Monday, 8 January 2018

The ripple effect of happiness and why as a mother, it's important to invest in yourself

I've had a little bit of a revelation this Christmas. I think this is the first December since having children that I haven't felt like I've been running around like a headless chicken, that I haven't lived in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed and that I haven't been on a short fuse, snappy and feeling like I'm carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. It's been really lovely and has changed the way I think about self-care and treating myself well. I bet I'm not the only mam out there who cries with stress every December, in fact I bet that most of us do. There's so much to do and the list is just never-ending. The number of plates we have to juggle increases 10 fold. Christmas is my favourite time of year and I honestly felt like I just didn't have any real time to enjoy it anymore as I was just always so busy. Something needed to change.

The ripple effect of happiness and why as a mother, it's important to invest in yourself

This year, I decided to take some real proper time off, not commit to too much, share the burden with Steve more than I normally would (and trust that it would be ok) and use December to invest in myself a little more and do you know what, the whole family benefitted because of this. I really learned a life lesson - if I'm happy, the rest of the family are happy and I'm going to make a real effort to put my happiness first more often now as I know it's for the best for the whole family and definitely not a selfish thing to do.

Taking time off was a biggie for me. As a self-employed person, if you don't work, you don't earn and taking time off over Christmas does feel massively selfish as it would mean not earning any money. But then you've got to have the mindset that money really isn't everything and my family would always choose to have me with them when they're off rather than have me being glued to my laptop and only paying half attention to them which is what normally happens in the school holidays. We survived and taking time off from work is something I'm going to do on a more regular occasion now. With a little bit of planning and budgeting, you can save for times like this too. I'm a huge believer that spending time with your children is way more important than money and it was about time I put this into practice over Christmas and take some holiday so we could spend time together.

I invested a lot in myself this December and really felt a huge shift in my mood and the way I acted because of this. I took some time out for a girls trip to Manchester, Steve and I enjoyed a little break at Newcastle Malmaison, I treated myself to a new haircut at House of Savannah, I actually found the time to read a whole book (shockingly the last time this happened was when we travelled to Cuba last April) and bought some new skincare. Just little things but I think that women are often guilty of putting themselves at the bottom of the pecking order. I know I used to feel guilty splashing out £40 on a haircut every 8 weeks and would go months without cutting my hair or buying myself new moisturiser when I ran out but I've now realised that the rest of my family actually WANT me to spend money on myself. Honestly, think of your children and partner/husband - they love you and want you to be happy. They don't resent you spending money on yourself and want you to be feel good about yourself. There's no need to feel guilty about it.

Investing in myself throughout December caused a noticeable change in my behaviour. First of all, I didn't cry like I normally do and I really felt so chilled out and relaxed and was able to spend so much quality time with the family. This continued into New Year's Day. Normally I'd be stressing about taking the decorations down ect.... but there were so many good movies on the TV that I just thought, stuff it. What's the worst that can happen if I don't have a tidy house on New Year's Day? Nothing bad would ever come of it and I spent the whole day snuggled on the sofa with Heidi watching Clueless, Paddington, Titanic and Mrs Doubtfire. It was precious time together and I was happy and content. Days like that are times that you'll never get back. There is ALWAYS time to tidy your house.

Onto the ripple effect. If I'm happy and content, it really does filter down to the rest of the family. When I'm happy I'm not snapping, I'm not stressed and I'm not agitated. I can spend more time with the kids, have a smile on my face and I'm a much more fun person to be around. Everyone wins when mam's happy! I imagine if I had decided to tidy the house on New Year's Day I would have been stressed that it was all down to me, I would have snapped at the kids and Steve would have come home to a house with an atmosphere. When I'm upset or angry the rest of the family definitely feel it and the reverse is definitely true. My happiness benefits not just myself but it's for Steve, Harry, Heidi and Jack and that's why I think it's so important (PS I cleaned the house and put the decorations away a few days later when the kids were occupied in their room and I had nothing to do).

Putting your happiness first is vital I think. It's not selfish and you don't need to feel guilty. I honestly believe your happiness is best for everyone around you and I'm going to spend more of 2018 prioritising myself and doing more things that make me smile and feel content. What about you?

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The ripple effect of happiness and why as a mother, it's important to invest in yourself


  1. I have a chronic illness and I am ALWAYS poorly around Christmas/New year. This last Christmas was the first time in 12 years I'd been working full time at Christmas. Despite working full time (and overtime at weekends in november) we were really feeling the pinch money wise this time. I spent all of December feeling ill and incredibly guilty that I wasn't able to give my family the best Christmas ever. Yes they had presents and we went on fantastic trips out when we could but I just never felt good enough all month. My husband absolutely would've helped me out if I'd told him exactly what I needed him to do but the only time I asked him to pick something up for me he came back with the wrong game and I just did that awful thing of shouting at him that I should be just done it myself in the first place. Not his fault really, we all make mistakes, I made loads!! I've ended up so poorly that I couldn't leave the house after Christmas, so the kids were stick in the whole time. We watched musicals together and made cakes but didn't Actually go anywhere as I wasn't well enough. Did they care? Not a not. In fact my youngest has talked non stop about when we're watching the sound of musical again. I've ended up having to go into hospital for surgery, probably because the stress of Christmas and trying to be Mrs Perfect has made me so ill. I've made a promise to myself that this Christmas I will be better organised. I won't try so hard. As long as we are healthy and happy and loved everything is good. Women definitely need to start looking after themselves better!!!

  2. I’m not a mother but this still resonates so much with me - definitely going to remember this when I have a family! Thanks for sharing. Melis

  3. I did something similar this year and felt so much better for it, I left the decorating of the tree and house up to my husband and dumped the guilt I usually feel about not buying presents for everyone. I felt so much better for it and we all had a nice Christmas. It's silly the amount of pressure we put on ourselves isn't it, well done to you for recognising and taking action x


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