Build confidence and unleash your inner power

Build confidence and unleash your inner power

My name is Dionne I’m a Confidence Coach and I’m known as the Confidence Queen which I love! I’m also a proud mummy of two beautiful girls. My passion is teaching individuals how to elevate their confidence and unleash their inner power.

My name is Dionne I’m a Confidence Coach and I’m known as the Confidence Queen which I love! I’m also a proud mummy of two beautiful girls. My passion is teaching individuals how to elevate their confidence and unleash their inner power. My confidence wasn’t always high. In fact, rewind 5 years and I was a completely different woman. I was pregnant with my second child and found myself single at 5 months pregnant. Shortly after the birth of my second child my dad passed away. My Dad was my rock and devastated was an understatement. My fiancé had already moved on and was expecting a child with another woman. I had two businesses to run, two children to look after and my world literally started to crumble. Although each day I got up, did the school run, paid wages to staff and smiled inside I was dying. It was the darkest time of my life. My confidence was a 2. I felt a failure, I didn’t love myself, I felt like I had no strength and completely lost my identity. I had no inner belief in my capabilities at all. It took me 3 years to truly find myself and turn my life around to the point where I am now. I learned how to elevate my confidence and my self-esteem. I understand how hard it is to navigate the high’s and low’s life throws at us and being a parent only naturally adds to anxiety, it comes with stresses and sometimes we forget to take time or don’t have the time for our own self-care.

If right now your confidence is low and you’re struggling to find yourself let me give you some little tips to kick start your confidence. Confidence doesn’t disappear, it’s a muscle that needs to be worked. To create an impact these tips are best practiced regularly.

  1. Stop the comparison – You are beautiful, and you are enough! You are perfectly imperfect. From today stop comparing yourself, your life, your parenting skills, your body etc with others. Somebody else’s beauty, success, life doesn’t detract from yours. Focus on you, your journey, your goals and watch your confidence increase.
  2. You create your own happiness – Your happiness doesn’t depend on anybody else or anything. Think bout what makes you happy that you have full control over, now how can you incorporate more of that in your day-to-day life?
  3. Destroy the negative thoughts – Negative thoughts are like weeds. They don’t need sunshine or TLC to thrive and grow. They grow and multiply and take over. If you want a beautiful garden, you have to destroy the weeds. Think of your mind as that beautiful garden. Negative thoughts suppress confidence and self-esteem. Get tough with yourself, look at the positive in every situation.
  4. Do one thing each week that scares you. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. There’s nothing better to improve your confidence than doing something you thought you couldn’t or that scared you. Now I’m not saying to go paragliding, it could be something really small but significant to you.
  5. Try to get enough sleep. Getting too little or too much sleep can have a big impact on how you feel.
  6. Set small goals, such as trying a recipe, learning the days of the week in a new language or simply looking for information on something you’d like to do.

I don’t believe anybody should have to wait so long to find themselves again. I teach individuals how to intensify and strengthen confidence in all areas of their lives, elevate their self-esteem to a higher level, learn to unconditionally love themselves, and unleash the inner power that propels them into living a life of abundance. I’m obsessed with teaching people how to master their mindset which lies at the core of their success.

Start with the tips I have given you and feel the difference. You are amazing and you have everything required within you to live the life of your dreams. Believe and have faith in you. You haven’t come this far to just come this far.

Credit – Dionne Ruddock, Coaching with Dionne,

Confidence Queen

Mental Health And Lock Down

Mental Health And Lock Down

We are super excited to introduce to you the latest member of our Huddl family – The lovely Nicole Henry, a highly experienced child counselor, owner of ‘My Tea’ magazine and most importantly a proud mummy to her little boy!

Hi Huddl family,

I’m so excited to join you all! I look forward to assisting and being a support to all the the lovely families you have on board.

I’m Nicole Henry, I am a mother to my 15 month year old son Noah. I am a child counsellor by profession and support children from the age of 5-18 years old. My expertise covers a range of subject areas such as bullying, anxiety, abuse, parental separation, selective mutism, bereavement/ loss, depression and many more. I am the founder of My TEA (Therapy Equates to Awareness) magazine, I created this magazine after the first UK lockdown as I was concerned for many children I had worked with previously but also children that are not deemed as vulnerable. I wanted therapy to be accessible to all children. It’s a light hearted magazine that informs children on different mental health topics which includes activities, articles and testimonials and much more. For more details you can visit my website,

I believe that mental health for children has the same level of importance as it does for adults. Therefore it is important for children to tell their own story in order to reduce mental health issues. Following the pandemic children have had to adapt and work with all the new changes just the same way as us parents. However children’s concerns and worries have been expressed in a slightly different way.

