Nicky Lowe [00:00:06]:
Hi. It’s Nicky Lowe, and welcome to the Wisdom for Working Mums podcast show. I’m your host. And for nearly 2 decades now, I’ve been an executive coach and leadership development consultant. And on this show, show, I share evidence based insights from my coaching, leadership, and psychological expertise and inspiring interviews that help women like you to combine your work, life, and motherhood in a more successful and sustainable way. Join me and my guest as we delve into leadership and lifestyle topics for women, empowering you to thrive one conversation at a time. I’m so happy that you’re here, And let’s go on with today’s episode. There’s so much advice in the parenting space with young children, Some conflicting, some confusing, but often overwhelming.

Nicky Lowe [00:00:55]:
But what about as our children get older? I’m really feeling this now that my son is leaving primary school this summer and entering into the world of big school. And this transition feels huge as we start to navigate things like him having a phone, you know, approaching teenage years, and basically letting my child spread their wings and fly. And the advice and supports for parents feels far less at this stage, but just as important. And that’s why in this episode, I’m thrilled to have a very special guest, Anita Clare joining us. Anita is a renowned parenting speaker, writer and coach, she has a background in developmental psychology. And she’s dedicated her career to helping parents navigate the challenges of balancing successful careers with the demands of raising children. And in today’s episode, we dive into the world of working parents, how we support our children, whatever their age, but specifically we dive into parenting teenagers. And Anita brings her honesty and relatability to this conversation, giving us hope and practical advice without sugarcoating the realities.

Nicky Lowe [00:02:13]:
We talk about the fears that come from parenting teens, whether it be the online world, exams, and the diminishing control parents have as their children grow more independent. And Anita shares some invaluable insight on mental health and how to handle those moments when teenagers seem to retreat into their own worlds. And she emphasizes the importance of us as parents being able to tolerate rejection and maintaining a relationship with your teen as they really form new relationships outside of the family system.

Nicky Lowe [00:02:48]:
And one

Nicky Lowe [00:02:48]:
of the highlights of our conversation is Anita’s explanation on the neuroscience behind teenage brains. And she provides specific strategies on how parents can support their children through that critical period. But also she shares some very useful general advice if you’re a parent and a working parent, whatever the age of your children. And this was such a reassuring and informative discussion with Anita. And I think you’re gonna walk away with some really practical tools to help you stay connected, particularly if you’ve got teenagers, while navigating those years, especially if you’re a working parent. So I won’t keep you any longer. Let’s dive in and welcome, Anita. Thank you, Anita.

Nicky Lowe [00:03:31]:
Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast. We’ve been planning this conversation for a long, long time, and I’ve been connected to your work for a long time. So I can’t wait to share this with my audience.

Nicky Lowe [00:03:42]:
Oh, I’m delighted to be here, Nikki.

Nicky Lowe [00:03:45]:
So for those that don’t yet know about you and your work, can you tell us a bit about what you do and kind of the journey you’ve gone on to to do the work?

Anita Cleare [00:03:53]:
Yeah. So I describe myself as a parenting writer, speaker, and coach, because those are the kind of the three things that I do. So the majority of my work is working with working parents, particularly in the workplace, delivering, some coaching, particularly seminars, webinars, parenting clinics, trying to work with working parents on whatever parenting challenges they’ve got. Obviously, I write a parenting advice blog, and, you know, I write books and and I do a bit of coaching in terms of 1 to 1 with parents, from private practice. But I started off my journey started off actually in the public sector in local authority children services. So I was working as a a senior manager in family support for many years. I’ve been in this industry now for for over 20 years, And I was working on early intervention projects for parents, so things like Sure Start Children Centre Programme and early intervention for teenagers around teenage pregnancy and youth offending, and also some of the more, the more intensive family support for families who were really struggling. And and I loved that.

