Finding happiness in motherhood
When my firstborn was two years old I went on a weekend retreat with some close girlfriends. It was the first time I had spent a night away from my daughter. It was that weekend that I realised for two whole years my life had been completely about my daughter. I had forgotten to make myself a priority and I was feeling lost and a little unhappy about myself.
After a relaxing massage and a quiet swim, I sat in the relaxation room and wrote down some self-love goals. I made myself a promise to never forget myself again. I vowed that I would be a ‘Happy Mummy’.
Once I was home from the retreat I put the wheels in motion and made some changes in my life.
1. Be mindful
My first change was to slow down and be more mindful. To truly be present in my actions. Whether it be hanging out the washing, playing with my daughter, or coffee with a girlfriend, I tried really hard to be “there” and not let my mind wander to other tasks that were waiting for me. Meditation helped me to slow my mind. I began using the Smiling Mind app to help me meditate. It wasn’t easy at first but once I got the hang of it I had never felt so much clarity.
2. Be surrounded by positivity
3. Being a happy mum
I vowed to once a day do something that made me happy. It was something I looked forward to each day and it got me through the tantrums, the tough bedtimes and the terrible twos. Planning simple things like a quiet bath or enjoying a warm cup of tea outside once the children were in bed and just reflecting on my day.
My children are my world. I love to spend time with them playing make-believe and visiting the park… but I don’t feel guilty admitting that I sometimes need a time-out.
These are my suggestions for a mummy time-out that won’t break the bank…
- After you’ve buckled the children into their car seats, spend an extra minute to take a few deep breaths and enjoy the silence before getting in yourself.
- Get up before the kids and make yourself a nice cuppa and enjoy it in your favourite spot in the house whilst it’s still quiet. Take some deep breaths and gather your thoughts.
- Enjoy a nice bubble bath. Grab a magazine, a cup of tea, light some candles and enjoy the peace. Bonus points if you put on a face mask.
- Go to sleep early! You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
- Meet a good friend for dinner… and dessert!
- Watch your favourite movie once the children are in bed.
- Make a regular date night with your partner at home. Put the kids to bed, order some take-away, download a movie, play cards or just chat and relax.
- Take a walk around the block.
- Put on your favourite upbeat song as LOUD as you want and sing your heart out!
Being a Happy Mummy is always a work in progress. I can honestly say I’m a better mum to my kids when I take care of myself. I hope you can find your place as a Happy Mummy too.
About the Author: Beth O’Donnell is a stay at home mum to an ever-entertaining 3.5 year old girl and the most well behaved 8 month old baby boy that ever existed.