What do we mean by Success? – Blog 8: The Dictionary Definition of Success?

Success has a lot of different meanings for a lot of different people, some of which we have already explored in this series. Today’s blog is going to take a look at the dictionary definition of what success is and if that is a fair definition to base our own success off of. That is what today’s blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” blog is going to be about!

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What do we mean by Success? – Blog 6: Your Self-Image?

The way that we see ourselves and why we do the things we do can play a major part in a persons life. The way that we feel about ourselves can have a dramatic effect on how we go about living our day to day lives but can we use it as a qualifier for being successful or not? This is what we are going to be looking at it in today’s “What do we mean by Success?” blog!

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is the sixth blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” series! Today’s blog is going to look at our Self-Image and if we can use it to determine whether we are successful or not in life. This blog will take a similar angle that the Public Image blog took last week but will look at it from a personal perspective, looking at how we see ourselves and the effect that that has on whether or not we class ourselves as successful or not.

Our Self-Image is something that we find changes from time to time as we go through our lives. The way that we think and feel about ourselves is forever evolving and developing as we learn more and more about how we work and operate. A good Self Image can be a real asset to have going through life but conversely, if we have a bad self image, it can be a real hindrance on us going forward.

The way that we think and fell about ourselves should be something that every decides by themselves but it is heavily impacted by the environments in which we are in. The effects that our surrounding environment can have on our Self-Image can be good or bad, depending on what the environment is and how we feel in aforementioned environment.

So the question that I am asking today is, can we quantify our successfulness simply by our Self-Image? If we have a really good Self-Image of ourselves and we all think that we are great in everything that we do, does that make us successful? Conversely, if we have a poor Self-Image, does this mean that we are not successful or in some way a failure?

The questions above can be quite interesting questions if you really think about them. As I say in every blog in this series there is no right or wrong answer to the above questions, it is all down to a matter of opinion. If you feel like it is the determiner of whether you are successful or not then I would be quite interested to hear why you think that?

The image that we hold about ourselves differs from person to person. Some people are naturally confident and are born extroverts whereas others are quieter people who are more likely to be introverts. It is usually assumed that the person that acts confident in front of everyone is really confident when that is not always the case. It is important to remember that people can always put up a front if they want to or feel the need too.

So can we judge whether someone is successful or not based off of whether they are/ act confident? It is quite a tricky question to answer as the answer would more than likely differ based off of the scenario and the context in which it was asked.

I think again that the answer comes down to what success means to you. Do you define success by one or two factors or do you think that there are a lot more factors that contribute to whether or not we are successful or not in life.

Our Self-Image can also be affected by an array of different variable too, further complicating whether or not you should be using it as a determiner of successfullness. Variables such as bullying have a very large effect on a persons Self-Image and can have very long lasting effects.

Let’s take a look at somebody who was bullied for a long period of time. No matter how mentally strong and resistant you are, it will eventually start to get to you and will dramatically lower the Image you have over yourself, you could say lowering your Self-Image. What is sadly the reality of bullying id the person that is getting bullied will start to feel like they are worthless and do jot deserve anything in life, you could say at this point that their Self-Image is incredibly low.

Can anybody justify classifying whether or not someone is successful or not based off of someones Self-Image when their Self-Image is as low as it comes due to bullying? Is there any possible way in which people can justify that? Could we say that if a person has been bullied then they are not and can never be successful?

I obviously say no to the above question with a very string opinion off it based off of what I have gone through in life. I fully understand that the above questions are an exaggeration of the topic to a certain degree but they are still questions that we need to think about properly. I don’t write blogs to lecture anyone or tell them what they should or should not be doing but they are still important questions and lessons to consider.

Success, as I always come back to, is a small word which meaning means something different to each and every person. The way that we define success is completely unique and there is no right or wrong answer to it. Whether we decide to determiner whether we are successful or not based off of one factor or more, it is something that can lead to a lot of interesting and topical debates in life!

That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading! What do you think? Do you think our Self-Image can be a determiner of if we are successful or not? What does success mean to you? Are there any other topics that you would like me to look at on the page? Let me know either in the comments below or through our Facebook page!

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

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James Sweeney

What do we mean by Success? – Blog 5: Your Public Image?

