How to be a happy mum is a question that torments many of us at various points of the parenting journey.

How To Be A Happy Mum

Last week, I started a new blog hop/meme/linky, call it what you will, concerned with helping Mums to have a bit of a personal revival and get their groove back. It is all about recognising that the individual woman sometimes gets lost a bit in the business of being a mum and trying desperately to juggle it all.

I was delighted to see seven lovely mums joining in and hope even more will write a blog post and link up this week. I also got so many comments that clearly shows I am not alone in asking where that feisty woman of yesteryear has gone to and resolving to find her.

So what might help you get your groove back? It might be doing a course, volunteering, applying for a job or looking into setting up a business. It might be as simple as taking time out for you to go for a walk, to have a pampering session or to organise a night out with the girls. It might be learning to say no to some things and yes to others. It might be returning to an old hobby or developping a new skill. The fun of it all is that you get to choose and then you get to share how it all went with some very supportive blogger friends going through the same sort of thing.

To clarify things, you can link up on any day of the week but if you do it on Tuesday, that is fabulous. Please do try and find time to visit some of the other entries (or all of them) as you can bet you will be inspired and also able to give a supportive comment or two too. I will visit and support all entries.

I like to play around a bit (oo-er missus!) so will set little (tiny) challenges or things you can do and report back on the following week. However, this blog hop is not about rules so please feel free to post about what you want and to ignore any parts of the challenges you don’t like.

This week, I have two questions for you.

What song would be best to play a lot whilst attempting to get your groove back?

My choice is Revival by Annie Lennox

What can you do to make your body feel better this week?

Right, what have I done to get my va-va-voom back this week.

1. I have had a habit since experiencing post-natal depression of hiding from and saying no to positive experiences. I have made myself a bit of a prisoner sometimes I think. This week, I said yes to a night out at the seaside, yes to a shopping trip to town and yes to a carnival.

2. I have also got very much into putting my family first which is a good thing but not if it means you are constantly denying yourself. This week, I went out and bought myself a new duvet and some silly but fun things from the charity shop that amused me. You really don’t need bigger justifiction than that. Do I like it? Do I consider it be beautiful or useful? Can I afford it? Right, buy it – where’s the problem? You can see my finds at the charity shop in my Magpie Monday post from yesterday.

3. I am looking into volunteering in a charity shop, at school and with Homestart. For those who don’t know Homestart provides trained volunteers to support mums with children under 5 years old. I think a Homestart volunteer could have transformed my life when I was finding looking after 2 under 2 and a 4 year old so tough.

4. I have continued to indulge in healthy eating most of the time and join in the #mumentum community of women trying to lose mummy tummies. I said more about this yesterday including revealing that I am such an emotional eater so need to tackle that.

So that’s me but this blog hop is all about you. Yes you who is thinking whether you should join in or not. What are you up to? Are you going to commit to improving your own life? Fancy joining some very lovely women doing the same? Well then, what are you waiting for?

Write a post today or if you really can’t manage that sometime before next Monday and link up below. Any questions, just email me on mums-the-word@live.com.

Ideally, take time out this week to visit some or all of the other entries from brave and open women and give them a lovely comment on their blog.

I look forward to hearing how you are getting on.

Another favour, please tweet about your post and use the hashtag thing so that we can all spread the word about the blog hop. Do the same if you will on other social media sites too. I have decided to keep it simple so please use the #groovingmums when mentioning this blog hop.

If you don’t do any of these things, I will not be hunting you down with a big stick. If you do them, I think we will all get more out of the experience.

Right, time for me to stop babbling and you to start blogging and linking up. Ready, steady, go and find out how to be a happy mom.

Joining in with one of my very favourite blog hops where we bloggers celebrate our bargain finds.

I went to the charity shop with my Dad during the week. He likes to get books there with their buy two, get one free offer. He is retired and gets through loads of books.

I bought lots of very “essential” items.

One was a pink leather passport cover. I have seem girly women with these and although I am far from girly, maybe this will be the start of me becoming so. £1

I saw a bundle of teaspooons with a rubber band around them for 50 pence. Well some were teaspoons and some were tiny little ones and not sure what you would use them for but they are very sweet. Him Indoors is always banging on as if the world would end if we ran out of cutlery so bought these for him really. Never let it be said I don’t make the huge romantic gestures. There were probably 12 spoons in total for 50 pence.

I also got some shower gels in a range of lovely flowery fragrances for £1. I do like to have nice smellies to pamper myself with.

However, my very favourite treasure this week was these. The first thing I noticed was how they were cuddling. I wanted to know more so investigated further.

They are actually very shy salt and pepper pots with the stoppers in too but if you ask them nicely, they turn into very friendly ghosts and give you a wave. For now, I am using them as ornaments and they make me smile every time I look at them.

I am joining in with Mumentum run by the wonderful New Mum Online blog. What is it all about? It is about mums supporting each other as they try to tackle mummy tummies. I am reporting a weight loss slow down.

It was an odd week because after losing half a stone in one week, I knew from past experience the rate of losing slows down after that initial hit. That was quite a depressing thought in a way but I stuck to the healthy eating most of the time. Once again, I find I am discplined when on my own and less so when with other people. I also realised I am very much an emotional eater and after an unpleasant altercation in Tesco, actually ate 2 slices of cake and part of my husband’s kebab. It felt like me saying “I’ll show them!” but show them what exactly? Just self-sabotaging behaviour altogether.

So I have spent a lot of the week annoyed with myself for eating the bad stuff. I am not going to get into the game of jumping on and off the scales every minute of every day so I had to wait until today for the results of my week’s effort.

