention to ourselves, to reconnect with who you are and how you’re feeling - but I believe it’s vital we find time to, and often.

Without coming back to ourselves and getting stuck on the ‘give, give, give’ train, we’re even more likely to feel that pressure, stress and overwhelm. We’re more likely to snap at the kids, our family and curse the woman holding up the queue under our breath (or maybe that’s just me).

We’re also going to find ourselves reacting to life all the time, instead of responding.

Re-connecting back to you doesn’t mean long candlelit baths, spa weekends or walking in woods (although all those things are lovely…). It means seeing how you’re doing, how you’re feeling, what’s going on for you right now.

It’s bringing yourself back to centre.

Despite being a wellbeing coach, when motherhood came along I was massively thrown off course and I’ve been on my own journey, learning along the way, how to stay connected to me and in turn be a present, calm mum.

1. Stop and drop

I don’t know about you, but I often get stuck in my head - thoughts whizzing around, darting from one topic to another or I’ll fixate on one issue and turn it round and round in my mind and get stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’.

The problem with this type of thinking it that’s it’s unproductive and actually blocks us from opening up to the creative solutions we often so badly want.

So what can we do?

I practice the ‘stop and drop’.

When I notice I’ve lost myself in crazy thinking, I stop what I’m doing and drop into my body.

  • How do I feel right now?
  • Where am I holding tension?

  • Is my jaw clenched?

  • Are my shoulders high?

Dropping out of your head and into your body will help to calm your mind and bring you back to the moment.

2. Journalling

Writing is one of the most powerful and simple tools we have as mums to connect back and get some perspective.

When I teach journaling, I often face a lot of resistance - time, the concern of it being read, not knowing what to write - my response is always the same, just start for 5 minutes a day and see what happens. Often my clients can’t believe the difference it makes.

It only takes 5 minutes a day and you can do this with pen and paper (which is preferable) or on your phone.

Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to get started

  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What am I worried about?

  • What’s on my mind?

  • What would I like more of in my life?

  • What am I grateful for?  

3. Put your phone down

Having the world in our pocket has undoubtedly changed our lives, and I think for the better. But something I’ve noticed in my own life is how easy it is to use the phone to disconnect from myself.

When an uncomfortable feeling comes up, I often find myself mindlessly reaching for my phone (and inevitably onto the Instagram app) to distract myself, to numb the feeling.

The issue with doing this habitually is that our feelings need to be processed, they are often telling us something and if we don’t face them head-on, they can come out sideways. So snapping at your husband over dinner might be that feeling you repressed after something triggered you in the playground this morning.

This is obviously a huge topic, but I’d love you just to become aware of it. Tune into your feelings and use your journalling gently to explore them.

And remember that what causes the most pain in our lives is trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings, not the feelings themselves.

4. Write a letter to you on your 90th birthday

As busy mum’s it’s easy for the days, the years and even the decades to fly by in a blur of activity and doing, getting stuck on the roundabout of busy modern life and schools runs, without ever asking ourselves what we really want or dream of doing.

One of the first exercises I ask clients to complete is to write a letter to their 90-year-old self.

What have you done in life?

What have you learned?

How have you grown?

Have you found peace of mind?

Have you risked truly being you?

Have you done everything you dreamed of?

This is a really simple, powerful way of reconnecting back to you and your dreams. Remember to tune into what you really want, not what you think you should want.

5. Just breathe

I know it sounds like one of those cheesy Insta quotes, but I promise you it works. I think we all intuitively know this, which why we’ll often tell someone distressed to ‘take a few deep breaths’.

When we’re stressed and rushing our breath becomes shorter and shallower as we breathe out of our chest, this, in turn, causes tension in our body and can trigger the fight/ flight/freeze response, causing further stress and so the cycle goes on.

So as you’re going about your day, stop and focus on two deep breaths. In through the nose and right down into the belly and out again.

Deep breathing not only calms us down it also brings awareness to the moment, which can help us to notice that life is a thread of moments, woven together that come and go exactly as they were meant to.


Why motherhood is easier when we love ourselves


Why motherhood is easier when we love ourselves

To celebrate Valentines Day today, I wrote a piece for Alternatively Healthy 'Why motherhood is easier when we love ourselves'. 

