Thursday, 12 January 2017

Being A Happy At Home Mum

Semi transparent image of a vase of tulips in front of a brick wall with the text: being a happy at home mum in front of it

It can be hard being a SAHM, it’s even harder to be a WAHM (if you aren’t familiar with the acronyms the first is a stay at home mum and the second a work at home mum). When you are working from home, whether it’s for another company or for your own business there is this feeling that any spare minutes should be spent working. I find that family and work time become intertwined. Evenings often end up being the most productive hours for working, but this means losing out on time for me or to spend with my partner. I love blogging, but some days I can find it hard to be happy and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. 

After Christmas with the cold and wet weather I found I didn’t want to leave the house. I wanted to hibernate and slouch around in comfy clothes without the need to look presentable. I started feeling isolated and bored. The feeling wasn't helped by the lack of energy from sleepless nights (thank you Little) and eating rubbish food. I really had to push myself to get back on track. Some days are harder than others, but I have a number of ways to cheer myself up. 

These are ten things I do to help me be a happy at home mum:

Have a cuddle. I don’t always want a cuddle at the most appropriate times, so often I have to have a mental hug rather than a physical one. A text from my partner can often give me a boost until he’s home, but when I need a bit more and the children aren't being obliging I reach out to friends. Recently I have found that the people that help most are other bloggers, they have a great understanding of what it is like to balance family and work. Knowing that there are others experiencing the same frustrations can pull me back from the edge enough that I am open to the other options below.  
A woman holding her daughter and being cuddle with faces squished together

Dance. My absolute favourite way to beat the blues away is to put on music and dance. I love a good bit of cheesy music, but my dance moves aren’t going to win any awards. Even when I am at my busiest having some good music on allows me to dance while I tidy up or cook. Both my daughters love to dance so we can all boogie together.

Look Good. Yes those yoga pants are super comfy, and they are one step up from wearing pyjama’s but there is something about wearing proper clothes which connects me more to the outside world. It means I could pop out to the post box if I wanted to without having to hope I don’t bump into a neighbour. Having a shower, my hair brushed and make up on mean I could take a selfie if I wanted to. And hopefully it helps keep my partner attracted to me.

Take 5 minutes out. Even if it is having a coffee and biscuit on the sofa without trying to complete 12 other tasks I find consciously focusing on me makes me feel better. It might require some bribery or the use of the television to get 5 uninterrupted minutes in daylight hours, but it is worth doing. I try and spend these 5 minutes switched off from social media or the time just disappears. It’s 5 minutes for just me.

Make progress. I have worked in many jobs where it has felt like I was treading water or the tasks were endless, similar tasks at home might be tidying up toys, washing clothes or cleaning the dishes. No sooner have you completed it, but the task gets undone. The best way I have found to feel like I have made progress at the end of the day is to have crossed of items on my list. I have lots of lists, but each day I take a number of things I really want to achieve that day and make it my list for the day. The key thing is that the list should be achievable. There is great satisfaction from crossing every item off a list. Better to have lines through all 5 items on a list, than to have crossed out 5 out of 10. 

Get Out. Go on, go for a walk. At this time of year I love to hide inside, but it’s not great for me or my children to stay in all day. Whether it is a quick walk round the block with the pushchair or a slow wander where every leaf and twig is explored, a winter walk can be invigorating. At worst getting back into a warm house can feel great after being out in cold rain.

Have a pretty house. My home is my office. I spend a lot of time here so it is worth investing in to make it look good. I must admit my house is very much a work in progress though. We moved in a year ago and have had a baby most of that time so there is a lot more to do, but it’s getting there.

Flower power. Not only are flowers beautiful, but they smell great. A cheap bunch might cost only a few pounds in the supermarket, but they bring some colour and freshness into the house which makes me smile each time I see them. If you want to be more frugal a potted plant will last longer. This doesn't often work in our house where we are experts in killing plants, but somehow we have managed to keep our orchids alive for a few years.

A vase of tulips in front of a brick wall

Have a laugh. I love to laugh, on a tough day it can take a while for that smile to crack, but with a bit of effort it happens. There are so many ways to do this, I find my children are a great source of laughter, but if they aren’t on form I will watch a comedy programme, chat to a funny friend or watch daft clips on YouTube.

Change your sheets. Yes it does create more washing, but climbing into a bed with fresh sheets is a treat at the end of the day. I love the smell and smoothness of the sheets and it instantly helps me to relax and unwind before I go to sleep. 

How do you find your happy?

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
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10 comments

  1. Yes yes yes!! As a fellow blogger and owner of two semi feral toddlers I totally get this. Just lately whenever I try to get any work done...they go into destruction mode (e.g. 2 pints of milk spilt on kitchen floor, 6 satsumas squished all over the dining room floor. Aaaarrrrgggghhh!). The struggle is real. Kate x

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    1. I'm so glad that we don't have carpet downstairs, although I never knew how much mess it concealed until we didn't have any.

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  2. Great tips! I am on maternity leave and I hate being at home in general as I feel so alone and like I never get a break. Will try some of these xx

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    1. I found mat leave much harder the first time round, this time I have found my groove. I have a less demanding baby this time too which helps

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  3. Some great tips there. Most important for me is getting dressed and getting my make up on. If I don't do this I won't leave the house which makes me more depressed.

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    1. I must admit that I'm currently wearing stay at home leggings, but I changed into them when I got home earlier. Getting out the house makes such a difference, thank you for commenting

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  4. Some really great tips.. I think getting out is a must. I don't stay in pjs either as they make me feel so unmotivated and Dancing is good for the mood, I put on music at least once a day for a good boogy. Great post!

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    1. Thanks Amy. The power of a good boogy is amazing

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  5. This is a great post. Being at home can sometimes be quite depressing and it's easy to get in a slump! Love the tips.

    Emily xxx

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