How to Be a Happier Mama

Offspring; the apple of your eye, your sweet little darlings, sponges of love, thieves of sleep and all round controllers of life. They give you joy you’ve never experienced and love you’ve never known. But that doesn’t mean they’re not bloody hard work, their moods can change completely at the mere wake of a nap – or lack thereof – taking the day in a completely different, frazzled direction.

I’m a natural worrier, but I want Henry to look back on his childhood and remember me laughing and smiling rather than with an expression of stress etched across my face. So far this year I’ve been pretty successful in embracing a new-found laid-back persona, so much so that I actually think I’ve always been relaxed and carefree, and started masquerading as a highly strung worry wart around 2011 when I had the job from hell. So here are a few tips I’ve found to leave me feeling chirpy, because happy big = happy little:

Take each day at a time…

I used to panic at the prospect of a week without plans, worry about the future, in particular –  returning to work. It turns out that I’m not going back to work and the decision was largely out of my control so I spent far too many hours wasted worrying. I’ve learned to take each day as it come and it ultimately means I’m living more in the present, enjoying moments as they happen and not having them tainted by fretting about what may or may not happen the next day, week, month or year.

…But that’s not to say don’t have goals intentions*.

While I like to take each day at a time I also like to keep one eye on the future, keeping in mind where I want to be and focusing on the steps I intend to take to get there one at a time, rather than worrying about how I’ll get there. Having children is actually a great time to evaluate what you want in life and even a great time for a career change. I enrolled in a college course which I attend two evenings a week and I intend to work towards a new career which I can work around and adapt to my family. *I recently read a great post about the power of mindfulness, and using terminology to make things feel more achievable. Having intentions, rather than goals doesn’t come with the connotations of failure and is therefore much more positive.

Do something for yourself everyday.

Whether you’re on maternity leave, a stay-at-home-mum or a working mum it’s hard work. Have a little bit of time everyday to do something you enjoy – reading, having a bath, watching Corrie – to keep you sane. If you can’t do it solo that day, walk to the park via the coffee shop, bake a cake, arrange some flowers. There’s loads of grown-up activities that the tiny’s can get involved in too and so everyone’s a winner.

Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air & a smile…

If you’re stuck in the house and everyone’s miserable, it’s amazing how going for a walk can be a game-changer. Smiling is also infectious, be the weirdo who smiles at strangers. You might brighten their day too.

…And don’t overestimate what you see on social media.

People only show what they want you to see. What you see is a beautiful picture of a well-turned-out toddler.  What you don’t see is that ten minutes after the picture was taken, said toddler poured the dogs water down his front. True story. Appreciate a nice picture for what it is, but don’t think the person behind it doesnt share similar problems to you. They probably do.

Choose laughter.

Where you can, when something frustrating happens try to see the funny side rather than how inconvenient it is. Probably best to delay or stifle a giggle when your child is flinging yoghurt at the dog – I like to think of myself as a reasonably responsible parent – but losing your temper over it achieves nothing and it’s probably best to take it in your stride. Embracing a bit of silliness livens up the day. I dance and sing for Henry to distract him from his hunger while I’m making breakfast and he finds it hilarious. His little giggle is contagious so I’ll do (almost) anything for such an appreciative audience.

So there you go, do you have any tips to share?

 

How to be a happy mum http://nowmynameismummy.com/index.php/2017/02/12/how-to-be-a-happier-mama/

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The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum
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33 Comments

  1. February 13, 2017 / 7:00 am

    Those are some great tips. I’m constantly working on being more present and trying to be in the moment, but it’s not always easy because – let’s face it – sometimes toddlers can be boring. I agree that doing something for yourself every day is important too – for me, it’s important to take some time after my daughter has gone to bed to spend time with my husband, watch TV, read a book or eat way too much ice cream. #MarvMondays

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Haha I know! That’s why I like to roll a fun-for-me-too activity into a for-baby activity! Thank you for commenting x

  2. February 13, 2017 / 9:20 am

    Ahh this is a lovely post Claire, I think my biggest struggle when the kids were smaller was being unable to control *everything* in the same way as life pre-kids! A more laid back attitude is the only way to stay sane at times I think! Totally agree that sometimes you just have to laugh (or you’ll cry!) 😉 #BigPinklink

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Yes! Life is slower and much less ordered and it takes some adjustment!thank you for reading and commenting x

  3. February 13, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Totally with you on getting fresh air. It’s easy to end up climbing the walls when you’re all cooped up indoors, but a change of scenery can make all the difference. I also wrote something similar about social media not being all it seems and it’s one of the reasons I dislike it as it gives a false impression of our lives. Thanks for linking up to #marvmondays x

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve started to think it more and more with social media, it can be so dangerous! .

