What am I cheerful about this week?

purple2

1. Mr Cameron having denied me my Child Benefit for weeks has paid up.

2. I am loving walking both in town and amongst Autumn leaves.

3. I had a great quality time one on one with my soon to be 10 year old boy in town yesterday. Simple and wonderful pleasures.

4. It is Half-Term which means less stress as only one person needs to leave the house at daft o’clock.

5. I survived my darling daughter ripping the beautiful stickers off her bedroom walls after I put them up for her as a suprise. I rescued them and put them above my headboard in my bedroon. I am not too old for purple sparkles even if she is.

6. I am loving the support people are giving each other over on my blogging group on Facebook. Blog Builders rock!

7. I have started shopping with a local butcher and am enjoying the experience of cooking for my husband again and of getting some great deals on decent meat.

8. I took a photo of myself straight out of bed in my new pink pyjamas and actually thought I looked quite beautiful in my own individual way.

9. My son has just told me “I love you but then again, how couldn’t I?”

There are other reasons but that will do nicely for a little round-up.

Let’s focus on some lovely positives and Autumn reasons for cheer.

autumn

1. My teenage son was recognised in a creative writing competition. He struggles to get things down on paper in time so this is quite an achievement for him.

2. My daughter continues to amaze me with her creativity and story-telling skills. I see a future for her in blogging or whatever comes next.

3. I had some fantastic quality time with my tween son watching all 3 Back to the Future films. It was interesting to revisit and to wonder where we might all be in 30 years’ time.

4. My husband has amused me with a brilliant response to an email from school.

5. We have had some lovely walks celebrating Autumn in all its colourful glory.

6. The sofa has cushions, blankets and a duvet so lots of snuggling is going on.

7. I love my home and I adore my new area.

8. I find I have a more balanced life these days by being proactive and by mixing things up a bit.

9. I am loving the support bloggers are showing to each other on my new Facebook group Blog Builders.

10. It’s Friday and I am ready for the weekend!

Now go forth and check out some incredibly cheerful bloggers.


Reasons to be Cheerful

Joules we have recently launched a fun competition inviting all budding designers, doodlers and wellington boot lovers to design some Joules wellies. The winner will see their design put into production (with all proceeds going to CHARITABLY JOULES) as well as winning a luxury Forest Holiday worth £5000!

When we heard about the competiton we immediately checked out the details of the competition. My 11 year old daughter in particular was very excited at the idea of entering. She loves arts and crafts so this is right up her street.

My sons were less interested although they did start listening intently when I told them about the prizes.

It could be you!

It could be you!

Competition Details

Win a luxury break worth £5,000

3 nights in a golden oak treehouse cabin plus lots more

10 runners-up will each receive a £250 Joules gift card.

The winning welly design will go on sale at Joules.

All proceeds from the sale of the limited edition winning welly will be donated to our charity partners via CHARITABLY JOULES.

So on this one, it seems charity wins too! Get doodling!

I am sharing my 9 year old’s thoughts on Back to the Future Day. We are watching Back to the Future Two having enjoyed the first film earlier today.

backtofuture1

1. “Actually Mum, Eighties music is not that bad!” as he danced and clicked his fingers.

2. “Were they any laws back in the Eighties?”

3. “That plutonium looks just like the chemicals we mixed the other day”

4. “It does seem that people who are plonkers as kids turn into plonkers as adults”

5. “Fifties music is not as good as that in the Eighties – too much sax!”

6. “The music is suspenseful but the film is so old that we know what happens”

7. “Both Doc and Marty are way smarter than my brother”

8. “You do realise that this film is about the butterfly effect

So there you have it! Back to the Future Day as I try to remember if I ever expected my son to be quite so amazing when I thought about the future in 1985.

What are 10 ways to be a happy mum? Not every mum is happy all of the time or even most of the time.

me

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 depressionhappytoday. 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!

Even better, why not put a pin it and add the image below to Pinterest and then a mum who needs a little back-up just might get it.



Jacky Ha-Ha Book