How to Parent When you Suffer from Mental Health

When we start on our parenting journey, we go with it in blind love, I think. Would you agree with me on this?  I will talk about it more later.

Your first child, you may have done a load of research and spoken to experienced parents, but nothing prepares you for when you are in the field, as I like to call it. They are helpful guidance and information you can learn from, but you miss some beautiful moments if you follow it to the latter.

Those beautiful moments are what keeps you motivated when the minds start to play tricks on you, ‘whispering in your ears that you are not good enough.’ I encourage researching and speaking to experienced parents but not to compare notice of how your child behaves or how you are behaving. Listen, read and let it go, and you have the wisdom inside of you that will help you handle the difficulties you are experiencing.

When your mental health is a problem, you can neglect or sometimes feel like you fail your child when you are not. There isn’t a quick fix, in my opinion, but there are ways that you can reduce the negative effect your mental health problem can cause you as a parent.

Let me ask you this question what does love mean?

The true meaning of love is “to give.” To parents have a genuine love for their children, we need to express it through our actions. If you love your child, then show it, and your child in return would learn true love and perform an act of kindness towards you by also showing it.

Raising children when you have mental health problems is difficult. You can’t always express to others what’s going on in your mind. It is why learning about the three different kinds of love will help create a better self-relationship and a better relationship with your child. Here are the three different types of love:

Blind Love:

I mentioned that when we first start our parenting journey, we experience blind love – this is where we fall completely in love with our baby, child, and don’t filter any wrongdoings, our child is perfect, and we make an excuse for any faults. When in a state of blind love, we are not looking to change anything about them, but something can suddenly stop us from experiencing that blind love one day.

Conditional Love:

Conditional love is where we as a parent see our children faults and mistakes. Still, we do our best to ignore those faults and mistakes but look for the positive things our child has accomplished with this conditional love; our children may learn that the only way to be loved and receive affection from us is for them to change.

Unconditional love:

Unconditional love is what we should all work toward for ourselves and our children. With unconditional love, we see our children’s faults and mistakes, yet we still love them. The love we need to have is the here and now experience, not because circumstances tells us otherwise. As parents, we need to seek to love our children unconditionally, loving ourselves unconditionally.

When you have unconditional love for your children, the negative emotions that may come to trick you will not stand. When you have unconditional love for yourself, your mental health problem has no power over you.

Be aware of your faults/ mistakes and these of your loved ones and accept that it is okay you are perfect just the way are so other people.

You have the power to manage your mental health by loving yourself and your child unconditionally.

Secrets to beating depression and helping others

We have entered another national lockdown, and it is causing a lot of destruction in people’s lives.  It is not a surprise that we are all experiencing an overwhelming feeling of helplessness and despair. Some people have close friends or family members in support bubbles to talk to, but what about those who have none. They may be your social media friends.

People who don’t have friends may struggle to approach people. They may be happy tagging along with work colleagues, university groups and so on, but they don’t feel confident enough to hang out with friends or even ask for help when they need it.

They learn to exist in the shadow of others. Before the global covid-19 pandemic happened, such individuals were just content with going places and seeing others have fun. They were happy witnessing others enjoying life, while they sat on the next table having lunch or dinner alone. But now things are not the same. However, there are things we as a community can do to help those who struggle with socialising to help them improve their moods and ease their depression. In return, you yourself will benefit from helping another person too.

Before you rush to be the superhero who beats depression for others make sure your arm yourself with the two following emotional shields:

  1. Self- Love

Life is hard for everyone.  But you’re a fighter. Do you know how I know? Let’s look back to the beginning. Why is it you are alive today?  There were billions of sperms swimming to make it through the egg’s outer layer to fertilise it. But you became that cell. You created a barrier to keep other sperm from stealing your spot. Even as a cell you had to fight to survive. Then you waited. And nature did not miscarry you. You went through the necessary fights and from being something small you made it to the person you are today. Faced with all of the challenges you came through.

But somewhere, down the road of life, you have stopped believing in yourself. You have stopped seeing how far you have come. Why have you, a living, breathing adult- person, stopped believing in yourself?

