Lost & Not Found

Lost (1)

If you’ve lost something precious you need to read this

If your heart yearns for something gone then read on. (I totally did not mean for that to rhyme!)

We were burgled at the beginning of the week.

Bike, Car, all my Jewellery taken.

House damaged.

Peace, security, confidence, AWOL

It hit me last night how devastated I am about the jewellery. I know it’s just stuff and on the whole I feel quite pragmatic about it all but there are a few pieces that were very precious and were passed down to me from family members. I feel quite ashamed and guilty that I wasn’t able to keep them safe.

Today I went to a few Pawn Brokers to see if I could find any of my jewellery that was taken.

On the way there I cried, I felt at that moment in time that I would travel the ends of the earth to locate one particular piece. I knew I wouldn’t find it at the local Pawn Brokers I needed to visit a lot more but I had my children with me and that’s all I could do today.

As much as I loved my jewellery my priority was to be the mum. I needed to do the food shop and there’s only so much a 2 and a 4 year old can tolerate or more to the point how much bribery I could get away with!

I realised that I am all too familiar with finding things that have been lost. I work with lost people everyday.  But mostly I was reminded of me.


There have been several times over my life where I have lost myself. Sometimes due to tragedy, other times life was just too hard and most significantly because I had a huge role change.

I became a mum.

I lost Nicola Hughes and became mummy.

Today I wondered did I show the same commitment to finding myself as I am to finding this jewellery?

The irony is that with the kids in the back seat only so much can be done.

Can you find yourself completely when your children are in the back seat?


Of course not. You are not there anymore, you can’t be found.


You are there, you are just different.

I did commit myself fully to finding myself and I still commit to ME because it’s ongoing.   Over the next few days and weeks I am going to share some ideas that will help you get on track and help you find yourself.

Wherever you are on your journey you can be found. I have faith in you.

Come over and join my NEW Facebook Group – Finding Ourselves Together. A place to connect, support and cheer each other on as we embark on our journeys to Find Ourselves…Together.

Click here now!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/2014245662132747/

I want to make something very clear. I LOVE being a mummy. I LOVE my children. But I am better at being a mummy when I am connected to who Nicola Hughes is. There is no regret just a new path I needed to navigate.

In case you were wondering, I didn’t find the jewellery. Well not yet anyway.

Much love to you

Nicola x x



Win The Battle – Lose the Armour

Summer 3

When we heard that we got our first choice school our family and friends were delighted.

I was numb. 

My reaction, “Great, I can now picture where I’ll be dropping my screaming child off. I hope there’s a nurturing person there that will peel him off me and give him a cuddle.”

Lots of people reassured me and I had the usual comment of “He’ll be fine”.  Maybe he will be this time, but maybe he won’t so I’ve been able to think about what I might do if he’s not.

I really thought I would feel better about sending him to school a year later but the reality was I was in a worst position.

I had scars.

The fights you fight for your child leaves scars.

My scars were talking.

My scars were teaching me to be wary, to be defensive, and to be ready for the next fight.

I’d been fighting and defending him for so long that I was constantly ready to attack.  When I realised this I decided I needed to get off the battlefield, smell some flowers and look at all that could be.

It was stealing me from the future.  School might be a place where:

  • My son grows and learns
  • His teacher is lovely and likes him
  • He makes lifelong friends
  • He becomes part of a community where he can make a difference
  • He learns things he’s never leant before
  • I might make new friends and our family might become part of a new community

He might laugh his head off, run to school, win an award, be part of a sports team or get a part in a school play.

For the last year the school has been the enemy, I’m still not happy with everything. I don’t think early years should have homework, I think they still start school too young but if I am choosing (and it is a choice) to educate my child in the UK under my local education system then they can no longer be my enemy.

I am not saying there won’t be other battles to fight. I am a lioness and I will protect my cubs.  But my current attitude is damaging…is damaging me actually.

Just me for now.

