Today we have the lovely Mum Muddling Through with us on The Happiness Series. She has answered the Happiness Series Interview…
Writing a blog like http://mummuddlingthrough.com/, it can be easy to get drawn into the negative aspects of parenting. You would however be very wrong if you thought I didn’t like being a Mum, or that I am not entirely happy with my life. Parenting can be tough, but having a family is also the most wonderful decision I ever made.
Becky’s happiness series is the perfect guest series for me to inject a little positivity into my parenting blog.
- Name three things in life that make you happy. And, please tell us a little about each one.
I could use the obvious here – husband-daughter-daughter. Maybe that is a given?… These three people are the ones who make every day so special so they can have spot number one. Becoming a wife and a mother has been the making of me and they are my purpose – I constantly strive to be a better person, for them.
Full tummies and clean plates. As a stay at home mother it sometimes feels like a disproportionate part of my mind is preoccupied with meal planning. And, with one little girl being a rubbish eater, when the family has eaten up a good nutritious meal, I honestly feel like I could take on the world! High times!
The third thing is friendship. In my twenties I poo-pooed the phrase ‘you can count all your friends on one hand’. I believed I had so many friends that would all always be there. Life has taught me otherwise, and yet this only strengthens the special people who have been there for me through thick and thin. Wonderful friends not only make me happy, but it makes me happy to be there for them, when they need me.
- What’s something you do to find your happiness when you’ve lost it?
I like to go for a run to clear my mind after a particularly tough day, or week. I sometimes think the first half of that run is like running away, but the second half is running home. It reaffirms that however much you crave time off being a Mum, it is programmed within you; as soon as you are away you long to be back at the helm.
- What cheers you up after a long, difficult day?
To me, music is the best therapy. Start the day with a happy tune and you’ll have a spring in your step all day! The same goes for ending the day too. If the girls and I are pressing each other’s buttons, we crank up the tunes, switch on the disco ball and have a dance party until Daddy gets home. It never fails to make us giggle, and saves my sanity.
Failing that, I try not to reach for the booze mid-week, reserving it for that Friday feeling. But, there’s nothing like the medicinal properties of a glass of white!
- Does your job make you happy? If you are a SAH parent, does that make you happy?
I have always worked, so losing my job (which was part time after becoming a Mum) was a bit of a curve ball. I have treasured having an extended maternity leave second time around, and been able to be at home for almost two years. It feels as though it was meant to be – allowing me to spend this time with Tigs before she starts school and seeing Dangermouse grow into a cheeky little girl. No regrets at all.
That said, I do miss elements of working. I am hoping to look into returning to work part-time towards the end of this year, but we’ll see.
- Share a happy memory with us.
A few years ago, before we had Dangermouse, we were chucking out a double mattress we were replacing. It ended up in the garden for a day or two and in the height of summer, we had one of the simplest, best days in the garden as a family – with Tigs bouncing away on her ‘trampoline’. Joy doesn’t always come in fancy packages when it comes to kids!
- Do you think money can bring happiness?
I totally subscribe to the theory that money is a hygiene factor – if you don’t have it you may feel unhappy and want it, or want more, but if you do achieve that dream, you do not achieve the happiness you anticipated. That said, I don’t think I have ever had to know what it is like to be really struggling financially? We are by no means rolling in it, and reducing to a one income family has meant cutbacks, but I have always had a roof over my head, food on the table and the ability to pay the bills. It’s important to appreciate that. The skintest I’ve been being when I was renting on my own and ‘hard times’ meant cutting back on the gas credits, or topping up the car with a fiver of petrol so I could still afford to go out on Saturday night.
- Is your happiness influenced by the things you do or the way you think?
I do have a tendency to overthink things, and sometimes can conclude innocent things are some kind of conspiracy against me! Being stuck indoors day after day can do strange things to people! I find ‘doing’ is a way of combatting the ‘thinking’…taking positive steps in arranging to see good friends, doing fun stuff with the children, planning things to look forward to.
- Which would make you the happiest – a sun holiday, new car or a new job opportunity?
It wouldn’t be the car as I don’t think I’m hugely materialistic? It’d be between the holiday or the job, but for longevity a perfect job opportunity that worked for me around my family would be fantastic. Feeling needed in a role other than motherhood is very motivating to me, probably why I enjoy blogging!
- Which wine makes you happier – red or white?
They both have their place! Red wine for me is a winter drink – in a pub on a Sunday, with roast Beef and a roaring fire. White wine, ice cold in the summer is a little slice of heaven! I have learned over time (sort of) not to drink wine all evening on a night out as it ends up in disaster!
- Share a quote that makes you smile.
‘This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good.’
I love this quote which was presented on a work training course probably 15 years ago. It really resonated with me that life is so precious, and never more so than now, in my life as a Mother.