How we see ourselves and see each other is one of the underlying principles of Society. Everybody in life has their own role to play which to many makes their public image very important. The question that I am now asking you all to think of is your public image a reflection of how successful you are or not? This is what we will be taking a look at in today’s What do we mean by Success blog!

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is the fifth blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” series that we run on the page and is all about your public image! A public image is something that we all have and is something that plays a big part in how we live our day to day life! While everyone has a different part to play in life, can we use our public image as a determiner of whether or not we are successful in life?

Firstly, to answer this question, we need to take a look at what I mean by our “public image”. Public Image to me is both a combination of how we are seen by others and what our role in society is. Are you seen as a caring person who anyone can talk to or are you more of a quiet person that just does a job quietly?

Nearly everyone we meet in life will be different and will react in their own way to different circumstances. Some people will instinctively panic if a problem arises and will go frantic whereas others will be able to keep their cool and thin rationally about how to solve the problem that they are in. Is it fair to say that the person that keeps calm is more successful than the person who stresses out and panics?

The answer to that question is a matter of opinion, it reflects how you see people and indeed society. I don’t think we can judge whether someone is successful or not simply by how they react in a crisis, but to many it is a determining factor. Again I am not saying you are right or wrong in whatever your view is about the question, I just think it is quite an interesting question to ask ourselves.

The thing that this comes down to in my opinion is how important is your public image to you? If you see your public image as being very important then it is more likely that it will be a determining factor of whether you consider yourself and others successful or not. There is again no right answer as for how important your public image is to you, it is all down to what you think of it.

People come in all different shapes and sizes. Some people are tall, others are short, some are great at Maths, others English. We are all different and it is what makes the world interesting. We find as we go through life that there are people who are natural leaders and then there are people that work better being told what to do by someone else. Is it a fair thing to measure success simply by if you are a leader or not? Alternatively is it a fair view to say that someone is not successful in life because they are not a leader?

Personally I think that whether you are a leader or not does not matter in regards to being successful or not but in saying that , there will be others that think completely differently. I am really interested in seeing what you all think to some of the questions I have been asking all throughout this series. I feel like they are all very thought provoking questions that really make you think of how to answer them and how you see yourselves in general.

That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog! The blog is a little bit shorter than I originally planned but I think that there are some very good questions asked here that can really make you think. What do you think success means? Do you think your pubic image is a factor in whether or not you are successful in life? What do you think your public image is? Let me know what you think either in the comments below or though our Facebook page!

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here is greatly appreciated and will be directly reinvested back into the page!

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James Sweeney

Ideas for Lockdown – Blog 3: Learning a new Language

Learning a new Language is something that we all try and do at some point in our lives and is something we should all try and do more of in our day to day life. Learning a new language brings with it lots of different positives in our life which we will be looking at in today’s blog in the Ideas for Lockdown series!

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Today’s blog is the third blog in the Ideas for Lockdown series and is all about Learning a new Language! Learning new languages is something that I love to try and do and is something that we could all do more of in our lives! As a lot of people have more time on their hands due to the Lockdown that we are facing, why don’t we use the time to try and start to learn a new language?

There are around 6,500 spoken languages around the world. There are so many languages to choose from so the question that I have is what’s stopping you? Is there a language that you have always wanted to learn but have never had the time too? Then now is your chance! Make the most of the extra time that we have and try and learn that language, you never know it could change your life!

One of my favourite things about learning languages is that you can spend as little or as much time doing it as you choose. You can spend hours a day looking at different words, verbs and tenses or you could just spend the odd five minutes here and there learning some new phrases, it is completely up to you!

Learning a new language gives you the chance to communicate with people around the world. If you know French, for instance, then you can communicate with people from France, Belgium, Cameroon and even Canada! It opens the door to a potential global network of people that you can speak and interact with!

Learning more languages can also help you out greatly in advancing your career. Companies are now actively seeking out multilingual people and are adding things like, must speak to or more languages, to job descriptions. Learning a new language can not only open your door to a much larger network of people but can also provide a lot of different jobs all around the world!

In regards to what language you should learn, it is completely up to you! Quite a lot of people that I know look at the most employable languages or the most spoken languages around the world and then try and learn them but the choice is all yours!I find that when I have been to a country and seen people speak their native language, it makes me want to learn it!

