I’ve been very vocal in the past about how hard I find motherhood. With three kids under seven, no wider-family support, autism and home ed to contend with, I’m massively up against it.
I don’t think many would argue with that.
But, ultimately, our happiness does largely rest in our own hands. Do you want to know the most effective thing I have done lately to boost my happiness?
I took a huge step back from all areas in my life and stopped trying so hard to get it all right. You know what? I’m getting much better results.
Parenting. There’s no easy way to say this, but my kids are going to be stressful regardless, and focusing 100% attention on them 100% of the time just makes me miserable. I need down time, I need me time and I’m not afraid to admit that. Giving them a little more screen time so I can do some writing/exercise/cooking/staring into space is helping make me a better mama, which in turns makes me a happier one.
Self-care. Which brings me nicely on to my next point. If we can’t look after ourselves, we can’t take care of anyone else. It’s why they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first in the event of an emergency on an aeroplane. Think about that.
Home ed. We are flying high with our home education, because I’m not putting pressure on any of us to ‘succeed’ or ‘achieve’. In fact I’d go as far as saying I’m redefining the meaning of these words, that have a habit of causing so much negativity. Winning in our house comes in the form of the kids sleeping more than a few hours at a time; or P wanting to get her workbooks out completely unprompted; or all three children playing together for a whole thirty minutes without it kicking off.
Writing. Draft one of my novel is now with my editor for a manuscript critique, and I’m enjoying sitting back and taking time away from the book. It’s quite refreshing to have a break from it, and apart from the odd Facebook Live broadcast, I’m not working on it at all. Hopefully when I pick it back up again I’ll be able to look at it with a true fresh pair of eyes, which will help massively with the next round of edits.
Blogging. Although I blog less than ever before, and am not glued to social media 24/7, Mummy Tries is going from strength to strength. Every week people get in touch telling me that they’ve read a post, or my self-help book, and that my words have made a real difference to their lives. I shall continuously be blown away by this feedback, but for me, that’s what it’s all about.
Social life. It’s been amazing to get a little piece of the old me back again, and I’ve had so much fun going out and about with my besties this year. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: friendship is a tonic for the soul, and for someone like me without extended family, absolutely vital to my happiness. I’m heading off this weekend for a three day break without the kids and hubby for the first time since becoming a mum, and cannot wait. Think it’s safe to say I’ve earnt the holiday, and while jetting off to Ibiza isn’t essential to your happiness, it sure does help!
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