What a Week: Time to Refocus

What a week! There are many lovely and exciting things to tell you about, dear readers.

But first, a moment of reflection. I’ve been distracted from my blog (I’ve really missed it!) and from my usual self-care techniques by some upsets with people about whom I care deeply. The upsets were on social media – as wonderful as social media is, misunderstandings are bound to happen from time to time. I’ve been at the receiving end a number of times and whenever the other person has apologised, I’ve acknowledged that while their comment hurt, I know it was unlikely to be intended and accepted their apology.

Anyway, this time my words were the cause of unintentional upset and for some reason my apology seemed to make it worse. To cut a long story short, I made myself physically ill with the stress of it all.

So, I am taking a step back and reassessing what is important in my life, and what I need to focus on. Firstly myself: I reminded myself of the very wise advice I wrote in this post. By trying to make other people happy, I wasn’t meeting my own needs – not by a long shot. I am who I am – candid, honest, enthusiastic and passionate about getting on and making change for other people’s benefit. I have a dry sense of humour, and with that I am kind, considerate, compassionate, and empathetic. I know I am a good person, I am happy with who I am and my motives for doing what I do.

My first step towards self-care was a lazy morning and a long cuddle with Fat Cat that we both thoroughly enjoyed.

The reason I mention this is the same as I mention anything on the blog – not to ‘pick on’ anyone or to make them feel bad, but to make a wider point about reflection and thinking differently. I am all about the bigger picture.

I am now doing my Taylor Swift dance, shaking it off and focusing on the positive. Ready? Let’s go!

Channelling the messages from my fab business cards (except for the 'fat' part, of course).

Channelling the messages from my fab business cards (except for the ‘fat’ part, of course).


My phased return to work continues to be much better than I anticipated, I am relieved to report. My manager and colleagues are wonderful; very kind and supportive, and understanding of my needs. Colleagues have welcomed me back, telling me I have been missed, and that they are glad to have me back. No one has pried, which has really helped me manage my feelings of anxiety and vulnerability.

Another huge positive is that I am helping lead a project about my great passion – patient experience. It’s really exciting, and it’s great to have something to feel excited about.

There is still a long road ahead of course, but so far so good.

Neonatal Parents’ Meeting

On Wednesday I went to London for a Neonatal Parent Advisory Group meeting. It was tough – there were tears from me – but such a constructive meeting. Sadly, the other parents who attended have also experienced loss; I appreciated being, for the first time, in a group of people who really ‘get it’. We are going to be working together to use the benefit of our experiences to help other families, which feels to me to be a privilege.

Maternity Strategic Clinical Network Meeting

That meeting was followed by attending this meeting to talk in front of around 100 people about Hugo’s Legacy, my involvement in #MatExp, and my experience of a Whose Shoes workshop as part of a presentation about the campaign and the pilot workshops.

Talking about Hugo's Legacy and MatExp at a maternity Strategic Clinical Network conference.

Talking about Hugo’s Legacy and MatExp at a maternity Strategic Clinical Network conference.

Don’t tell anyone, but my week had been so busy I prepared my talk 30 minutes previously – I think I did alright. Lovely people came up to me afterwards to say Hugo’s story had really moved them, and I am also going to get involved with the work of the strategic clinical network to help shape better support for women who have similar experiences to mine.

I also really enjoyed the chance to have a face-to-face chat with #FabObs Florence Wilcock, after spending so much time communicating online. I have just realised we should have got a selfie!

Butterfly Awards

The wonderful Mel, who is behind the Butterfly Awards has invited me to give a speech inspiring other bereaved parents to share their stories, and to highlight why people need to put their temporary discomfort to one side and take the time to really listen to the stories. The invitation came about my latest #MatExp action, and I was honoured to be asked to and to accept.

I am also honoured to be shortlisted in the author/blogger category in the awards for the second year running. I know you will all be delighted to learn I’ll be asking you to vote for me again in a couple of months’ time!

