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.

10 Ways To Be A Happy Mum

The Pramshed



Jacky Ha-Ha Book

What are my reasons to be cheerful? I have quite a few to share and I know blogging about them is a little overdue.

1. We have got away from the problems in our last neighbourhood. We now live in a place that is safe and secure, full of things to do and that makes me feel great. I love becoming part of a community, having a favourite cafe and browsing charity shops a lot. This place is made for me. I have found my manor!

2. Lots is happening on the home education front. I have acquired so many resources largely from charity shops. We are finding a balance that works for us and I think this will always be an ongoing process.

3. I felt the fear and did it anyway by attending my college reunion. Although initially daunting, it was a total joy to meet up with old college peers. My college is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and to be able to stay there again was a delight. I am now in contact with people I last saw 20 or more years ago and I feel like I am back.

4. Many long-term readers know that I have struggled with depression, weight gain and a sense of having lost huge aspects of myself. I genuinely feel I am back and am excited by what comes next.

5. I am getting proactive on the social media and blogging front. I have set up a new Facebook for bloggers who want to get more out of blogging via peer support, I have a new media pack for PRs and brands. Let’s get it on!IMG_3529

Our family were invited to try out Las Iguanas. Las Iguanas’ ethos is ‘to bring authentic South America to every table, every day – in a place that lives and breathes Latin’.

Every dish is cooked to order and reflects the diverse mix of influences that make up South American cuisine. Classic Mexican dishes fajitas, burritos and enchiladas and regional Brazilian curries like Xinxim or Moqueca are Las Iguanas specialities

I confess I had not heard of this chain of restuarants at all but we are foodies and love dining out so gave it a go.

It was a glorious sunny day and we loved that you could choose to eat indoors or al fresco.

The menu offers so many choices and I found it quite overwhelming. I don’t like menus which give so many choices that it is daunting.

The levels of customer care were great with our waitress sitting down with us to explain various dishes on the menu. She also enjoyed we took full advantage of the Happy Hour deal with 2 for 1 cocktails.

The quality of the food was amazing. It was wonderful to experience so many different taste sensations.

My son said that he liked the food but felt that the decor did not get over the South American theme strongly enough and that he would have liked more information on the suppliers of the ingredients.

I don’t know whether it was the time of day that we went but I found the vibe a little lacking too. After the meal which was superb, I found myself quite keen to leave rather than hang around as the atmosphere seemed quite flat.

There is a kids’ menu of a main course, dessert and one drink is £5.90 offered mini burgers, mexi-pizza, quesadilla, fish strips, tacos or meatballs. As ever my son went for the mini burgers! All kids’ meals come with a salad of crispy lettuce, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks baby tomatoes and pepper to help you on your way to five-a-day.

Next time we visit, we will go for tapas where you can share three dishes for £13.80 or five dishes for £23.00 before 7pm.

www.iguanas.co.uk

Specsavers have launched a range of Converse glasses with stylish optical and sunglasses and they challenged me to style them up.

This coincided with me finally feeling the fear and doing it anyway and signing up for my college reunion dinner. It would be 25 years since I had seen a lot of the people there. Age may have withered me so I needed all the help I could get!

I was so impressed on my visit to my local Specsavers. The staff were so courteous, friendly and helpful. It struck me that they took the lead from customers and provided a very individual service.

I had various health checks on the eye. I was so pleased I had come as it turns out I need to have my left eye checked at hospital as there is an issue with it. I think many of us forget that regular eye tests are essential for highlighting potential health issues as well as helping us to see clearly.

My eye test showed that my eyes had got worse which I was aware of from everyday life. It was certainly time to get a new pair of glasses and why not a designer pair?

converse

I had already decided I wanted to choose a colour combo to highlight the brown of my eyes. Being able to look online at what is available speeds up the whole process of selecting frames.

Converse’s take on the classic tortoiseshell was perfect. The traditional shaping, styling and keyhole bridge are offset by the gold-coloured metallic temples and etched Converse name.

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I wish selecting my outfit for the reunion was as simple. I was trying on so many dresses in the run-up to the event. I eventually settled on a midnight blue three-quarter length dress with a cowl neck and illusion skirt. I loved the little jewels sewn into the dress which reminded me strongly of a dress I used to wear when at college the first time round.

reunite

The good thing is that I should have gone to Specsavers if only so I could recognise college peers a quarter of a century after leaving Trinity Hall.

I love my new glasses and will be returning to Specsavers next week to choose my new prescription sunglasses. Well, why not?

The Converse range, which is available in Specsavers nationwide for £99 are fantastic for creating a statement look, with modern looks for every occasion.

I received a £150 voucher to go into store and purchase a pair. The voucher also covered the cost of my eye test.

Specsavers Launch Converse Glasses

How to decrease allergens at home may not be the first thing on your mind but it is important.

Nothing dampens summer like allergies. Bissell have a few tips on decreasing the presence of allergens in your home environment:

1. Keep Humidity at a happy medium. Invest in a humidifier and set the levels to 50% as dust and pollen are more easily provoked in dry air.

2. Replace filters in your heating and cooling systems. This is an essential part of keeping the air in your home clean.

3. Sacrifice soft surfaces. Of course they are cozy, but if you are too busy sneezing and spluttering to enjoy them then there is no point. Opt for easy to clean furnishings such as leather.

4. Turn up the heat and wash all fabric items you can (rugs, curtains, bedding etc.) once a week in hot water.

5. Invest in a Bissell Bag-Less Vacuum cleaner, or one that features an easily interchangeable bag, so that the dust stays on the inside while making the switch.

Bissell have a range of carpet cleaners that can help remove dust and allergens. Bissell has stood the test of time and was one of my late mum’s go to brands for home cleaning. I have recently tried out a Bissell Spot cleaner. So many cleaners promise the world but deliver disappointing result. Not so this compact little beauty. After a particularly yucky cat incident, this machine got to work and almost immediately I could see that it was going to work and well restoring my carpet to its green colour and totally blitzing the brown! I know too much information!

BISSELL includes the power of Oxy to deep clean and permanently remove tough stains and left my carpet smelling so fresh. There was a Deep Reach Tool which can remove embedded dirt and stains from the bottom up. Heatwave Technology® helps maintain constant water temperature throughout the cleaning process

One of the things I really love is its sleek and good-looking design. It is lightweight and easy to move around the home including up and down stairs as necessary.

Secondly, it was easy to understand the instructions for use and within minutes of opening the box it comes in, you are cleaning away with this nifty gadget. There are separate tanks for clean and dirty water which are very simple to fill and empty.

Trial size Oxy Gen Boost® and 2X Spot & Stain Formula are included.