Well, I am delighted to report I have lost another 2 pounds.

I have two events to work towards coming up that can help to motivate me. These are the Britmums Conference in June 2012 and then my stepdaughter’s civil partnership in July 2013. It would be so lovely to look vaguely slim again and I know that is such a long way off but I am minded to stick with it and hope for the best.

This week, I would like to start exercising. I have got the Wii set up now for Wii Fit. That is a start in my book lol. I am hoping to do some walking and am trying to be more active generally.

I also want to work out how to avoid emotional over-eating and giving in to the offers of other people.

How did my Mumentum friends get on this week?

Joining in with my very favourite blog hop of the week and thinking positive after quite a stressful little occurence in Tesco earlier this evening. Will be the subject of a blog and rant later my dears. This post is about being chirpy.

1. We went to Blackpool illuminations. It was lovely to share something so familiar from childhood with my own children. Even the teenager in training got into the spirit of things and enjoyed it. It was inspiring to see families out having a good time despite probably including a fair few who are struggling in the current economic climate. My youngest son said “I think I have found heaven” and that made the long drive through rain worth it. For anyone even considering thinking snotty thoughts about Blackpool, here is my view. Blackpool is a one-off and if you give into the madness, you can have a fabulous time there. Plus it is the place I first wore make up and got a snog so it is very special to me (and Dean from Sunderland wherever you are now – sorry never got a last name!)

2. I started a new blog hop all about mums getting their groove back and it really seems to have hit a nerve with people out there. Big thanks to those who have joined in with Get Your Groove Back Tuesday and it is definitely here to stay.

3. I lost half a stone in one week. When Michelle posted about her 101b loss recently, that seemed so impossible for me so it just goes to show that with the mind in the right place, anything is possible especially with the back up of the wonderful #mumentum peer support.

4. I spent the morning with my Dad. He makes a trip to the charity shop and the Co-op seem very special indeed. I bought lots of little lovely things that I will be sharing on Monday as part of #MagpieMonday

Well, that is just some of my reasons. Do check out the other entries at http://mdplife.blogspot.com or even better join in.

Are you thinking positive?

Love from the Striking Mum x

Does blogging help you feel less alone and isolated?

Does Blogging Make You Feel Less Alone

In my series of interviews with bloggers, I look at the different motivations for blogging and how blogging can help women. Today, Chantelle from Mama Mummy Mum ls us how blogging can help you feel less alone.

Why did you start to blog?

I started my blog as a way of writing down memories. It was never started as a way to earn money, I didn’t even expect anyone to read it really, I guess it was more like an open diary more than anything. My posts were mere sentences long and at the time I didn’t even know about uploading photos, layout or any sort of technical stuff.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

When I started my blog because I guess I felt lonely really. As a stay at home mum I lacked any adult company apart from my husband and writing things down helped ease that feeling somehow.

What is your blog about?

My blog is down as parenting and lifestyle but it is a right old mix of anything I want to talk about but mainly it’s about books, fitness and my kids. The way I see it, it’s my blog so I shall put on there what I want, I’m still not out there to please anyone, I’m not fussed about how many people read each post but if someone gets pleasure from them, or feels like they’ve gained a little bit of help then that’s a nice added bonus.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

Now that’s a tough question. I’m not a ‘professional’ blogger, I haven’t got an abundance of readers and I’ve not gained any big contracts with major companies. I guess my biggest achievement is my little linky Read With Me, I’ve gained a good bunch of bloggers who without fail link up, comment and share the love. Shows in a small way what the blogging community has to offer.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

As I said in the previous question what I enjoy most about blogging is actually the bloggers themselves. Social media is a huge part of my life now, especially the other bloggers who are on there, I feel less lonely knowing there is always someone around to talk to, to offer advice, the blogging community is generally a very welcoming one and offers more than just the blog posts that they put out into the world.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Writers block. Blogging has become rather addictive and I don’t like leaving my blog empty, I prefer having a regular stream of posts going up but this is sometimes hard when nothing is really happening in your life and you feel like you have very little to actually talk about.

What surprised you most about blogging?

What surprised me the most was how addictive it can be. I’ve been blogging since September 2011 and even when I’ve said I’m going to take a break from it all, I quickly find myself writing again.

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I’ve never really collaborated with other bloggers as such. I’ve contributed guest posts and vice versa when holidays have been taken and I always link up with certain linkies such as My Sunday Photo and Little Loves and I’m always happy to retweet posts that I think deserve more coverage. I think bloggers work more as a team than we realise when it comes to reading and promoting each others blogs.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

See I thought I would give up this year as work commitments, doing a teaching assistant course and obviously home life has become rather hectic but I still find time, (even if it is early hours of the morning), to get on with some blogging, I get a feeling of guilt almost when I’m not doing it so I’m not sure anything would make me quit.

Why should I read your blog?

I don’t think you should read my blog, I’d be happy if you did but I don’t think my blog stands out as anything special, not with the amount of blogs there are out there right now.

What are the aims of your blog?

My aims for my blog, just to keep it going, to continue to share my thoughts and ideas and hope that it helps in some way. It’s going to be great to look back on in years to come, I already enjoy looking back at old photographs of the kids, it’s a great memory saver.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Funny that, I share things all the time on my blog and now I’m coming up blank. I guess I’d just like to say thank you to the bloggers and the readers as they’ve all made me feel less alone at times and that is a feeling that I think a lot of people appreciate.

How does blogging help you and would you like to share your story with me?

 

 

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