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How to become a happy mum and stay sane

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

Personal Trainer Pioneer

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! What would you say are good ways to be a happy mum?

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.

10 Ways To Be A Happy Mum




Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • carla

    Lot’s of fab tips there as ever Kate!!!
    I definately think we all need to stand back and just appreciate the little things a bit more and give ourselves a break from time to time

  • Morgan Prince

    What a lovely post, your advice is so good. It’s all about accepting who you are and celebrating it. Brilliant post.

    PS: stopping by thanks to your fantastic Facebook group Blog Builders. 🙂 xx

  • Hilary Cooper

    I definitely think you’re talking sense Kate! I wish I’d taken your advice to heart when my girls were tiny. I had such high expectations of myself and thought everyone else was doing better than me. I started to feel better when I went back to work when the girls were 3. I found myself again to some extent. I was never cut out for full-time motherhood and felt ridiculously guilty that I couldn’t manage it like other people did. Thanks for sharing – it makes me feel better! X

  • A Cornish Mum

    I love this post Kate, I read it days ago but finally popped back to comment 😉 I think we’re all guilty of comparing ourselves to others without knowing the whole story and I think a lot more people worry they aren’t a good parent than admit it or show it. Caring and wanting to be a good parent are definitely what matters.
    Thanks for linking it up to #PicknMix
    Stevie xx

  • Mummyandmonkeys

    Great advice! I’m the same I hate unexpected visitors, I would be mortified if my house was a mess and I hate that I’m like that. I too have suffered from depression and taking that step to get help is massive. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

  • Stephs Two Girls

    Kate these are such brilliant, sensible and helpful tips, I love them all. Even if you think you’ve got it covered, you can be on the edge without realising it and just one of these could make all the difference – like not expecting others to second-guess what help you need, for example! Fab, thank you x

  • Mell

    Great post. It’s really important to look after yourself, yet as a mother you feel you need to master everything other than your own wellbeing. Thank you for the prompt

  • Sarah

    I needed this! Struggling lately, but trying to remember that I have a lovely family who helps lots (and more if I expressed myself better!) Still feel it’s a lot down to me to “cheer myself up”. Will be putting some of these into action, thank you xx

  • Robyn

    This was a real joy to read Kate. Lots of really great advice for being happy and all of it well said. Refreshingly to the point and most of all useful. Thanks!

  • Ellie @ Hand Me Down Baby

    Good tips!
    #2 especially – we don’t have a lot of help locally and it’s difficult to not compare to other mums who have family on-hand to help out.

  • Place to stand

    I have thought so much about this as soon number 1 voice has broken and he stands a good bit taller than me and I am tall and he’s 13…

    I would say – sod all the do’s don’t’s books worries and just bloody enjoy them – laugh and get dirty, play and get covered in play doh.

    They need their mum happy and laughing not strung out and obsessed as I was – a bit.

  • The Speed Bump

    Really useful advice, definitely points to remember in tougher times! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday Xx

  • Debbie

    Hi Kate, being a parent is never easy, but questioning our own ability as parents is too easy. Your advice is sound; knowing that our children will love us no matter what is something we must remember (as long as we are not plain nasty to them), we must learn to trust our instincts and not listen to the nonconstructive criticism of others. Not being afraid to ask for help is a big one too.


  • Laura's Lovely Blog

    This is really great advice, I’m struggling with mega sleep deprivation at the moment and also have serious date night or even escape envy – my husband is in India with work and my family don’t live particularly close so I need to remember not to compare myself to others that do get more support. Thank you 🙂

  • AndreaM

    I’m very new at being a mum, but I already had my bad days (and weeks) and it’s good to be reminded that our happiness matters too. The teething period was the worst so far, for both my son and I. He turns 2 this month.. I’ve been warned about this ‘terrible’ age, and as predicted is becoming increasingly difficult to handle his tantrums and his fascination with the word ‘no’. Then I hear again and again remarks such as ‘If you think that parenting is difficult now, wait until they become teenagers’. Some people really like to kick you when you’re down.

    Enough now! My comment is turning much more gloomy than I meant it to be. To balance things up, I’ll end this comment with a quote from a movie I liked. I hope will make some of you smile:

    Before you have a kid, everyone tells you, “It’s the best thing you’ll ever do.” And as soon as you get the baby back from the hospital, those same people are like, “Don’t worry, it gets better.” (While We’re Young, 2014)

  • Helen @actuallymummy

    Great tips Kate. I’m especially guilty of not making any time for myself, and I know how much difference it makes to happiness and effectiveness – not to mention health – when I do! It always just feels like the task list is never ending, and I’m always trying to get through it before I relax. I need to realise that it’s never going to end, and prioritise myself sometimes!

  • Kerry

    Really useful and helpful tips there, number 2 really resonated with me…my family live miles away and I find it overwhelming at times as I am also a stay at home mum. It is so important to make time for yourself, which is something I am learning to do more of as time goes on! #DreamTeam

  • clairejustine

    Some great advice here. I have 2 older ones and now going through the teenage years with my younger ones. You are so right, each child is different and goes through different things at different times , Thanks for sharing The Wednesday blog hop.

  • Annette, 3 Little Buttons

    And exhale… somehow reading your advice has made me feel that little bit more relaxed. I get so many of your points, from loading the dishwasher in a cuppa-tea tv commercial break to trying not to compare against families who have a whole team of support around them. Loved it. Thanks so much for sharing with the #DreamTeam.

  • Brandi Puga

    I think we can all used these tips, even if we know them already sometimes we just need the reminder because we get so caught up in ohter s people little lives!

  • Debbie

    Hi Kate, being a Mum isn’t easy, and if we acknowledge that I think it gets a little easier. I am glad that my children were young in a time when social media was not a thing. Taking time out when we can, breathing deeply and knowing that our children love us just the way we are are all things that will help to keep us happy.

    Thank you for linking up to the #MMBC.


  • Carol Cameleon

    Yes, all of this! A couple of points really resonated with me – carving out time for you and that our children are individuals who develop at their own pace. Really valid points Kate and thanks for sharing with #sharethejoylinky

  • Amanda

    Oh I love these tips so much Kate, but especially the first one – that says it all for me! How often we doubt ourselves or put way too much pressure on ourselves, when really we’re doing an amazing job already! #sharethejoylinky

  • Donna Giles

    Great post!
    As a parent of children with disabilities, sometimes it can feel that the pressure is even greater.
    Thanks for the reminder we are all doing a great job x

  • Mrs Mummy Harris

    I think to have happy children, you need happy parents. To be a happy parent, you need self care and plenty of it. Whether that be a glass of fizz at night, an extra five minutes in the bath, or to watch something on tele in peace.
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

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