Children have had to deal with loss in many different aspects. This includes loss of loved ones, loss of times spent at school, loss of celebrations such as birthdays and end of year exams.

The aftermath of this has lead to children feeling quite anxious and worrying about tomorrow and the future. Statistics have shown that rates of likely mental disorders have increased since 2017. In 2020, one in 16.0% children aged 5 to 16 years were identified as having a probable mental disorder, increasing from 10.8% in 2017.  The increase was evident in both boys and girls. This is a significant increase we as parents and professionals have to do all we can to support our children.

Anxiety is an emotion that is triggered from feeling quite tense, scared or worried about something. This can cause restlessness, feeling on-edge, trouble sleeping or lack of concentration, avoiding or withdrawing yourself from situations and having a loss of appetite. Symptoms can manifest in different ways as we are all different. 

The best way to manage these feelings is firstly to acknowledge it is present. Depending on how your child communicates, drawing can be a great tool to get them to express how they feel. If they are able to express themselves through conversation then that should be encouraged. Once you have an understanding of how they feel, you can direct them to someone within the profession of mental health care such as a counsellor to seek guidance to work with your child to overcome or manage these emotions.

As we are in our second lockdown I thought it would be a good time to give you all some tips to get through with ease.

Lockdown 2.0 Tips

  1. Daily exercise – I want to encourage you to go out for daily exercise and fresh air. This is very beneficial as it helps to regain focus and switch off from things that are taking place at home, such as working from home. Most importantly it helps to maintain a good healthy lifestyle.
  2. Create a routine – Creating some kind of structure always helps with time management and completing tasks. It’s great that children are able to attend school during this lockdown. This will help take some pressure away from you as parents to manage working/studying from home and looking after children.
  3. Check in – Setting some time aside to bond and check in with your children to see how things are is a great way to build trust and for your child to have confidence to share any concerns or worries. Ways in which this can be built is through activities such as cooking together, painting or drawing together, watching a tv show/movie and discussing the moral of the story.
  4. Make the most of each weekend – As the weeks fly by really enjoy the weekends with your children, fun activities such as making slime, going to the park and playing football or movie days, can really change the atmosphere and bring joy. If possible, I encourage parents to try to have a ‘Me day’ to look after your own mental health.
  5. Remain positive! – My final point would be to remain positive throughout this period. I understand that many maybe under strain for many different reasons but try and find the positive in each situation. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

If you have any worry or concerns you can email your anonymous questions to and I’ll answer them on my new monthly BablBox column. 

Speak soon, 

Love Nicole x

mental health, nicole henry, anxiety, children

COVID-19 lockdown Do’s and Don’t for families

COVID-19 lockdown Do’s and Don’t for families

COVID-19 lockdown is in progress, school is out and children are at home. So what are the do’s and don’t of this health crisis.

New Year hopes and dreams seem to be a distant memory, as we are living in very uncertain times due to COVID-19. A few months ago COVID-19 lockdown was something that we never actually believed would happen. It has separated families. Left many people stranded all over the world with no means to return home.

Parents are now faced with having to not only homeschool their children but to work from home simultaneously. Huge financial difficulties lay ahead for people.. Incomes have been lost, profits depleted and jobs paused.

COVID-19 lockdown

Our lockdown started at 8.30 pm on Monday the 23rd of March. People’s movements have been limited and people told to stay at home to help save our NHS. Many will say the Boris Johnson has not been strict enough. Many will say that he is holding back vital testing for frontline staff.

But the truth is never has a Prime Minister in our history faced the pandemic that Boris Johnson is facing. Not one person among us can honestly say they could do a better job. We are all struggling to deal with the possibilities of losing loved ones or even becoming ill ourselves.

What should we be doing – The do’s

First of all, we should all be following government guidelines on social distancing. We should also be staying at home and helping to stop the spread of this virus. But then what….well we all need to take a breath and a step back!