Often, we cannot control the circumstances in our world, but we each have the power to believe in ourselves. We have to power to say, ‘I love myself; I accept who I am, I have come this far because I believe I am worthy of this life.’

We look with our physical eyes and see the beauty of the outer world. We can also look with our inner eyes and see the beauty within. The inner you want to connect with you, wants you to believe you are worthy and no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome.

When we feel the need to help others, it is sometimes because we see something in ourselves that we are trying to avoid facing and we think that by helping others, the issue will go away. Helping others does help us only if we work on ourselves too. So, remember to work on yourself.

  1. Be empathetic to yourself

We sometimes find it easier to be more empathic with others than ourselves. Experiment being open to your own thoughts and feelings. Empathy helps us to understand someone else’s experience and their internal view and beliefs about the world. But to help others successfully we need to start with ourselves. As the saying goes ‘charity begins at home.’

You can start by showing yourself some self-empathy by being kind to yourself. We usually are very hard on ourselves when we have made mistakes or when something unplanned happens. We are less forgiving with ourselves than with others.

Sit down and ask yourself these three questions: (it will be helpful if you can create five more yourself in a first-person dialogue.) Fill in the blank

  • If you make a mistake how critical are you of yourself _________________________________
  • When you telling a friend about mistakes you made in the past, how do you feel afterwards? ___________________________________
  • When you are struggling or feeling down are you hard on yourself? ______________________

If you come across as brutal to yourself, it’s perfectly okay. Please read my article on ‘4 things to do to improve your confidence.’

To help others, we need to be emotionally safe for ourselves and those we are helping. Be safe and thank you for taking care of yourself and helping others around you.


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Naruto and Hinata
4 Things to do to Improve your confidence

Naruto and Hinata
“We must become aware of what we believe about ourselves. By doing so, we can change those beliefs that are not serving us.” Louise L. Hay

We are not born with a self-confidence button that we can press when we need to feel confident. Instead we gain it by doing things and acquiring confidence that way.

We learned to communicate with Mum and Dad through different cries. We found out we could get attention that way. We learned to drink milk, we learned to eat soft food, we learn cycling skills by practising. As we got older, we made friends and learned conversational skills. Some had better, happier and more progressive childhoods than others, but all of us learned by doing. Our skills were acquired.

You may already be a confident person. You have come this far. Pat yourself on the back. But you may be thinking ‘I want to get better. I can still improve.’ You can ride the bicycle. You fell off a lot. There were bruises and knocks, but you did learn to ride. You have confidence to do that. But you want other skills. You are not satisfied with being a one-trick pony. Good for you. You have the awareness, and you have the desire. Now let’s add determination and perseverance.

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel confident about everything and ourselves? Self-confidence is your belief in yourself; what you believe you can and cannot do. Here are four things you can do to improve your confidence levels:

  1. Take up a joint interest with a friend or partner.

Our friends exert a surprising amount of influence over our self-confidence. We hang out with them and some of them are quite negative thinking people. We pick up on that and walk around with it. I’m not saying to ditch all your friends. However, I am saying it is necessary to choose those close to you wisely. You need friends that can challenge your interests and creativity instead of spending all day complaining or whining about this and that.

Let’s say, for example, you are a climber and have a friend or partner that climbs too. You are more than likely to go climbing and spend most of your time talking about climbing routes, holds and such like ( I’m speaking from personal experience.).Climbing with others helps build trust quickly (it is essential.), and it’s a very supportive relationship you create with your climbing buddy.

To have a healthy self-confidence, you need to try to surround yourself with people that are looking for the same things that you are.

  1. Be your best friend first

Do you ever hear that voice inside you that tells you that you are not going do something right? You may have a new project at work, college or you are starting a new business. You feel scared and nervous about the unknown outcome. It is okay to feel anxious and fearful but go forward bravely even though you are scared and see where it will take you. We have this inner voice that criticises, and we tend to listen, and sometimes we struggle to start on any project because we have heard that voice. What you need to do if your negative inner voice is louder than your positive one is read or watch materials by other people who have achieved what you want to achieve. You will eventually start to imagine and believe you will be okay with a new project because your positive inner voice will begin to get louder and more assertive than the negative one. The point here is your best friend is yourself. That positive inner voice. Learning to listen and change your thinking patterns is an essential and tremendous skill to have.

