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30 March 2014

Celebr8 Success
Gill Donnell MBE
Publication Date
29 Jan 2014

How to be a successful working mum without the guilt

Honest? First I was sceptical. I previously found self-help and motivational books not very .. helpful. Or they make me even more guilty because I don't seem to manage what everyone else does easily - at least after reading the self-help book. Be a successful working mum without the guilt? As soon as someone says 'Don't feel guilty as a working mum', that's exactly what you will do, don't you? It's build into us. 

The opening chapter changed my opinion about the book straight away:
Have you ever been on a holiday - one of those relaxing, two-week, gloriously sunny breaks (pre-kids) - and suddenly seen your life with fierce clarity? You just know that, when you return home, everything is going to be better organised, more fun and far less stressful., because while you've been away you have seen the light.
It's very similar to the feeling you get when you attend a course that addresses your personal development; the feeling that it could change your life. All of a sudden, you can see the right way to bring up your kid; how to support (or otherwise) your partner; and how to have a truly fulfilling life from that point on. Then, somehow, you get sucked back in to the pressures and demands of everyday life, and all those good intentions evaporate like last year's New Year's resolutions. 

That's me! I mean - that person on holiday who comes back and is so motivated and thinks 'yes, I can do this, I get it all organised'. And it's worse when I come back from my mum's. I feel so motivated to be a super-organised  and self-assured person, and within one week after the holiday it's all evaporated. Hey, others seem to manage, why not me? 

And that's where the author tells you: Hold on, stop there. You don't actually have to be perfect. Whatever that means. And being successful doesn't always mean being the CEO of a company. Small steps. Smile. Try being more assertive with family members first. Get positive people on your side. So true isn't it? We all have people in our life who just seem to moan and groan and being negative about everything. I remember a particular friend of mine (this is several years back now). We went on holiday together and it just so didn't work, everything was like: No, too late. No, too early. No, too dangerous. No, too expensive. … Next holiday I went on my own and had a great time! 

Coming back to the book - it is written with a lot of humour and interwoven with examples from the authors life. She was herself at some stage a single mum of twins whom she calls Drama and Crisis which made me giggle. There are so many examples where I recognised myself. For example, if you read a job advertisement and they list 6 skills you have to have. Lets say you have 5 of those skills. Well, I wouldn't apply. Would you? 

Every chapter also has a quote at the start, and one of my favourite one is this one from Eleanor Roosevelt:
'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent'

I am not too keen on the cover, but this is just a me, as the bottle of champagne reminds me too much of New Years Eve? 

For a self-help motivational book, this was a surprisingly entertaining and very uplifting read. If you recognise yourself in this opening chapter, give the book a go. 

Book received from the author in return for an honest review. 

From Amazon:

About the Author 

Gill Donnell is an experienced leader, motivational speaker and coach, who has spent much of her working life promoting the role of women in the workplace and supporting individuals to achieve their full potential. As a speaker, Gill uses life experiences and humorous stories to inform her audiences. Many of the women who have attended her development courses over the years have talked about it as a life-changing experience. Having spent time as a successful female role model in a male-dominated organisation, while being a single mum of twins, Gill is uniquely placed to understand the challenges faced by women in the workplace. In 2009, Gill’s work on women’s development was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen with the award of an MBE.