Consider the following DO give yourself a break. Boris Johnson is not the only one facing a pandemic for the first time. We need to allow ourselves the time to embrace our new way of life – all be it temporary.

DO sit and chat with your children about what is going on in the world. It’s better for them to hear it from you rather than the news. It will help put their minds at rest. It will also give them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

DO make sure you keep in contact with family. We are fortunate that we have fantastic technology, Facebook, video calling and Zoom. These help us stay in touch with the people we love even when we are separated!! this will help pass the day for not just your children but the family they can not be with at the moment.

At the end of the day pour yourself a big glass of wine and be so damn proud that you made it through the day. It may not have been perfect but who cares!

What Should We Not be Doing – The Don’t

DO NOT stress about homeschooling. You are not a teacher. There is no way on earth that you can recreate a classroom setting. I am not saying do not teach your children but there are other ways to do it.

If you have a little one who is learning numbers or letter recognition. Let them draw them in chalk, paint them or draw them in the sand. If your children are learning about animals there are some fantastic websites available. Chester Zoo now has a live link to their animals, where you can watch them being fed and learn about the individual animal.

DO NOT worry about household chores. The dishes are not done or the laundry isn’t folded as it usually is (really who does this). It is a time for reflection, to enjoy the time we have with our families.

Finally, COVID-19 lockdown lifted

And when we finally have our lives back. When COVID-19 is in the past. The first thing we should do is embrace our parents, grandparents, friends or neighbours. Enjoy a simple walk in the park when you can greet another human being with not only a smile but share a conversation where you can stand shoulder to shoulder. Where the only people needing to wear gloves and masks are Doctors, Nurses or Dentists

The human race is an amazing species. We have overcome so much in our time on this earth and I have no doubt we will overcome again. But what will be the cost? How many lives will be lost? How much debt will the country be in by the end of it?

We will never again be the same, lives have been changed, paths altered. But what I do know is that we will owe a debt of gratitude to all our amazing frontline staff from Doctors, Nurses, Shop workers, Lorry drivers and many many more!

Finnish School System vs the UK

Finnish School System vs the UK

The Finnish school system is worlds apart from our current UK system. Are we in a position to be able to implement these kinds of changes in the UK?

The Finnish school system is worlds apart from our own but can we learn from this system? Can we make changes to our own education system and produce the same results?

Questions like these are asked about our current education system all the time. We are told that more children leave primary school unable to read than ever before. Exams are getting easier and our schools are oversubscribed and unable to cope. We have an increasing shortage of teachers and many that do teach hate the politics they have to endure! So where next?

There are no standardised tests

There are no standardised tests for children. The matriculation exam is the only mandatory test and it is set at the end of Vocational Senior High School. While in the UK children from the age of 6 are tested for their academic abilities.

Many say that without this testing system that we have in the UK it would be impossible for teaching staff to assess a childs progress. But the figures from Finland show a very different story. Their figures show that Finlands education system is far superior to that of the UK with 66% of students attending university and 93% of students graduating from High School.

Teachers have to be highly qualified

Finnish teachers have to sit a Masters degree before they are allowed to step into a classroom. Teachers are picked from the top 10% of the highest achieving graduates and because of this, they are given far more respect. Society grants them the same status as other professions, such as Doctors and Lawyers.

There are also many routes into teaching in the UK, with such shortages in qualified teachers this does seem to be quite a sensible option. But does that mean that our teachers are less qualified? Is children’s education severely impacted by a lack of quality?

Teachers have more freedom in the classroom

Teachers in the UK have to follow a strict curriculum with very little if any room for experimenting or change. This is one of the issues that teachers have is the lack of flexibility in the current curriculum that they teach.

The curriculum in Finland is less structured, there are no set texts and as the children are not tested there are no exams to teach towards. Lesson plans allow for greater flexibility and teachers are given complete control with regard to how they teach.

Another reason that Finland appears to lead the way is that because their teachers have such strong academic backgrounds they are fully supported. Their education system is not political so there are no boundaries to schools or teachers using experimental teaching techniques.

Homework isn’t widely used

It is not the case that there is no homework given in Finnish schools there is just significantly less of it than in British schools. In Finland, most of their education happens in the classroom which limits the amount of homework to begin with.

Due to parents knowing that their children are being taught by some of the most educated people in society, they fully support and back the teaching staff. This then means that time would otherwise be spent doing homework is spent building relationships with family and friends.

Children do not start school until they are 7 years old

Children do not start formal schooling until they are 7 years old. This is one of the biggest differences between the Finnish school system and the UK. Up until that time, they will usually attend a preschool, which 97% of children attend. Their preschools are also free to all!

This preschool time is all about learning through play, socialising rather than any academic learning. Now, this sounds very much like the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Foundation Phase that has been introduced in both England and Wales. The basic principles of these new curricula are learning through play rather than fixed academic lessons.

Finnish system in the UK feasible or not?

The Finnish education system could not be easily implemented in the UK. But that does not mean that it should be completely discounted. After all, the education of our children and generations to come should be the top priority.

Small changes are still changes and can be put in place with the least disruption. Could this be the way to repair our own education system? It could be the difference between us having a generation of thinkers, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers or not!

Mental Health – #bekind

Mental Health – #bekind

Mental health after having a baby can be a fragile being. Both mothers and fathers can suffer from mental health issues arrising from the birth of a child.

Mental health is at the forefront of every news outlet. Especially over the last 10 days, with the sad news of another celebrity taking their own life. Caroline Flack had reached breaking point, where the only way out she could see was to take her own life. She was a young, talented and beautiful woman but this did not prevent the waste of an amazing life!

If a woman who seemingly appears to have a perfect life can suffer with her mental health. Then it is maybe easier to see and understand how a new parent whether it be a new mum or a new dad can suffer from the same.

Mental Health in parents

As a new parent or even an experienced one, life can be overwhelming. It’s not necessarily the big things but it’s an accumulation of all the little things! From exhaustion, dirty nappies, bottles, midnight feeds, school, trying to run a house, work, keep in touch with friends and so the list goes on.

It is very normal to feel overwhelmed. Becoming a parent has a huge impact on your life. The changes are unprecedented and mind-blowing! But what every single person needs to know is that they are not alone and there is always someone there to support and help you.

Postnatal Depression

The most common form of mental health issues after a baby is born is postnatal depression. This is usually associated with mothers although often fathers can suffer from it too.  It is very common with it affecting at least one in ten women within the first year of their child’s life. This figure is more than likely much higher, as many women still do not seek treatment or help.

Don’t confuse postnatal depression with the baby blues. They are two very different things! Baby blues are ‘normal’ after the birth of a child as hormone levels start to return to normal, this can cause a huge dip. This can affect many women making them weepy, anxious and emotional. But it will usually clear up within the first 10 days.

Postnatal depression is a completely different beast and the effects can be long-reaching. The signs will be different for each person as we all deal with things in different ways. Your friends or partner may even spot the signs before you do.

The signs can range in feelings of sadness that don’t go away, loss of interest in the world, lack of appetite, feelings of self-loathing to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Many mums have good days and bad days. But if you are feeling these continually then you need to seek help and support from a professional, you could approach your health visitor or doctor.

Traumatic birth- the aftermath

Mental health issues can occur many years after birth but can be traced back to their earliest moments of motherhood. For me, this is very true. I had a very traumatic birth in which we nearly lost our son, he is now 18 months old. Now as this was not my first pregnancy I very much brushed aside this fact. I got on with life with my new son.

That was a huge mistake on my part, his birth was and still is to this day a bit of a blur. I remember bits and pieces and get flashbacks of them resuscitating him. These feelings have caused me to experience patches of mental health issues that could have been avoided if I had dealt with my traumatic birth straight away. The fear of not being that perfect mother and the stigma of having a label placed on me prevented me from doing so.

Moving Forward

Unfortunately, we are not always aware of how close someone is to the edge. We never know what people are dealing with and because they put a smile on their face we believe that they are happy. This is one of the greatest mistakes that we make as a society. We should be learning from those in the public eye that have taken their own life, that a smile hides an often beaten soul!

So let us teach our children by example. that we need to be kind. Help people up instead of beating them down. Most importantly let us show our children how to be kind to each other.