Although I am full of dread I am very positive about school to my son but currently my scars are talking.  So, it’s time to have a word with them:

A little note to my scars:

Thank you dear scars for fighting, for risking, for going against the flow.  You did it out of pure love for your child, a selfless act that other’s rarely understood. You stood tall, risked looking foolish and embraced the repercussions of such a decision. We are beyond grateful for your strength. But it is now time to stand down. Rest yourself, bask in the knowledge that you did it, you won. X x x

Today is a new day.

I choose to be excited.

I also know that on his first day of school I’ll still be in tears but I own them, they are mine and they are about me, his mum losing a little bit more of my baby. There is no other woman in the world that deserves to stand at those gates crying for that boy. That is my role. And I’ll do that with pride.

Over to you!

What dilemmas have you got about your family? Maybe you’ve found me because you too are wondering whether to delay your summer born.  Maybe you are thinking about home schooling.  Maybe you want to go back to work or just have some more time to yourself.

I can help you.

I am a Coach.

And if you are struggling with this issue or other parenting dilemmas a Clarity Call with me will help you and here’s why:

  • As you can see I truly know what it’s like to have parenting dilemmas. My role as a coach is not to tell you how I did it or tell you how you need to do it. But my experiences make my compassion for you strong. I will listen with an open heart. You will be heard.
  • I am not connected to your everyday life, although we will become connected. I don’t judge and my only agenda is to provide you with a safe speaking place so you can be empowered to make your own decisions.
  • I will be curious about what is going on in your life and help you work out what you need to do and then together we will come up with an action plan.

Can you imagine what it would be like if you had decided what you needed to do AND you had a clear way of making that happen?

Free! Empowered! Excited! Relieved!

If you work with me this is what will happen.

What next?

All you need to do is email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk to book your Clarity Call.

Thanks for listening to my story, I’m waiting to hear about yours.

Much love

Nicola  x x



Instagram – @nicolacoaches




The Fight

Summer 2

This time last year we knew which school we were taking our first born child to.

He was 3.

He wasn’t toilet trained and he hated being a part from me (he’d never left my side when we went to play gyms and only occasionally at play groups, he even followed me to the toilet at friends’ houses and had a hissy fit if I snuck away for a wee!!)

“He’ll be fine!” Was the reply most people gave me.

I honestly didn’t think I had a choice, I was just going to have to turn up and hope some kind person would peel him off me and I’d run away sobbing. I was terrified. Meanwhile everyone put it down to me being an anxious mum or overprotective and message kept ringing out.

“He’ll be fine!”

Somehow I discovered the Facebook group “Flexible Admissions for Summer Borns”. The people on here literally saved my sanity and gave me the strength to accept he wouldn’t be fine.

When I took ownership the problem I was able to find a solution.

We decided to fight the long and unknown battle to delay his entry to school. You are allowed to send your child to school the term after they turn 5 (CSA – Compulsary School Age) but for my child that would mean missing the whole of reception and I wanted him to have a full education-just not yet. So I fought for entry into reception at CSA.  This involves filling in a form and sending evidence to the LEA of why you want your child to be delayed.  For the record we didn’t believe we were delaying him or keeping him behind we believed he would be going with his correct cohort as he was a late August born. Born a few weeks later this wouldn’t be an issue.  But for the sake of using the correct terms in the process we were delaying him.

We were very fortunate that the head teacher and early years staff of the school we had a place at were all very supportive of whatever we wanted to do. They would support our application or they would support our son in school.

I love my children but half the time I’m not sure how good I am at parenting two children at the same time and having a 1 and 3 year old was proving tough. The thought of having them both at home for the next year was awful.  Plus the cost of an extra years childcare and finding a new pre school seemed all too much.  I was reminded that this decision was nothing to do with what was best for me or what I wanted but what my son needed.  I realised that giving him an extra year at home could quite possibly be the best gift ever. (Someone please direct him here when he’s 16 and hates me because he’s got an extra year at school to do!!!)

After two weeks of deliberating, crying, worrying, not knowing what the heck to do. We made the decision to delay him.