Growing up I had the chance to speak English, Welsh, French and German. While I ultimately did not choose German as a GCSE option I still had the chance to learn the basics and really enjoyed it! By the end of my time in school, I could speak a lot of Welsh and carried on with learning French. By the end of College I had a great understanding of the French language and it led to me making some great friends in France!

As I mentioned previously the speed that you learn a language is completely up to you. You could try and learn it all as fast as you can or you could take it nice and slow. Even spending the odd five minutes here and there learning a few rods does make a little bit of a different when learning a new language.

There is tonnes of help out there if you are stuck learning a language too. Websites like Duolingo, https://www.duolingo.com/, and Language Helpers, https://www.languagehelpers.com/, are made to help you learn new languages and are there to support you along the way! If you make the most of them then they will be sure to help you out!

Learning a new language can also help us to start to understand the culture behind different countries and the traditions and beliefs that different countries have. It can be a great way to broaden your horizons of the world and to really see how different people live and what they do in their day to day lives!

That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Is there a language that you have always wanted to learn? Are you going to try and learn it now? What are you doing in Lockdown? Is there any specific content that you would like to see me do for the page? Let me know in the comments below or through out Facebook page and I will see if I can make it happen!

Thanks for reading and i hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

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James Sweeney

Ideas for Lockdown – Blog 1: Series Introduction

Are you looking for something to do whilst in lockdown? Is the boredom of having nothing to do starting to get to you? Do you wish you had something new to do but you’re not sure where to start? Then our new Ideas for Lockdown series is the one for you!

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is going to be the 1st blog in the new “Ideas for Lockdown” series and is going to act as an introduction to the series outlining what I hope to cover in the series, the content schedule for the series and much much more! This series is originally created to provide ideas of things to do whilst on lockdown from the Corona Virus but can be adapted into things to do for any occasion!

The Corona Virus has hit everybody hard. People have lost their jobs, livelihoods and in some cases, their lives. The virus has caused everyone bar essential workers to either work from home or simply not work until the virus has been contained and managed and the risk of it spreading, reduced. This change has left many being stuck at home with little to nothing to do.

The lockdown and boredom that can stem from it can leave many people feeling rather demotivated in their day to day life. Routines start to go out of the window as people have less and less to do and start to feel like they do not want to do anything bar stay in bed all day. Personally I have felt very demotivated since coming home from University and have really struggled when it comes to thinking about doing University work.

The thing that we need to remember is is that everybody is in the same book, it is an unfortunate book to be a part of, but we are a part of it, nonetheless. The task that we all need to try and do is to stay positive and to stay motivated and busy. How do we do it? For this I strongly believe that by using the time to do something then we can re-motivate ourselves and get through this rough, unfortunate time.

This series is going to take a look at different ideas I have for things that we can do during the lockdown. These ideas can range from reading books, to learning a new language, to catching up with old friends and family and so much more. Ideas are only as limited as the people thinking of them!

As the old saying goes “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. If we do not make the most of this lockdown and actively try and do something the we are going to get ourselves in a routine of boredom and demotivate which ultimately is going to be little to no help to anyone in the future.

In regards to the content schedule for this series, I am currently aiming to do 2 new blogs a week for it. I was originally going to do 3 but plan to stick to 2 however, if I have enough ideas to merit 3 blogs a week for it then I will change it in the future. These blogs are going to be released on Wednesday and Saturday each week. This means now that on Mondays we are going to have our What do we mean by Success series and the every Wednesday and Saturday is going to be our Ideas for Lockdown series!

I am doing my best to keep doing a blog a day on the page for as long as I can so that everybody has something to read if they need it. I will keep on going for as long as I can, as long as the ideas I have for blogs are good ideas and cover relevant topics. I am hoping to branch out into a lot more topic areas in the next few weeks as I think it will make the blogs a little bit more interesting to read, and of course, to write.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Are you excited for this new series? Do you have any ideas for things to do that you want to see in this series? Are there any other series that you want to see on the page? Is there anything that you do not want to see me cover on the page? Let me know what you think of these questions either in the comments below, through our contact page or via our Facebook page.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here is greatly appreciated and will be directly reinvested into the page!

