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Love from Mim
13 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Don't compare your life to someone's "lowlight" reel
Do mothers need wine? The #mummywinetime memes, videos and posts in our social media feeds are at an all-time high. Most social-scrollers can happily take them with a grain of salt and swipe on by. But what about those who are actually struggling with a potentially dangerous relationship with alcohol? And it is the responsibility of the social poster, or the content consumer, to be more mindful of the messaging? In this episode, I share what I think (if you hadn't already guessed).
8 minutes | Apr 17, 2020
Snacking or Drinking too Much in the Evening?
In this episode, I get real about evening habits - particularly why we snack or drink excessively in the evening. And right now it’s April 2020 and we’re in the middle of a pandemic that’s keeping us isolated at home. And everywhere I look, people are eating and drinking more than they usually would in the evenings. It’s all over social media - and it’s in my house too. My occasional nightly ‘treat’ of a vegan Cornetto has turned into and every night must-have - and I don’t want that. For you, maybe it’s more wine or chocolate or chips than you would normally indulge in. But, why do we snack at night? I think it’s this: When we’ve been restrained all day, we then give in to temptations at night. But why are we ‘treating’ ourselves and how can we stop if we want to? We’ve been busy all day juggling kids, homeschooling, working from home, health worries and ridiculous new levels of NOISE everywhere and we’re probably not snacking and drinking during those times. In fact, sometimes when we’re so busy we’re prone to skipping meals altogether. But when the kids are in bed and the juggle is done for the day, all of a sudden we’re on the sofa ‘relaxing’ and subconsciously we’re probably still looking for a way to stay busy. Snacking or drinking is a way to stay busy, isn’t it? It gives us something to do. BUT we’re also looking for an instant way to destress/unwind/escape/reward. The snacking or drinking to excess is a HABIT! We’re in the habit of doing these things and it’s something we’ve likely built up over a long time. "Netflix and Chill" for me always includes a sweet treat. Now, this habit has been turbo-charged during the pandemic and suddenly those of us who would normally have a grip on our food and alcohol consumption are starting to spiral. I have been there, trust me. Cancer was the turbo-charge for me. Before I knew what was happening, I felt stuck in a relentless cycle of drinking excessively to block and blur out the crap I wasn’t dealing with during the day. So we’ve identified that we have evening snacking or drinking habits that we want to change, but how do we solve it? Well, I think we have two choices. We either need to either commit to the habit and be done with it, or commit to changing the habit. I know, sounds so simple, right? And many of us want to make changes. So, we need to relearn how to ‘do’ evenings without snacking or drinking - and it’s a big change. To start, we need to examine if the unwanted habit is a response to something being off in our life. Is it a way to ‘deal’ with something we’re not coping with within our life and is THAT the thing that needs fixing, rather than the habit? What we’re doing in our evenings is a reflection of our habits during each day - whether it’s the "doing too much" or negative self-talk or letting people treat us badly or something else entirely. We need to do the work on changing those things - not waiting until the evening to fight those battles and do the work then when we’re exhausted and tired because that is NEVER going to work. This doesn’t need to be a big scary thing to try to change - and you don’t need to do this alone. I have been there - most of you know that in January 2019 I finally overcame my habit of drinking too much, too often. It was something that snuck up on me over time and I didn’t realise at the time that it was a result of being too busy, in every way. From juggling kids, my own business, PTSD after cancer and a whole heap of negative self-talk and bullshit stories that I would tell myself every day and perpetuate my own unhappiness. I overcame that bad habit and it led me to write my book Less Wine, More Time. It also spurred me on to want to help other women too. Which is why I’ve put together a brand new program for you and I to work together on identifying and taking action on starting, ending or changing your habits. It isn’t impossible for you to do this by yourself - but why not let me help you. You can find out more about The Habit Plan by clicking the link in the show notes or going to https://lovefrommim.com/habits For now, I want you to sit with this - are your snacking or drinking habits something you want to change? Are you committed to changing them, or doing them? Because you’re definitely committed to one or the other. Let me tell you, I was whole-heartedly committed to those evening ice-creams! Not now - now I realise to break that habit I needed to be a person who didn’t eat a cornetto every night. Snacking on ice-cream every night wasn’t actually addressing the self-worth issues that were creeping into my mind during the day. It was a temporary treat that actually ended up making me feel worse about myself and it was time to break the cycle. How, well I stopped buying them! And I replaced the habit with a healthier option. Traecey in my membership group gave me a wonderful idea to prepare healthier snacks so that come 8pm, when I’m relaxing in front of Netflix and looking for a quick sweet snack that doesn’t take effort to make, I already have a bowl of chopped fruit to grab that looks beautiful, gives me a better sugar fix and isn’t going to make me feel bad about myself when I go to bed. Thanks, Traecey! It’s simple changes like this that bit by bit, change our whole lives and how we feel about ourselves. Let me know what habits you wish you could start, stop or change too. And check out https://lovefrommim.com/habits to find out more about working with me.
10 minutes | Mar 14, 2020
Stop wondering "What If?" and do this instead
We're all aware of current situation with coronavirus and having chatted a lot with my friends about this, it dawned on me that I feel differently to some. And I want to share why. Essentially, I feel calm. However, this made me question why others were not feeling the same way. Why were they rushing out to buy 100 rolls of toilet paper every day? Why were they fighting in the aisles at the grocery store? Why were they canceling their travel plans and considering keeping their kids at home? Why were they taking the measures that I wasn't moved to take myself? And it hit me - that the reason they were reacting differently is because they're scared. They're fearful. And who am I to question their feelings? We're all dealing with today's situation in our own personal way - as we, quite rightly, deal with every situation on any given day. So, what does staying 'calm' mean for me? Well, it means two things - firstly, I'm ignoring 99% of the internet talk. So much of it isn't helpful, it's scare-mongering and much of it is simply rehashing stories over and over to drum up a level of fear that is harmful for society. Secondly, I don't go down the "what if?" rabbit-hole. I just do not see the point in wasting my time and energy on the things that are not in my control. And all those things that the "what if?" questions bring up - well, none of them are in my control. And most might never even happen. So, I'm just not going there. How am I staying calm? Instead, I'm choosing to be peaceful, resourceful and generous. I'm focusing on inner calm and how I can support my community (family, friends, neighbours, others). When a thought comes into my mind about how this situation might affect me or my family, I ask myself "what then?". Then I drill down to a level where I'm comfortable with the outcome. Let me give you an example - and it may as well be the talking point on everyone's lips - toilet paper. We're all wondering what will happen if we run out of TP - I've wondered this too. Well, "what then?". Then - I go to the shops to get more. What if the shelves are empty - what then? Then I find somewhere to order it online? What if there is none? Or what if it's an astronomical price? What then? When I can either ask my friends and family if they can help us out - or we can go old school. I have a bag of old sheets and towels I was going to discard - that would be my next step. What then? Well, if needs be, we'll hop into the shower after every trip to the loo. So, now I don't need to ask myself "what if?" about the TP situ - because I know the simple steps to deal with that. I've been applying the "what then?" method to any other questions and concerns and in a few minutes, I'm calmly leading myself to any answers and resources that I need. It's a simple technique that might not apply to every fear that crosses your mind but it will help with many, as it's helping me. I'm choosing to take each day as it comes and face the challenges as I come across them. IF I come across them. It doesn't hurt though to have a few solutions up my sleeve, as being organised keeps me calm. For example: If the schools close - I now know how my kids will be cared for and occupied. I can also lend a hand to other parents who need to go out to work. I work from home and can take in a few kids. We've warned people we were due to travel to see next month that we may have to call off those plans. No more guilt or worry, everyone is informed. I've audited our pantry, fridge and freezer to see what we already have, before we rush out and overbuy more. I've made a list of meals I can make in batches and freeze. So, if we're isolated at home at any point, we have a stocked pantry and pre-prepared meals. And you now know our emergency TP plan! No-one holds all of the answers right now but I know scrolling google and social media isn't going to lead me to any more peace and calm than I can choose to give to myself. How are you feeling? PS - I've made my "How to Meal Plan" course FREE during this time. I hope it helps you feel a bit more organised and in control when it comes to planning your family's meals. You can sign up for free here:
13 minutes | Jan 27, 2020
Attachment to Getting Praise at Work
How much importance do you put on getting praise at work? Is it time to end your attachment to it, as I did? This is episode ten of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast. Incudes affiliate links. This is something I've really wanted to talk about for a little and I have a personal story to share about this as well. It's about attachment and acceptance. Maybe I'll just share my experience to put this in perspective. I've come to realize recently just how much importance I put on getting acceptance from others. And I'm not here to say I'm cured and am now super confident but in a couple of areas of my life, that is true. One, in particular, is work. What I've realized is that I was really dependent on getting a 'thank you', a 'well done', a 'great job' or pat on the head when it came to doing things for somebody else, particularly at work. This has gone on for years, it isn't just a recent event. I've really put a lot of importance and emphasis on getting other people's acceptance and the attachment that I put on that is if they don't tell me I've done a great job or thank me or say, well done, or credit me or praise me in some way, I have turned that into a story in my head that it's because either I haven't done a good job and in which case I felt pretty crap about myself. Or, they are not a nice person because they don't credit me or appreciate me or they're taking me for granted. I could literally take this to extremes in a couple of examples, I think. I realised I was putting so much importance on getting the acceptance of the wrong people because it's only my opinion that matters, isn't it? It's only your opinion if you do a great job for someone and you're happy with the work that you've done, only you need to be aware of that. Only YOU need to pat yourself on the head. You don't need others to be proud of you. And of course it's nice when people say well done and they praise you or you move up the chain in terms of pay rises and promotion. Obviously those things are important to a lot of us but it's the attachment that I particularly was putting on it. I've always taken huge pride in the world at do for others, I know I've got a great work ethic. I take my job very seriously because I absolutely love it. I only take on work that I really love and enjoy and I do a good job. But there have been certain times in my life where I've probably gone too far and delivered too much, and that's on me. No one's ever had a gun against my head and made me work longer hours etc. I'll do more than I need to do and I've chosen to do that, but I have put too much importance on what others then do in return for me. And you know what that's resulted in, and I think you'll relate to this as well, when you put expectations on other people, whether it's work or any kind of relationship or even transaction, but when you put expectations on them that are too high, obviously we're always going to be really disappointed. And that's the way I felt time and time again. You know, I've put so much importance on them delivering back to me things in a certain way that they've constantly fallen short and that isn't fair to them, is it? You know, people can't get into our heads and work out what we really want unless we tell them. And just because I wanted to have certain credit or praise, that doesn't mean I'm necessarily entitled to it either. I'm not always entitled to be promoted etc. And there's always office politics and other situations that can skew all of those things anyway. But I just came to realize that this error was really on my part and what actually made me think about it in the first place is a podcast episode (links above). In fact, there's a few episodes, but one in particular was from Jim Fortin, who's also my coach. It was episode 15 and episode 28 that I really enjoyed on this subject, episode 15 in particular. The title is "the greatest cause of your suffering is attachment". This episode is so life-changing, not just about the subject I'm talking about today but in terms of the attachment that we place on things when we don't realize we are doing it. I think that he quoted the Buddha in "your greatest cause of suffering is attachment". When I listened to that and had a conversation with my coaching group, I was like, you know, I realize now this is my issue. For years, I can think of examples in the workplace where I've been really pissed off that someone hasn't given me the credit I think I deserve or hasn't promoted me or praised me. If any ex-colleagues or bosses are listening to this, I think you'll know! And don't get me wrong, I'm a good employee: I get results. I don't cause too much trouble! But this is just something I know that I've had that thing within the past and this is why I wanted to share it today because I actually found a way to get over it and I'm going to tell you what it is. And it's really super simple but it's worked for me. There is no benefit to having attachment to other people giving you praise and credit for something that you've done at work. It's only going to result in negative stories and feeling shit about yourself or about other people. And I don't want that! I'm sure you don't either. So, I've written this mantra down and I've stuck it on my monitor. It's about how I'm now going to deal with things in the workplace going forward. So whether I'm in a job or whether I'm doing a piece of work. I'm a freelancer, so I work for lots of different people. Are you ready? Brace yourself! And this is very personal to me so you could take this or you could write something that pertains to you and your thoughts. "I take pride in doing great job and delivering excellent work for my clients. The only validation I need is from myself in knowing that I delivered why I said I would. And then I move on." Life-changing! It's very factual and it just sums everything up for me. If somebody else says 'thank you', 'well done' or raves about how the great work I've done, that's really nice but it's not going to change the way I feel in the work I do anyway. And that means if they don't say anything or if they're miserable or critical or like I say, just don't give any credit whatsoever, that's fine too. I've put this into practice in the last few months and it works. It doesn't bother me anymore. In fact, as time goes on, I'm almost recognizing less and less when people do rave or don't say anything because it doesn't matter to me anymore. And then the final part of that little mantra is, "and then I move on". And that was the biggest thing that I wasn't doing before. I was really holding onto resentment about why they haven't said something or what that said or how the power situation had played out or how I felt slighted in some way. And it was really making me miserable. You know when you're really down about something, even if it's only in one aspect of your life, like work or relationship or health or whatever, it completely clouds your thoughts on everything else as well. So, I was kind of walking around with this resentment over the years, every now and again. And it was clouding how happy I was in other areas of my life and I didn't want that. You don't want that either, I'm sure! We want to feel as happy as we can. When things are in our control and attachments is 100% in our control. We get to decide how other people make us think. I am not a victim. I was putting myself in the "oh, poor me, it's not fair" position and I felt like a victim. Not because of what other people were doing, but because I was making myself feel like one which is clearly not very happy and healthy! Let's be real though - obviously when people tell me I've done a good job or praise me or give me some positive encouragement, I really like that. Of course I do. That's great. I guess it's motivating. But I now don't now rely on it and I don't feel resentment when I don't get it. And I hope that that's always the way I feel because it seems a much healthier way for me to go about my business and my day. Does this resonate with you? Can you look back on occasions, especially in the workplace, where you know you've been pissed off if you feel you've been overlooked for promotion or you haven't had a thank you or someone has been critical about your work or you think you've done something exceptional and no one really says anything. Can you think of examples like that? And can you now think of a way that you might tell yourself a story differently so that it doesn't matter what other people think? You did a great job, you know that and that's all matters. And then you can move on, draw a line under it, move on and do the next piece of great work. And I hope that it's as simple for you to start thinking that way as it has been for me. It did take this realization that I can't keep blaming others for how I feel about this kind of thing. I've got to take responsibility for myself and I do now and it makes me feel a lot better. I've made some big changes in work recently because of that and it just feels like everything is now falling much more into place. So long may that continue! Let me know if any of this is resonating with you as well?
10 minutes | Dec 29, 2019
How I Boost my Energy in the Morning
Here are the 8 ways I boost my energy in the morning for a super-productive day! Click here to read all 8 tips on how I boost my energy in the morning.
