A Day With... Tamu Thomas
We begin 2018 with A Day With features from us! Starting with me, Tamu. A little bit about me, well you know I co-founded this space with Leah. I am an Independent Social Worker, mother and I am launching a lifestyle brand for women in April this year called Three Sixty.
I set my alarm for... It depends... also setting the alarm doesn't guarantee getting up.. Usually I set my alarm(s) for for 5:30, 5:40, 5:45 then press snooze until 6:40 and regret pressing snooze as the 'sleep' between 5:30 and 6:40 is total trash and I knew it would be each time I reached out and pressed snooze!
I actually get up at… Well... in the summer I can get up earlier with no problem as the sunlight is my natural alarm. On a week day I am always up in time to sort packed lunch, ask my daughter why she is taking so long, cook her breakfast (yes cook, most cereal is trash and not filling), see her to the door give her a kiss and watch as she disappears off into the world.
I must say waking up has been better since I started taking a really high dose of vitamin D prescribed by my GP (get your vitamin D levels checked ladies please) and since having a consultation with Le'Nise Brothers (Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, specialising in women’s health, anxiety, depression and weight loss). Not only did Le'Nise suggest foods to eat to rebuild my immune system (my immune system isn't working very well at the moment), boost my iron and vitamin D absorbtion. Le'Nise really explained how my aliments are interlinked, what it means and how it they impact my body. Light bulbs went off all over the place. I got used to feeling like I was operating on half full/ empty. Le'Nise told me that I have a right to feel energised (who knew!?) and that this is an achievable goal so I'm following her advice and am seeing improvements.
My morning rituals are... Until very recently I have had grandiose ideas of a morning ritual based on the words of self help books and self proclaimed experts *insert gritting teeth emoji*. Obviously I didn't stick to any of them! Not because of commitment, ok a little bit but, mainly because: 1) self help was not helpful as it couldn't address deeper issues, 2) I need to work towards daily early morning yoga and mediation. Thinking I could change my morning habits overnight was naive at best! 3) I need to be connected to what I am doing rather than doing is because I should.
I joined Nicola Rae Wickham's A Life More Inspired mastermind group in November 2017 and she helped me to develop a ritual that works for me. Nicola and I were talking about negative self talk and she suggested that I could break this pattern by talking to myself like I am my best friend. Now I start my day by sitting at the edge of my bed with my eyes closed and my feet on the floor and tell myself that I am my best friend until it drowns out other noise. Sounds cheesy I know, the first time I did it my inner voice told me to fuck off and I told it fo fuck off back (giggles)! Since then my inner voice occasionally rolls its eyes as it walks into the distance. I follow this by saying thank you for whatever comes to mind, setting an intention about the way I want to feel throughout the day and remind myself to keep things simple. It all takes about 5 minutes. and it is working rather well.
What do you do next?... Have an internal debate about checking social media. Leah or I generally have an instagram post to share in the morning, I try to post and go... I try. Oh I also roll my eyes then appreciate the meme with dodgy sound effects my mum sends invariably with a bible quote wishing my siblings and I a good day with tips on how to avoid getting cancer #immigrantparent woes/ WhatsApp wahala.
To wake my kid up I… I go into her room and kiss her angelic looking face until she opens her eyes and asks for five more minutes!
For breakfast I have… I try to make smoothies as much as possible as I am trying to boost my energy levels and my daughter thinks that fresh fruit and veg are her nemesis! I usually cook breakfast so it may be fish fingers, scrambled eggs and beans. If I'm on a health drive it will be scrambled eggs and sautéed spinach or a green veg soup (yep its as yummy as it sounds!). Failing that, porridge!
My go to outfit is… What ever is clean and goes with trainers! It also depends on what I am doing if I need to be smart its often dark trousers, dark blazer and a white shirt, classic. If it is an 'average' day it is usually jeans and a comfy top. a jumpsuit or a dress. I like 1 piece outfits like dresses and jumpsuits as you put it on and your outfit is pretty much complete. In the summer months its always colourful.
I chose my career/ job because… I didn't know what else to do, my mum was a foster carer and I saw the impact social workers had on children and felt called to join the profession. I left full time social work in 2016 and now do specialist independent assessments. This allows me to control my work and be more present in my daughter's and my life. It has also created space for me to do more for Motherhood Reconstructed and also to start working on my brand. The brand is called Three Sixty and it aims to create space for women to simplify elements of their lives so they can focus on the big stuff and experience everyday joy.
Describe your typical work day… There is no real typical day but currently I start the day by doing something to do with developing Three Sixty. My work social work day can vary from visiting children, parents, attending court hearings, supervising or training staff, attending meetings or a little bit of all that!
For lunch I… Eat leftovers or home made soup, since speaking with Le'Nise I have got into making hearty soups, perfect for this time of year. If I am out and haven't packed a lunch I get a soup from Pret and a ridiculously priced popcorn bar that I never would have known about if Leah didn't introduce me to them!!! They cost about £1,000.99!!! (but they are oh so good!).
My biggest career related achievement is… Despite the constraints imposed by successive governments I have been able to really advocate on the behalf of the children and families I have worked with as a social worker. I have also made a difference to the lives of people of non British backgrounds who may have been judged unfairly because assumptions were made due to their cultural or religious backgrounds.
In terms of Three Sixty actually starting it is a huge achievement as I was really scared of failing. I still have some fear but it pales in comparison to the range of positive feelings I have about succeeding.
I dread work when… I know that a parent has really tried to make changes that will enable them to care for their children but they just can't for whatever reason. Three Sixty however feels like a soul mate. I know there will be challenges but when souls connect there is an electrical charge that cannot be dampened!
If I could exchange my career for any career in the world it would be… because… I am not exchanging as such and although Three Sixty hasn't launched yet, it feels like my calling.
At the end of the work day I… I don't really have a work day, I stop when my daughter is home from school and start again when she goes to bed. This work could be social work, Motherhood Reconstructed or Three Sixty related. I try not to do this every evening. I stop working about an hour before I go to bed otherwise my sleep isn't restful and I wake up tense and fatigued.
The first thing I do when I get home is…Take my shoes of, wash my hands and take the bobby pins out of my wig!
My go to dinner is... Rice and some form of stew, curry, sauce containing chicken and vegetables.
I unwind with… Chats with my daughter, laughter usually courtesy of my mum she is the funniest person I know, chats with my bff, podcasts, or an audio book. The podcast app and audible are probably the apps I use for the longest duration.
Before I go to bed I… Have an internal debate about going on social media, end up on instagram, send my friends funny meme's by DM. Read an affirmation card and add a note to my blessings jar, message my WhatsApp pals for last min lols then listen to an audio book or podcast. Sometimes I read, I am trying to read more as I enjoy reading when I get into it. We are starting a book club IRL. It will launch in March so keep your eyes peeled!