£5.00

James Sweeney

What do we mean by Success? – Blog 3: Your Qualifications?

Education and indeed the qualifications that you have are too many the foundation of their definition of success. People see education as an all or nothing when it comes to being successful or not when sometimes it just simply is not. The question that we are going to be looking at today is: does education factor in whether you are successful or not?

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This is the third blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” series! Today’s blog is all about if education and qualifications are a factor of whether we are successful or not in life. As with many of the other blogs in this series, there are a lot of different opinions on this topic, I will give my opinion but I am in no way saying that it is right or wrong , it is simply my view on the subject. If you have a different viewpoint or question let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page and we will discuss it further.

The education that we have had the qualifications that we have achieved will most likely differ with each person you meet. Different people prefer different subjects, some people may find Maths and English as the easiest subject in the world, whereas others may see them as the hardest. The qualifications and education we have does play a part in where we end up in life but should we define our success simply by what we may have acheived 10-20 years ago?

It is very true that education can help you get a better job in the future but simply having the qualifications does not guarantee that you will get any or every job that you apply for. They play a good part in it yes, but they are in no way a guarantee. The value that we place on Education is very important growing up and is something that I personally value very highly but the question is: does it determine whether we are successful or not?

If you have 10 GCSE’s with grades ranging from A*- C and your friend has 9, does that make you more successful than them? Does it make you smarter than them? If another one of your friends has 11 GCSE’s ranging from A*-C does that make them smarter or better/ more successful than you? These are the questions that I would like you to think about when reading this blog. How do you see success and does your education act as a factor in that or not?

What I love about writing this series is all the questions that I ask are all down to a matter of opinion. You can talk to 10 different people about these questions and each time you will get a different response. The concept of success is one that we all see differently and it is something that should be embraced, not swept to one side.

Education is constantly evolving to adapt to a forever changing world, therefore the education and ,of course, the qualifications change with them. An easy example to look at here is the change from O Levels to GCSEs. This change was made for people who wanted to leave school at 16 without doing A levels or attempting to go to University. Education always changes eventually so should we deem how successful we are by the things that we are taught?

The way that we see Education also differs depending on who you talk to. The traditional way as it were would be to go through school to get your GCSEs, then go to College to study for your A Levels and then go to University in your chosen filed and eventually get a job. That is just one way that people can do it. There are so many alternate routes that people can take ranging from BTEC qualifications, to vocational qualifications, professional courses and so many more.

Personally I did not take the “textbook way” to get to University. I went through School doing really well and got very good GCSEs, even with a very large operation during my last year in School. When I went to College unfortunately I did not do as well as I hoped and did nowhere near what I was capable of. After College I did the Level 3 AAT, Accounting qualifications as well as a HNC in Computing and Information Systems at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and went on to Reading University to study my chosen degree path.

Do I see myself as less successful than others as I took a different route to University? Should I? Personally I am glad that I did not take the traditional way. Not doing so well at College taught me a lot of lessons that will be very valuable to me in later life and the extra qualifications that I now have, alongside my AS and A Levels are a great asset when entering the world of work down the line.

There is no right or wrong answer for how you rank education as a factor in whether you are successful or not in life. It is all down to a matter of opinion. I base success off of a large number of variables of which my education is a part of. This blog is not meant to make you feel like you are wrong or right in what you think, it is made to open the door on questions that you may not have thought of.

Personally I love having debates on topics like this, I feel that because everyone sees them differently it can lead to a very interesting and thought provoking debate. All that I ask is that when you think of Education as a factor or not in relation to Success consider all variables. Remember what I said at the start of the blog if you have 10 GCSEs and your friend has 9, does that make you smarter or more successful than them? Success to me is a term of an amalgamation of different things but the way that you see it may be completely different.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading! I hope everyone is doing alright in the lock-down that we are facing currently. What do you think of today’s blog? Are you enjoying the What do we mean by Success series? What would you like to see me talk about next? Let me know what you think of these questions and any other comments that you have either in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great day,

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here is greatly appreciated and will be directly invested back into the page.