14 minutes | Aug 21, 2019
Time Saving Hacks for Busy Mums
Here are 12 time-saving hacks for busy mums that I do daily or weekly to save more time! Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you're listening to the Busy Mum Balanced Life Podcast. Welcome back. And if you're new here, hello. So nice of you to join me! Today, I wanted to share with you 12 ultimate time saving hacks for busy mums. And as I've mentioned before, I'm quite an organized person but not as naturally organized as I used to be. As I've gotten older and busier, I forget a lot of stuff these days. I actually use a planner to make sure that I stay on track with everything and I'm always kind of looking for ways to simplify my life so that I don't have to remember as much and also save time because there isn't enough time to do everything that I want to do. I don't know whether you feel the same way. I'm sure you do. You can only do so much every day and every week and every year. I think there are ways to spend less time doing some things so we've got more time left to do other things. So, I've got 12 ways here that I am saving time. Not every single day or every week, but as much as I possibly can because I've just found that over the years they've really worked for me. If there are any of these 12 tips that you think, oh, I want to know more about that or you've not really gone into it enough, then let me know. I'm more than happy to share in more detail the way that I save time by doing these things. The first thing I'm going to talk about is a subject that I've talked about on my blog quite a lot recently and having loads of conversations with you, you want to know more about it. It's how I plan my meals. I don't do this every single week, but I try to do it as many weeks as I possibly can do because the benefits and the rewards from it are endless. And, and by meal planning, I simply mean that on one day of the week, generally it's a Sunday, I plan what my family is going to eat for the following week and sometimes our plan every single meal for myself. But generally, it's dinners. The benefits of doing this is that then on a Sunday, spending a few minutes planning, I know the ingredients I need and I get the ingredients. Then on a Monday, I know exactly what I'm cooking that night and every night for the following week. And it just means less standing in front of the fridge wondering what to make or not having the ingredients or the things that I need. I save so much time and so much money because I don't throw food away on the weeks where I meal plan. I don't throw any unused or uneaten food away. None.So I'm not wasting money, not wasting food, not feeling stressed. Meal planning is awesome. I've put together a meal planning starter kit for you here and it's totally free. It's a free ebook with a meal plan and you can use that and get started too. And I'm also running a program very soon called How to Meal Plan, which is going to be amazing and I'm going to share with you in way more detail how I actually meal plan, how I meal prep and some sample meal plans that I can share with you. Loads more info. I'm going to pop a link to that in the show notes as well so you can find out some more. But essentially if you want to get more information on that one, I'm looking for a few founding members to actually join me and get special, very cheap access to that program and lifetime access too. So you get all of the updates and you get a say on what goes into it. You can ask me anything. I'm going to help you anyway. Enough of meal planning! That's my first tip on the subject though of food. Tip two is that I double up. What I mean is I batch cook, which maybe you've tried yourself before, but I find that if I am, whether I'm meal planning or not, if I essentially just make a double load of something that saves me cooking dinner the following night. I mean this is not revolutionary. I'm sure you're like, yeah, this is not exactly life-changing. However, when you're on that day two and you're really tired and don't want to cook, yes it is life-changing. Let me tell you! So it might be as simple as just cooking up a batch of Chili or you know, mince on meet one day for the kids and the family and using it as a bolognese for one night and then maybe a chili the next night or perhaps, you know, I'll get a cooked chicken and I can make that go into 1,000,001 different meals like stir-fries and curries and salads and sandwiches. Meal prepping kind of falls into this category as well. IfI'm super organized, I'll actually chop all the vegetables, and sometimes fruit, depending on if it's gonna stay fresh for the next few days or the week ahead and just have them in the fridge so I can just grab the bits that I need for lunches or dinners and I find doubling up really helps save some time. Tip number three on saving time is, one of the banes of my life when it comes to mess in the house. It's the kids' toys. I'm yet to find an awesome system that completely sorts this and I think it probably doesn't exist cause at the end of the day, my kids are age four and six. They've got a lot of toys. They're messy. But we've just tried to get to a place now where we're not kind of falling over them constantly. We're encouraging the kids at their age to keep them tidy as well. So it's one less task for me when I'm tidying and it's something that they're responsible for. We found a toy storage system that works for us and it's a drawer unit that, you know, looks nice and is big enough to store their toys and they can sort them into things like lego or transformers or cars. Oh my God, we've got so many transformers at the moment. I give them the task of putting things away and I don't think you're supposed to bribe your kids but I do sometimes bribe/threaten them with any toys that are not put away, get thrown in the bed. Hmm. Do you do that too? Please tell me that you do that too. That brings me onto the fourth time-saving tip and this completely depends on how old your kids are. They might be too young to get involved too much, but get them to help. Like mine are at the age now where they can do some things. So I can ask them to help me tidy up or set the table or empty the dishwasher or fold the laundry and like there were little things I can do that will keep them busy, get them to learn some skills and help me and get things done quicker. Number five is to get them to help themselves. And again, this is totally dependent on age and obviously keeping them nice and safe too. But if you kids are old enough to make themselves drinks or snacks get them to do it for themselves, put them and like help them set them up. They can do it by putting things that are within easy grasp for them. So they don't need to be climbing up on any surfaces. So for example, we have bottles and snacks and a cupboard that they can reach. There's nothing at all that's kind of potentially hazardous in there. They can help themselves safely, with permission clearly, or they'd be all over those snacks in moments. Number six - we plan that the kids outfits in advance as much as possible. This is definitely easier now my daughter is at school, obviously she's wearing school uniform every day as long as it's washed and ironed, that's nice and easy there. But otherwise, before I go to bed at night or before the kids are in bed anyway, I'll hang up the outfit they're gonna wear the next day and it just means that my daughter's old enough to get dressed herself so she knows it's there. With my son, it saves me a little bit of time in the morning, kind of rifling through to find him something to wear. I like to get my daughter, who's a bit older, to help me choose her outfit sometimes as well just because there's less chance of us having that squabble. Number seven - a way to reduce time on laundry. How many laundry loads do you do in a week or a day? Cause it just doesn't end. It doesn't end. It doesn't! I swear I must do at least two a day on average. Maybe even more than that. It's only four of us in the house. I don't know where all this laundry comes from. I try and get the kids to help me where possible. So it's just little things like training them to when they take their clothes off, put them in the laundry basket, but before they've done that, make sure they've turned them the right way round. And it doesn't always happen, you know, not gonna lie. My husband is actually really bad at this. Now, if he hasn't turned it the right way around, I just refuse to do it so it can go in the wash and it can hang exactly the way he's left it. And I think every time that'll teach you, you'll hang it the right way next time or you'll turn it the right way around next time if he doesn't. Um, I've digressed massively. Tip number eight for saving some time is to clean before you clean. I hope this makes sense. This is something that I do in the shower. You know, this is a really silly little tip, but it just helps me a little bit. Have a squeegee in the shower with you so that after each of your showers do a quick squeegee down of the glass and the tiles and give it a quick wipe down. And while you're in there you can just rinse it off afterwards. It just makes the kind of weekly or the daily clean whenever you're cleaning your bathroom a little bit easier. Next tip is being prepared for car journeys. And this is really focused on the kids, so we love to have a little busy bag in the boot. We update this every now and again because as the kids get older, they're less interested in some of the old stuff. But we have just a few activities and things to do and maybe we'll pop in there some snacks or bottles. If we're on a longer car journey and it's tough to either keep them busy while we're on the road or whether we stop off somewhere on the way, if we need to keep them busy for a moment. Or if we get to a friend's house and the kids haven't got toys or something particularly to do, I just find that that can be really helpful sometimes. Number 10 - this is a cleaning tip. FY
10 minutes | Jul 28, 2019
What is Meal Planning?
