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.

Here is the weekly round-up of cheerful things posted as part of the wonderful Reasons to be Cheerful blog hop that is guaranteed to help you make blogger mates and smile on the most challenging of weeks.

So let me show you how to be cheerful.

1. All three little darlings have gone back to school. They all seem to be settling in fine although my youngest protests every morning about having to go but that’s just him really. Battle first, winning smiles later. My daughter has moved to Junior School and is loving every minute of it having worried about going for the last year. She is flapping a lot which is always a good sign with her, little bird wings going up and down all the time with excitement. My oldest son is doing fine too, a bit of a teenager in training but happy on the whole. From my point of view, one lovely surpise is that the council now send a minibus to my front door to take my children to school. Shhhh, don’t tell Mr Cameron!

2. I have had contact via email with all 3 of my adult step-daughters this week. Four strong-willed women have not always found it easy to get on so I celebrate the new level of understanding and forgiveness of past crimes that exists these days. One I bond with on the grounds of both having 3 children so knowing how challenging that can be. One is a kindred spirit. The other gave the wonderful news that she is engaged to her girlfriend. For a girl/woman who struggled to love and be loved (and for very good reasons), I am over the mooon that she has found happiness and where she fits best.

3. With the children back at school, I am staring a New Year, New Me regime on many fronts. I have made a less than perfect start but still a start. Small steps and all that. Will be holding myself accountable for positive moves on the health department via the Mumentum blog hop.

4. I am going out with my Dad today for fish and chips. Sometimes, spending time where he enjoys has to be put above losing weight for me. It will be great to return to an old routine after many weeks where he has had to go on his own or not at all.

5. My beautiful ginger cat is recovering after coming off worst in a cat fight. Thank you to our wonderful vet.

6. My husband went away with work and I did not throw my usual fishwife mood about it. I get the most illogical insecurity sometimes and am a bit of a madam to say the least. Good to behave reasonably this time and to feel relaxed about it all. Maybe recent events with my brother have made me wake up to what and who is really important in life.

Big apologies for my cock-up on my old blog with #R2BC. Was gutted to mess it up but actually not really my fault hence my change to a WordPress blog.

Massive thanks to all those women who have come to see me here and left such lovely comments.

That’s me but there is whole lot more cheerfulness going on in the blogosphere. Check it out at http://bod-for-tea.blogspot.com/2011/09/reasons-to-be-cheerful_08.html

Love from the Striking Mum x

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

Can you remember the song “If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands”?

It seems to be me the reasons to be cheerful linky helps us do this every week even if we have to clap first and feel happy later.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with a few things. Although the main house is sorted, we still have the hidden storage areas that need clearing out. It becomes clear that we need things that are in boxes still but which one?

I think we are struggling too to accept that the crisis of the last few months is over and now we can relax a bit. I think we have forgotten how to a little.

I am also frustrated that having enquired about volunteering, I have heard nothing back.

I need to work out what i am going to do in this new place.

Clap, clap, clap – think cheerful thoughts.

1. All 3 children went to the opticians last week and have new glasses on order. Another little but important job ticked off.

2. I found a town full of charity shops. My OH complained that I spent far too long in them but it was joy to get back to them. I used to go most days before the afternoon school run to check out the bargains to be had. Often I did not buy anything but it was nice to see what they had.

3. I have enjoyed not having the mad morning rush of school preparations this week. We have just chilled largely at home quite happily.

4. I have just taken delivery of a big online groceries delivery. The van driver was so friendly asking me where my accent was from and so on. I have put a big focus on meal planning and healthy eating and look forward to seeing how that goes in the coming weeks.

5. I am enjoying lots of cuddles with our lovely kitten. He is a delightful little character.

6. I have changed my profile and background pictures on my social networks. I may be away with the fairies but it seems to be on a day when I feel a bit down that actually I have not aged too badly at all in the last 20 years.

me

me and mum

My mission this week is to laugh out loud in that carefree way again.