What are 10 ways to be a happy mum? Not every mum is happy all of the time or even most of the time.
I love my children but there are times when I have struggled so as I hit the teen and tween years, I am going to share some of my lessons on what has helped me be happier as a mum.
1. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to be a mum. People have done it for years so why should you be the one who messes it up? Believe you are a great mum and see what happens.
2. Look at your own individual circumstances. Some mums have a massive support network of family, friends and colleagues. A lot don’t and then try to measure up to those that do. How can you realistically have hot date nights, a fabulous career and look glamorous if you are the one who is always holding the baby?
3. Accept from day one that some people will judge you adversely. I was told I was an inadequate mum when I returned to work when my first son was 6 weeks old. If I was, I also earned money for the family, kept my sanity and gave my parents precious and as it turned our limited time with their first grandson.
4. Try to carve out time for yourself and your own interests. It is a challenge but even if you just insist on having 10 minutes to yourself a day, it can remind you who you are and what you like.
5. State very clearly and in writing if necessary what you need people to do to help you. Do you need your parents to show you how to do DIY or housework more effectively? Would you be happier if your partner took the baby to soft play once a week to give you a rest? Whatever works for you, let them know!
6. Be aware that if you feel sad or fed up with a life a lot of the time, you may be experiencing depression. Take it from one who tried, you cannot get through this without help. Get to the GP (and write down that is what you need for your family or friends if you can’t face going) and access medication or talking therapies. PLEASE!
7. Remember your children will love you anyway. That fact should not be abused but they will celebrate the mum and person you are not some media fantasty mum. Make sure they know who you are because not to put too fine a point on it they will probably give your eulogy one day. It would be good for them to have something to say.
8. If housework is overwhelming, work out a system that ensures the house at least habitable. For me, I started by doing housework in short spurts during telly advert breaks. That was all I could handle at the time but if made me feel more in control and I built on that over time. Just give me a day before you announce your visit!
9. Take every media image of motherhood, research study,parenting book and webiste with a huge pinch of salt. They are tastier that way and for goodness sake laugh at some of them. Always look at who is behind the research or whatever and what is in it for them.
10. Accept that just as you are an individual so are your children. They will develop at their own rate and have their own talents, skills and interests which may not match yours. Celebrate the people they are and make some amazing memories together.
If you think I talk sense let me know and if you don’t forgive this old wife for having her own tale!