What is meal planning, how to start meal planning and debunking meal planning myths! Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you're listening to the Busy Mum Balance Life Podcast. Welcome back. Today I want to talk to you all about meal planning and really I want to tell you that meal planning isn't as overwhelming as some of you might think it is. And I get so many questions about planning generally. As you know, I'm into planning and trying to stay organized and planning ahead and being on top of things for the family and for me. But meal planning is a theme that comes up a lot when I'm having conversations with readers or even friends who want to be more organized when it comes to cooking and preparing the family meals, but don't really know where to start. So I just want to break down that. Meal planning is really simple. It isn't a long drawn out process. As soon as you kind of get into the hang of things, it's a really great way of being kind of feeling a lot more organized but ultimately saving you so much time and money and waste as well. It isn't something I do every week. And in fact, I can go for weeks without meal planning and suddenly realize that I need to get back on track because I am kind of staring at the fridge at 5:00 PM on a Monday going, what the hell am I going to cook for the family? I just hate that feeling of panic and overwhelm. And it tends to be those times where I make bad food choices that are probably not the best or are very rushed and stressed or we'll go for takeaways. And there's nothing wrong with having, you know, the occasional freezer meal or takeaway or any of those things. We do that, but meal planning can include those things. Um, and it's a really flexible process. So that's why I wanted to talk a little bit more about meal planning today and break it down a bit more for you. Essentially meal planning is when you plan for the week ahead or it could be the month ahead of you. Super organized, but you plan for the week ahead what you are going to eat, whether that's just for you, you and your partner, your whole family, whoever your cooking for. So it's planning the meals that you're going to make. And the best place to start when you're doing that is really to see what food you're already having. Because what you don't want to do is kind of waste time and money shopping for groceries and food items to stock your fridge or your freezer or Pantry when you've already got to food in that you need to actually use. I'm going to give you some more tips on that in a moment but you decide what you want to make. You look for recipes and decide what the family is gonna eat and then you make sure that you shop for the gaps that you still need. When you're done that audit of the Pantry, fridge and freezer, see what you already need. And then when you've got the recipes, you've organized to go shopping, then you're actually going to set the plan. So you know, every day what you're going to be making. And the biggest benefit of that for me is that every day when I wake up, I already know what we having for dinner. I might have even already made it in advance. However, there is a difference between meal prepping and meal planning, which I'll tell you about next. Um, but it that every day I know what we having. I have a planner so that I can see what we're having. When the kids say what's for dinner, they can check it themselves if they want to. My husband knows as well, he isn't the cook in our house. If your partner or someone that you live with does the cooking, I'm so jealous! Mine isn't, he can't cook a thing, like literally pretty much nothing. Um, anyway, I digress. That's as simple as meal planning is - deciding what you're going to make, making sure that you've got the ingredients in and then set in the plan. So you know, everyday what you're going to be having. There are a few myths about meal planning that I wanted to break down though. So, as I've just touched on, meal planning is not the same as meal prepping. The two can go hand in hand, but they are different. So meal planning is planning what you're going to cook and what you're going to eat. Meal prepping is the actual prep for those ingredients and you might do it together, but basically it's, you know, when you see people, um, chopping all the vegetables on a Sunday that they're going to be using for the rest of the week or the next couple of days or making a huge batch of one particular meal and then freezing portions of it or having them stocked in the fridge. To me, that's what 'meal prep' is. And if you do meal prepping and meal planning together, that's like the ultimate in organization when it comes to making meals because you can plan ahead way more. You always have gotos on hand in the freezer. You might even have the whole week's meals prepared and just on a Sunday afternoon by prepping and planning at the same time. So you can do them together, but they're not the same thing. So if you think that meal planning is spending hours and hours on a Sunday chopping vegetables and making freezer meals, that's not the case. So don't worry about that. Myth number two about meal planning is that you need to be a good cook. I really enjoy cooking. I think I'm, you know, pretty good at it, but I'm certainly not a pro. I know how to cook. But essentially the reason I know how to cook is because I know how to follow a recipe. I'm so, as long as the recipe is a good one, I'm a good cook, right? As long as I follow it to the letter. But you don't need to be like a really great cook. You're not looking to come up with, you know, some amazing recipes from scratch yourself, unless that's something that you really want to do. As long as you can follow a recipe and you have all the tools and equipment and food that you need, that's all you need to be able to do. And another myth about meal planning is that you need to be a naturally super organized person. And you do not. The whole point of getting into meal planning is that making the meal plan itself makes you organized. You don't need to be organized in advance as long as you've got the plan that you need and you know how the step by step guide of how to do it, which I'm going to talk to you about, that's all you need to know to actually be able to plan ahead and be good at meal planning. You will become more organized by meal planning. You don't need to be organized to start doing it. Okay. Next and meal planning is for diets only are people want to lose weight. That's another myth. It's not the case. Some people actually meal plan just because they want to be organized. Some they do it specifically to save time or to save money or because they just enjoy the process. Many people do meal plan to stay on track with a particular way of eating, whether it's a diet or some kind of lifestyle change or meal plan, um, specific to what they're eating. However, it's not the case that everyone is and that isn't the reason that I meal plan personally. And then the next myth is that you have no flexibility when it comes to meal planning. So to do it correctly, you have to set the meal plan for the week and stick to it. And that really is not the case as well. If it suits you to change things up through the week, do so as long as you're, you know, still very conscious of saving your own time and money. It's your choice what you eat in cook for your family. Another thing I like to factor into my meal plans is some flexible days, days where I won't plan ahead or days where I just want to wing it. So that might be, um, a Friday night or a Saturday or a Sunday. If I know that we're away or you know, we, we don't want to, I don't want to cook meals that are going to be wasted. I want us to have the flexibility to have the odd treat or take out or meal with friends or just know that we can do something different. Um, so you don't have to be really rigid when you're meal planning. That's a real myth as well. I've spoken to you about the benefits of meal planning, but I'll just reiterate again, the two biggest things for me and that's the fact that it saves me so much time and so much time because I know exactly what I'm going to be making in advance. That just takes a lot of stress and anxiety and time wasting away from me. And it also saves money and the amount of money that I've saved, I wish I tracked it from the beginning because on the weeks that I meal plan, I don't waste any food. I don't waste money. I don't have, you know, food going off in the fridge that hasn't been eaten. I only shop for the ingredients that I need. So I'm not tempted to buy any extras. I used to be really in the habit of, you know, buying 'just in case' ingredients. Just in case I make this, I'll just in case I make that I would never make it. I just had a fridge full of things that wouldn't be used. Um, so they're the two biggest pros for me and just that sense of, I don't know, less panic, less anxiety, less panic. That's awesome. So I hope that's eliminated some of the myths about meal planning and just broken down a little bit more what meal planning is, how it might benefit you and your family and um, yeah, the pros that you might experience from it as well. And I wanted to let you know that this episode is sponsored by my brand new course on meal planning obviously, which I'm really excited about. It's called How to Meal Plan and you can find out more at love for men slash meal plan, but the course breaks down in a lot more detail for you to really clarify exactly what meal planning is, when you can meal plan and how to do it. I'm going to be giving you all of the tools that you need to started and get on track so that you know how to create your own meal plan that will work, create a shopping list. I'm going to give you some really easy meal ideas as well on some of our family favorites and some sample menu plans too so that if you really are struggling for inspiration and that's going to help you as well. And then
9 minutes | May 28, 2019
I'm Writing a Book
I'm so excited (and a bit nervous!) to share with you that I'm writing a book. UPDATE: You can buy the book here: https://lovefrommim.com/book Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you're listening to the Busy Mum Balance Life Podcast. I've gone back and forward on whether to share this for a good few weeks now, and I spoke to someone today who was like, "Nope, share it. It's good news, and it's something to talk about." So I thought, "I will." But, basically, I wanted to bring you in on the secret that I'm writing a book. Which I'm like so excited about. Seriously, you go on to social media and every other post is someone saying, "I'm writing a book," these days. And, I mean, personally, I love to read, so I get super excited when I see those. I know for other people it's like, "Yawn. You as well." So I guess I'll tell you more about what the book is about before you, hopefully, shut this down. As most of you will know, though, I've shared quite a lot in the past few months about my issue and addiction to alcohol. And one of the most common themes, kind of in the questions that I've had, because I've had hundreds, probably 1,000 or more now, messages and emails, particularly, asking me about my experience, about ... Mainly the common theme is that people didn't understand that I had a problem. And the question is coming out of concern for both me and for themselves a lot of the time. Like they don't understand how ... Do I have a problem? Am I sure I've got a problem? Is it not just that I need to cut back a bit? How have they missed the fact that I've had a problem, if it's been a friend or family member? And then for them if I've got this issue with alcohol, does that mean that they have, too? And I've shared quite a lot about the reasons I was drinking alcohol too much, how I was abusing it, the results of that, but I haven't