  1. Show self-gratitude

I am sure you know the meaning or the definition of the word ‘gratitude’ so there is no need to spend time expanding on it here.

Have you ever had that warm, happy feeling when you present a gift to someone, and they respond excitedly with those magic words ‘thank you.’ It brings happiness to your soul. You feel the same way when the affairs of life are going in the direction you want them to. When you get that job, you have wanted for so long or that longed-for Christmas gift. When someone does something for us, we feel closer to them. The bond between us grows more substantial.

But showing gratitude is not just about showing your appreciation to others. You can show gratitude to yourself. And it does so much for your mental well-being. When you say ‘thank you’ to yourself, it heals your inner self; you feel good and happy with yourself. You may think that you have nothing to thank yourself for., but I bet you have achieved so much in your life already and if you were to share it with other people they would be amazed as to what you had to face in life to achieve your successes. You can start with a gratitude notebook and even if you have to start small do it. Even if it is as seemingly small as the following, do it: ‘I am thanking myself, for getting up this morning or I thank myself for going to work on this cold and rainy day.’ You can find something to thank yourself for every day.

  1. Forgive yourself

You may have experienced traumatic life-changing events that have left you feeling angry and caused you difficulty in dealing with life. You may also have done some things in your past life that you are not proud of and so your mind takes the opportunity to play tricks on you. You can make those things work for you by using them to create a better tomorrow.

Forgiveness is hard to achieve. We constantly replay the hurts and unfairness. Letting go can be difficult. A therapist or life coach can help. Exploring the origins of problems in order to eradicate them and formulate the way forward is very powerful.

The Hawaiians have this beautiful forgiveness prayer you can say to yourself. ‘I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, and I love you.’

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what’s happened, but it’s about you making a conscious decision to grant mercy to the person who hurt you. I am not saying to go back to your abuser to tell them you have forgiven them nor are you making excuses for them. It means you are releasing what is inside of you.

Finally, if you want help, I am happy to coach you via zoom. Click on the client coaching intake form and I will email you form if you can complete it and email it back to me. We can arrange the time and date and begin to work on your confidence.

Hinata from Naruto
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Yellow Rose 🌹
Snowing deeply 
Cars trapped, the sound of the engine is all that can be heard
Woolly hats and gloves are worn 
Smiles and good cheer spread as if Christmas has come again
It’s February, a few days to March, snow everywhere 
Children laughing and praying for no school 
Parents dreading the chaos of work and child-care
But it’s time also for flowers to blossom 
One in particular is the yellow rose
A yellow rose, a  sign for
joy, wisdom and power
Just like a snowflake, fragile, but powerful enough to cause chaos 
A rose that isn’t loved in the right way becomes empty and devastated
She can be surrounded by thick snow and blossom, but is on autopilot 
But when loved and protected by the richness of words of wisdom, she will find  peace, and sledge through deep snow like a child full joy and happiness
The yellow rose can be sad even though the sun shines brightly
Many people have touched the yellow rose, but without love 
But one mighty knight singing at the top of his lungs can change all that, then the yellow rose begins to blossom with joy, wisdom and power
She becomes the flower she is intended to be
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Learn Together Grow
Redefining working from home

Working from home can sometimes feel like being stuck in a train station watching the  ‘trains delayed’ display. Going nowhere with your creative juices.There is a certain ‘buzz’ you get when working in the office. Chatting with colleagues, sharing ideas, getting different perspectives. All that sort of thing. Working from home has a different feel to it. The kids might be playing computer games in the room next door, the dog barks evry time it hears a noise, the neighbours are having noisy renovations. There are distractions. It becomes like the horror movie ‘Us’ where the Wilson family gets attacked and the people doing the attacking look very much like them.Learn Together Grow

Lockdown: working from home

Not many people have the mindset to live and work from home. It is dificult to separate work and home life. But for many people lockdown has made it necessary. At first it may seem like fun. Freedom from the office and a great way to have extra time with the family. Plus saving on the expense and stress of getting to and from the office. But lockdown has left many people feeling overwhelmed, depressed, stressed and unable to manage their feelings, it is tricky working from home. It is not that you don’t love your family. But it brings its own set of problems.We need to learn to safeguard ourselves from the anxiety, depression and  other emotional issues that covid-19 is currently throwing at us.