And so the fight began

His current Pre school didn’t support us, they said educationally he was at the right level.  They failed to see him as a whole person, they failed to see that emotionally and physically he wasn’t ready.  I was devastated.

Health professionals wouldn’t support us.  Their role was to support children in school, so if they supported our application they were saying they couldn’t do their job

Some friends and many acquaintances thought we were nuts and we had several conversations that felt we were having to defend ourselves.  We were prepared to do this as we believed people needed to understand what we were doing but also the issue was rarely talked about and I wanted others to know what was possible.  But it was exhausting.

It’s a very emotive subject. Many people we spoke to had summer borns in school or had been summer borns themselves and they were fine. I wondered if people felt like we were judging them for their decision. I was so overwhelmed with our unfolding story that I didn’t have time to judge others. We made our decision based on what we thought was right for our child. It was exhausting.

We had a tough decision to make because we wouldn’t know if we’d been successful until December. If we didn’t win he’d have to join school in January or go straight into Year one in September.  It felt like a massive risk but we decided to cross the bridge we were at. He wasn’t ready for school now.  Holding all this in our mind and not knowing the outcome until December ..was exhausting.

One of the hardest things about this was trying to prove to strangers errr I mean professionals that this was in his best interest. When he was a new born I was told by several professionals that “Mummy knows best”. When did that change?  In the last 3 years apparently I know best. And it’s taken me about 3 years and another child to realise that heck yes, I do know best about my child.

Only for it to be taken away from me.

I had a horrid fight with his previous pre-school asking for their support and I actually got the opposite. She said if she was asked then she would have to disagree with me, he was ready. I remember saying to her that she didn’t even know him and had never taught him she was just the poor soul that had been chosen to speak to me (probably because no one else dared!!)

How on earth could a stranger choose his fate?

How on earth could anyone challenge what I know about my son?

Had he been permanently attached to their sides?

Had they watched him meet all his milestones much slower than everyone else?

Did they live with this sensitive and emotional little soul?

The application was written and it was time to wait.

3 professionals would be given our report and they would make a decision.  We were invited to a panel in December to ask and answer questions regarding this. Once we’d submitted the report we were able to get on with living our lives and our mantra really was, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”  However, the week before panel I wasn’t sleeping, I was having panic attacks and generally feeling pretty awful.

Head of admissions phoned me a few days before the panel,

“You need to hear what I am saying, 3 professionals (including an educational psychologist) have read your report and have all unanimously agreed that your son needs another year at home, you don’t have to come to panel. Do you understand what I am saying? They agree with you!”

She really understood what we had been through and wanted to make it clear that my fight was worth it. I am so grateful that she took the time to speak to me.

Leeds LEA are unusual actually. Many LEA’s do not support parent’s wishes to delay and this is a massive issue we are fighting in government at the moment.  If you do get agreement you need to get the head teachers permission of the school you want to go to and many many head teachers do not give their consent.  My story has been a nightmare but there are other parents going through this who have had bigger battles to fight.

But that day we celebrated.

All was left was to start the process of applying for schools all over again and hope we got back into our original school!!!

Don’t go anywhere, Part 3 explains how I got over all of this and how I can help you.

Much love

Nicola xx



Instagram – @nicolacoaches

What if it’s Not Okay?

Summer 1

Ever been really worried about something and your lovely friends tell you not to worry and that it will all be fine?

I am assuming that this happens to you a lot. I’m also assuming that you say it to your worried friends and I’m also admitting that I’ve said it too.

So there is no judgement in this blog.

We all say it!

Did you realise telling someone not to worry and that it will be fine is disempowering?

We think we are being kind and caring but actually we are minimising their experience of this problem.

Here’s a question:

What if it’s not ok?

What if you tell your friend not to worry about her biopsy and it turns out she has aggressive cancer?

What if you tell your colleague not to worry about the restructure but she gets made redundant?

You took away the opportunity to get strong and make a plan.

There is another way.

You can ask questions that help your friend talk about the problem, face the fact it may be awful and most importantly help her realise she has to do some problem solving.