gone too in depth. It's obviously highly personal, and it's really embarrassing as well. Like it's not ... Whilst I feel very proud of the fact that I've overcome this issue, I've been incredibly embarrassed about the fact I had it in the first place. However, I did find that the more I shared, the more it helped me, and I really started to feel like I was helping other people as well. And I don't mean by that helping make the world a better place by everyone quitting booze. Like I really don't think that everyone has to go out and be as drastic, if you like, because I have done. But I have had so many messages to say that me sharing has helped them. It's helped them acknowledge that maybe they've got an issue or it's made them feel better that they don't, or it's given them ideas of what they can do if they do want to cut back a little bit and kind of, I don't know, take a minute to think about their own life and recognize ... You might be one of these people, perhaps, recognize is it something that was spiraling a little bit for you, too? Anyway, back to the book. So I basically started writing. I wrote about my experience, what led up to this, some really, really personal and very embarrassing stories throughout my whole life about the kind of things that happened when I've abused alcohol, very significant things, some of them, and how it's kind of led me to where I am, or where I was a few months ago. And yet part of the reason for writing this book is because it is cathartic to share and for me to get everything down on paper. I'm a writer by trade, so it helps me to do that. It's just always been great therapy. When I was going through my experience of breast cancer, writing like an online diary, I mean, nobody may have read that, but just being able to write that down and get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper, on my blog, I just found that as such therapy. And this has been the same. But then to have so many people tell me that my words have resonated with them and it's helped them, that, to me, is something I did not expect. I didn't expect for a moment that by sharing my story I might help someone else in any way. It wasn't something that I intended to do when I started sharing. I was interested to see whether anyone else was going through the same thing, but I didn't have this purpose of, "I'm going to help someone." However, the more I write, the more that I am told that I am helping. Absolutely, It's driven me to continue to share and to continue to try and just lift the lid a little bit on the fact that this connection between motherhood and alcohol exists. And I've been doing some research. You may have already completed the survey. I'm going to keep that open just for a few more days and I'll link the survey below. If you're a mother anywhere in the world you can complete it. But, wow, that's really put into perspective for me some of the misconceptions between alcohol and motherhood and how it's portrayed on social media. And like I said earlier, I'm not ... Like I don't judge people who drink now. I'm not kind of on a soap box of telling the world and telling mothers that they shouldn't drink. That's absolutely not me whatsoever, and I'm not out to do that at all, but the more I've thought about this, the more now I want to continue to help. And I do believe that the book will help somebody else. And that's now my intention to continue to share what's happened with me, but hopefully to help others and to make other women, other mums, feel that ... You know, is this something that they might want to change when it comes to consumption of alcohol? Do they just want to have a good old read and cringe at my sad story? I don't know. That might help someone feel a lot better about themselves, perhaps. That that's helpful still, isn't it? Anyway, I was going to keep this a secret because when people say, "I'm writing a book," you kind of think, "Oh, what a nob." Not all the time, but you know, I mean, when so many people share that they're writing a book, it's like, "Got on the book of bandwagon." And so many of my peers in the blogging field have written some amazing books and I'm so inspired by them, but I don't have an inclination to write about blogging. This is something though that's really, wow, it's like pulled out a passion in me that I didn't actually realize that I had. And, yeah, this is kind of where I'm at. So I only started writing very recently, so it's kind of early on in the game, but the words are kind of flowing so far. I'm about 30,000 words in. It might be complete trash. It might never ever be released from my PC. Like it might ... Nobody might want to publish it. Nobody might want to read it. It might turn into absolutely nothing, but I feel like it won't. Like I'm feeling really positive, and it just feels like the right to do. I'm really sharing my heart now. Please don't laugh and judge me. I'm sure you won't, but I just wanted to share this because I would love you to be on this little journey with me of writing a book. I've never written a proper adult-sized book before. I've written a lot. I'm a copywriter. If you've read much of the things that I do write, the pieces I write in the articles, it's the way that I speak, like I don't try and be somebody else. This book is not for the fanciful highbrow reader. This is going to be ... It's very much an online diary. It's very much my opinion and my thoughts and my experiences, and that's about fancy as it gets. So not very fancy at all. But I would love you to encourage me and keep on checking with me to see that I'm hitting deadlines because I actually have given myself a deadline to have finished my, I think that Brene Brown calls it the "Shitty First Draft", by the end of the month, which is this week. So it doesn't give me very long. It might take a little bit longer, but that's the deadline that I set myself anyway, because I really want to get cracking with this. I don't want this to stop flowing. Like I want to keep on going with all the enthusiasm that I've currently got. Anyway, this has been going on a lot longer. I did just intend to come online and say, "Hey, I'm writing a book. That's exciting." And then put the phone down. But I've now waffles on for eight minutes and eight seconds, so I'm going to stop. Wow. If you've got this far, I love you so much, and thank you very much. And, yay! I'll let you know what happens next. Hooray!
10 minutes | Mar 2, 2019
Mummy Blogger 101
Want to know how to be a mummy blogger or how to start a mummy blog? Well, here's the low down on why and how I started my own mum blog plus how I earn money from my blog. This is episode five of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast. Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you're listening to the Busy Mum Balance Life Podcast. Welcome back, and today I thought I might talk about being a mum blogger or a mummy blogger or a parent blogger or all the different terms that mums or parents who blog get, and the latest one, I suppose, which has been around a while now is influencer. In fact, I've heard mum-fluencer as well, so Jesus, it's going to extremes at the moment. But, as many of you know, I've had my mum blog for six years now, and it's evolved a little bit over time. In the beginning, actually, I shared quite a lot of my family life and a little bit more about the kids when they were babies, actually, when I first began. But then in more recent years, it's become more of a mum blog. So, I talk very much about my personal life as a mum, my health, mental health, the kind of things I do day-to-day, and, whilst I still talk about being a mum and having kids, it isn't so much about them. The focus is now a little bit more on the mum, not just me, obviously, although it is a little bit of a diary. I will tell you, it's great therapy as well to write a blog, whether you actually just keep it on an online private platform or whether you share it with the internet like I choose to, it's really good just to get stuff out sometimes. What is a mummy blogger? Well, to me, a mummy blogger is a mum who blogs, and generally, a mum who blogs about life as a mum and they might share only their kids, they might share everything to do with their family, they might share only like me, really more about their life as a mum, some kind of combination of any of that anyway. Mum bloggers come in lots of different guises, and I'm sure that you follow many, whether it's their website or social media. In fact, a lot of mum bloggers these days only have a social media presence, so maybe they only have an Instagram account or only a Facebook page, whereas I have all three because I really enjoy writing, some are more about shorter blogs written more in captions, I suppose, and really awesome visually appealing photos and video sharing their life. My Instagram is a bit of a weak link. Although I love, love, love the platform, my photography skills are pretty weak, unfortunately. But you can just get lost for hours on Instagram, can't you, looking at other people's lives and living vicariously through them? So, yeah, some will have a website, some will only have social channels, or some mummy bloggers will have a combination of all of them. On websites, so, I choose to share quite a mix of articles. Some of them are product reviews, and I get so many requests to review particularly products that help save time because we're busy, we're time poor, ones that are not too expensive as well. My blog isn't a place to share super luxury items, and I try to keep the items that I do review and share within an affordable budget because we're a family that doesn't have too much excess funds, and I know many of my readers are as well. So, but for the occasional splurge purchase or product that I choose to share. But most of them are affordable products that help save time and money, or make life easier somehow. So I share product reviews. I also share a mix of articles. And some of those are personal articles. So it might be updates on me, my health, just more personal, almost like diary entries sometimes. Because it began as a place for me to share for myself and for my own enjoyment, or therapy, as I say. But I know that some of my readers have followed my journey since becoming a mum, since having cancer, and the aftereffects and aftermath of that. Some of my issues with mental health. So it's a place that I share, for me, and for them as well, so we can keep in touch with each other's journeys, too. And I also share general articles. So it might be, I'm going to call them parenting. I always feel a little bit dubious saying I share parenting tips, because whilst it's tips on how to make life as a mum easier from my experience, I would never hold my hands up and tell someone else how to parent. I think I kind of, sort of did that in the earlier days, and when I reread some of my older posts, I cringe a little bit. But I'm just not ready to delete them because there's some useful stuff in there. It just might come across as a little bit preachy. So if you've been following me from the beginning, please forgive all of that. Maybe I'll rework them one day. I don't know. But yeah, there's a mix of articles. And I will tell you, when I started my mum blog, I have experience over many years of writing. All of the jobs that I've done since school and college, they've all had a degree of writing and marketing and sales and kind of promotion to them. However I'm not a qualified writer, apart from my A levels, which I think is the same as the HSE in Australia. I haven't got any other writing qualifications whatsoever. I'm sure that comes across in my work, so please don't judge, now you know that. But if you're thinking about becoming a freelance writer or blogger yourself, don't be held back by not having qualifications. I look back at