My latest #MatExp action selfie

My latest #MatExp action selfie

Other exciting things…

It’s naughty to tease I know…but I have been invited to some other things that I can’t tell you about yet, but I will as soon as I am able!


The kind people at Lumie have sent me a SAD and energy desk light to review – the idea is it helps prevent the slump that usually prompts me to hunt down some chocolate. I’ll be letting you know how I get on.

Most excitingly, I’ve been sent a colouring book to review! It’s a hard life, but someone has to put themselves out…and it’s a great reason to ensure sure I definitely make time for self-care.

I’ve also had my hair chopped. It had been getting shorter and shorter over the past year – the new ‘do is a braver version of the graduated bob I had last time. I love it – it is the perfect compromise between a bit of flattering face-framing length and hassle-free lack of length.IMG_20150612_164845

The new 'do from the side.

The new ‘do from the side.

Phew! Right, time for more self-care – and to make sure I have energy not only for the things I need to focus on, but BritMums Live too! I’m very excited to see all my friends.

 Word of the Week: phew!

The Reading Residence
You Baby Me Mummy

16 Comments on What a Week: Time to Refocus

  1. hannah mum's days
    June 17, 2015 at 9:50 pm (5 years ago)

    Ooh I can’t wait to see your lovely face at BML in a days time!! I’m so sorry to hear about your upset last week 🙁 Anyone who knows you knows you would never have meant to cause offence and the fact that you graciously apologised but it wasn’t accepted…hmm I’m just not sure. I missed it all, so I don’t know who it was, but I know if it had been me I would have been utterly devastated and ready to pack it all in too. But like you say, you have to remember why you started all this and put this upset to that back of your mind and focus on all the other wonderful things that are coming your way.

    Congrats on your conference speech, I bet it was fab and good luck in the next awards, you are totally amazing lady and doing Hugo’s legacy proud xx

    • hannah mum's days
      June 17, 2015 at 9:51 pm (5 years ago)

      oh and thanks for linking up to #TheList xx forgot to say once I’d finished my essay! xx

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 21, 2015 at 6:55 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you lovely. So glad we were able to catch up at the weekend, albeit briefly! xxx

  2. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops
    June 17, 2015 at 11:36 am (5 years ago)

    Wow I love the hair! It looks fab!
    And how great that you are review a colouring book, I have just had one bought for me and I am loving it.
    Glad to hear that your return to work is going well =)

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 21, 2015 at 6:56 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much Jenni. Colouring is fab isn’t it! Thanks re the hair, I love it – wish I’d have taken the plunge a long time ago! xxx

  3. babylossmama
    June 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm (5 years ago)

    Your hair looks fabulous!! I might be taking those pictures in when I’m due for my next cut!

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much! I love it, it’s highly recommended! xx

  4. Youngonesfive
    June 14, 2015 at 11:32 am (5 years ago)

    Sounds like a busy week! Take care of you. #WotW

  5. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    June 14, 2015 at 1:07 am (5 years ago)

    Love your hair! Always nice to have a step back and look at the things that are happening. I havent done that in a long time and I think I need to do it again! Lovely post =) #wotw

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 14, 2015 at 9:42 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you! Reflection time is always important, no matter what you’re up to in life xxx

  6. thereadingresidence
    June 13, 2015 at 5:51 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m sorry to hear you had an altercation that upset you so much, I hope you’re OK now. You can’t please everyone all of the time, but it is still horrible to feel you’ve done it, however unintentional, isn’t it? You have then been so busy! It’s a wonder you’re fitting in your return to work at all! Well done on your short-listing and opportunities (especially the colouring book, of course!) and I am loving your new haircut, looks gorgeous xx Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 14, 2015 at 9:46 am (5 years ago)

      Oh it does feel horrible – moving on now though thank you. Thank you – reflecting on everything I’ve done, it’s little wonder I am so tired! xxx

  7. Emma's Mamma
    June 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm (5 years ago)

    Sounds like a busy week! Congratulations! And your hair looks great! #thelist


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