Life is not a bed of roses and sometimes we have hard decisions to make and dark roads to walk down.

My Dilemma

I was dreading my summer born boy going to school just after he’d turned 4 because he wasn’t ready, he wasn’t toilet trained and he clung to me like a limpet.  Most friends told me that he would be fine.

You can read My Summer Born Story in Part 2.

Deep down I knew he wasn’t going to be fine but I didn’t know where to go with my thoughts because no one believed me.  Whenever I talked about it I was told not to worry. Everyone feels this way, everyone gets on with it, everyone is fine. The end.

When I took ownership of the problem I was able to find a solution.

You can’t solve a dilemma if you don’t truly realise you’ve got a problem.

You don’t know you have a problem if everyone says it’s fine.

Of course it’s never that simple. Many times it is fine and I am the only person I know in real life that has delayed her child from going to school so it must’ve been fine for the 100’s of parents who were worried like me last year.

I’m just asking you to think about how you could help your friends even more than you already do.

Help her open her eyes, listen with intent, wonder what it would be like to be in her shoes, voice that so she knows you’ve heard. Then wonder if there is another way.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I share my summer born story.

And don’t go anywhere until part 3 where I end the fight and tell you how I can help you.

Much love

Nicola x x x



Instagram – @nicolacoaches

“I Can Do it” – He thinks it’s magic!

I can do it 2

Do you remember being a child and playing on the climbing frames and swings?   I don’t mean last week when you were rescuing your child from the massive spider web thing in the middle of the park or chasing your two year old round the pretend castle.

I mean actually being a child and playing.

Were you careful or carefree?

My son and I are careful.

We were at Centre Parcs recently and my children were playing on the adventure playground.  My 4 year old started to moan that he couldn’t walk across the wobbly bridge. As much as I love my boy and he can be such a delight he can also be the biggest moaner ever! He struggles to try and his first port of call is to get help before he’s even tried.

I decided to try the whole “Positive Mind set” on him and taught him to say, “I can do it!  Before every step he said, “I can do it” and did it. He amazed himself.  I think he thought it was magic.

For a few days we reminded him of his new motto. Now we don’t need to remind him, he tells us and he even created a poster with his motto on.

To my delight (sorry, gushing mummy moment alert) I heard his sister say, “I can’t do it”.  I heard him pipe up. “No you say “I can do it” then you will be able to do it!”

Those 4 words have dramatically changed his life.

And they can change yours too.

It’s simple. They are just words that you need to say…and actually you don’t need to believe it, you just need to say it.


What is it you are struggling with? A potential new job, looking after your children every day, making your marriage work?

These are words that empower you and give you the belief in yourself to do what you can do.

It doesn’t matter if you are carefree or careful we all get wobbly.

So, You can do it

You can do it

You can do it

Love Nicola

PS. Living a fulfilling life is much easier when you have a Coach. I love working with women who want their life to be more from life so please contact me if that’s you because I know I can help you DO IT!!



I Can Do It

I can do it 1

4 Simple words that can change your life….you just need to say it!

As you know I run. You probably also know I run for cake and general mental health and well-being.  Otherwise I’m not that fussed. Give me a choice and I’d rather sew.

But once in a while a friend makes me do a race. Last year it was the Bradford 10K.  I was running 10K regularly with a friend and I loved it.  Off we’d go, wave bye to the kids and escape real life for an hour. We’d talk about everything and come back feeling pumped.

I was not worried about this race.

However, I don’t really like races. I just like to run. I don’t want to stand around and get cold waiting for the gun to bang. But I was with a few other ladies and to be honest I felt the buzz a little.


We were off.

And so were my nerves. They totally went. Something happened to me and it made every step feel like I was running though peanut butter, I could hardly move.

I think it was race anxiety.

I was not expecting it and it was horrendous.  As I ran round the corner about 5 minutes in I had to decide if I was running this race or not.  The further I ran the worse it would be to turn around and I knew I needed to either commit or stop.

I committed.

I am either incredibly stupid or totally amazing.

Initially I was so disappointed in myself that I couldn’t just run, I do this all the time, why couldn’t I do it now.  Then I realised I was doing it and it was HARD. I was doing it despite it being hard.

You may or may not run but I bet in life you’ve had some curve balls to deal with. Some surprises that have devastated you, rocked your boat and make you wonder what it’s all about.

Here is how you are going to get through it:

  1. Are you in or out? Make that decision now. You can’t win if you are undecided.
  2. Have a word with yourself. I chanted “I can do it” all the way round on my race. At one point I was so utterly frustrated that I screamed my head off. I felt I just had to let it out. (I did warn the other runners around me I was going to do this and they were fabulous. I think they found me quite entertaining).
  3. Get a team. I am part of a virtual running community called Run Mummy Run. They are amazing. I knew there were other women running races and were probably struggling. On occasion I also shouted “Run Mummy Run”. I felt united, I also felt very daft but desperate times called for desperate measures.
  4. Get a friend. My beautiful friend never left my side the whole run. I was hurting and I was embarrassed, but I wasn’t alone.
  5. Get some perspective. For me I was going to feel like this for about an hour. I can do an hour. Soon it would all be over. And the same goes for you. You won’t feel like this forever. Something always changes.

This is your personal race. No one else’s. You run it your way in your time. You get to choose how to clear the obstacles and what time you do it in.

You can do it

You can do it

You can do it

Lots of love

Nicola x x

Ps. Running a race and living your life is much easier when you have a Coach. I love working with women who want their life to be more fulfilled so please contact me if that’s you because I know I can help you win YOUR race.




Get Outta The Way!

Women Welfare Society (1)

When I was a teenager I remember one particular car journey with my mum. We were on some country lanes minding our own business when a driver appeared behind us obviously in a rush.

I presumed they were being idiots trying to wind us up or scare us.

My mum very calmly pulled over so the car could speed past.

I remember my speech; “Mum what are you doing? We were going the speed limit. They were being stupid. You should have stood your ground.”

I remember my mum’s response, “Maybe they had a call from the hospital and they need to get there quickly. You never know what’s going on for people.”

I judged

Mum showed compassion

I presumed they were bad

Mum saw potential goodness

I was ready to fight

Mum got out of the way.

My message to you is simple.

Sometimes you just need to get out of the way.

Is someone in your life doing your head in or causing you grief? Get out of the way

Are they stirring a situation and causing trouble? Get out of the way

It doesn’t matter who is right sometimes you just need to get out of the way.

Life can be really hard and fighting to prove a point is not always worth it. Look after your emotional and mental well being and enjoy YOUR journey.

Love to you all

Nicola x

PS. I’m currently offering phone and face to face sessions check out www.nicolahughes.co.uk and www.fb.com/nicolahughescoaching for more information.


No More Notifications!


No More Notifications Please!

I’ve got a new phone and I am seriously in love! I have been putting up with a very old phone for ages. I bought my old phone 4 years ago so in phone terms that’s pretty old.

My new phone is beautiful. It is shiny and new and does so many lovely things (half of which I am yet to work out!)

I have said yes to everything when I set it up. I thought if I’m going to make the most of this then I need everything it has to offer.

One of the first things I noticed though was the amount of notifications I got. My old ‘not so faithful’ friend hardly notified me of anything because there was nothing on it. I like to know if I have a text or I missed a phone call but I’m happy to check Facebook and emails in my own time.

When I turned my shiny new phone on I was so overwhelmed with the amount of things it was telling me that I totally forgot what I’d picked my phone up for (probably only to search Pinterest for Christmas ideas!).

I don’t like these notifications.

Say Happy Birthday to a random person you’ve forgotten how you know them!

Listen to this new voicemail from PPI

Read your junk emails

I am now going to undo what I have done and find a way not to get all these notifications. I’m then going to invent an app or widget that sends me really lovely notifications!

I am not actually going to do that last thing. But wouldn’t it be great if there was something that did that. (Maybe there is, let me know if you know of something).

