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

My Petit Canard
The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum

  1. If u can read dis ur a 00’s teen. We wer on PAYG n evry msg cost 10p so ud avoid usin ‘,?!: as mch as poss. Ud txt ur m8s from ur nokia 3210 as mch as u cud squeeze in2 190 characters, non of dis difrent msg 4 each sentence nonsense of 2day. Ud end ur txt wid ‘luv me x’. Den ud go bk to plyin Snake.
  2. We used Microsoft Encarta for our homework.
  3. We didn’t know what a selfie was and only went online for MSN messenger. The only social network around was Friends Reunited, which definitely wasn’t cool because our Dads were on it. And err hello?! We saw our friends at school all day and then talked on the phone all night. The landline obviously, we didn’t have enough credit for calls.
  4. The ONLY place to shop was Tammy Girl. Despite this, you’d still get annoyed if someone else ‘copied’ you. Clearly there was not enough Tammy Girl to go around. You could also go into town on a Saturday with £10 in your miniature bowling bag and somehow manage to get lunch, a top, a compact powder a few shades too dark and a very gloopy mascara. All without stealing.
  5. Rockport shoes were the ultimate status symbol. Even better if worn with Miss Sixty jeans.
  6. Your school bag would be as small as possible and you’d stuff everything else into a Jane Norman carrier.
  7. You spent your evenings downloading music from Limewire. Then burning it to CDs. Or playing it while flirting with boys on MSN.
  8. Big Brother, Footballers Wives and Friends were all you wanted to watch.
  9. You’d probably eat a Turkey Twizzler for your school lunch at least once a week. Finished with cornflake tart or chocolate concrete.
  10. Your go-to hairstyle was a slicked back, possibly looped ponytail with two sprayed-solid clumps of hair pulled out at the front. You’d finish of the look with butterfly clips placed in a row in front of your feather scrunchy.
  11. The start of a new term meant a new pencil case from Kookai, filled with brand new scented gel pens.
  12. If you didn’t have Rockports, your school shoes were probably Pod or Kickers and had a keyring tied into the laces.
  13. It was perfectly acceptable, and desirable to wear combat trousers. Or worse, parachute trousers. And in the summer, pedal pushers. It was also perfectly acceptable to wear skirts, or dresses, over trousers. Infact they sold them ready-to-go in Tammy Girl.
  14. You had one or more of the following; a tooth charm, two brightly coloured hair pieces glued in either side of your centre parting, a very bold french manicure.
  15. You were pretty much guaranteed to get one of the following for your birthday – a TY Beanie Baby, some kind of ‘Bang on the Door – groovy chick’ merchandise, and a Bubblegum card addressed to ‘Loopy Lass’, ‘Disco Diva’ or ‘Top Totty’.

    Nostalgia-growing up in the 2000's



Diary of an imperfect mum

IBaby with ballonAs you’ll know if you read my last post,  this week we celebrated our little Hen’s first birthday, and I couldn’t resist a glass of prosecco to celebrate that Carl and I had successfully parented for a whole year. And I figured that this time last year, a prosecco might have taken the edge off a very long labour. So I owed it to my birthing self of a year prior to toast not only Henry’s birthday, but my birth-ed day. Justification right there, should ever I need it.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learnt after 365 days of playing the mum game:

  1. Age old advice, but EVERYTHING IS A PHASE. I know it doesn’t help when you’ve not hoovered for a month and the blinds are sporting an inch thick layer of dust (who am I kidding, I’ve never cleaned blinds in my life) because your child has lost the ability to nap, but it’s true. Unfortunately good phases are still also phases. Four month sleep trickster, I’m looking at you.
  2. Do what works at the time, regardless of what anyone else says.  We’re currently co-sleeping (following Lullaby Trust guidelines). I’m aware that at some point it will become an issue, but at the moment we’re all getting more sleep, which means we’re all happier. You may be told you’re ‘making a rod for your own back’, but motherhood is blooming hard work and sometimes I need that rod to lean on.Trust your instincts, have confidence in your decision and move on.
  3. A new dawn is a new day. Yesterday might have been a washout. You’ve been sicked on, snotted on, pooed on and achieved nothing more than wiping off said excrement with a baby wipe, but tomorrow could be incredible. (Parenting) Life is a Rollercoaster -ahh wise words Ronan.
  4. Cutting little nails, cleaning first teeth and navigating a busy supermarket with a baby who’s on the wrong side of peckish all make you feel like you could play The Cube and win. Take your victories, however small.
  5. Hormones have ALOT to answer for.  Y’all know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that make you wail to your husband that you miss him WHILE HE’S SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.
  6. Words spoken in the depths of sleep deprivation should be taken with a pinch of salt. Daddy: she doesn’t really think life is easier when you’re at work. Mummy: he doesn’t really wish he’d stayed at work. Hopefully not anyway.
  7. Accept that you will never wee alone, enjoy a hot beverage, sleep more than four to six consecutive hours, use an escalator, or any of these things my lovely friend Becky has listed in this hilarious post anytime in the near future. Then, if you do ever manage any you’ll have a whole new appreciation for them. Using an escalator is like Disney Land to me now….
  8. Despite any challenges our offspring might throw our way, the joy they bring you is immeasurable and there is no problem in the world feels like it can’t be appeased by seeing your baby smile.

So I’m sure I’ve missed a few parenting words of wisdom, as a year does not an expert make. Do you have any to share?



Diary of an imperfect mum
Twin Mummy and Daddy
A Mum Track Mind

Beautiful sceneAlthough we’re only a week in to the new year, having read everyone’s New Year posts I’m feeling pretty late to the table but I’m going to type away regardless.

Despite it’s bad rep, 2016 was pretty good for me. It saw the birth of our beautiful baby boy in January, which then allowed me to spend a blissful *most of the time * year at his beck and call, tending to his every whim and generally watching him grow into the strong-willed, cheeky and affectionate (poking and hair pulling aside) almost-one-year-old he is now. Not only that, but Mummy and Daddy made it through an entire year without killing each other and we’re now immersed in parenthood and have never been happier.

So I was a little sad to wave goodbye to the most memorable, life changing and intense year of my life, but I’m all about looking to the future and I’m quietly hopeful that 2017 won’t turn out so bad. Here’s what I’m going to be embracing this year –

  1. Less is more. This is the year I’m going to *attempt* to be a little more frugal. I’m an undeniable shopaholic. Carl says that I’ve not had a good day if I’ve not spent any money and he’s not far wrong. I like to by STUFF. Any stuff. But mainly clothes, shoes, bags and make-up. This year I want to declutter, and focus more on experiences. I think the money could be better spent on family days out making memories and so that’s what I plan to do. Also, no doubt thrilled at the prospect of my new found penny pinching Carl happily joined me in watching this documentary which I’d definitely recommend. Aspects were a little extreme but the jist is that we’re always trying to achieve happiness by buying stuff, which doesn’t help so we buy more stuff etc, etc. By only possessing what we need we focus more on things that will truly make us happy. Which leads me on my next read – Spark Joy is on it’s way to me right now… I am aware of the ridiculousness that is buying an item in order to read about not needing so many items so we’ll call it research and move on…
  2. Following on from the above, I want to find a hobby that is not buying clothes, shoes and make-up. Carl very kindly gifted me a new camera for Christmas and I’m enjoying getting snap happy at every opportunity. I’m trying to learn how to take a good picture. I’m also keen to try my hand at flower arranging, inspired by this beautiful book which was a gift from my friend Hannah for Christmas.
  3. Not to bore others with my indecision. I’m going to try not to over analyse every situation, forcing anyone who’ll listen into doing the same. I knew I’d gone to far when I found myself explaining one predicament to the poor lady on the checkout at Asda. Instead, I’m going to try and trust my gut and roll with the punches.

So there we go. They are my thoughts for the new year. Do you believe in resolutions?


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Diary of an imperfect mum

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetI’ve always been quite partial to a skirt or dress, call me a floozy if you wish but I also like a short hemline. That is until I became a mum.

After I had Henry, my first wear of an old favourite mini dress last approximately 25 minutes before it was removed and replaced with what has become my uniform of jeans and a t-shirt.

Obviously feeling brave after reacquainting myself with a bum skimming dress on a baby free night out, I chose a Saturday to introduce my rekindled flame to my new life as a mum, a day with a co-parent so as to ease us in gently. What I found was that this little dress complicated my day in the following ways:

1) Getting Henry in and out of the car was difficult. I can normally be found putting Henry into the car seat bent over, bum sticking out of the car door. Wearing a dress meant this normally simple exercise had to be much more considered. So as not to give the street an eyeful I had to balance precariously on the 10cm of seat not occupied by the car seat, trying not to suffocate Henry with my hair. This also put my hair at a grab-able distance and prising my hair from Hen’s hands while not flashing my derriere was quite a task.

2) Instead of bending over carelessly when objects were dropped from the pushchair, which happens ALOT, I had to kneel down in a fashion similar to that which is taught in manual handling training, but legs together so as to remain dignified trying to maintain balance. The whole picking up objects, or picking up baby thing had to be much more considered and I don’t think I appreciated what a luxury it was not to have to bend over 78,654 times a day.

3) Sitting in a dress with a baby on your knee causes the dress to ride up. Especially when said baby is a fidget. It’s also hard to adjust the dress with the baby on you knee so the bottom of the dress ending up around your waist is inevitable.

I returned home and immediately changed out of the dress. Considering how not to flash my bum is a consideration I don’t need in my already very considered day. For now I have accepted that mum life and short skirts don’t mix.

However I do feel like these Topshop loafers are too good not to mention, which I picked up for the bargain price of £29. Super comfy and compatible with motherhood. Winning.

Have you had to banish any items of your wardrobe in favour of motherhood? Do you dress differently?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday