The Belief Distillery Melanie Parker Hypnotherapy Uncategorised 5 Easy Steps to Survive Working from Home with Toddlers

5 Easy Steps to Survive Working from Home with Toddlers

Hey you, hiding from your children again while you scroll the internet trying to have 2 uninterrupted minutes peace. I’ve been there. I understand.

As I start this, my 18 month old daughter is trying to stick a drumstick down her throat and my 3 year old son is having yet another hour of technology time! All my friends are complaining about home-schooling their capable children while I am trying to stop mine climbing over the furniture, wiping bums and cleaning accidents all while trying to do the day job, study, write to you wonderful people, keep my home from becoming a petri dish and try to be some kind of wife. And Instagram says I should be baking bread and going for runs.

I am managing though, I’m not saying the water is calm and the boat is solid, but it is moving in the right direction. Some days are slower than others, some days I feel all I’m doing is bailing out water trying frantically not to sink, but progress is being made and I’m going to share with you how I am doing it and hopefully you can share some of your experience and tips with me.

  1. Join or (in my case) Re-Join the 5am club.

I know it sounds silly but my children’s day starts at 7am. Getting up at 5 gives me the time I need to frame my mindset for the day. What ever is your best and favourite morning routine that makes you feel your best, get up before the children and do it. Then when they wake up, you will be ready to deal with the sodden bed sheets, exploding nappy or what ever fresh way to disgust you, your children can come up with.

For me, this means having a massive, strong coffee; meditate, write in my gratitude journal, A little yoga and a hot, undisturbed shower.

  1. Plan a routine.

In my family we have a weekly white board. We have a family meeting each Sunday and put on anything from the phone calendars, any live training I have etc. on the schedule (with pictures) so that everyone is aware of what is happening. I also include on this routine our housework times, work times, a craft activity each week that we can do as a family, screen time and 1:1 play time.

This routine isn’t particularly rigid, but it gives everyone an idea of how the days will go. That predictability is wonderful for the children, but also very helpful for us adults.

  1. 1:1 play time.

Children thrive on our attention, whether that attention is from playing with them or yelling at them, they need it. Ensuring that at least once a day (preferably twice) you have that time dedicated to just you and one child gives them what they need to let you get on with what you need to do so much easier.

I have 10 minutes set aside for each of my children in the morning and again in the afternoon. My 3 yr old, picks his own activity (within my parameters)  and I go along with it, being in his world for that time. Being available, asking questions and answering any that he has. For my 18 month old, the morning one is an educational toy that we can explore together. The afternoon one, I will be honest, is me putting her down for her nap, with songs and cuddles.

You will find a way to incorporate this play time in your own way, a way that works for you and your family. If you have a large family it may be that they only get this once, or even every other day.

When the children have had this attention from you, or know that it is coming and can see when on the routine, they are more accepting when you have to work. It also helps rid you of the parent guilt, it’s okay to say “No” now, because you know they have had time with you or will be getting it soon.

  1. Stop being so hard on yourself.

If you haven’t noticed, we are in unprecedented times and things are stressful, scary and isolating. We can’t go to the soft play and let them burn off all that energy. We can’t go to the park or grab a glass of wine with our friends to just have a break from the children. If parenting were subject to the same regulations as any other job, it would be declared against our human rights, and that’s when we can have a break from them.

So what if nothing went to plan. Who cares if the children are eating chicken nuggets for the 3rd time this week. My children have full bellies every night, they are clean, safe and happy. My work is done to a level I am happy with and my home may not win any cleanliness awards, but no one is going to get E-Coli.

Yes, when things were ‘normal’, it was a different story (with many more vegetables and much higher standards), but things are not ‘normal’ so why do we have these high expectations that we can maintain ‘normal’ in our homes?

When we set these unachievable standards for ourselves and our homes, we embark on a journey that is only going to get harder. They just aren’t attainable anymore, but rather than adjust the goal, it’s all too easy to start to see ourselves as the failure, in any or all aspects of our lives. Eventually we stop doing anything at all above the strictly necessary to preserve our tiny humans and risk falling into depression.

Look at the goals you have set and ask yourself, with the extra time to change bums, wet bedsheets and make 422 snacks a day – do you actually have time, physical energy and emotional energy to achieve all of them. What is essential? Is there anything you could do differently?

  1. And above all remember….

YOU ARE ENOUGH. In all actuality, you are amazing. If your children have clean clothes, clean bums and full bellies you are rocking it. You are a phenominal parent. Lose your shit, cry in the cupboard (or eat chocolate bars) and finish your evening with a large G&T; you are still awesome. Whatever stresses and worries you have, you really are doing a great job and there is no one your children would rather be stuck in a house with.