Give yourself a pat on the back

You’ve done an amazing job today

Woo hoo you are awesome!

We are constantly bombarded with demands.  People, children, my small dog, they always want something.  I joke that I go to work for a break but it’s another set of demands – I just like those demands.  (Just for the record I also like my children but not their constant demands!)

Then the social demands we put on ourselves, to be thinner, have a nicer house, be more popular, earn more money.

My message to you is this…


We all have room to develop and grow but right now you are ok. You are good enough for whatever situation you are going through. Whatever is taking your attention you have what you need to deal with it.

We don’t give our self enough positive notifications so my gift to you is a Positive Notification (Affirmations) Sheet.  If you click this link http://eepurl.com/b1qM5r you can down load yourself a FREE lovely printable of some positive affirmations you need to remind yourself of (or not – you choose).

Stick them on your mirror, kitchen cabinets in your diary, or anywhere else you will see them.

Then believe them!

That’s all from me.

Come and say hi on www.fb.com/nicolahughescoaching

And check out my website www.nicolahughes.co.uk

Lots of Love, Nicola x

Originally written for www.raise4all.com  Sept 2016


I lost my job!


In January 2016 I set some goals. One of them was that by January 2017 I would be successfully self-employed and out of the job I used to love but now no longer found fulfilling or enjoyable.

I continued in the day job but worked my self-employed socks off at the same time.

Then by about Easter I decided that was a stupid idea because we were embarking on a house extension, I decided to keep my eldest out of school for an extra year (that’s a whole other blog post story – stressful and emotional is an understatement) AND I thought it would be better to wait until the youngest was getting some free childcare hours.

So I continued to be unfulfilled in the day job.

I continued to dream big dreams for our future but didn’t act on much as we were mostly surrounded by dust.

Then I was called to a meeting. One that was headed, “Restructure.”

About 8 long weeks later I am sat at my kitchen table as a fully self-employed person. No day job in sight. It is November 2016!  I have 8 weeks to become successful to achieve my goal.

There’s a few things I have learnt over the last few weeks.

I owned my Redundancy.  There was a process but it was inevitable that I would be made redundant and I didn’t want ‘making’ redundant so I requested that I take voluntary redundancy. I was choosing this. No one was doing it to me. So when the process got hard I couldn’t blame ‘them’. I chose this.  It’s so important to own your stuff. We go around blaming people for harming us or getting in the way.

I don’t like the word “Redundant”. It’s a horrid word meaning, not needed, jobless, of no use anymore. In the grand scheme of things of course I was needed and useful but in this context within this role I wasn’t. That’s okay. But it made me feel deskilled and worthless for a while so I needed to look after myself.  I took some time off and did a lot of thinking. I also ran. Running helps me process things and releases stress.

I need to mull it over. Today is officially the first day of self-employed life.  I have a list as long as my arm of things to do but I feel a little disabled. I’m still in transition and that is okay.  I need to sort out my thoughts and close down my old life.  This takes time and it shouldn’t be rushed. I’m not happy about this. I’d like to get over it and crack on!

I’m not going to get a Christmas party! I’m not a huge fan of work Christmas parties but that’s not the point. I don’t have a team to celebrate with or an excuse to put a pretty frock on.  When I first told my team at work what was happening I told them not to feel sorry for me but to congratulate me and celebrate with me as I was being released into my future.   The reality is that the party is just one event. I’m in this for my life and my family’s life.  Being self-employed isn’t for everyone (and I’m not convinced yet that it’s for me) but it is for everyone to have a life that they feel in control of and enjoy.

No one is going to arrange a Christmas knees up for me but I can put my party frock on whenever I want.

So as we enter this festive season please raise your glasses with me,

“Here is to our lives, the lives we love, the lives we create and the choices we make!”

Watch this space as I’ll be announcing all the exciting things I plan to do soon.

In the mean time spread the word www.nicolahughes.co.uk and www.fb.com/nicolahughescoaching is well and truly open for business!!

If you’re struggling to celebrate your life or make the right choices get in touch with me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk

Lots of love

Nicola x

Size Does Matter!