If you are struggling to cope emotionally the best course of action is to sit down and evaluate what is happening. Are you chasing pre-covid goals you had set for yourself and your family? If so, maybe you ought to think of re-evaluating your position. Ask yourself ‘Have I lost focus?’ When you lose focus, you find yourself in tune with the background noise of life and use that noise to generate self-destructive thoughts. Instead, create a vision board for:

  1. Your Job
  2. Your Family
  3. Your Finances
  4. Your emotional experiences

On this vision board write a three-year goal for the four categories and then break these goals into months, weeks and days. Be realistic about it; don’t rush it. For example with your current working- at- home job your goal could be getting up at 6am to work for a couple of hours before taking the kids to school. Do a few more  hours after dropping the kids off.  Every day you achieve that goal tick the box that you have done it. You will soon get into the swing of things and it will become natural. And all those annoying and irritating distractions will become less noticeable.  Do it for 30 days and you will see a massive transformation in how you work at home, you will get a lot done.and experience a great uplift in personal well-being.

Writing a long term goal allows you to bring into focus a future that is attainable and saves energy and time when thinking about the day and days ahead. It puts you in charge. You are not allowing the day to dictate to you, rather you are dictating to the day.

Personally I wake at 4am each day. I read my book, then get ready, get my kids up, get them ready, make breakfast, drive them to school, get back home and work again, cook, do my designated house chore for that day and then go to collect my kids, give them dinner and then I am back in my home- office working while they play and run around ( I have become immune to the background noise.) As I write this post  my kids are running up and down the stairs chasing each other. This is something I could not have handled well in May 2020.

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My Girls Hands
How to help your daughters learn to care for their fingernails

I have a confession to make. When I trained as a beauty therapist back in 2005 and then did my diploma in 2007, I had no intention of working as a beauty therapist. Being a perfectionist, I wanted to know the secrets of personal maintenance: how to take care of myself and to teach my future children to look after themselves without using harmful products.

The cost of the training was exorbitant. When I found I was pregnant with my first child, before I completed my beauty training, I went into a bit of financial panic. We had spent money and didn’t expect a baby soon. So, I decided to look at my career options. I used to work as an administrative assistant, and then in customer services and occasionally waiting tables at restaurants, but with the pregnancy came morning sickness and there were some jobs I just could not do. So, I decided to work from home practising my new beauty skills. I had been giving a few ladies free treatment, and I decided to start charging them a small fee. Soon, I was advertising my business and the business grew. But it wasn’t easy. I had my baby monitor and would run upstairs when the baby cried and then back down to finish the treatment. At first this was fun for everyone. The clients loved it. I did too and my baby daughter had her mummy on-call. But after a while it became difficult. I wasn’t enjoying the extra preparation I had to do before a client came. Feeding the baby, changing nappies, putting the baby to sleep, taking our dog for a long walk so she wouldn’t bark when the clients were here. All this was stressful. So, I worked for six months and then took a long break and reopened my service when I felt I could cope. I had loyal clients who went to other therapists but came back to me when I re-opened. This continued until I finally closed the business permanently in 2020 when Covid-19 started to be mentioned in the news.

This wasn’t just my decision, but a family decision. Being a single mum, I like to include Mummy and children in some important decisions that affect our lives. I have three children: ages 12 to 9, and they have never experienced having our house just being ours. It was shared with my clients even though my clients didn’t meet my children.

My children shared their thoughts about their wish to just have our home as ours and not to share. So, in order for me to not be tempted to reopen the business, I turned my old beauty room into a kids’ entertainment room. It’s not perfect, but they love it. And it feels so good to just walk around the house and know it is our space, our home. I am still working from home but this time it is different. I am selling stuff online and coaching via video chat which means that we don’t have strangers on the doorstep any more.