£5.00

James Sweeney

What Colour Do You Feel Today? — Middle-aged, Free and Single

How do you feel? I mean, how do you really feel? Happy? Or depressed? Or?? It seems to me that we’ve started to think that if we’re not feeling happy then we must be feeling sad. And if we’re feeling sad we must be suffering from depression. And if we’re suffering from depression we need […]

What Colour Do You Feel Today? — Middle-aged, Free and Single

What do we mean by Success? – Blog 2: Your Job?

You often hear the word success being mentioned when a lot of people talk about their work life/job. You hear people say that a person was successful in getting a particular position/role or that they were not successful in a job that they went for. The question that I like to ask is what do you mean by success in this instance?

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is the second blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” series and is going to discuss if our job is what makes us successful, if it is only a small part of what we define as success or if it doesn’t matter at all when thinking of successful. Success is a term that has many different contributing factors in for many and these factors are valued differently from one person to the next. Whether or not our job role plays a part in whether we can say we are successful or not is the main objective of this blog.

Jobs come in many different shapes and sizes, ranging from being CEO of a multi-billion pound empire to working in a local corner shop. Of course these jobs all have differing salaries, workloads, responsibilities and entry qualifications. The question that I like to think of when thinking of this is, can you say that the CEO of this multi-billion pound company is more successful than lets say someone who is working in their local village shop?

The answer to the question will be very different based off of who you ask the question too. Some people, who value jobs as the breaking point in determining success or not, would say of course the CEO is more successful than the person working in the shop, whereas other people may see the question differently. The reason that I ask this question is because I personally love to see the range of answers that I get from it.

It is one of the questions that I like to use to see how a person thinks and how they interpret questions that are asked to them. For the question there is no right or wrong answer, it is down to how you see the question and, of course, what you see as successful or not.

In my opinion, our job roles are a part of what success means to me, but so are a lot of other things. There are tonnes of different factors which we can look at which define success for many such as, our home life, the goals we set, the good we do in the world and so many more. I personally always strive to do the best I can in life which in turn should hopefully result in me getting a good job down the line. While I will think that a good job is a good factor to have when determining success, it is worth saying that there are other factors that I value more and there are factors that I value less.

Again, similar to the CEO and shop worker question, this scenario/mindset has no right or wrong answer, it is down to your own interpretation. This blog is just meant to open your eyes to these questions and then leave you to think of how you would go about answering them. The same goes with the majority of posts on my page, I do not like to force a message to people, more suggest a new/alternative meaning to a statement and see what they think of it.

If you feel like you have a different view on this issue or would like to have a debate or something similar, get in touch and I will more than happily have one. As I say all of these views are simply my views, you may see something completely different to me and I always love broadening my horizons and learning new things.

Of course, setting a goal or an aim to get a job is something that I highly encourage in life. I will be covering goal setting in a future blog in this series but thought it would be nice to touch on it now. If we set reasonable goals that we can hit then it can be a great motivator for us in life and hitting it is something we can add to what we may see as success!

That is all I would like to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Do you like this new series? What do you define as success? Does your job role play a part in your version of success? What other factor would you like to see covered in this series? Is there a particularly successful person that you want to see me talk about? Let me know your thoughts on these questions, either in the comments on this post or on our Facebook page and I will see what I can do!

Thank you all for reading, I hope everybody is doing alright in the crisis we are going through at the minute and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be greatly appreciated and will be put back into the business.

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James

Time to Talk – Blog 2: The Reality of Grief – Kyra Fehrman

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is the secong blog in our Time to Talk series and is all about The Reality of Grief. The idea for the blog and the blog itself came from a new guest writer on the page Kyra Fehrman. It is Kyra’s first blog on the page so let us know what you think and if you want to see more from Kyra! Hope you all enjoy the blog and learn something new about grief!

January only has 31 days, however, for me, it felt more like 100. January was a long and arduous time, certainly one you wouldn’t qualify as the best start to 2020. We all have days where everything seems to go wrong, where the world seems to be fighting against you, creating misery and chaos wherever you go and in whatever you do. For me the battle seemed to last the whole month with my grandmother going into hospital on the 1st and then finally succumbing to pneumonia and end stage COPD on the 9th January and her funeral was the 28th January.

Grief is not fun I am sure no one needs to tell you that but what they don’t tell you is that the five stages of grief isn’t as easy as going from one to two to three etc. It is a stressful process, one minute you’re in shock, numb to the core unable to process the reality of your situation, next you jump to anger and you end up not knowing what is going on and what to do with yourself. You play the blame game take it out on those around you maybe after that you cry, sob your heart out over the loss.

