Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Hardest Job In The World!

After having had a few lemonades in my local public house, a friend and I were discussing our professions and our enjoyment of them. We then went off subject trying to list the most difficult jobs in the world, including the British Prime Minister and the next Manchester United manager; we listed the obvious - Firemen, the Police and all the emergency services. Admittedly we did digress somewhat, for example, the most difficult job in the world being selling doors – door to door…‘bing-bong, o you’ve got one, never mind’!!! It then became quite competitive as to who had the more enjoyable job.

I am pleased to say I won hands down! I listed the obvious clichés in it being rewarding and satisfying; however clichés are only in existence because they hold elements of truth and value. I also labelled seeing the development of children as a colossal reason, in addition having an impact on the improvement of health and fitness, and working for a company that holds high moral values.

I love Little Kickers, and I have been a proud employee in various different positions since 2003. It is difficult to call it work, as working with such excellent and passionate colleagues and like minded coaches it makes it fun and worthwhile. And obviously your children are the highlight of my weeks - I have learnt to expect the unexpected when dealing with children, but even that thought does not prepare you for some of the genius comments that children come up with! It’s nice to see my games being put into practice, and children enjoying them and sometimes the Mums and Dads even more so!

I would love to spend more time with the children, (I realise your all shouting easier said than done!) however, we do only get an hour a week with your mini superstars. As some of you may or may not know, we have a Facebook site. On this Facebook site you can find my ‘top secret garden games’ – games and exercises I have created for you and your little ones to enjoy at home. If you are one of the 8 people in the world that doesn’t have Facebook, fear not – we have put them all on the ‘What’s New’ page on our website. Take a look and give them a go! Why not send us a snap of your child playing the games and we will upload them onto our website!

In the mean time, enjoy the rest of the summer, and absorb every ray of sun that the skies are begrudgingly giving us.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Wooden Spoon!

To be British, in some people eyes, is to have the ability to laugh in the face of adversity and to crave disappointment! This has created a national tendency to root for the underdog, regardless of the situation. At times we even celebrate poor performance - I think we are the only country in the world that has a prize, albeit a wooden spoon, for last place! Whether it is a burning desire to see success degenerate into failure, or whether it is purely wanting the less triumphant to achieve, either way it is a notable feature of English society.

Blackpool FC for example recently managed to achieve a four - nil thrashing of the well-established Premier league team Wigan FC. This was after having been relegation favourites last season. Whilst there’s no doubt that this is a fantastic start to the season for newly promoted Blackpool, unfortunately the club from the coast now face Arsenal in their toughest test as a club so far. You can guarantee the neutrals amongst the crowd will be willing on Blackpool to unsettle what could be title contenders this season. Having met Ian Holloway at a recent event, he said to me “we have certainly bitten off more than we can chew, but don’t you worry, we will be chewing fast”. What an admirable attitude, and a great example of British spirit: giving it a go even when it appears the odds are stacked against you - not being scared of failure but being prepared just to have a crack at it.
The willingness to encourage whose who are less able, to achieve great things, can also be found at Little Kickers classes. At Little Kickers we promote a very level playing field; we believe that every child deserves the same attention from our brilliant qualified coaches regardless of their ability levels. We encourage children who are less able to improve at their own pace, and continue to help those who seem to have a greater natural ability. This promotes a healthy atmosphere within our classes where nobody will ever feel isolated.

I am not denying that I won’t be quietly willing on Blackpool to do well this year. The beauty of Football is that it is eleven versus eleven, and so many variables lead to the eventual outcome of the game. Even if a team falls at the last hurdle and comes second or last, as a spectator, at least you can say you enjoyed the ride!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Full-time Mum VS Part-time Mum

By Yvette, Director Little Kickers NZ.

I recently got back in contact with an old school friend who I found out was pregnant with her first baby. She messaged me back asking if I was lucky enough to be a ‘full-time mum’ i.e. a stay at home mum. It took a while for me to get my head around that question and how I would answer it.
I could have easily asked the same question to expectant friends prior to having children myself but my views on the ideals and benefits of being a stay at home mum versus a working mum drastically changed now having kids.
Pre-kids I had a lot of patience, in good health and had good energy levels. I am fortunate enough to have my husband work a 5 minutes drive away with the leniency to come home if required and an understanding boss who happens to have 2 sets of twins! When my boys (twins) reached around 15 months old I was finding it increasingly hard to keep up my energy levels and patience to survive day on day. It became regular practice for me to call my husband up once a week pulling my hair out wondering how I was going to survive the next hour and it’s not as if my boys are different to any other toddlers. I soon realised something needed to change maybe it was time to look at some part-time work. I love my boys to bits but I felt like I wasn’t being the best parent that I could be.
I actually find my self luckier being a ‘part-time mum’ than a ‘full-time mum’ and I don’t mean in terms of finances, I mean in terms of energy levels and patience.
We were lucky enough to stumble across Little Kickers which has been my savour in life in terms of how I care for my kids and in a way my sanity!
We started off with an independent nanny who luckily the boys adored to bits but unfortunately she left with minimum notice and left us stuck as to what to do. It felt like ages that I spent discussing the pros and cons of day-care and whether we should investigate this option further. I had only recently read a report from one of the boys’ paediatricians Simon Rowley who wrote about the negative impact of day-care on children under the age of 2 so I was even more reluctant to go down this route. My main concern was the boys’ happiness as I thought they may be stressed or uncared for versus a nanny. My pre-conceived understanding on day-care was that there wouldn’t be enough carers to properly care for of all the children.
How wrong was I, after visiting 5 centres I found the perfect centre for my boys. The carers were so loving and understanding, they kept to my boys routine, fed them healthy lunches and had more than enough energy to keep up with them.
I spent 3 days with the boys at the centre until I felt as though I could leave them alone. There were a few tears at the start (by them) but once I was around the corner and out of sight they soon stopped. They now attend day-care 3 mornings and 1 short day a week and what a better parent and person I am for it.
I feel like a new person and I know I am a much better parent for it. During my working day I get to speak to other business’s, parents, suppliers, employees and generally feel like I exist as a person and not just someone’s mum. When I pick the boys up from day-care I have this rush of love for them. I especially love it when they don’t know that I’ve arrived and I get to see them playing with the other children and then when they do see me I get an assortment of emotions from them. These range from running away from me because they want to stay and play to dancing around in excitement and giving me huge hugs as they wave goodbye to the carers (even if I’m not ready to go yet).
Once home I put work aside and use all my energy in interacting and playing with them, I adore hearing their giggles and now have the patience and energy to deal with their terrible two’s better. I love that they come home from day-care having learnt new words or actions to songs and seeing them develop socially.
I’ve realised my life needs more than just kids to make it complete and being a ‘part-time mum’ works perfectly for me, I actually feel lucky that I can be one over a ‘full-time’ mum. I am sill a wife, business women and a friend and to add to that a loving mum who is trying to find that perfect work/life balance.
My hat goes off to full-time mums as I often feel you don’t get enough recognition for what you do in today’s society and how hard your days can be.
Yvette; mum, wife, business partner, coach, friend....
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