some of my work and I notice typos and grammatical errors, but at the end of the day I tend to write the same way that I speak. And I think that comes across, I'm told a lot that when people are reading my posts, they can hear me talking. And that's really, it's not that I'm purposefully doing that, but that's what I want. I don't want it to be stale. So that's my excuse, anyway, for making mistakes. So please forgive me. But yeah, and you might choose that when ... if you're thinking about writing a blog yourself, starting a blog, whether it's a mum blog or a different subject entirely, don't be afraid to write about whatever you want to. Because there are people out there who connect. And some of my readers connect only with my personal stuff, or only with the family stuff, or only with tips on saving money, or hacks. And some connect with all. But there's a person out there, I think, who's waiting to hear everyone's voice. That's super cheesy. I'm going to move on. And finally, I thought I might share. I do get questions quite a lot on how my job is being a mum blogger. How on earth do I write a blog about my life as a mum and make money? Is that even possible? And yes it definitely is. And much of my income does come from running the blog. So there's additional advertising costs ... sorry, advertising fees that I get. So you might see adverts on the blog in my sidebar or listed throughout some of the content. So traditional banner ads do generate some income for me. But the main source of income for my blog has always been sponsored posts. And for those of you who don't know what a sponsored post is, or perhaps are a little bit confused. And there is a lot of confusion, because they are disclosed differently depending on whose website or whose blog you stumble upon. But a sponsored post is when either a brand has contacted me to collaborate, or I've contacted them. And in return for me writing an article for them, or a review, in return for me doing that, they pay me. So they pay me money most of the time. Sometimes they'll pay me a combination of money and the product that I'm writing about, if it's a product. Or sometimes they'll only, the collaboration is only in exchange for the product itself. And I've reviewed loads of different kinds of products. Everything from skin care and make up to baby blankets and swaddles to bigger furniture items, like chairs and a dishwasher, which was amazing. And vacuum cleaners. It really varies. But I try and go for the products that do things to make a mum's life easier, or a dad's. However, my audience, if I look at my Google Analytics, it tells me that it's mainly mums. But yeah, makes life easier. So I will receive money in exchange for my time, the time that I put into writing, the skill in terms of how I've actually worked the review, and how that's going to benefit the brand in promoting their product. And the real estate of being able to feature on my blog as well. Because it isn't as simple as just taking a few hours or even a few days, if I'm taking pictures and doing a really in-depth review. Another way that I earn money as a blogger is through consulting. And generally, that's consulting with freelance writing or copywriting, marketing, or social media. So a brand might approach me because they like what I'm doing on my own website and channels. Or they need some help with growing or even just maintaining their socials, or writing some copy for their website. Or I might approach them and say, you know, these are the skills I've got. I love your brand. I can write for days about your product. Would you be interested in writing something for your website? And I have written quite a few parenting online publications as well. But that's been a really great way for me to use my blog almost like an online resume, or portfolio. And as I say, I don't have any qualifications at all as a writer, or a journalist, or any of those things. And I'm sure I'd be heaps better if I did. Don't get me wrong. But that's another way that I've been able to use my blog to go out and make some money for the family, as well. So there are a few other ways that you can make money as a blogger. And if you want me to talk a little bit more about those, I'll probably do a dedicated show on that. So do let me know. But that's in a nutshell, a little bit about mummy blogging. And particularly why I blog. I could actually talk for days about the reasons why I blog, and all the benefits it brings to me. And again, if you're interested, let me know. Because I'm more than happy to share. But if you're interested in
11 minutes | Feb 20, 2019
How to Konmari Your Friends
Can you apply Marie Kondo's Konmari method to the people in your life? I say YES! Find out how to declutter the friends who are not 'sparking joy' for you. This is episode four of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast. Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you're listening to the Busy Mum Balance Life Podcast. Welcome back, and today I wanted to talk about a subject that's really close to my heart, and if you've been following along with my blog for a little while, or if you've been checking out Netflix recently, you will have all heard about Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method. I'll hold my hands up and say I'm quite obsessed with that amazing woman. I just think she's awesome. She's so gorgeous, and I just love her outlook that you can simplify your life, and to be happier, and she uses the term "spark joy," which I'm sure you've heard, and probably seen in 1001 memes on the internet. But this term she uses to talk about the things that we own. She'll talk you through the process of going through your house in a very systematic way, and discarding and decluttering, and simplifying everything you have in your home so that everything has a place. Everything's really tidy, and you're living with only the things that you need, and not excess stuff. The idea of that is that you only keep the things that spark joy to you, and life is awesome then, and so much easier. I am in the process of decluttering my house. We're nearly done. We don't actually have a great deal of excess stuff, but we struggle with storage, so it's something that we're doing at the moment. I completely feel the joy and the benefit of doing that. But I'm not talking about your stuff today. I wanna talk about your people, my people. So family, friends, colleagues, just those people who are in our lives at the moment, and taking some time to think about whether or not they should be in our lives any longer. I wrote an article, which I will link in the description, but I wrote an article on this a little while ago. I was reading through it again recently, and someone had commented on it. It made me realize that this is a system that I need to go through probably quite frequently, and it's actually a very liberating thing. What I'm talking about is applying the KonMari Method to the people in your life. Although that probably sounds completely nutty and weird, bear with me, and I'll explain what I mean. I think it's really healthy for us to have a think every now and again about whether the people in our life are really sparking joy for us. Are they helping our lives? Are they enhancing them? Are they the right people? What's their impact on us? You know when some people just are a bit of a drain, or whether they are a bit toxic, or if they bring your mood down. We're at the point, I think, where we're all adults, and we're not on the playground anymore. We don't have to play nice with everyone. We do have to if they're our colleagues, clearly, and we do need to be civil with each other, but we don't have to be friends with everyone. And that is liberating. I think when you do leave kind of school, college, uni, or some workplaces, that's one of the biggest benefits isn't it? That you realize that we're all adults now, and we can pick and choose to a large extent who we stay friends with, who we hang out with, and who we give our time to. It used to be the case that when people came and went from my life, whether I kind of ended relationships and friendships, or whether they did, I would still feel quite a lot of sadness and mourning, especially if a friend had walked away from me, and I felt very sad because they were no longer in my life. That's definitely a thing with this whole trend, I think, of ghosting at the moment, where people just disappear, and they don't give you any reason, do they, why they're leaving your life. They just no longer reply to your messages or calls or emails, and they ghost you. Whilst I'm not particularly suggesting ghosting people, I think that you can actually take some of the power back into your life by deciding who we do and who we don't want to keep in it. I want to talk about how you might be able to look at your circle of family and friends, and kind of spend some time thinking about whether those people are sparking joy in your life, or whether you need to discard them. I don't think that some people are supposed to be in our lives forever. I think that not all relationships with friends, lovers, marriages, colleagues, they're not all supposed to be longterm. Some people are supposed to come into your life for a certain period to benefit you, or to have a great time enjoying that friendship, and then perhaps the friendship comes to an end because maybe you no longer have things in common, maybe you've changed, maybe you're going in different directions. Whilst I think it's sad that you might not have the life together that you thought you were going to have, I still think you're able to think back and hold onto the memories that you do have, and really appreciate them, and still hopefully with joy think back to the times where you did have a really great friendship, and you both did find mutually beneficial joys in the relationship that you had with each other. But you can now put that friendship to one side potentially, and focus on other more joyful friendships that you have. The great thing about decluttering the people in your life is that the less time that you give to the people who aren't worth it, for whatever reason, the more time you have for you to be able to devote to yourself, time for yourself, or to the people who are more beneficial and worthwhile to you. When I say beneficial, I don't mean that it's all about taking from others. I just mean those people who you really enjoy spending time with, who give a lot to you, who you want to give a lot to, who make you happy and joyful, and at ease. You can be yourself with them. So whether it's friends or family, I think you know those people. You know the ones who you look forward to spending time with. They're the ones who you want to create more time for. So what I like to do is just have a think about the relationships I have, particularly with friends because it's a little bit trickier to discard family, right? But with friends, I'll have a think, and there's three questions that I ask myself, and three questions that you can ask yourself if you have someone in your mind that you're considering at the moment. The first question is: Does this person spark joy in my life? So do you really enjoy spending time with them? When you think about them, do you get a bit of buzz when their name lights up on your phone? Are you excited to take their call, or see what they've got to say? Do you love spending time with them? The second question is: What are you gaining from being friends with that person? Whilst it isn't all about taking, but you do need to get something positive from any relationship. So have a think about what you're actually gaining from the time and the investment that you put into being friends with that person, and is that worthwhile? Then, finally, ask yourself, "Is this friendship still valuable to me?" So just because you have had a great relationship with someone in the past, perhaps now you're at a crossroads where you're going in a different direction, or they are, and you're just not aligned anymore. Maybe you've really changed as a person, and they're no longer part of the person and the life that you want to lead for yourself going forward. Maybe they've gone in a completely different direction, and they're no longer aligned with you, or not right for you. I find that just asking myself these three questions means that I can really think properly about, do I need to keep investing my time and energy and effort into this relationship, or am I now in the position where I should be discarding it, to use Marie Kondo's terminology, and walk away? I think that that really doesn't detract from the memories that you've shared with each other, and the fun times that you've had, and how you have helped that person, and how they have maybe really helped you in the past. You can be really thankful of the memories, and the time that you've spent together in a really positive way. This has just really helped me to walk away from relationships without feeling that real negative, whether it's guilt or hurt or heartache, or even anger sometimes. I can look back and think, well, this person isn't adding to my life in a really positive way now. In fact, it's the opposite of that. However, it doesn't take away from the fact that when I needed them three years ago, or 10 years ago, they were really there for me. I'm so thankful, and so appreciative of that. However, it's no longer worth my investment now. It's no longer worth theirs potentially either. But now I feel strong enough to say, "Thank you for the memories," and walk away from there. I hope this makes sense to you because it's a big decision isn't it, to walk away from a relationship, one that you've invested in. I don't know whether it's a female trait, but it's certainly something that I have. I always have the feeling of, what if, when it comes to relationships. Should I walk away? Should I quit on this person because what if I need them in the future, or what if they really need me? Or what if it's the wrong decision? So, does this resonate with you? Are there people in your life who are no longer serving you anymore? Are you no longer really gaining much from the friendship? Do you feel that they're dragging you down, or that they're a toxic influence in your life? I'd be really interested to know how you deal with that kind of situation and relationship. Have you decided to KonMari them? Have you actually decided to declutter and discard the friendship? Are you able now to look back on the relationship that you had with joy, and be thankful of the memories? How have things ended for you? Ha
13 minutes | Feb 19, 2019
I Quit Alcohol - how my friends took it
I share the responses and reactions from family, friends and readers when I shared that I had stopped drinking alcohol. Some good, some bad - all interesting! This is episode three of Busy Mum Balance Life Podcast. Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you're listening to the Busy Mum Balanced Life podcast. If you caught the last one, you will have found out why I decided to quit drinking alcohol and how I did it. So if you haven't yet listened to that, then I'd probably stop this one. Skip back to that one, give that a listen and then come back here. So what I wanted to talk about today was not so much the reasons why I did it, but the reactions that other people have had. And as I mentioned in the last podcast, I was really surprised, and I'm still really surprised, at how many other mums have come forward since and told me that they have been struggling too, or they struggled in the past and they also quit drinking for the same reasons. Exactly, most of them. Or they're struggling right now and they don't know how to stop. And they've been chatting to me about how I did it and if it will work for them. And so many have gone, are undergoing the same journey as well. So they've since started reading the book that I recommended that's in the last podcast. And the success that they're having so far and how they're feeling. So that was a big surprise to me, that I wasn't alone. But there's been a few reactions from friends and family and acquaintances that I wasn't quite expecting. So 99% of people have been so supportive. In fact, everyone has been supportive for sure. No one has not, intentionally not been supportive and most people have been really surprised and didn't actually realize that I had a problem, which is kind of good that I obviously hid it quite well. Or I don't know. It gives me mixed feelings. My husband knew that I had a problem, so he was thrilled. I mean, now he spends time with me every evening. He knew how much I was drinking, he was drinking a lot of it with me. So we both had a bit of an issue together. But otherwise, yeah, a lot of people have said, "oh, I didn't think you had a problem". And my reaction to that has been, I did, I was addicted to alcohol and the habit of drinking alcohol. I could not stop. And that generally is enough to put that one to rest. I don't think people realise, people who knew me, who know me and I realized how much I was drinking and how frequently. So this is not something I'm proud of in any way, but that response generally shuts that reaction down. The second reaction action has been "why, why do you want to stop?". And my response to that is it's really, for every reason, I want to stop because of the health implications that drinking that much was having on me. The fact that it was really masking different problems that I had and I'm now having to kind of face in many ways. And that it was costing me in every single way. It was costing me in terms of quality time with my kid and my husband. It was costing me in the negative health implications. It was costing me the next day in the anxiety or feel about having drunk so much again and how I was beating myself up. And financially the amount that we were spending on alcohol, particularly wine, even though it was cheap wine, was ridiculous. So it was a financial cost to us. But alcohol, I realized, was doing nothing good for my life. And that's one of the main messages in the book that I read. That alcohol does nothing good for you. And I fought against that in the beginning by saying but it does, it's social, it's enjoyable. I enjoy the taste. It helps me relax. But I now realize that alcohol wasn't actually giving me any of the benefits that I perceived it did. It really wasn't. Another reaction has been, "well, why stop? Why quit drinking altogether? Why don't you just cut down?". And again, I've had to go into detail about how I've tried to do that and I just couldn't. And you may say, I don't have the willpower or I'm weak or I'm not trying hard enough. No one's ever actually come to me with those reactions. But perhaps that's what people are thinking. That's probably something I may have thought if I didn't understand. But none of those things are true. And I now realise that I was addicted to alcohol and that's the reason I couldn't stop. It wasn't my fault. I tried, trust me, I tried. I tried so, so, so many times, for months and months and months. I could not stop. I couldn't even cut down one glass, I couldn't stop. And so that's the reason I can't just cut down. And then the next reaction to that has been, well, "don't say that you're going to never drink again. Why don't you just see how you go for a bit, maybe cut down for a month or three months and then when you start drinking again in the future, you'll have a better grip of it and you won't be as bad". And yes, I went into this process thinking potentially that might be the case, but it isn't going to be the case for me. I hope and I think that I will never ever drink alcohol again because it doesn't do anything good for me. And because of all of the awesome things that have already started happening in my life because I don't drink alcohol. But I know that I am, I'll eventually get addicted to it again. And I've never been a "one glass of wine" girl anyway. I've never had any interest in having a slight buzz of alcohol or just drinking for the taste of a lovely glass of wine. That just has never been me. I have always drunk to get drunk, whether it's just a slight buzzh to take the edge of the day off or because I'm going on a big night out and I want to have the confidence to be able to go and dance on the dance floor in front of everyone. Or I'm going to a party with people I don't know and I want to have the confidence to be relaxed. Like all of the reasons I would give for drinking would actually mean there were reasons for being a big drinker. So I've never been interested in only one glass. The chances of me ever that person in the future is slim to none. So those who suggested I just cut down, can't, won't. A couple of people, not many, but a couple have doubted me and said, "oh, you won't stick at this". And they mean it in a fun, jovial way. And that's the manner that I've taken it as well because I am not very good at quitting things or starting healthy lifestyle habits. I'm sorry. That's very negative. I am good because I'm doing this, but I have got a track record of announcing to the world that I'm going to take on this new regime of health benefits or exercise or food and then just not following through. And so I do understand why people who love me and who know me would assume that I'm not going to follow through with this as well. But my reaction is that I'm doing it and this is my intention and I'm grateful for anyone who supports me and yeah, just you wait. On the subject of waiting, I had a friend who said, oh, but it's my birthday soon and so please don't do this yet. Please wait until after then because I guess they want the fun jovial drunk Mim for a bit longer. And yeah, I get that entirely because I just think from being out with friends when we've all been drinking, the person who doesn't drink sometimes does stand out a little bit like a sore thumb. And I haven't been in masses of social situations yet being a nondrinker and I haven't been on like a big night out where everyone's been drinking except me. So that will be really interesting from my perspective and theirs to see whether I'm just the same old Mim or not. But you know, as much as I loved being the life and soul of most parties, probably the loudest, I did have this anxiety the next day of ah, did I drink too much and was I a bit obnoxious and did I have the mic at karaoke way too much? The answer is yes by the way. And did I say something to offend anyone or when I said this, that person looked at me funny, was it because I was a dickhead? Was I drunk? Like I don't want that anxiety and that paranoia in that guilt feeling ever again. It's a really horrible way to start the morning when you've had what hopefully was a good night out before. So I hope in time with some practice of being the sober person on a night out or a social occasion that I will enjoy myself just as much and other people will enjoy my company just as much as well, hopefully more so. And then the absolute biggest reaction from people that I've told has been a bit of a defense mechanism, I guess, for them. And I don't think they realize how it's coming across. So I'm going to try and articulate this as best I can. But probably at least 50% of people, especially people who are friends and family and close to me enough to be able to talk quite openly, their reaction has been, "oh well I have a complete grip on my alcohol consumption or I know when to cut down or I can stop whenever I want to, but I know that I can drink just one glass a day or one glass every now and again". It's basically coming across to me like, well, "I'm fine, I don't have a problem". Which makes me wonder one, do you have a problem? Because you seem quite defensive. I hope you don't. And two, no need to rub my face in it though. Like I'm actually putting my hands up and saying I had a problem with alcohol and I have a problem with alcohol. I can't be a drinker again. And so for them to come back to say, well I don't, I'm fine. It's kind of like, hey guys, come on. I'm sharing something really personal and a failing on my part, I still fell in many ways, although it's an addiction. It's embarrassing and it's not something that I wanted to have consume my life. So to have people say, well I'm fine kind of makes me feel a little bit shitty about myself, but I do appreciate they're not, that's 100% not the intention. So I'm kind of getting used to this reaction from people and seeing it for what it is, which is just them justifying their own actions and they're dealing with their own issues with alcohol or not. I don't know