What no one tells us is that you can be stuck in that vicious circle for a long time, my partner lost his mother almost ten years ago and he is still grieving, stuck in the numb phase unable to speak about it or face the reality of his loss. My point here is that you never stop grieving and it will have a major impact upon your mental health, before January I was a different person with a different mindset.  

Now after losing my grandmother I am seeing the world in a different light, faced with my mortality and the idea of my loved ones dying eventually has forced me to appreciate all the time I have with them. It is hard to talk about these things and a lot of people may say to you to just “move on” that they are in a better place and while the sentiment is nice it invalidates your feelings. You have every right to grieve your loved one and regardless of if they are in a better place or not they are not here with you, they are gone and all those things you would want to tell them, the jokes, the memories you’d want to remind them of you can’t.

Mental Health is a major topic nowadays with a rise in suicides, people taking anti-depressants and antipsychotics, we are in a mental health crisis and this post aims to encourage people to speak up. No matter how silly it may seem there is always someone out there who is willing to listen. If you are grieving a loved one and think life is not worth it anymore just remember this, they loved you with every fibre of their being don’t give up because they don’t want you joining them any time soon.

It is paramount that you look after yourself during these difficult times, hard as that may be, it’s crucial to remember that life will always go on and no matter what you will survive. You are strong enough to endure this pain help and support is out there. A light can be shone in even the darkest of places. Below are numbers and websites for Mental Health organisations.

Thank you all for reading! We hope that you have enjoyed today’s blog and have learned something new about grief! What do you think of today’s blog? Would you like to see more of Kyra’s blogs on the page? Has grief ever impacted on your life? How did you manage it? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our facebook page.

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be greatly appreciated and will be put back into the page!

£5.00

James

How to Turn Negative Urges into Positive Actions — Dr. Eric Perry, PhD

Written by Dr. Eric Perry, PhD Image Credit: Pixabay “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” ~Hans Selye Sublimation is a subconscious psychological defense mechanism whereby we take a negative impulse and channel it into a positive behavior. This is similar to displacement (click here to refer to my earlier […]

via How to Turn Negative Urges into Positive Actions — Dr. Eric Perry, PhD

Balancing Self Confidence and Self Worth — Self Development dot ga

This is a great post written by a fellow blogger. Be sure to check them out if you enjoy this post!

Self Confidence and Self Worth obviously have a lot to do with how well we do in life. However, what confuses the picture is that the two terms are often used as if they have the same meaning. They are really very different things. Self Confidence is about how we relate to the world. Self…

via Balancing Self Confidence and Self Worth — Self Development dot ga

Goal Planning Tips for 2020 — the striped plaid

This is a great post written by a fellow blogger! Check out their other posts if you enjoyed this one!

Hey guys! I wrote a goal planning post last year right after Christmas and it was a big hit! This year I decided to publish a goal planning post a little earlier because I know that I like to get on planning as soon as possible! I’m so excited to share how I’m planning out […]

via Goal Planning Tips for 2020 — the striped plaid

Mummy Madness by Rebecca Sutcliffe-Major

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is a guest blog written by one of our readers, Rebecca Sutcliffe-Major! The blog is about how being a mother can be a very hard job and to never give up. You may make mistakes from time to time but it is all a learning process. Remember the job you are doing, the value it brings to the world and try not to beat yourself up if things seem to go wrong. Hope you enjoy the blog!

One thing that all mums have in common and most don’t even know it. We all at some point are adamant we are ‘mumming’ wrong. I worked full time in management to help support my family while trying to further my education to better our future. The response I got from others “don’t you miss your kids?”, “shouldn’t you be spending more time with your family?”. Then when I gave up working so I could concentrate on my children and my education I had comments such as “don’t you think you should work to help out your husband?”, “Are you setting the right example for your kids by not working?”. All the while inside my head I’m screaming “ARE YOU SERIOUS!”.

woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytime

On the outside, I look like I have it all together, on the inside I am full of self-doubt and anxiety. When I worked, I was in smart clothes, makeup done, hair done, nails done but I worried about my kids missing me. Now I’m out of work, I look neglected and I’m worrying that I am not occupying the kids time in the right way like they had a nursery. There is no end!