Our relationship with ourselves is the longest, most intimate and important one we will have in our lives.

People will come and go, even our children will one day grow up and follow their own dreams - but we will always have ourselves. The well known quote ‘wherever I go, there I am’ is a cliche because it’s so true - no amount of money, travel, success or even children can change how we feel about ourselves - we have to do the work (and like any good relationship, it is work) to get to a place where we feel love for who we really are. As another cliche goes, ‘happiness is an inside job’.

For me self-love started with self-respect, treating my mind and my body with the respect they deserved. Letting go of people, jobs and things that no longer served me and making choices for myself by asking ‘what’s the most loving thing for me?’. I found I naturally stopped drinking, unhealthy eating, self-defeating behaviours and negative thinking the more I started to love myself.

Having children can be one of the best mirrors there is to reflect back to us our relationship with ourselves. I’m on a journey with this too, and I definitely don’t love myself fully all the time, but when I am in a place of self-respect, love and compassion I’ve noticed how much easier parenting is.

Here’s why:

1. You experience less guilt

Mums who love themselves know how to treat themselves kindly and compassionately - just like they would their children. When those horrible guilt ridden thoughts arise, they can counter them with perspective, understanding and maybe even an affirmation such as ‘I’m doing the best I can’.

2. You make time for yourself

We all know becoming a mum means significantly less time for ourselves. But that doesn’t mean no time. Mums who love themselves know that they are worthy of a time-out to simply reconnect to themselves - even if it’s a 10-minute bath or listening to guided meditation in another room.

3. You eat better

What we choose to put in our bodies can be a powerful reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Mums who love themselves tend to eat nourishing, whole foods that give their bodies the nutrients and energy it needs to keep up with the kids! I’ve also noticed when I’m feeling good about myself, I’m less likely to polish off that pasta pesto my daughter has rejected. As my therapist pointed out to me when I was struggling with this - it doesn’t feel very loving to yourself to be hovering over the bin gobbling down someone else’s leftovers!

4. You can say ‘no’ easily

I have found a direct correlation between my level of self love and my ability to say no. When I love and respect myself, I don’t need to get validation from others - it comes from within. So mums who love themselves care far less about what others think of them and more about what they think of themselves. That means less of doing things out of obligation and more time to focus on what makes them feel great.

5. You embrace imperfection

Mums who love themselves know that they are perfectly imperfect - we all are.  I’ve found the more I love myself, the more honest I can be with what is really going on or how I really feel. Wearing a mask to greet the outside world or painting on a smile (when you really feel exhausted and depleted) isn’t loving to yourself, as often it stops you getting the support, hugs and kind words that might just turn your day around.







After peeing on that stick and seeing the little blue lines, if you’d have told me I was going to have a empowering, drug free home birth I would have laughed in your face and cried a little inside from fear. To me birth was painful, scary and should be done with as many drugs as possible. So naturally, I set about planning a hospital birth with an epidural.

So what happened?





My second piece for Alternatively Healthy and it was surprisingly easy to write...I guess hindsight is a wonderful thing. I've had some lovely feedback about this piece, so I hope you enjoy it too. Let me know your thoughts in the comments...


When I was pregnant, all the focus seemed to be on the birth, the baby or how big my bump was. I wish someone had made me a cuppa, sat me down and whispered these secrets into my ear. Would have made post-baby life and especially that first year a lot easier.


Books can be great for guidance and ideas. But it’s time to stop reading them if they are causing you more stress than benefit. Same goes for Dr Google.

When I interviewed transformational coach Nicky Clinch for The Motherkind Podcast, she told me everything changed when she finally threw out the books and started listening to herself. Every baby and child is different, with its own neurology, so tune into your baby and follow your instincts of what you think he/she needs. I promise you 99% of the time you’ll be right (and the 1% you won’t be far off).

I wish I’d practised more learning to access and follow my instincts before Jessie came along. It’s a skill that needs focus – it requires getting quiet inside and learning to dim the outside noise to dial up your own inner voice. I wrote a piece on how to do it here.


If one thing is for certain, it’s that nothing is.