Anita Cleare [00:05:03]:
I loved that work. But I got to the point where I thought, do you know what? I was a single parent at that time with 2 small children, and I was working. And I realized a lot of the services that we were offering, I wouldn’t be able to take up because I was at work. And it really struck me that an awful lot of the support that’s out there for parents ignores the fact that, that they work and, you know, we would put on sessions and courses and they would be during the day, which if you’re on, you know, parental leave, brilliant. But if you’re back at work, you can’t actually access. So I set up the positive parenting project back in 2013 with the aim of just taking that quality, that evidence based support that we had in the public sector and taking that into the workplace and trying to rather than asking parents to come to us for support, to take it to where they were and really tailor it to the the modern reality that that that’s what parents do. We work.

Nicky Lowe [00:06:09]:
Brilliant. And as you say, I imagine the work that you did was in quite, situations where people needed that almost like critical support. But, actually, what about those that are kind of upstream that are not struggling as much, but may get to that point at some point. So as you say, doing it in the workplace and where they are in that journey. Oh, that’s fantastic.

Anita Cleare [00:06:30]:
Absolutely. And you know what? The thing that I also felt was there’s so much rubbish on the Internet about parenting. And if we just leave people to kind of Google things, you go into a rabbit hole where you’ve no idea whether the the advice you’re getting is good if it’s quality or or anything else. And I just thought that’s not fair on parents just to leave them to try and work it out for themselves.

Nicky Lowe [00:06:53]:
So you started that business in in 2011. And then at what point did you write your book then, your first book? Because obviously you’ve got another book coming out. Yeah.

Nicky Lowe [00:07:03]:
So the the work permit switch came out in 2020, right at the beginning of just before the the pandemic, which wasn’t the best timing ever. And then it came out in a variety of editions, the US edition and different languages, kind of in the 2 years after that, it was kind of slightly stretched out. So I’d written it in 2019.

Nicky Lowe [00:07:25]:
What inspired you to write the book? Because as you’ve just lived through, but, you know, writing a book is such an intense process. What actually made you think, do you know what? I wanna give this the time and energy.

Nicky Lowe [00:07:37]:
There were a couple of reasons. So one is not all parents are luckily enough lucky enough to work for employers who will get me in to to talk to them, and I wanted to reach as many parents as I possibly could. And I also you know, I read a lot of parenting books. I do a lot of research around around children’s development, and it struck me that a lot of the books that are out there tend to assume that we’ve got unlimited time, that we just need to be told, oh, well, you know, use these strategies and that we’ll be able to do it. And that wasn’t my lived experience. You know, I knew I, you know, I’d studied developmental psychology to to postgraduate level. I still found myself shouting at my kids when I was trying to get them out of the house in the morning, because I was stressed about getting to work. And I just thought, this isn’t just about what we need to do as parents, we need some empathy and understanding of the context in which we’re parenting.

Nicky Lowe [00:08:29]:
So I set out to write a positive parenting guide for working parents really specifically that said, I get it. I get that you have all of these pressures. I get that you’re, you know, in this position. And in that context, these are some parenting ideas and some understandings and some strategies that I think will be helpful.

Nicky Lowe [00:08:52]:
And I’m imagining people are now listening going, this is right up my street. So to give people a bit of a flavor of the kind of things that are in the book, can you kinda share maybe a couple of scenarios that you might cover in the book or a couple of strategies? Yeah.

Nicky Lowe [00:09:08]:
I think the big or one of the key messages in the book is to really understand that the mindset that we use at work and the skills and the strengths that we need for being good at our jobs is not the same as the mindset and the skills and the strengths that we need to bring to our children. So, you know, when we’re working, if you’re working, you know, most of us will be using an awful lot of our executive functions, our planning, organizing, you know, goal focus, task focus, thinking, thinking 3 steps ahead, right? What have I gotta do next? What have I gotta do next? And then after that, brilliant for work. If you take that to parenting, we get really easily frustrated because children are not in that mode, partly because of their brain development, that wouldn’t be good for them. They need to be distractible and unfocused and, you know, in the moment, in the present moment, rather than always focused on, you know, what needs to be done next. But we get very frustrated because they don’t stick to the plan. They need a we. They they suddenly change their minds. And and and if we approach children with our work heads on, we don’t connect with them.