I was adamant that once I finished work, I would have an amazing routine and do crafts with them, make home-cooked meals and basically be an amazing mum. Oh boy, was I wrong!!

After the first week at home, I was so very tired. ‘Mumming’ full time is hard work. Running after a 1 year old and school runs really take it out of you. Even the little things were hard.

Something as simple as putting down the baby for a nap, then I can shower or clean or do the washing. NO! Baby decided that napping was beneath her and spend 30 minutes singing and shouting before I gave up and brought her back downstairs. But it’s ok… I spent that 30 minutes cleaning the living room, I was productive!

The baby was then in the living room eating a banana while watching tv, coolies… I’ll clean the kitchen. NO! Baby decided that playing on her own while watching tv was not acceptable. I walked into my living room and it was trashed. The one-year-old hooligan had thrown toys, cushions, banana peel everywhere. Clearly, she’s not to be left alone.

brown leather sofa and two pink sofa chair

Next thought…. Why don’t you help mummy!!! NO! She proceeded to pull things out of the washer before I could fill it and set it going. Then she got distracted …. I managed to put the washer on, turned around…… oh hell, the baby is playing with the cat bowls ….. biscuits and water all over my kitchen.

Bath time …. Ended with both me and my bathroom soaked. We were now late for the school run. I turn up at school soaked and looking like id been dragged through a hedge backwards. Get the kids home my eldest says “mummy why is it so messy?” REALLY KID!!

I managed to get them to play nicely together while I tried to tidy around them, then moved into the kitchen to sort out the washing (which as it turned out I set off gong without putting in any washing powder or fabric softener). Back to the living room……trashed. My husband comes home ….. “what happened here?” I’m stood there, baby in one arm and wet unwashed washing in the other, surrounded by toys. It actually looked like I had done nothing all day.

I felt like such a failure. I can run a business, manage staff, deal with customers, do the rotas, create strategic plans. But I couldn’t keep my cool with the kids, I couldn’t keep my house in check, I couldn’t have tea ready for when my husband got home. I was in jeans and a hoodie all day, no make-up, hair a mess. I looked nothing like I was used to.  All these goals that I was adamant I could do, turns out I couldn’t. I thought when I gave up work I would have less stress which would lower my anxiety and make me a happier person to be around. This went on for weeks. I made myself feel worse with all the bad thoughts. My depression spiralled downwards; I could feel myself loosing. I went back to the doctors thinking I was getting too bad and I cried a lot.

Then it occurred to me, who cares. My children are happy, fed and well looked after. Who cares if my house is a mess, who cares if I am a mess, who cares if my husband has the opinion that I am slowly going insane after watch re-runs of Pepper Pig all day! The only person who actually cared about it was me. My husband and my kids want me healthy and happy, that’s it!

Once I stopped putting all the extra pressure on myself, I got into a rhythm. School run, nap, clean, lunch, play, school run, tea. Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy and most days the cleaning won’t get done until the kids are in bed. My house is nowhere up to the standards that it used to be and I still don’t always have time to sort myself out.

Without putting standards on myself I started to feel better. I was smiling more and laughing more. I’m still struggling with inner demons and I will be for a while. There is no quick fix and some days the only thing that gets me through the day is a cheeky smile from a one-year-old hooligan.

The NHS states that 1 in 10 people have clinical depression[1]. In 2018 Forth conducted a survey which stated that 42% of women admitted that they were ‘too stressed’[2].

The message I want to get out there is ‘mumming’ is hard, you are not overreacting, you are not worthless, and you may have days when you feel like a failure but it’s ok. We are all feeling that way. You are not alone. You may make some mistakes but it is all part of the process. Remember we can only learn from a mistake if we actually make it in the first place.

[1] NHS, Clinical depression <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/&gt;

[2] Forth. Great Britain and Stress – How bad is it and why is it happening?<https://www.forthwithlife.co.uk/blog/great-britain-and-stress/&gt;

Thanks for reading! What do you all think? Would you like to see some more blogs by Rebecca? Let me know your answers to the above questions and any other questions or queries you have either in the comments below or via our Facebook page!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

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