If you’re anything like me you might have daydreamed about what sort of mum you’d be. I was all about the natural parenting; breastfeeding for at least a year and I never really considered it might not work out that way. It turned out for my daughter and I breastfeeding wasn’t easy and despite that, I forced myself to continue, putting way too much pressure on myself to meet my own expectations. Looking back I wish I’d accepted reality exactly as it was and been grateful for the option of bottle feeding. Letting go of how it ‘should’ be is incredibly freeing and will allow you to surrender to the experience rather than fighting it.  


This was a huge one for me, I had some strong limiting beliefs I needed to work through before I became a mum such as ‘asking for help is weak’, ‘asking for help means I’m not coping’. Luckily, by the time Jessie came along I was able to clearly state what help I needed and accept it graciously. For the first month, I asked every visitor to bring a meal – it meant I didn’t have to cook for a month (heaven) and my friends and family also appreciated knowing what to bring to help out. WIN WIN. 


When Jessie was born I was overwhelmed with the heady mix of love and responsibility – I focussed all my time, energy and effort on her and pretty much forgot about me. It’s so easy to do but slowly my lack of self-care started to tell –  I found myself becoming increasingly anxious, irritable and stuck back in my well-trodden thought patterns of perfectionism, judgment and self-criticism. I realised I had to find a way of looking after both of us. Looking after my wellbeing isn’t selfish or a luxury, it’s a necessity if I’m going to be the best mum I can be. I now believe it’s selfish for me not to look after myself, as if I’m not feeling good, everyone in the family is affected. I wrote a longer post about how to juggle self-care with being a mum here.


Before becoming a mum life was full on, busy and jam-packed with activity. One of the greatest challenges I found in becoming a mum was slowing down, savoring the quiet afternoons of nothingness and reframing what I viewed to be a successful day (for me it was getting showered and one activity). Often our rushing and busyness can be a coping mechanism or a way of avoiding ourselves. Embrace this opportunity of becoming a mum to get to know yourself and your baby better, it will be way more beneficial to you both than spending those early days in a haze of activity.


Despite being 10 years into my personal healing journey when I had Jessie, the experience of loving this little human so much bought all my tendencies for fear and anxiety up to the surface. My fearful mind went into overdrive – what if she stops breathing? What if she’s got an undetected disease? And so it went on. It was a sign how much I loved her, and therefore totally natural that my fearful mind would kick in – the trick is to detach from it, so you don’t become a quivering wreck by the end of week one. The best way I’ve found to do that is meditation (see next point).


Despite being a regular meditator pre-baby, the change in routine and sleep deprivation meant I just wasn’t doing it enough. This meant I struggled to detach from my crazy thinking, which with a new baby was not ideal! Mediation is a life-changing tool and I think every mum should meditate because we need it the most! Download an app such as Calm or Headspace and find 10 mins a day to practice. During feeding is a great time, especially in the middle of the night when it can be so tempting to jump on our phones (which will then make falling back to sleep so much harder.)


Ah good old social media, such a quick way to beat ourselves up and a helpful reminder that everyone else has it sorted and I’m Or maybe that’s just me?! When I had Jessie I made myself a new rule, if I was struggling or feeling vulnerable in any way then I wouldn’t go on social media. Whilst there is lots of support and positivity online, when I’m in that space my mind is like a guided missile seeking out further evidence that I’m shit. So I avoided it all together and it was game changer. Then the next day when I was feeling better, I could enjoy a good ol’ scroll which felt nourishing and uplifting. Remember no two parents are the same, we all do it differently and you are doing it perfectly imperfectly for you and your baby.


Having a baby is one of the most amazing, awe-inspiring, life-changing events that will ever happen to you. It’s also incredibly hard. I work with so many mums who struggle with feeling not good enough, guilty, have a loud inner-critic and speak to themselves like their own worst enemy. We’re so kind our friends and family, so please extend that same kindness to yourself, you are doing the best you can one day at a time. Practice applying the same tenderness, understanding and love you feel for your child onto you too.


Ah, sleep. The new mum’s nemesis. There is a reason sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique – it’s incredibly hard to function when you’re exhausted. It’s an obvious one but sleep whenever you can and if you can’t sleep at least try to relax, there are great guided meditations out there (check out YouTube for free ones). Even though Jessie is now 2 I still try to get in bed by 9pm every night, even if that means the house is a mess and the washing isn’t done. Sleep is my number one priority.