You show up every day. You love them unconditionally and they love you whether the house is spotless or not. You really are doing an amazing job.

If you have any other ways to cope with parenting children of any age during lockdown, please do share and lets support each other through these difficult times.


Related Post

Why you need a purpose in life and how to find itWhy you need a purpose in life and how to find it

Have you ever wondered why you are here? The universe has a reason to express itself through each and every one of us. We all have a use, a purpose and a reason to exist, even though most people will never realise that potential or even find out what that is.

My purpose is to help people reach their full potential and be the best version of themselves, whether that be not smoking or able to get a vaccination without fear. It is also showing other people just like me, who believed for years that they were helpless and worthless because they weren’t enough to protect their parents, their siblings or themselves when they were children, that they are enough, they are loveable capable worthy people.

For years I worked as an administrator for different companies. I lived on my own when I was 17, had to drop out of college to support myself and got the first admin role I could get, with no loyalty to the company and just working to get paid I wasn’t fulfilled. I tried selling compensation advice under an inspirational and amazing seller who I believe may have actually sold vodka to Russians, but in the time I worked with him I didn’t refer a single claim. I couldn’t sell it and I thought that’s it, I can’t sell anything and went back to working admin jobs in the oil and gas sector. I was getting paid well but not feeling satisfied. I was really good at what I did, but it didn’t excite me and left me wishing for the weekend by Monday lunchtime. The thing is, none of these things could make me happy because none of them were aligned with my purpose for being here. None of them gave me a sense of worth, like I was making a difference, like I mattered. I couldn’t sell compensation advice because I wasn’t passionate about it, it didn’t resonate with me on a core level, nothing to do with my actual ability. Over time, living like this and not following your passion and your purpose can lead to depression, anxiety and other health problems.

An Article in Time Magazine also linked having a purpose to better sleep, strength and immunity. People have more positive lifestyle habits when they have a sense of purpose. Not only is having purpose good for your physical and mental health, but also for your bank balance, people who feel they have a purpose in life tend to also make more money.

Not everyone’s purpose will be linked to a career, it could be a hobby or something you do in your personal life that fulfils you, that satisfies you, that you know you were put on the planet to do.

But if you don’t know what your purpose is, how can you find it?

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Marisa Peer teaches that your purpose is linked to what you enjoyed most between the ages of 7 and 14. The point where we are developing our sense of independence and self, but before the ‘practicality’ of life and other peoples opinions have had a chance to shape us. Incidentally I wanted to be a social worker or a teacher at that age (but I also wanted to be an explorer and a mermaid).

Now at this point you could be saying, I love animals and I wanted to be vet when I was 10 but now I’m 40, I can never be a vet. Firstly I would say never say never, but this is a practical reality for most. Let me tell you though, life isn’t that black and white. There are many jobs working with animals, volunteer opportunities, even adopting a rescue animal. There is so much room on the spectrum, so the next question to ask yourself is;

If you went into the doctors today and your doctor told you that you had 5 years to live, your mind and body would work just as they do right now for those 5 years but that would be it – what would you do with the rest of your life? After the travelling and spending time with loved ones, what would you do for you? You may be surprised how quickly some of the barriers and thoughts that were previously there can be circumvented when you have a time limit.

As well as helping people overcome negative habits, feelings and beliefs, I also help people find their purpose, answering these questions and more through hypnotherapy and RTT. We all have a gift, a talent that we are meant to share with the world and I want to help everyone live their best life and fulfil their potential.

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I would love to hear from you. What did you want to be when you grew up? What would you do with only 5 years left? Please add your answers in the comments.


How to Say NoHow to Say No

What was the last thing you said “No” to? A meal? Drinks with friends?

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Why did you say no; was it that you had plans with others, plans with yourself, or just couldn’t face it? How did you feel when you said No? Guilty, annoyed with yourself, tired?

You aren’t alone.

I used to feel so guilty and upset with myself if I said no to people. You want me to bake biscuits for your party? “yes”. You want me to give up the one night this week with my husband to look after your children? “Yes”. You want me to put my whole life on hold for you? “Yes”.