Nicky Lowe [00:10:18]:
We don’t enjoy them. We don’t really bring the right strength. So what the strengths that we need really to bring to parenting are much more around acceptance and empathy and curiosity and playfulness, and they involve stepping into the moment and really being present so that we can enjoy our children, but also do the right things that help them. So one of the big messages of the book is really just around being aware and intentional about switching between those 2 different mindsets. And, you know, and I talk through lots of ideas about how you can do that, but I think that first step is to say, if I’m in hyper efficient mode when I’m with my kids, I’m likely to get frustrated. I’m likely to get stressed. I’ll probably bring my stress into the home, and and and I’m gonna miss the wonderful point of children, which is their slightly chaotic kind of random nature that if we can get ourselves in a place where we enjoy that, really makes family a lovely place to be.

Nicky Lowe [00:11:26]:
Loweve that. And I, again, I’m imagining people are listening because I know my listeners and they tend to be like type A preference. Like I am, very driven, very conscientious, very kind of in time. We’ve got a plan. We wanna go from a to b as efficiently, as effectively as possible. And that’s great in the workplace. But as you say, when you try and apply that in your parenting realm, it leads to the frustration. It leads to the stress.

Nicky Lowe [00:11:56]:
It leads to the arguments. And it was just I was smiling as you were talking because it me and my husband often watch my daughter because my daughter’s like, she’ll walk out the house and she wants to smell every single flower. And she’s just and we call it Ava’s world. And so many times we stop and we were like, let’s just join Ava’s world. Like, let’s just join it because that’s a really great place to be. And it’s really hard for me to join that place. But when I do, I’m like, oh, this is joyous. But, yeah, to make that switch.

Nicky Lowe [00:12:28]:
And I would argue that that’s actually the antidote to that hyper efficient thinking that when we can step into Eva’s world and be in the moment and really kind of be distractible ourselves and not be focused on a goal, we get the benefit of it as parents. We you know, that that’s mindfulness, that’s kind of things that are really good for us. So it’s not even that it’s, it helps us as parents. It helps us

Nicky Lowe [00:12:54]:
in terms of our well-being too. Yeah. Because I often have this kind of inner debate with myself about, do I have worse work life balance since becoming a mom? Or do I actually have better? In that, actually, there’s more chance of conflict between my parental and my professional identities. But whereas before with my type a preferences, I might work longer hours and just do what it takes to get the job done. Actually, with children, I can’t do that anymore. So I’m kind of like, I feel more conflict between my identities, but, actually, because I have to join their world and switch off from work and kind of try and be more present, like, actually, I’ve probably got a better work life balance. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicky Lowe [00:13:40]:
It is when they just come into that that sharp relief of of, you know, clashing up against each other, don’t they? When you’ve got you’ve got 2 different things that you wanna be doing at the same time. I wanna be finishing this project, and I wanna be a great mum. And and and I think, ultimately, you know, we have to sort of we have to choose one side or another at any moment that we’re going to be on. I I know there are people who can do blending and who can kind of try and do the same at the same you know, 2 things at the same time. I don’t necessarily think that that works for me, and I’m not sure in terms of my research around parenting that it’s great for kids either.

Nicky Lowe [00:14:18]:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting because, you know, as you know, because we’ve had many conversations on this. The work the research that that I’m part of with the Global Leadership Well-being solutions group, we we look at people that are have a preference for work life integration and those that prefer work life segregation and actually how that changes how we like to work, whether we can work from home well, whether we hybrid working piece. But I absolutely get what you’re saying. Those might be from our preferences, but from a parenting perspective, the implications of that are huge.

