A Little Bit of TLC



I’ve spent the day in bed with a streaming cold. Being self-employed, I can only be thankful that today was an admin day – no meetings to run, no client appointments, which meant that I’ve been able to try and rest a bit and get ready for the rest of a busy week.
I haven’t had a cold in months now, but when I was little I seemed especially prone to them. The one good thing about being ill, though, was the special treatment my mum always managed to roll out. After a hot bath I’d be able to sink into fresh sheets ( I still love the smell and touch of freshly-laundered bed linen). Trays of especially tempting food would appear, or a thirst-quenching drink. Even if she was busy, she’d pop her head round the door just when I was getting really bored and come and keep me company for a bit. I had a high fever and sickness once and she just curled up on the end of my bed for hours to make sure I knew she was there, for solidarity. 
As a single mum, any tender loving care needed when you are ill often has to be self-administered! There are some things that make me feel soothed and calm and I try to remember these when I need a boost. A warm bath, a cup of tea at just the right temperature, writing a to-do list to tackle when I feel better, rather than fretting about all the things I might forget that need to be done. Making sure to moisturise (with one of my favourite creams) a nose and lips made dry from sneezing and spluttering all day. Watching an old film, maybe even doing some writing or reading my book. Checking in with loved ones via text or email, even if I don’t feel much like talking.
How about you, when you are feeling below par? What small things make you feel better? How can you administer TLC and make yourself feel better, so you can resume normal service and carry on looking after everyone else? Could you ask for some help, even temporarily, to get you back on your feet again?
Before I forget: it’s worth remembering that your children will repay your kindness as they get older and more considerate. My youngest made me a cup of tea last night and helped unload the dishwasher. His brother is going out to collect him from his after-school job this evening, so I can stay tucked up in my bed rather than going out in the cold. Between them, they will get their own supper. And tomorrow I’ll be on the mend again.

It’s The Little Things In Life…

They say it’s the little things in life that get you down – just think for a moment about the grief a tiny mosquito can cause! All over The world, people get into arguments about trivial things like squeezing the toothpaste tube in the wrong place, or putting the empty milk carton back into the fridge. As parents, there are days when our children infuriate us. They forget their packed lunches, P.E. kits, front door keys, homework. They seem unable to pour a bowl of cereal without sprinkling it all over the kitchen work surface and leave a sticky trail of sugar granules and drops of milk for you to come across later. They are sleepy when it’s time to wake up and they dawdle when you are running late. Sometimes it seems as if you have to repeat everything at least three times to prevent it going in one ear and out the other. Before I had children, it used to amaze and sadden me how often parents could be heard complaining loudly about their offspring. “Just you wait”, they’d say – “you have no idea what you’re in for”… But one friend in particular stood out as a shining example of positivity. I once asked her how she managed to remain upbeat, despite the trials and tribulations that every parent goes through. She explained that she’d realised early on just how easy it would be to complain and criticise her children, rather than looking for the good stuff.

I knew she had a point and I have tried to bear this in mind. So just imagine for a moment how the little things can make you glad to be alive and proud to be a parent. The fact that my elder son actually asks my advice on his studies and texts me his results when he gets good news during the day at school. The fact that my youngest son confides in me and still tells me on a regular basis that I’m the best mum in the world. The fact that we can still enjoy each other’s company, despite the distractions of technology. Little things like an unexpected cup of tea turning up on my desk when I’m most in need of it, hearing from a stranger – or a teacher – how polite and friendly my boys are. And sometimes you can watch your child sleeping and have a massive wave of gratitude that he is alive and that you had a hand in creating him. It’s the little things in life that make it all worthwhile!

My book, “THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The pieces and build a Happy New life” is available now on Amazon.