That is when I noticed my relationship with my two daughters changing. They wanted to learn to take care of their little bodies. They used to ask me questions and I was so tired I would brush them off with ‘ I’ll tell you later’ excuses. I now have the energy to sit down with them, talk to them and work out the answers.

My two daughters asked me about looking after their nails. They wanted long nails. I explained that during the holidays and lockdown I was okay with them letting their nails grow, but when they went back to school, they had to cut them short.

In part, the lockdown has brought my children and me even closer. And they are closer with each other than ever. They still have the five-minute-sibling sibling fights, but not that often.

This is what I shared with my daughters regarding nails

1. Nail Biting: Don’t do it. One of my daughters used to like biting her nails. I explained that biting your nails all the time causes a bacterial infection that slows skin and nail growth. So, first thing was to stop biting. I made it clear that if they wanted me to help them, the nail-biting had to stop.

2. Always Start With: The base coat Apply the nail polish using the base coat first. The base coat acts like proactive solider, protecting the layer between the nail polish and the top layer of the nail.

3. Multivitamins: Take them All my children have grown up knowing the importance of taking multivitamins. I told them to continue to take them every morning. It will help them with nail growth and help strengthen their immune system.
4. Last, but not least; They have to practise for themselves I was going to paint their nails but decided to let them do it themselves. I bought them their kit and encouraged them to practise on each other. They have now become very proficient and are proud to come and show me their masterpieces.

My girls listen to what I teach them. We disagree on some things. I am not always right. Teaching is not about being right all the time. It is about learning together. I teach them, but sometimes they teach me We all learn better when we share what we know. Both teacher and taught. The goal behind my initial beauty training has started to unfold before my very eyes.

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Dyslexia and Me

Dear Reader,

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for visiting Learn Together Grow. I really appreciate your support.

The name Learn Together Grow came about in a discussion with my three beautiful children while driving them to school one morning.  So, it is special to us, and I hope it will become special to you and your family too.

Learn Together Grow is a place where, through mindful coaching, we can all learn meaningful life skills. It includes overcoming learning difficulties such as dyslexia ( which is something I have), but it is not limited to that sort of diiffculty. It may be something more straightforward such as learning to overcome the fear of revisiting missed educational opportunities. Going  to college or university, or gathering the courage and resolve to launch out in business or in some other way. Learn Together Grow does what it says. It is about learning together and growing together. I bring my life experiences and learning difficulties and coaching experience to the table to inspire and help you to develop your own potential and achieve your goals.

On our website you will find  inspirational, instructional and lifestyle articles helping you to move towards your desires and goals.

 As I have said, I have dyslexia as do my children. I struggled at school, but people just assumed I was lazy and stupid. I struggled at college after leaving school and, later, had problems at work reading instructions. it wasn’t until I gave up hope and decided to study beauty treatment and therapy so I could work for myself that I realised there was a problem. Everyone was excelling, but I was struggling to process information in the classroom.  It would take me weeks before I could grasp one module. One of my classmates had these coloured papers for her texts, and I asked why her texts were in different colours. She explained to me that she had dyslexia. As I tried reading text from her papers something just felt right.  But I still could not work out what the problem was.

I could not, of course, take her materials  home with me, but I explained to my teacher that I was able to read the text better on the coloured papers my classmate had. I was told that I needed to go and get tested with a dyslexia organisation in Leeds. The Beauty College organised it and I went. The dyslexia organisation couldn’t diagnose me fully. They explained that because English is not my first language they could not be absolutely sure, but I displayed some signs of dyslexia and some of those were not processing information quickly and a lack comprehension.

So, I spent over 14 years searching  ways for me to learn, and I studied many online courses before, in 2015, plucking up the courage to attend a classroom training. I was scared. My body was shaking and I couldn’t focus. I believed that everyone was better and smarter then me. But I continued going. And I started doing well. I acquired a qualification for teaching in the Adult Learning sector, and also one for teaching English as a second language. I then studied counselling and I got my diploma at level 4. I couldn’t believe it. From there I pushed on until I got to study for a Postgraduate certificate in Business and Executive coaching at level 7 which I just completed before my 40th birthday this past August.