#bekind #mentalhealth

be kind

Sex after children: The truth of the matter

Sex after children: The truth of the matter

Sex after children, the truths and realities from both sides of the fence and how to get that spark back in your relationship.

More marriages breakdown in the first 18 months after a child is born, than at any other time. It’s safe to say that sex after children or the lack of it puts extreme pressure on even the strongest of relationships. This causes relationship stress for both mums and dads!

The problem often occurs before the baby is born, during pregnancy! Couples experience a kind of euphoria and extreme closeness as they pick out nursery colours and baby names. As a couple, you fall into the belief that you’ll parent as equals and are going on this journey together. How wrong could we have been?

Birth and beyond- sex after children

The stress and chaos of birth have subsided. Both parties are on very different paths. Women are embracing being a mother. We feel that our sole purpose on this earth is to love and protect that tiny bundle that we birthed. Men are expected to provide financial and emotional support. Now, this may be harder than our men think. Fathers are the caring birth partners during antenatal. But they are unprepared for their postnatal role.

In their new role, many men are in unfamiliar territory. With huge concern about where they fit into this new family dynamic. Concerns about their partners’ lack of interest in them not only sexually but emotionally arise and this is when relationships start to break down.

Postnatal Blur…

In this postnatal blur of changing nappies, 3 hourly feeds (if you’re lucky) and sleep or the extreme lack of it, as you can imagine sex is something that for us women can take a backseat. But for a man who is no longer the center of his lovers’ life, it’s a harsh reality check!

As women, we put our children not only first but second and third and the men in our lives come a poor fourth. This is not a reflection on our wonderful long-suffering partners but more to do with a change in priorities. We mums get everything that we need from our new baby and this heightens our disinterest in sex and quickly becomes a metaphor for our disinterest in him.

How we see ourselves

Sex is complicated after children. Apart from the sheer exhaustion that we feel as new mothers, the fact our bodies no longer look or feel like they belong to us, those few extra pounds make us really self-conscious and this makes us feel anything but sexy!

All of this coupled with our overwhelming need to be the perfect mother. Never asking for help, as we see this as a weakness and pure exhaustion. Sex drive plummets to all-time lows!!

Protecting our sex lives!

Our little ones can easily suck the life out of our sex lives. It’s quite ironic when that exact act is what got them here. As parents, we need to protect our sex lives and that intimate couple time we long for.

Before their birth sex was spontaneous, exciting and plentiful. Now, it’s like booking an appointment to get your car serviced. Like that, it only happens once a year! Do not despair this is not how it has to be!

Sex after children

In order to protect this most sacred couple time, we must put some simple things in place. Ask for help, schedule a baby sitter even if it’s only once a month. Talk about anything but your children when it is just the two of you. Remember you used to talk about the news, work, friends, etc!

This is not just about sex but reconnecting with your partner, we need to stay tuned in to them so that we can take the opportunity to be intimate when it arises! But most of all we must remember that we love each other and this is the reason we want to have sex in the first place!

New Year new beginnings

New Year new beginnings

New Year, new beginnings for parents that are far important than losing weight, dropping a coffee a day or pledging to go to the gym every day!

New Year, new beginnings, the time for change. It’s the time of year when everyone is thinking about big changes for the New Year ahead. These range from losing that baby weight, starting a new business or going back to the gym and sticking to it. But with all that’s going on in the world are these really the most important changes that we can make as parents. New Year, new beginnings need to be different for parents. They need to start off the New year less stressed and more focused!

New year new beginnings for parents

We are all so busy, rushing from one thing to the next. Never is this truer than for parents who are trying to juggle work, school, childcare, and 6 million other things. So at a time when we are pledging to make big changes for the year that lays ahead, where exactly should those changes be made to make the greatest difference to our lives. There are a few things that we can do as parents to ease ourselves into the new year.

New Year resolution of time

Find some time in the day, that you can give your child or children your undivided attention. That means no multi-tasking, no phones, no laptops, no distractions. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, it could be your bedtime routine, family dinner, walking the dog or playing on the floor. Try to find time in the day when you are both at your best and can really enjoy each other’s company. This time should be the best part of your day to strengthen your bond.

