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The secret to being a happy mum


Over the last week I have been interviewing mums as part of a film I am making. I asked them the question ‘What’s your secret to being a happy mum?’ The results were fascinating.

Overwhelmingly they had amazing ideas, we might hesitate initially, but we all know the answers to this question and can reel them off. But when the camera stopped rolling and we started to talk about the ideas we realised that much of the time we don’t put our great ideas into practice anywhere near enough.

I read an article about women and leisure time recently that really made me think. The lives of women who have children tend to be much more fragmented than mens’ lives, women are more likely to juggle part time jobs around home responsibilities and children which blur the boundaries of work and leisure time, whereas men are more likely to work full time and so find it easier to switch into leisure mode when they return home.

I know I am often up before anyone else, trying to get some work done, before switching my attention to the school run, then back to work, only to be distracted by the mess at home, where I work, then its back to the school run, tea and clearing up before collapsing in a heap in front of computer or TV screen.

The biggest theme was taking time out for yourself. One of the easiest things that came up repeatedly was take a bath. Just half an hour, with the family locked out of the room and lots of pampering products is inexpensive and highly effective. But I can’t remember when I last did this.

So I’ve vowed once a week to take to the bath, to let my mind wander and my body relax. To shut the world out and create a sanctuary spa just for me. It will be time to read a magazine or even a book, because I spend far too little time doing those things too.  I remember reading whole books in the bath as a teenager. Now I can barely manage a chapter. My mind needs retuning too.

I received a travel bag of bath goodies from the lovely Laura for being a speaker at Blog On. She knows how much I love to have adventures, travel and see the world over at A Residence. It has been a crazy year, lived out of bags and suitcases, but perhaps its time to regroup, to slow down a little, to relax and restore some energy.

Look out for the film, it will be interesting viewing! In the meantime, what are your tips for being a happy mum? Let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Picture credit Justin Shearer on Flickr



  1. emma cavill
    11/06/2014 / 12:03 pm

    Interesting post Penny. I struggle to be brilliant at everything I want to be – wife, mum, business owner… we have to spread ourselves very thinly as mum’s don’t we? And you are right, we never really treat those moments to ourselves as a priority. I do try not to get bogged down with keeping a pristine house (pointless with little ones) and try to remember that they’ll be at school soon, and then I’ll miss them – although no doubt other roles will take over, so the house will still be a mess anyway!!

    I think I can see a nice warm bath coming up this week. Funnily enough, I recently signed up to a subscription for ‘The Week’ to try and keep up with current affairs and actually do some reading! Perhaps that can join me in the bath on a weekly basis!

    • parentshaped
      25/06/2014 / 12:39 pm

      Oh reading is on my list too Emma, and I struggle to be all those rules too. Cleaning too much at this point is pointless. Makes me dizzy thinking about it, quick run a bath!

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