When you have a learning difficulty it is hard to share it with others. If you do, some people will empathize with you, but others will just assume that you are lazy.

I believe the learning difficulties that you may be facing are an opportunity for you to stare the situation down, challenge it and see where your courage and confidence will take you.

My learning difficulties have lead me to help others in the same position. I have helped single mums in smilar positions who felt they could not face the challenges of life, but they have gathered together their courage and made a success of learning and growing.

When I am not running  Learn Together Grow, I have gone back to studing for my GCSE in Maths. I didn’t pass it at school, and I wanted to understand the subject and also help my children with their maths homework. That is my current challenge.

To support the Learn Together Grow mission, please subscribe, leave your comment and share  with your friends and family.

Thank you

3 simple ways to slow down

Covid-19 has brought added stress, insecurity and fear into our lives. No matter what your background you have to admit we are worried. About our jobs, finances, families. There have been reports describing increases in divorce rates during this Covid-19 pandemic leaving children to be raised in broken homes. Stress and money worries prevent us from seeing the beautiful lives we have created for our families. We cannot change the past or what we said yesterday, but we can change today, doing those things we need to do to find inner peace and tranquillity. We need to let go of stress and allow our minds to locate calmness so we can have better clarity and decision- making for ourselves and our family.
Learn Together Grow is a coaching service that helps not just to promote and encourage those with learning difficulties but also those who are looking to make changes in their lives by creating a calm way of living and acquiring stress reduction techniques.
Ines Newell, the founder of Learn Together Grow has tried the following methods to help find tranquillity and peace in troubling times.

1. Going Camping
Mother nature knows what she is doing. She has some of the best stress release techniques for getting us to slow down. Have you considered camping? The numbers of people going camping have noticeably increased during the lockdown. I have been camping in Edale and the Lake District recently and there is no doubt that people are appreciating the value of nature. She has a way of making us slow down. No, you don’t have all the comforts of home, but it is marvellous to sleep in the tent after using the BBQ to cook your supper and get up in the morning to look outside the tent and appreciate the glory of nature, have a leisurely prepared breakfast and then go walking in the hills and lakes being greeted by friendly and warm people, and when the evening shadows lengthen and night falls to gaze at the vastness of the darkened sky and wonder at the twinkling stars and planets.

2. Comedy
Do you want to drain off your energy and diminish your enthusiasm for life? Then turn on the news or pick up a newspaper. On the other hand, if you want to get the bounce back in your life watch at least thirty minutes of comedy a day. Comedy works. It sets something positive off in your life. Good comedy is like a release valve for the things you are worried about. It drains them away. There is a reason we love to laugh. It is like taking medicine. Take your medicine and whilst you are taking it to take time for a laugh.

3. Give Yourself Permission

You don’t have to be given permission to do things. We are in a season where it seems we need permission to do all manner of things. There is a list of things we cannot do. Life has been limited. Turn this around and begin to give yourself permission to do things. Stop looking for others to validate what you are doing. Try doing something you have not done before. It doesn’t have to be planning to climb Mount Everest or a trek in the jungle. Let me start you off with something small and simple. Here is an exercise:

• Breathe in slowly three times and breathe out slowly three times.

• After each time say the following three times:

‘I am sorry I feel stressed. But it is okay. My mind is calmer now, and I know I can deal with my difficulties. I am becoming stronger.’

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As Anyone Climbing With Long Fingernails?

Hello everyone,

I do a bit of indoor and outdoor rock climbing and with lockdown, I haven’t done any climbing. I naturally have long fingernails that are strong and last a long time months before their break. I take care for my nails, coming from a beauty background your appearance is important from head to toe. I’m a member of the climbing group and I posted the following text:

‘This a stupid question to ask I know but I wanted to know as a lady going climbing with long fingernails? I naturally have long nails. I used to cut them when I was beauty therapist as used to do a lot of massage treatments but since the lockdown, I closed my beauty business and I have started another business which means I don’t have to cut my nails any more but I’m worried about going climbing.

Any advice to keep my nails and still go climbing?’

What is your advice? And don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates