Happiness is…

It’s only recently that I feel like I’m a little better at dealing with situations that make me feel sad. Handling them as a adult instead of, like my kids do and throwing a strop/having a tantrum/sulking. Sometimes, I do still do these things. Obvs. I’m only human. But sometimes, I am actually, a grown-up human and handle things as such.

Aside from watching my babies sleeping, which is genuinely my all time favourite thing to do (non-parents don’t you dare judge me, kids are at their cutest when they’re asleep, it’s NORMAL!). And sleeping myself, also a fave. I have a few other things little things up my sleeve that help me when I’m feeling low. They might be obvious, or perhaps not but here are a few ways to help find happiness…

one) Meet up with friends who can really make you laugh. I have a few BFF’s who I know, can make me actually LOL and bring me out of the lowest of moods. Meeting them for a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows would be perfect for a down day, if not, I know I can text them and they’ll diffuse the sorry situation in an instant. Normally with a dash of piss-taking and a peppering of profanities. That’s what friends are for.

two) Listen to your favourite music. My all time favourite song is Mr Blue Sky by ELO, it can even pick me up on the moodiest of Monday mornings when stuck (standing and squashed) on a packed commuter train to London at 7 in the morning. I can’t listen to it without smiling, dancing (maybe just a little foot tap on the train) and singing along. I bloody love it.

three) Don’t compare to others. Whether it’s yourself; your family; your house; your job, your dinner, whatever. It’s good to be ambitious but not so good to be envious. Be happy for others for what they have achieved. Use it to spur on your own ambition. Don’t be jel.

four) Along the same lines as number 3, remember that most of the posts you see on Facebook, Instagram etc are polished versions of reality. I posted a photo of my kitchen on Instagram to show off the new worktop. The kitchen looked IMMACULATE but it only ever looks like that 5 minutes before we have guests turning up. Plus, well…filters! They’re social media’s equivalent of rose tinted glasses. They make everything look better. If ever you see a black and white photo of me it’s only because I looked like shit, in colour.

five) Eat well. Comfort eating is tempting and I definitely do it WAAAAAAAAY more often than I should. But no matter how good chocolate makes me feel (and it really does, SO good!) it’s not as good as when I am eating really well. When I eat better, I feel physically better, which makes me feel emotionally better. Better.

I was going to stop at five but I am on a ROLL so here’s one more…

six) Hugs. Mainly with my husband; kids; family; friends. Or even with a stranger in the card aisle in Tesco. Yep. It happened. She was looking for a With Sympathy card, I was looking for something to say “sorry you have cancer” (they didn’t anything suitable..!) we both felt sad, I offered her a hug, she accepted, we hugged it out and in that moment, we both felt a little less sad. Seriously, more people should hug. Hugging improves your mood. There’s some science shiz behind it which I don’t understand won’t go into but essentially, it’s a fact, so hug it out.

There you have it. Six simple, inexpensive ways to perk yourself up. If you have other ideas, please let me know, there must be so many way and everyone needs a little help to feel happy sometimes.

Oh I thought of another one, fresh flowers! They don’t even have to be in my home (although YES to having them in my home!) but just walking past a pretty garden is a mood booster. Don’t even get me started on a bluebell woodland. God I’m getting old…

Be happy!x

 

My name is Mummy!

So recently, the kids learnt our real names. It’s our own fault, it started with us telling them their grandparents names. There’s not much funnier than hearing a three year old addressing their Grandad as Clive (GREAT name, Dad).

Then came Austin standing at the top of the stairs shouting “Babe” to Steve (interestingly with a slight cockney twang – doesn’t get that bit from me, we all know I’m shit at accents, other than saying “he’s a gay man now” in a Northern Irish accent a la Catherine Tate). I digress…

Now however, Daddy is only ever referred to as Steve. But not just Steve, Steeeeeeeeeeeeeevve said only in the electronic voice of the monkey from the film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The funny thing is, it sounds HILARIOUS when they say it! They do it for a reaction, we laugh, they do it even more. Shits. And. Giggles.

To Austin, I am Elizabeth. Liz is waaay too informal for addressing your mother. Obvs. Whereas Elodie prefers Mom. Because whilst Austin is quintessentially British, his younger sister has taken it upon herself to develop her non-existent, American roots.

Is this a normal stage that kids go through? Like temper tantrums (step forward, Elodie) and fussy eating (OK, Austin hasn’t gone through this one yet but in Elodie’s case, refusing to eat anything other than cheese and crackers is pretty standard)?? I’m really not sure. Although I know Austin has a thing with names in general at the moment…if anyone asks what he’s called, he’ll name himself in full, complete with middle and surname. He’s not quite grasping the Stranger Danger thing just yet…

I get that kids will call their parents by their first names when they’re teenagers, I remember doing it myself and thinking I was HILARIOUS. It’s not funny. So was I just a massively backwards 12 year old, acting like a 3 year old?! Probably answered my own question there. Bit awkward.

Yours,

Elizabeth / Mom