  4. February 13, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    I used to be exactly the same about a week without plans-I’d plan every day with military precision, and panic if there was nothing for us to do, even for just one day. Now, most of my friends have gone back to work, so I only have a couple around 2 days of the week, to do things with. The rest of the time, I make plans around what the boys want to do, or the mood they’re in when they wake up. I also worried about my work situation too, and also ended up not going back! I agree with all of your tips-and you sound like you’ve really taken the bull by the horns by going back to college already, to try and plan a new career for yourself. Taking time for ourselves really does make us happier!
    ps, you really look like Aria from Pretty Little Liars in your profile picture-if you’ve ever seen that show!!
    #bigpinklink

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment! A lot of my friends are starting to go back to work and I thought I’d be at my wits end but I don’t mind! Some days it’s nice to live at a slower pace! I had to google it as I don’t watch PLL, although I’ve always wanted to and although I love you for saying this I can assure you that I look nothing like her in real life, as much as I’d love to! Xxx

  5. February 13, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    Yes to getting out the house! We always go a bit crazy if we stay cooped up for too long. Love this post hun, good luck with your college course xx #bigpinklink

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:34 pm

      Thank you! I get cabin fever, I think Henry does too. Social butterfly in the making I’m sure! X

      • February 19, 2017 / 7:18 pm

        Back again from #BlogCrush.. thanks for linking up with us xx

  6. February 13, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    This is so true. Getting out the house and smiling can actually massively help! I need to work on taking one day at a time though #bigpinklink

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:33 pm

      I find it helps me not stress about things as much! Thank you for reading and commenting x

  7. February 13, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    This is lovely, and such great advice. Also, I too read that post about intentions rather than goals and it has totally stuck with me! #bigpinklink

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Good wasn’t it?! I’m going with that from now on! Thank you for reading and commenting x

  8. February 13, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    #marvmondays fabulous advice and I couldn’t agree more. Making a decision to smile is half the battle won 🙂

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 13, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting, it’s definitely contagious! X

  9. February 14, 2017 / 6:39 am

    I love the choose laughter advice!! #bigpinklink

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 10:03 pm

      Otherwise you’d cry! Thank you! x

  10. February 15, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Great tips here. You definitely need to try and do something for yourself, definitely helps to keep you calm (and sane lol).
    #FamilyFun

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Definitely! Thank you! x

  11. February 15, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    ‘Be the weirdo that smiles at strangers!’ LOVE IT! That is so me! Fab post. #familyfunlinky

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Thank yoU! x

  12. February 15, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Ah I am the same, such a worrier and I spent SO long worrying about my return to work, which like you ended up largely out of my control. I love this positive approach there are definitely things here I need to take on board. I do get a bit stressed if we haven’t got plans for the week as I worry how I am ever going to entertain the two little ones – perhaps I need to embrace the spontaneity! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun xx

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Thank you! Maybe when I have two I’ll panic again, its hard enough entertaining one! x

  13. February 17, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    Great tips. It’s not always easy but I’m trying my hardest to use all of these this year too x
    #FamilyFun

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      Thank you! x

  14. February 17, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    Really good advice – all very mindful actually!! Keeping a gratitude log also helps me – another mindfulness tip 😊 Xx #familyfunlinky

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you! x

  15. February 17, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    This is a great post. Little ones sure can be challenging. #FamilyFun

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you! x

  16. February 18, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    I like the fresh air & social media tips. We always try and get out everyday for a good walk – I think it’s so important #marvmondays

    • Now my Name is Mummy
      February 19, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      A good walk is a must! Thank you for commenting! x

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