I am super happy to announce I'm the motherhood wellbeing contributor for the UK's fastest growing online wellbeing mag, Alternatively Healthy

Here is the first piece I've written for them. Let me know your self care survival tips in the comments. 


It’s so easy as a new mum to focus exclusively on the little human wrapped up in our arms and totally forget about ourselves. I mean who wouldn’t?!

The problem is, that ignoring our own wellbeing through this period can make an already challenging time even more difficult. Lack of sleep, a plethora of outside advice, a totally new relationship to navigate and endless new things to learn is a tricky landscape to navigate, even for the most zen of us. I found to really enjoy the early months I needed to be in a good place myself. Makes sense doesn’t it? But it’s hard to do in the midst of the newborn haze, so I coach pregnant women to create a self care menu ready for the early days. I define self care as an act of love towards the self (this isn’t about hair / nails / massage that self care often gets tagged as on Instagram!). So here’s my top tips for self care in those early days:



Before becoming a mum many of us would rush to work, do a full day of meetings, lunch with a colleague, polish off a presentation and then get to a spin class after work. Post baby a good day for me was getting showered and out to the local coffee shop. Redefining what a good day looked like was one of the best things I ever did – one of the biggest adjustments to life as a new mum is learning to be ok with doing less and this simple trick really helped – so define it now, what does a good day like for you?


Slowing down and savoring the special time of the early months is one of the greatest joys, yet biggest challenges of being a new mum. Many of us are used rushing and busyness as a way of keeping feelings at bay or as a way to feel successful and validated. Slowing down might feel hard, counter-intuitive even, but I urge you to try, you will only get this time once so if you feel tempted to get busy ‘doing’ try just ‘being’.

Learning to say ‘no’ lovingly is a vital self care tool, if you have people pleasing tendencies like me this could feel hard, but remember agreeing to something (especially people visiting) when you don’t really want to is a subtle form of self-sabotage – it undermines your self worth. I struggle with saying no as the thing I fear most is rejection – that if I say no then the person or opportunity will never happen again. However what I’ve learnt is quite the opposite, that by saying no to others and yes to myself I’ve earned respect and trust from others.


Our brains are wired to focus on the negative, it’s a phenomenon called negativity bias, that’s why focussing each day on 5 things we’re grateful for is so effective, it puts a totally different lens on the day. Being grateful especially when we’re tired, lonely or struggling can feel hard, but those are the times to dig deep and list out at least 5 things you are grateful for, it can be simple as ‘good food to eat’. Try it for a least a week and I promise you will start to notice the difference. There are also some great apps available on the app store, I use one called ‘The Gratitude App’.


It might sound like an obvious one, but many new mums I work with struggle to keep themselves nourished in the early days. Especially if you’re breastfeeding then it’s vital you drink enough water, general guidance is about 10 glasses a day. When we’re tired our bodies crave sugar and carbs, which ultimately will make us more tired, so ask for help and get friends and family to bring home cooked, nutritious meals when they visit.


In my house the word ‘should’ is banned, we replace it with ‘could’ which is much more loving. If you’re constantly telling yourself what you ‘should’ be doing, catch it and replace it with ‘could’ – for example ‘I could go out but right now I’m choosing to let myself rest’. Cultivating self-compassion and kindness through the words we say to ourselves is a vital foundation for a strong relationship with our children, after all how we talk to ourselves is often how we talk to others. Psychologist Carla Marie Manly believes self-compassion is a necessary ingredient for a healthy relationship: “If an individual is geared toward neglecting the self while doting on others, this uneven balance will eventually take its toll. When a person has true compassion for the self, that compassion then supports healthy, balanced relationships.”


The 4 things I’ve learnt about juggling wellbeing and parenthood


The 4 things I’ve learnt about juggling wellbeing and parenthood

I was thrilled when Battersea wellbeing studio Eve and Grace asked me to be an ambassador. Marsha, who runs the studio asked me to write a piece for their blog on how I fit in my own wellbeing with being a mum. I loved writing it, hope you enjoy reading it. Let me know your tips in the comments....