I would put so much on my plate and struggle to get everything done, icing cakes at ten o’clock at night. I would feel so guilty if I said no to anyone, that I just said yes to everyone. I would stay up all night to get through my list and crawl into bed feeling like I had missed out on time with my children and my husband, no matter what I accomplished I always felt like a failure, but I found out that it doesn’t have to be this way to have friends. People still like me now I have healthy boundaries, in fact they like me better now I respect myself enough to set them. Do you know the biggest surprise though on this journey, that it is so EASY once you start.

It all started by saying yes to my husband ironically. He was the first one to tell me to put a day in the diary every month that was for just me. I tried just keeping some space in my mind, but I always ended up filling it. It wasn’t until I put it physically in the diary that I was able to honestly say no to people.

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The first few times I said no to others in favour of myself, I still felt so guilty. I would spend that designated me time beating myself for letting everyone around me down, but after a couple do you know what? NO ONE cared. Not one single person that matters cared. I didn’t have to lie and say I was unwell or had other plans and people not only accepted hearing No, but I was still invited and given the opportunity to say yes.

Now I spend time with my friends and family, I help them when I can and I enjoy spa days, long baths and time to myself. I finish my day with most of the jobs done, but I don’t care if it’s not perfect or I have to roll somethings to the next day. I’m proud of myself, I’m happier and somehow, actually have more time for my family and friends.

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Every time you say No to something, you are saying Yes to something else.

Make sure the things you are saying yes to are worth it.


5 foods to eat to become a happier, more energetic you5 foods to eat to become a happier, more energetic you

Do you ever get that feeling in the afternoon that you are just done for the day. You have no energy and feel tired. You get snappy at family, friends and colleagues and you have that “snickers moment”. If like me, you had a vending machine at work you may have even gotten a snickers or other sweet as a pick me up.

Eating sugary sweets and treats is the worst thing we could do for our bodies in this moment. There is more about this here if you would like to know why, but I am going to share with you my top 5 things you should be eating to prevent these periods of tired grouchiness all together.

Fatty Fish

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Omega 3 is one of the very few supplements you can take where the effects are as good as the real thing, but if you are leaving out fatty fish and only taking Omega 3 supplements, you are missing out on some amazing health benefits of this super-protein.

One serving of Tuna or Salmon will provide your whole RDI (recommended daily intake) of vitamin B12. This little guy works with folate to help iron work better in your body by increasing the amount of red blood cells you have. Having the right levels of iron and oxygen in your blood (carried by red blood cells) can increase your energy levels and make it easier for your muscles and organs to work.


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Eggs are an amazingly filling protein. Unlike carbohydrates such as starch and sugar, protein doesn’t give your body a spike in energy and then leave you like a bad date at 3pm. It steadily fuels your body, always there for you with no abandonment.

Unlike other sources of protein though, eggs are amazing as they contain something amazing, Leucine.

Leucine is an amino acid which speeds up the body’s ability to build muscle and increases the breakdown of fat to release more energy. The high number of B vitamins in eggs work with the Leucine to become an incredible fat busting team. Great for our waists, but also for our energy levels!

Dark Chocolate

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This is my top 5 and it wouldn’t be mine if it didn’t have chocolate on the list. I am not talking about a snickers bar here though. I am talking dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids but the closer your taste buds and budget can get to the least processed, Cacao nibs the better.

As well as being packed full of anti-oxidants, it actually helps oxygen travel round your body. That means chocolate helps the oxygen in your blood get to your brain (so you have more mental clarity) and muscles so you have more energy, and can help prevent your getting ‘a stitch’ during exercise.

Dark chocolate is also a stimulant, boosting our energy levels and mood with theobromine and caffeine.


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They are not just for millennials (and my 4 year old), Avocados are an amazingly versatile and delicious food.

As well as being scrummy, they are considered a superfood because of how rich they are in healthy fats, fibre and those amazing B vitamins again.

The healthy fats in avocado can not only be stored in the body to be used as fuel, but they also help the body absorb nutrients from the other foods we eat, enhancing their positive effects on our mood and energy levels.

About 80% of the carbs in avocado come from it’s fibre content. There is a lot of research on the effect our gut health has on our mood and energy levels and fibre is great for keeping the cogs turning so to speak. But fibre’s other superpower is it’s ability to help sustain our energy tank.

Get Some Nuts

I couldn’t resist that title, but by far my superstar energy and mood foods are nuts.

Again in this post I go into the specific benefits of walnuts but all nuts contain an insane amount of protein and healthy fats, but they also contain some amazing nutrients in the form of B vitamins, iron, vitamin E and manganese. These little legends help keep us alert and send our energy production skyrocketing.

So next time you feel the need to reach for a snickers, GET SOME NUTS

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