Snakes & Ladders

(Originally written for www.raise4all.com)

Quite possibly the dullest game in the world. Plod, plod, weeeeee down the snake, plod plod, yay up the ladder!


Unless you play it with my 3 year old. He doesn’t like winning or being last so basically makes sure his counter is on top of mine the whole time. So we are together. The dice gets chucked across the room. The counting is dubious. Basically it doesn’t look anything like snakes and ladders but is a tad more interesting than dull but not by much!

Over the last few weeks, and if I’m honest my entire life time, my life has been like a snakes and ladders board and dull it is not.

Parenting is;

Plod, plod, yay he ate a pea.

Plod plod, weeee, literally all over everything. How can one wee cause such devastation?

Plod plod, <insert minor achievement that means the world to you but nothing to anyone else>

Plod plod <major catastrophe involving food, bodily fluids or the pet dog>

I’m not sure if I play a game of snakes and ladders every day or whether one board lasts a life time. I like to think it’s the former and one day I hope I have a board with less snakes.

Interestingly this all started for me when I was struggling with one particular parenting issue.

Toilet training.

At this point can I say I would rather give birth 10 days running than go through toilet training?

It has been awful. I don’t want to say too much as I want to protect the privacy of my nearly 4 year old. He is a wonderful little soul and I want to protect him from everyone knowing all the details.

The basics: he is nearly 4, he has NEVER asked to go to the toilet, we are under a consultant paediatrician. I feel like the only person in the world dealing with this.

I realised that for him to say, “I need a wee wee” was really hard so I created my own version of snakes and ladders. We played as normal but when we went up the ladder I congratulated him for telling me he needed the toilet. If he went down a snake I would say he didn’t tell mummy he needed a wee wee. And if he landed on a star (planted by me and my marker on several of the squares) we had to shout, “I need a wee wee!” And we used wee wee counters!

I created this board from scratch so I could choose how many snakes and how many ladders. It felt sort of god-like! I even amazed myself with this amount of creativity. Don’t mess with a mummy on a mission.

I speak to a Continence nurse every week and I always think beforehand how hard it has been, what will I say? Why isn’t this happening quicker? What have I done wrong? How can I put it right?

She always says to me, “Nicola, wow you are doing a really good job, you are amazing, that’s brilliant. I’m coming to your house to see all these resources.”

I sob for a bit.

Then we talk about the week ahead.

She is either completely insane or we are doing better than I think.

The reality is that our ladders are tiny. Really small. I am expecting us to climb big ladders so when we don’t I’m utterly disappointed and feel like I have failed.

“Mummy I need a wee.” Said once in one week is a tiny ladder.

Sitting on the toilet without having a fit is a tiny ladder.

Me taking a deep breath is a tiny ladder.

These ladders are so important and I’ve realised that I need to stop minimising them.

Whatever parenting or life thing you are going through I encourage you to see those tiny ladders. Just like the Pokemon they are everywhere, you might not be able to see them. You might need to look everywhere to find them. It might take you on a journey that you didn’t expect.

But those Pokemon – I mean ladders are everywhere.

My gift to you this time is simple.

Draw a ladder with 10 rungs and label the rungs from 0-10 going up.

Answer these questions about a particular area of your life. 0 = struggling to achieve and 10 = on top of it.

Which rung are you on?

Which rung do you want to be on?

How are you going to get there?

Then notice in between the rungs there are some tiny ladders.

I am all for helping people set big goals whether you want to run a marathon or start a degree, I can help you. But sometimes we just need to acknowledge that those tiny ladders contain the hardest steps we have ever taken, are almost invisible to see and quite often are difficult to plan for.

I am pretty sure you are doing a great job. Keep going.

But if you need a helping hand contact me for your FREE session.

You can email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk or find out more about me on my website www.nicolahughescoaching.co.uk

I love helping people see their ladders and climb to the top of their lives!

And check me out on Facebook. www.fb.com/nicolahughescoaching

Lots of love

Nicola x x