The 4 things I’ve learnt about juggling wellbeing and parenthood.

Before my daughter was born my wellbeing was front and centre of my life - yoga most days, daily meditation, weekend workshops and hours of journalling. I look back now I’m a parent and can’t believe I ever complained about being busy or tired!

When Jessie was born 2 years ago I was overwhelmed with the heady mix of love and responsibility - I focussed all my time, energy and effort on her and pretty much forgot about me.

It’s so easy to do, becoming a parent is the most incredible thing in the world. But slowly my lack of self care started to tell -  I found myself becoming increasingly anxious, irritable and stuck back in my well-trodden thought patterns of perfectionism, judgment and self-criticism.

I realised I had to find a way of looking after both of us.

I deeply believe I have to nourish myself to be a good mum. Looking after my wellbeing isn’t selfish or a luxury, it’s a necessity if I’m going to be the best mum I can be. But with less time and freedom it’s about integrating wellbeing into daily lives, rather than seeing it as something separate or another thing to add to the ever expanding to do list.

Here’s what I’ve learnt so far:

  1. Know what works for you - ‘wellbeing’ is totally different for each us and with less time it’s about doing the things that are going to have the biggest impact. Get to know yourself - what makes you feel great? Do you need connection with others or space to yourself? Movement or stillness? Create a wellbeing toolkit totally tailored to you. My podcast with the self care expert Suzy Reading will give you loads of practical ideas.

  2. Managing energy - I’ve never been more tired in my life since becoming a mum, so managing my energy is key. Apart from sleep which isn’t always available (I also have some tips on that below) there’s lots of other ways I manage my energy. Diet is the obvious one but also I think about my emotional energy such as spending time with people who give and don’t drain my energy.

  3. Take mindful moments throughout the day - Before Jessie I used to meditate 20 minutes morning and evening. That’s just not possible with a toddler so now I do 5 mins in the morning and evening when I can. I also use mindfulness throughout my day - pushing the buggy, washing Jessie’s hands (talking her through it as a guided meditation), in fact anything can be done mindfully and it’s such a powerful tool for keeping calm and connected. Anxiety Expert Chloe Brotheridge explains how it changes our brain chemistry in my podcast with her or for my 60 second meditation click here.

  4. Sleep when you can, for as long as you can - when I don’t get enough sleep my other wellbeing tools just don’t work as well. I try to get in bed by 9pm every night, even if that means the house is a mess and the washing isn’t done. I do miss out on time with my husband - but my wellbeing is more important. I’m also a huge advocate of daytime napping (if you can) and asking for help so you can get a few more hours shut eye. Meditation will help you get to sleep quicker and have better quality sleep when you can get it. Try a guided meditation to get to sleep, there are lots of really great free ones on YouTube.



Our hidden superpower


Our hidden superpower

Since becoming a mum I’ve heard the phrase ‘follow your intuition’ more times than I care to remember. Of course, it’s sound advice, but I think the throwaway phrase scattered around like self-help confetti does an injustice to how hard this is.  Or maybe it’s just me?

So, what is our intuition? For me the definition is simple, it’s that inner nudge I get when I just “know” the answer to something.

Albert Einstein called the intuitive mind a sacred gift and the rational mind a faithful servant. But we live in a society that over-values the servant and has devalued the gift. We’re not using our intuitive mind enough and as a result we’re allowing our crazy-thinking–monkey-minds to run the show. No wonder we’re confused and overwhelmed. Or maybe it’s just me?

The good news? We all have intuition. I bet you can think of so many times when you’ve looked back on something and thought ‘I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do’.

So what’s going on?

I think so often we ignore or override this inner truth to please our outer worlds.

Our challenge as mums is to stay true to ourselves when the world around us may expect different things from us – we live in a world of ‘shoulds’. It can feel brave, radical even to shun the ‘shoulds’ and focus on following our own inner GPS, especially when it goes against the grain.

I think all the answers are inside of us, but we block them with layers of fearful thinking, people pleasing and ‘shoulds’. Believing that the answer is 'out there' (hello Google) when often the answer is within us.