Nicky Lowe [00:14:53]:
Yeah. Absolutely. And and and I you know, there’s a mantra that runs through all the work I do with parents, both face to face and in my writing and speaking, which is about relationship, that parenting is a relationship you have with your children. It’s not a project you’re managing. It’s not a set of tasks you’re trying to complete or performance metrics. You’re you’re trying to, you know, kind of make sure you hit. It’s a relationship. And if we can be really clear in our minds, that really leads us down a different path because relationships require certain kind of nurturing and spaces and and attitude.

Nicky Lowe [00:15:29]:
So, yeah, that runs through all the work I do.

Nicky Lowe [00:15:32]:
Yeah. I love that because it’s just making me think about each child. You know, you think you’re bringing them up the same in the same environment, but how different they are and how the quality of that relationship and what’s needed in that relationship is different. And so tuning into that, but how difficult that is when we’ve got all the noise of work and domestic stuff going on. And I’m quite, I’m, as you know, personally very fascinated about the work that you’re just about to release because I’ve got an 11 year old that’s just about to leave primary school and he’s going to secondary school. And I’m anticipating that we’ve got that big transition and the teenage years coming upon us. And I think the teenage years are kind of talked about a lot anecdotally. But in terms of parenting stuff, there’s a huge amount for, like, new parents and the toddler years, but it feels like there’s this black hole when you get to teenage years.

Nicky Lowe [00:16:26]:
And I kind of you you I’ve I’ve kind of been curious about other parents’ experiences, and you kind of get that reaction of good luck with that. And it just kind of put a bit of fear into me. And I think there’s one parent I spoke to when I first had my son and she’d got a teenager. And she actually said to me, I’m loving the teenage years. And she’s the only person I’ve come across. She was like, I struggled with the toddler years, really didn’t enjoy it, but I’m loving the teenage years. And it kind of opened in my mind this possibility. Oh, it may not be what I’m expecting, title of the book, the premise of the book, and, yeah, what you what kind of title of the book, the premise of the book, and, yeah, what you what kind of things are in there?

Nicky Lowe [00:17:18]:
Yeah. So the the book’s called how to get your teenager out of their bedroom. And it is the book that I wish I could have read when I became the parent of teenagers because you’re absolutely right. There is a real diversity of experiences that parents have in their teenage years. And some teenagers, you know what? They’re easy. They take the lovely, easy, sensible route through the teenage years and they’re a real pleasure. And other teenagers, they take the rockiest route possible and it is really tough. You know? It it can just shake you as a parent to the core.

Nicky Lowe [00:17:59]:
And the problem is, I think one of the reasons there’s a silence around parenting teenagers is we tend to think that, you know, good kids had good parenting. You know, bad kids had bad parenting. We get to the teenagers and our beautiful, lovely, sweet, compliant child randomly turns into, you know, perhaps the more challenging teenager. And then we go into self blame. We go into kind of that real sense of I can’t tell anybody about this. I can’t tell anybody that my teenager is smoking weed or my teenager has just turned a bit turned around, told me to f off and, you know, or my teenager just goes in their bedroom and won’t talk to me and just grunts at me or whatever it is that’s going on. We feel that that sense of shame that somehow this must be my fault. I don’t like this person.

Nicky Lowe [00:18:48]:
I’ve spent this first 10, 11 years learning how to be a parent. And I was quite good at it. Now I, because I got there in the end. I, I feel like I really found my feet and I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my child and then it crumbles. And it can that can happen for a lot of reasons. It might just be a really natural part of, you know, just pulling away. You know? It’s all about independence.

Nicky Lowe [00:19:12]:
It’s all about separation. It could be around things like mental health. It could be that certain difficulties they didn’t see earlier in their lives start to emerge or they could just be the rather adventurous risk taking ones who, you know, are real white knuckle ride. So I wanted to write a book that was really empathetic, that gave parents of teenagers the recognition and support to say, I see you. Mhmm. I see how difficult this is. No matter what’s going on, I know what that feels like because it’s a time of massive emotions. 1 of my teens had particularly acute mental health problems.

Nicky Lowe [00:19:53]:
And I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things I’d been through as a parent. It was so difficult to to manage that and to kind of, manage my own mental health and well-being, to know what to do despite knowing the theory. So I set out to write a book that was a little bit of a guide rope that said, you know what? I can’t give you a magic wand that’s gonna make all of this perfect. What I’m gonna give you is I’m gonna give you hope that this will all be okay in the end, that your teenager is not always gonna be like this, that you are not always gonna feel like this. I’m gonna kind of listen to you and say, I know what you’re going through, and I’m gonna give you some ideas for you to try. And hopefully, some of those might make a difference. But a little bit of a rope to guide people through and and particularly with that that theme of relationship rather than control because that’s the central thing that’s hard, I think.

Nicky Lowe [00:20:50]:
But how old are your children now?

Nicky Lowe [00:20:53]:
So I now have young adults. You could say I have completed parenting. So my youngest is 21.

Nicky Lowe [00:20:58]:
K. So you can look back through a different lens as well. So you can kind of the hindsight piece gives you exact so much power.

Nicky Lowe [00:21:07]:
Exactly. And I learned so much, And I learned through getting a lot of things wrong, to be honest, you know, and not getting it right. And and and I learned how to do really good listening, and I learned how to be supportive, and I, you know, and I learned how to to decide when to be flexible on the rules and when stand firm on them. And and I just wanted not even to say to parents, you know, do it this way, but just said it’s okay to learn through experience. And and here’s a few snippets that that might be helpful on that.

Nicky Lowe [00:21:41]:
And I can already feel my nervous system as you’re as you’re talking Anita, just like this warmth, because I think there is so much judgment and shame attached to parenting. And I know it’s triggered so much for me. I’m like, oh, I’m like, oh, I didn’t know my children were gonna teach me all this stuff about myself. Like, I thought I was really self aware and I’m like, oh, no. There’s just all these layers that it it kind of when you say that kinda gets to your core. And just I could feel the compassion, like, the the warmth of you know what? It’s I can’t tell you it’s gonna be perfect, but I can tell you we can do some stuff that will support you. And the compassion that comes with that, I really felt that. So I can’t I cannot wait to read it because it’s this is something that I’m just about to live through.

Nicky Lowe [00:22:31]:
I mean, just the fact that we’re we’re now at the stage where all of his friends, as they’re transitioning to secondary school, they get in mobile phones. And I’m like, oh, every part of me is like, I don’t want him to enter that world. I just don’t want him to, but I know that I’ve got to embrace it. And then the questions of, well, what is the right time and have I given him the skills to be able to navigate a smartphone and what that gives him access to? And, yeah, and I’m like, I’m just on the cusp of this whole new world. Yeah.

Nicky Lowe [00:23:01]:
I think you’ve hit on there something really important in the teenage years, which is the fear. Mhmm. There’s a massive fear factor for parents. The stakes feel really high. Yeah. You know, whether it’s, you know, the the potential of, you know, what could go wrong online or whether it’s exams or all of it. The stakes feel high. And at the same time, our ability to control goes down.

Nicky Lowe [00:23:24]:
And that takes a bit of getting used to because whether you like it or not, you’re not gonna be in control anymore. Yeah. And that’s a hard transition, especially if you’ve been a parent who’s been quite authoritative and, you know, being thrived, shall we say, on the control side of the the warmth control kind of, you know, spectrum, of like,

Nicky Lowe [00:23:49]:
oh, how the hell did you navigate this with me? Of like, oh, how the hell did you navigate this with me? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I loved it. That specific topic about kind of the bedroom piece because we hear this that, you know, teenagers often lock themselves off in their bedroom. And I I wonder what you could speak to around that. I know that obviously in your book, you’re gonna be sharing so much more, but that is what what made you pick that as the title?