Let the small things slide

Our little people often test our patience to breaking point. This is not personal, it’s just their way of finding their way through this minefield of a life. So take a deep breath or several depending on what kind of day you have had and breathe! Try to get down to their level and understand their confusion and frustration. Help them to calm down and identify how they are feeling. If you try to relate you stand more chance of connecting with them and helping them find a solution. This should in turn help to lessen these outbursts and can be turned into a fantastic learning opportunity.

Don’t compare yourself to other parent’s

We are so committed to ensuring that our children have the best lives that we are often unkind to ourselves. But why wouldn’t we when we are bombarded with the lives of “perfect” parents on every form of social media. It’s hard to not compare ourselves but what we don’t see are the lives behind those photographs. What we need to do is stop adding those pressures to our already extremely stressful lives and concentrating on the things we may or may not be doing.

Instead, we need to focus on are WE doing everything that WE can to ensure our children live happy, healthy and productive lives. Priority needs to be given to building great relationships both with your partner and your children.

New Year, new beginnings…

Looking forward to a new year is so important. But being kind to ourselves as we navigate the worries, stresses and endless feelings of never quite getting this parenting thing right is the most important!!!!!

How do I know when it’s the right time to have a baby?

How do I know when it’s the right time to have a baby?

Who can say when it’s the right time to have a baby? It’s a very personal question to answer, but by weighing up some of these factors, only you can say when it is the right time. Considering work, your relationship, finances and balancing life and children can be the key to identifying when the time is right for you.

So, when is the right time to have a baby? In the movies, if a woman takes a pregnancy test, one of two things happens. She either cries with joy or falls to the floor in tears of fear and panic. In real life, it’s more complicated than that.

For me, I was about 97% joyful. I was 24, married and living in a beautiful home. It was what we planned for, but I still couldn’t help but think about how a baby was going to affect my career. Was this the right time to have a baby?

I was scared. I hadn’t quite mastered putting my laundry away after washing it, how was I going to be a mom and maintain some semblance of a life? Had I done everything that I should have? Should I have gone on one more big vacation? Should I have secured at least one more promotion? Was I ready to start ‘baby’ chapter of my life?


Women are having babies later in life than ever before. It’s difficult to avoid the fact that biology plays a part in how easy or difficult it can be to have a child.

One question that would run through my head was ‘Do I want to be an older mom?’ Being a young mom meant I would have the energy to enjoy my children. This meant taking a career break. I watched my friends move up in their careers, buy bigger houses, and go on luxurious holidays while I stayed at home and tried to manoeuvre  a 2-year-old with a 3-month-old attached to me!

My friends that waited to have children had secured their positions at work, had beautiful homes and great experiences under their belts. The obstacles they faced were biological. Some fell pregnant easily, some had to wait years and some turned to IVF for help.


While your career may be progressing well, it’s important to consider your employer’s maternity package. Many employers require you to be a permanent member of staff for at least 18 months before employees can claim their maternity packages. Having seniority, experience and credibility can make it easier when you return to work. You won’t be starting from scratch to build their trust in you to work flexibly and manage your responsibilities.

Your relationship

This sounds obvious, but your relationship needs to be in a healthy state. There seems to be an old school of thought around a baby fixing your relationship issues. I can assure you, it won’t. A baby can add an immense amount of stress to even the strongest of relationships. 

If you’re facing issues in your relationship and are looking for some help, this is not the right time to have a baby.  Women especially can fall victim to the pressures of society when it comes to having children. Listen to your voice and be confident that you are making the best decision for yourself and your family.


Having a baby is expensive. While initial costs associated with having a baby seem manageable, childcare can be a strain. Our nursery costs were comparable to having a second mortgage! Do some research into nurseries and nannies in your area to see what this means for you and your partner.


You may not think that a baby will affect your friendships, but being the first in your group to have a child can leave you somewhat lonely. Having a few friends with children can be a great support, especially as a new mother. There are also groups like NCT that can help in making new friends with children in your area. I have been guilty of telling friends considering if it’s the right time to have a baby to ‘go for it’. I love being a mom, and they will too, right? Maybe not!

The right time

Who can say when it’s the right time to have a baby? It’s a very personal question to answer, but by weighing up some of these factors, only you say when it is the right time. Throw away your pre-baby bucket list and don’t expect to be 100% ready. If you do find out that you are pregnant, rest assured that you can make it work if you want to, like you always do!