21 minutes | Feb 19, 2019
Why I Quit Alcohol
In this episode, I share much more about my decision to stop drinking alcohol. This includes my addiction to alcohol, how I struggled to stop drinking and the steps I took to finally quit. This is episode two of the Busy Mum Balanced Life podcast. Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you are listening to the Busy Mum Balanced Life podcast. Welcome back and today I thought I would talk about something quite personal. I have shared about this on my blog and my social channels and you can feel free to go and check them out. But I thought I would have a bit of a chat with you about something I've changed in my life recently and that change was becoming sober. So stopping drinking, no more booze, no more wine, and having someone who's been quite the "Social drinker" for 20 plus years, many, many years, it was a huge change for me. And I thought I would just have a chat today about why I made the decision to no longer drink alcohol, why I've done it and how I've done it. And perhaps a bit about, how that has changed things for me. And the reason I shared in the first place was because it was such a big change for me and something that I couldn't imagine actually doing or even wanting to do, to be honest for quite a while. But the more I started sharing what I was doing and why I was doing it, the more messages and emails and comments I received. And I have no idea that I was not the only one who was struggling with this, with this addiction to alcohol or addiction to the habit of drinking alcohol or the reasons why I, and so many of you, we're going through this kind of habitual or addiction stage and want them to come out of it and not knowing how. But the amount, the sheer amount of comments and messages I've had, I went to the hundreds and I've been quite blown away. And on one hand it makes me feel good and validated that I'm not the only one who is experiencing these things. But also it shocked me too because, I did think I was one of the only ones that I had so much shame about how much I was drinking. The fact that I couldn't cut it down and the reasons why I was drinking a lot, it makes me feel better that I'm not on my own in that it has opened my eyes to the fact that this is a big issue for many, many people, many moms. So yes, I thought I would share why I made the decision. So I've been drinking for a very long time. I started drinking alcoholic at quite an early age and then as I got to kind of 14, 15, 16, I first started drinking socially with friends and it wasn't a huge amount back in that time, but there were a few times definitely in my kind of teenage life where I drank too much. I mean, I shouldn't have been drinking at all. Clearly it wasn't legal. I'm from the UK, it wasn't people there, and I know isn't it the most, most countries. And so, it kind of was one of those social things that we did. And I'm sure many of you can relate to this. It was just something you did as a kid. You know, we didn't really do that hang in around on street corners drinking thing. But I did, you know, when we went to friend's houses and parties and their parents weren't there. Yeah, I remember we'd be taking alcohol of somebody who is old enough to, or tall enough and looked old enough to get alcohol from the shop would be tasked with that job. And that was often me actually because I was tall and always looked a bit older than I am. I remember having taken great pride in being the one who got served, which, yeah, not cool, not cool now I'm a mum. I hate to think about my kids doing that attribute, but anyway. So over the years, I went through periods of drinking a lot to not drinking much. And I've always had quite the grip on how much I was drinking. There's only been a few times in my life that I've been really out of control. However, they've been really significant to me. And perhaps I'll share more about those situations in the future. But generally I have drank quite consistently for quite a number of years, but more recently about, that's about three years ago and I think it was around the time I was diagnosed with cancer and after chemo it became a bit of a coping mechanism for me. And not just because of cancer, but also because of just the anxieties of getting older and dealing with a busy family and two kids and just being really busy, and finding it very difficult to wind down and relax and trying to manage the demons of having gone through a cancer diagnosis. And just not really finding healthy ways that really tackled all of those different anxieties and emotions. And I just found myself turning to alcohol and then it became a habit. So 7:00 PM almost every night would be the time that I would really look forward to in the afternoon because it meant that I could open the wine, relax in front of Netflix and even just turning the cap of the wine bottle was probably enough most of the time to make me instantly feel relaxed. And I haven't found anything else that made me feel that way and it became a huge habit for me. In fact I would look forward to it. So I didn't know whether this was a sign of alcoholism or not. I still actually don't know now, but it got to the point where kind of 3:00, 4:00 PM every day, I start to look forward to wine time. So whether it had been a hard day and I needed something to take my mind off it or a stressful day or a really good day and I wanted to celebrate or just a boring day and I wanted something to make it a bit more fun. I had a reason for drinking nearly every day pretty much every day. And what started with one or two glasses of wine quickly, up-scaled to a bottle or even more some nights and I just could not stop. This went on for, I actually thought it was only a few months, but having thought about it more over the past few weeks, it's been awhile. It's been a while since I've been drinking that frequently and in that quantity and I'm really ashamed to say that out loud. And I gave myself a real good beating up every morning when I would wake up, and even though I wasn't getting much of a hanger, because I was getting used to how much I was drinking, I'd feel so bad that I had fallen into the track again and why couldn't I stop? Why couldn't I have a night off, or three nights off, or a month off, or why couldn't I cut down? And I just couldn't, I just couldn't find a way to stop or to break the habit or to cut down. And, I spoke to my partner about it and he is, kind of been through similar amount to me. However, he has a lot more, I'm going to call it willpower, but he had a lot more control over stopping. So if I'd said to him, "Let's not drink tonight," he would have been fine not to. But I couldn't, I just could not stop. And even now I can't decide yet whether I was addicted to the alcohol or the habit or both. I do it was certainly the habit. I've just formed this habit of 7:00 PM kids in bed, open the wine, watch Netflix. That was me, that was my habit. That was my daily habit. And it was most days, it was at least five days out of every seven. So yeah, and then like I said, I just felt so much shame the next day that I've done it again, you know, I've done it again, and then it'd get to 3:00, 4:00 PM that day and I would think to myself, I'm not going to drink tonight. I don't need to, it's a Tuesday. I'll have an early night. But then something really good or really bad might happen at work or in life or again, like I say, nothing might happen, but it would be enough to make me think, "Oh, it's fine. I feel fine. I haven't got a hangover. I've been able to do a day of work and look after my kids. Everything's fine." And it started again. So let's talk about how I broke the habit and I had no intention whatsoever of quitting drinking. I spoke to my husband, I spoke to my friends, my psychologist who I see and have always been really clear that I don't want to be a teetotaler. I don't want to not drink, I enjoy drinking. I love the taste, I love how it makes me feel, I love being social. I love all of everything to do with drinking except the habit that I was in and I wanted to reduce the amount, I wanted to just cut down and I didn't know how. So I've been quite into eBooks and audiobooks over the past year or so, and I searched for "how to cut down drinking". It was something like that. Now, the very first book that came up was Allen Carr's, How to Stop Drinking for Women and I laughed at that because it just spoke to me. It just spoke to me how to stop drinking for women and I thought, is this a sign that this drastic, dramatic book has come up on the top of the search? Is it the universe telling me that I don't need to cut down, but I need to actually stop drinking altogether? And like I say, it completely went against the whole, I don't want to be a teetotaler that's boring. I want to just be able to cut down and drink every now and again or less. But I read the description of the book and it just fascinated me and perhaps I'll do a full book review and if you want me to please let me know. But I had an open mind and decided to read the book, well, listen to the book on audible. And I was open to it working and me actually quitting drinking because I figured that if I quit solely, the book is telling me the reason I would quit is because I want to, not because I felt deprived or it being forced upon me, but I would actually finish the book and never want to drink again. So I thought, well, if I feel that passionately about not wanting to drink again, then that's not a bad outcome, is it? So, you know, best case maybe I wouldn't ever drink again and worst case hopefully I would cut down and it would be enough for me to be able to break the habits somehow through Allan Carr's teachings, which I didn't actually know how at that point he was going to attempt to teach me to stop drinking, again ever. So I had this open mind when I listened to the book that yeah, best case I would quit drinking. Worst case it would be why I originally intended, which was t
4 minutes | Feb 18, 2019
Introduction to Busy Mum. Balanced Life.
Simple solutions for busy mums to stay organised, save time and money and find more time for themselves. Welcome to the first episode of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast! In this intro, I'll quickly share a little about me about what this show is going to be about. I also invite you to share with me a little about you! I would love to get to know you and the kind of topics you would like me to chat about. Do you have questions? What would you like to find more time for? What are your struggle and challenges as a busy mum? I'm really looking forward to sharing my ideas with you and hopefully helping you find more balance in your busy life. We can't have everything but we can always find ways to find a little bit more time for ourselves. Sometimes, we just need to search for it!
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