Nicky Lowe [00:24:20]:
I think it was really about the fact that teens don’t want to be in a relationship with us quite often, not in an active way. So part of the teenage years is being rejected, being pushed away by our our children. And and they will often do that just by closing a door. You know, sometimes they’ll do it by screaming at us and shouting at us, but sometimes it’s just a a withdrawal, and they don’t really wanna do things with us anymore. And I thought, well, can I do have a relationship? If I’m gonna talk about the importance of relationship, how can you have a relationship with someone who’s behind a a closed door and just doesn’t really wanna do things with you. So I I tried to sort of set out ideas, really specific ideas on on on what you could do to encourage teens to stay a part of your life, to build relationship. And some of that was around I think one of the big pieces of advice I give is about not criticizing them. So I go into a lot of, detail really about, neuroscience and the teenage brain and the developmental project and how teenagers have have got a very, hyperactive kind of threat system and how when we try to give little nuggets of wisdom to them because we’re trying to be helpful, for a teenager that often lands as criticism.

Nicky Lowe [00:25:40]:
So what they hear is you’re saying I’m not good enough when what we’re saying is, oh, maybe you should try this. And we’re being as gentle and as tentative as possible. And that really undermines relationship. So this puts parents of teenagers in an almost impossible situation. We want to support. We want to buy. We want to have a relationship. Whenever we say something, it puts their backs up and they don’t want to be with us.

Nicky Lowe [00:26:02]:
What do we do about that? And hence the title. You know, most parents will say, well, you know, my teenager would be great, but they won’t spend any time with me or, you know, they’re always gaming or they’re always on their phone. It might be their phone they withdraw into rather than their their bedroom. So there are practical ideas around really simple ways to reach out and build relationship in those circumstances. And, you know, I give us an example. You know, I will often work from home in my kitchen, and I’ll be sitting at the kitchen table. I’ve got you know, I had teenage boys. Teenage boys get very hungry, so the one thing they will always do is come into the kitchen and raid the fridge.

Nicky Lowe [00:26:39]:
And I had the choice there. You can either use that as an opportunity and thank god I’ve not seen them all day. I need to remind them. We need to remind them about their their room, their revision, their studying, whatever it is. Or have you done this? Or I can have just a really gentle joke with them or a smile or say something kind to them so that they’re more encouraged to come in one more time. Whereas if I jump on that opportunity to achieve some sort of parenting end of, you know, telling them to do something, there’s a very good chance they’re going to avoid coming into that kitchen while I’m in it. So on a really simple level, what are the kind of the small actions that we can take? And my work is all about small actions that make a big difference. So what are the small actions? How do we kind of plan family time with a teenager who really would rather I mean, you are bottom of the pile.

Nicky Lowe [00:27:29]:
Anything that’s going on with their friendship group is going to be more important than spending time with you. So how do we collaborate with them to kind of plan those things? How do we make sure those things still happen? How do we adapt and compromise so that we kind of create those little micro bridges that keep the relationship going enough that we can support them and and be there rather than kind of using those little micro bridges to try and make ourselves feel secure by telling them what they should do. And so it is the theme again all about relationships, all about, you know, how we we do that, but how much more challenging that is with teenagers.

Nicky Lowe [00:28:14]:
And that feels so powerful just on its own because I know that I could easily fall into the trap of, you know, alright. I’ve got you for 5 minutes. Let me tell you all the things that need doing all all the things that haven’t been done right or whatever it might be. And I what what came to my mind as you were saying that the power of relationships and particularly when your relationship might be with your teenager at that season in their life. That piece about keeping in relationship, because one of my fears is, well, what if their friendship group isn’t the one that I would choose for them? And you wanna stay connected enough that you’re supporting them. If you think, oh, I’ve got concerns about this group because I’m, you know, I’m assuming you’re saying this isn’t the group for you. It’s not gonna work. And having an opinion on that could be really tough to to communicate in a way that would be heard in the right way.

Nicky Lowe [00:29:09]:
So building your relationship and having, as you said, those bridges, it’s it’s gonna be fundamental.

Nicky Lowe [00:29:16]:
Yeah. And and and I really believe that, you know, if you try and criticize, particularly with teenagers but, you know, when I say teenager, you know, Nikki, they could be 11 plus. I mean Yeah. Teenagers could become teenagers a lot earlier than 13. They kind of, you know, they make that transition, and it can be very sudden. It can be one day you’re like, woah, where did this person come from? I’m, you know, I don’t know this person. And that’s so hard that you’ve spent all that time getting to know and we get a lot we get a lot of payback from our kids. We get cuddles.

Nicky Lowe [00:29:48]:
We get adored. We get all of that. And then suddenly, we’re in this very different territory, and that can be really hard, and we have to be so focused on influencing. Yeah.

Nicky Lowe [00:29:59]:
And you

Nicky Lowe [00:29:59]:
don’t influence by anybody by telling them they’re doing it wrong, and a teenager especially. So, yeah, hopefully, you know, I I’ve I’ve written it to really, as I said, to to reach out to parents of teenagers and just give a little bit of hope and guidance and and understanding. And and I if parents get even that sense of just comfort from it, that, oh my goodness. This isn’t just me because parents of teenagers do not talk to each other about this stuff. Then, you know, then I I will really feel like I’ve, I’ve achieved something there.

Nicky Lowe [00:30:33]:
And I think that’s so important because I’m also hearing from so many parents that when they’re at primary school, you you you know, you’re seeing the other parents on the playground or you’re in a WhatsApp group because, you know, it’s it’s more of that close connection to your children and their education, but you lose those connections as they go to secondary school even more so. And as you say, the the kind of stakes and the shame might up gear. So even if you have got the connection, are you really sharing around it? It’s like, I think this is such important work that you’re doing. So where can people find this book? I know that it’s on pre order. Where where can people find it? So it comes out on the 10th September, 2024,

Nicky Lowe [00:31:13]:
and it’s available or will be available on all good book sellers. It’s already on Amazon. So it comes out the US and the UK, same day, same title this time, which is really helpful. And then there will be an audiobook. There’s an ebook as well, and they should all be coming out at the same time. But, yeah, it is available to preorder as of now. The other thing to do is just to stay in touch with me in terms of social media or signing up for our newsletters, and then, obviously, I’ll be rolling out information. And hopefully, there’ll be a bit of a book launch if anybody wants to to come along to to that, at least

Nicky Lowe [00:31:44]:
a virtual one if if nothing else. Brilliant. And we’ll absolutely be sharing kind of your your website and all of that towards the end of this. I’m just wondering what other I know that your work speaks directly to the heart of my audience in terms of that conundrum around, as we’ve said, the parenting and the professional. I wonder if you could offer just 1 or 2 tips that, as you say, these micro tips that are small but have a big impact. What might be some of the key ones that you share with any working parent? So I

Nicky Lowe [00:32:16]:
think one of the ones which I a little bit of a routine, a to think about having a little bit of a routine, a transition routine between work and home or work and parenting. But something that brings up those lovely kind of mum, dad parental feelings that that, you know, make us feel really well intentioned towards our children so that we’re halfway into parent mode before we even meet our children. And that could be something you just do at your home office at your desk. You know, the the loveliest one to do, if you’re good at visualising, close your eyes and imagine your child’s face, or think of a memory with them. If they’re, you know, you can look at a photo. Some people find visualizing quite hard. You can look at a photo. You could look at a drawing that they’ve done.

Nicky Lowe [00:33:13]:
I have so behind my camera, I’ve got a wall, and I have lots of cards that my kids have given me, you know, recently and when they’ve actually said sweet things to me. So the one I’ve got right behind the camera right now is my most recent Mother’s Day card. And, you know, I will sometimes unpin that, take a look at it, and read the words, and it says really sweet simple things. And if we just spend it it might only take 30 seconds to do that. But by bringing to our minds the the love that we feel for our children, we start to feel it. And then as we, you know, walk out the door or, you know, of a of a home office or walk through the front door or go and pick them up from nursery, whatever stage, you know, of their lives they’re at, We’re already halfway there. We’re in the love stage, not the high proficient, oh my goodness, what have we got to do next stage? So be intentional to kind of switch into your mum mode before you start talking to your kids or you’ll reconnect with them, and you will go through the evening. You’ll still have just as much stuff to do.

Nicky Lowe [00:34:24]:
All the things that are on your to do list will still be there, but you will approach them in a slightly different frame of mind that will create a bit of space in terms of listening to your child and the way you’re thinking and feeling about them.

Nicky Lowe [00:34:40]:
I love that because there’s such intentionality behind it and the energy you bring. It just reminds me of one of my really good friends, Felicity. She has this, she imagines every morning as she’s getting her kids ready for school, that she’s kind of filling their bucket up with love and positivity because she has this view. And I think it’s such a powerful view that actually when she sends them out into the world at school, there’s probably gonna be people that take away their positivity or their sense of positive feeling about themselves. So she has this, like my job of the morning is to fill them up with all of their potential, their positive, good sense of self. And I’m like, oh, that’s a really good mindset to be in because actually the mornings can be stress me. Like, issue is on and we’ve gotta be you know, don’t forget your reading book or whatever, and it can become more stressful. But to go, actually, my job at this point in the day is just to fill them with the love and the positivity about themselves.

Nicky Lowe [00:35:32]:
And I’m like, oh, that’s when I really need to reconnect with more.

Nicky Lowe [00:35:36]:
Yeah. And it it also helps us. Those lovely positive feelings, again, are good for our well-being. And what a nice way to go into the evening or your parenting shift, just feeling, you know, a little bit more positive in in that way. So being intentional about transitioning into mom mode, I think, is is so helpful, in in every way possible, but also remembering that, you know, if I’m gonna set a goal for the evening, let’s be clear. Let’s not focus on the tasks. The tasks are the worst bit of parenting. You know, trying to get them to eat broccoli or clean their teeth or do their homework or practice their violin or put their pyjamas on or you know, all the drudgery that we do on a day to day level with children, it really gets you down.

Nicky Lowe [00:36:25]:
If that’s your focus in the evening is how do I get through all of those tasks? Well, what about a different focus? What about a goal that says if I have one goal this evening, my goal is to do one thing that will build relationship with my child. That might be as small as a, smile, a cuddle. It might be as small as, you know, a a little conversation, but my goal is to do one thing this evening that builds relationship. That’s the goal, I think, if we’re gonna set ourselves, which is a much better one to have.

Nicky Lowe [00:36:59]:
Oh, I think that is such a powerful point and one that I’m definitely gonna be taken away because I can get caught so caught up in the tasks.

Nicky Lowe [00:37:09]:
So I

Nicky Lowe [00:37:09]:
know that people are gonna wanna read more about your books, your blog. So where can you point them to, Initi? You said, you know, all of your socials, where’s the best place to find you?

Nicky Lowe [00:37:21]:
Best place to do best place to find me is just head to my website, which is Anita Clear In fact, if you just Google me, that will come up. So that’s where you’ll find my thinking parenting blog, which we do kind of weekly fortnightly advice pieces around parenting. And also and also sign up for the newsletter. So every month, and literally, I do not have time to do it more than once a month, we send out a little collection of of articles and useful bits and pieces around parenting just as a little reminder, and that’s a really good way to stay in touch.

Nicky Lowe [00:38:00]:
Brilliant. And on your website, you’ve got some phenomenal resources as well. So I’ll put those all in the show notes and add links to the books as well. But good luck with the book launch. Not that you’re gonna need it because I think this topic is so important. But I just thank you for joining me and sharing the insight into your expertise and wisdom.

Nicky Lowe [00:38:21]:
Oh, it is always a pleasure talking to you, Nikki.

Nicky Lowe [00:38:26]:
If you’ve enjoyed this episode of Wisdom For Working Mums, please share it on social media and with your friends and family. I’d love to connect with you too. So if you head over to, you’ll find a link on how to do this. And if you love the show and really want to support it, please go to Itunes, write a review, and subscribe. You’ll be helping another working mom find this resource too. Thanks so much for listening.

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