Being a mum it seems like there are endless decisions to make – wouldn’t it be easier if we could tap into our inner truth to make the choices best for us and our families quickly and confidently?

Here’s some of my top tips for accessing our hidden superpower.

1)    Flip a coin –  This isn’t about making a decision by flipping a coin (although if it gets to that...) it’s about using the pressure of a result from the coin to force your inner voice to the fore. This is from one of my favourite authors Glennon Doyle Melton. If you’re not sure what it is you really want, take a coin and assign each side an option, flip the coin and before it lands and without thinking shout which side you want it land on. Read how Glennon used it to teach her kids an important lesson here. 

2)    Fear blocks our intuition – I’m not talking about the ‘my god that spider is massive’ fear here. I’m talking about the fear that presents itself as your inner critic (yup, we all have one) that is telling you you’re not good enough, you did it wrong, you couldn’t possibly do that. It’s the part of your mind trying to keep you safe, by trying to keep you small and risk free. But so often our intuition will invite us to grow and take risks. Quieten the fear mind chatter through becoming more aware of the ticker tape through your mind and if you catch yourself on a negative thought spiral, catch it and replace it with something positive. It’s a muscle and like the gym it’s bloody hard work but totally worth it.

3)    Journal – stream of conscious writing keeps our thinking mind quiet and allows us to connect to our intuition. That’s why every spiritual and personal development course I know includes journaling. Get a nice notebook and pen. Write the question you want answering at the top of the page and start writing. Just start and keep going. Trust me some surprising things will come up. You can always destroy the pages afterwards if you’re worried about prying eyes. It’s the process that’s important.

4)    Meditate – you knew it was coming, didn’t you? It’s obvious I know, but meditation is the best way to connect to our intuition. It allows us to practice quietening the incessant mental chatter and find the space to connect back to our true selves. Read my beginner meditation tips here.

5)    Any finally, experiment – try trusting your intuition on a few small decisions, see what happens then build up to using your intuition on bigger decisions. It’s fun. Trust me.  

What tools do you use to connect to your intuition? Has this changed since you've become a mum? I'm so keen to hear about your experiences on this, so share the wisdom in the comments below. 


Do this for 60 seconds to change your life

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I think becoming a mum is the perfect time to start meditating – why? Because we need it so much.

Motherhood is a package deal; the joy and love comes with more challenges and opportunities for losing our minds than I ever thought possible.

That’s where meditation comes in.

Meditation has single handedly kept me sane and happy through my motherhood journey so far and all the challenges I’ve faced along the way. I also owe overcoming my fears about launching Motherkind to mediation, without my practice I honestly think I would have succumb to the negative committee in my head.

It really is a life changing skill.

In my podcast with Anxiety Expert Chloe Brotheridge she explains how meditation actually changes our brain chemistry – it helps us to relax, make better decisions, stay in the present, deal with challenges calmly, reduces anxiety, increased patience with our children – the list of benefits really is endless.

I know what you might be thinking, that sounds great, but how on earth am I going to find time to meditate? Or I’m too stressed to meditate or I can’t sit still. Here’s the good news - you only need one minute to start with and build from there. Everyone has one minute.

As Gabby Bernstein says, one minute a day sat in stillness can change your life.

All you need is willingness. A desire to try.

Taking one minute in the morning was how I started my practice 10 years ago and I now sit 10 mins in the morning and 10 mins in the evening. For me, meditation is like exercise, the challenge is starting.  

Make the commitment to yourself to find your one minute, ideally first thing in the morning as we’re more open and less buzzing from the day’s events so it’s easier to settle.

Here’s my step by step instructions:

1)    Set a timer on your phone for one minute

2)    Sit on the floor or chair however is comfortable don’t worry about crossing legs or where your hands are for now

3)    Close your eyes – this will help you go inwards

4)    Take a deep breath in for 5 seconds and feel the air rushing past the nostrils and your chest expanding. Try to focus all your energy on experiencing the sensation.

5)    When a thought comes in, just let it go and focus back on the sensation of breath

6)    Breath out for 8 seconds and focus on the air leaving your nostrils. Try to feel the last thread of breath leaving your nostril.

7)    Repeat for one minute



Let me know how you get on in the comments.