"If you're happy and you know it..." is a familiar refrain at some point in our lives as mums.
Yet much of the time we're too busy to notice when we're happy. And often, we don't feel happy at all.
Write one sentence describing what has made you happy each day for a week, then share them here.
It might just change how you feel about your day, and your life...
This task was inspired by the Happiness Project led by Seven Cherubs, where participants recorded one happy sentence every day for a month - you can read about Pippa's attempt here. It was such a wonderful experience, we thought we would try a mini-version here for mums.
At the end of each day, note down just one sentence describing a moment when you were happy. Some days it may be hard, on other days it may come easily.
After seven days share your seven sentences here. Feel free to add any other thoughts you've had too.
(Then if you really want to, you can clap your hands, touch your nose and shout hooray...)
Banana Caramel cake and chatter in Penlee Park with three other lovely mums and their children, skies clearing to reveal sunshine, and conveniently being in the toilet when the seagull pooed on our table.
A quiet moment lying next to my exhausted toddler at bedtime in his little bed, cuddling, chatting about the day and hearing his ‘best bit’ was us doing a puzzle together while his baby sister slept.
Remembering a lost friend and trying to live in the moment with non-stop kissing of my baby’s delicious neck as she opens her mouth wide and crinkles her eyes in delight.
A brief moment of peace on a crazy Mazey Day, finding a quiet spot to breastfeed in the Arts Club away from everyone and far enough from the stupidly loud dance music for it to make me feel nostalgic instead of irritated.
Early evening sunshine, still hot, bit rowdy, rare cold beer in hand, grinning, dressed as a pirate, sat on the pavement as Golowan stalls pack down around us and the fair still blares, pirate husband on just the right side of boozy, pirate baby smiling at happy people everywhere, and pirate toddler and his pirate buddy concentrating on filling abandoned traffic cones with pebbles.
Watching my toddler and my brother exploring ‘dinosaur island’ and ‘fairy island’ at Newlyn Art Gallery, my son chattering happily about Triceratyrannosauruses and my brother looking amusingly nervous that said toddler is about to jump on the exhibit.
A rare morning spent catching up with my brother while he held the baby and I tidied, washed, cooked up all the leftovers and readied to finish off Herman the German Friendship Cake.
Lying in bed. Waiting for what's supposed to come. So soon. An overwelming feeling of calmness.
Hearing my baby's heart beat.
My man and I. Eating ice-creams on the beach.
Sunshine. Sun everywhere. Sitting on stones, observing the sea.
Meeting friends, not seen for a year.
Calmness of breathing during yoga exercises. My body filled up with air.
My baby's movements. Still inside. So intimate.
Friday: driving back after really good solid neck and shoulder massage by top guy in practice, smiling at sensation of new looseness when turning head to look at gorgeous red wild poppies all along the side of the road
Saturday: an extraordinary visit to watch the Foo fighters (on aVIP ticket which made it all the more fun!) and dancing , head banging near the mosh pit. Really getting into it, as if a teen fan, arms in the air pretend singing. A Hoot! A bopping mad grannie!
Sunday: one precious moment after 8 or 9 hours very hard gardening ( in preparation for our annual garden party in weeks time) when i sat on my bum straight on the gravel in the drive with glass of wine in hand staring at the way the garage security light threw shadows on the grape vine ( given by close friends 10 years ago) and reminded me of an evening in Sardinia! I got hubby to sit next to me, and we pondered our good fortune.
Monday: Arriving after what felt like too long a hot journey to supervisee’s house to collect my forgotten suitcase (was in the boot of his car as he drove off in one direction and me in the other on Friday night!). Cool inside the house, coffee machine, tasty espresso offered in beautiful Spanish cup and saucer sitting on bench in garden, talking about work and our grown up kids, before trip all the way back again (with suitcase).
Tuesday: Going to chemist as hay fever strangely out of control to find that I had been given the wrong nasal spray previously and I had been making matters worse! So headed home feeling chuffed and hopeful that I needn’t sneeze my way through the garden party preparations. Breathed out…. And in, just fine! And sitting having lettuce from our garden at lunch listening and watching 2 tiny finches being brave and curious about our lunch.
Wednesday: spying a young couple out in the lane looking around and going out to see if they were new tenants of converted pub down the road ( me being curious) and inviting them into the garden and exchanging veg growing techniques as beginners, and their giving me raspberries from their allotment and me inviting them to garden party. Barney, Eleanor and baby Carter beaming
Thursday: sharing cooking with friend who felt very close and intimate even though we don’t know each other that well. Such simple and fulfilling fun to chop and natter, and read recipes and discern chef’s meanings, giggling, supporting, speaking of being wives and mothers and ways in which food had been/was central in ‘feeding’ our kids.
Monday 7th October
Seeing my son happily settling into his first morning at nursery with no tears.
Tuesday 8th October
An amazing business proposal came my way
Wednesday 9th October
Listening to Sam, my brother, imitating his clearing agent. If you ever need a laugh…
Thursday 10th October
Watching my toddler laugh hysterically in the car, while I make funny faces
Friday 11th October
Hanging out with friends I haven’t spent time with in years, catching up on old memories
Saturday 12th October
Taking a quick walk through Ikoyi Club – a family club I practically grew up in – so many happy memories and having dinner with my family.
Sunday 13th October
My darling boy – everyday he does something funny, silly and cute. Almost everyday he also tests my patience but seeing him grow and watching him learn new things everyday makes me so very happy.
Kids are sleeping on the sofa (too hot in Hungary, 35 degrees, so we didn't go upstairs where the heat is unbearable) and I can watch Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth in it. My husband fell asleep too, Colin is not HIS favourite actor.
Watching them playing in the small plastic swimming pool in the garden.
Returning home with my son (9) and daughter (4) after 2 hours of arranging things (dentist, post office, shopping) in the hot town without a newly bought princess doll, a pony or a football player card. It cost me only two chocolate bars.
Chatting with my friend for an hour. They were able to find something to eat without mum.
Watching how excited my children are before visiting granny. They were the first to pack their bags full of toys which grandma has to see.
Having lunch with my mum, brother, his and my family. We haven't met for two months.
Having some ice cream in the main square of Debrecen, listening to a band. We're on holiday now.
Friday. Cuppa in the sunshine with a friend. Grown-up chat, happy sleepy baby and toddlers playing nicely together...proud of how they've grown up.
Saturday. Face-painted butterfly babies blowing bubbles amongst the flowers as we walked across campus. Sunlight sparkling on their glitter and their bubbles, baby giggling in the sling. Perfect moment.
Sunday. 7/4 BBQ. Adult beverages, hubbie playing games, oldest mini joining in. Middle mini scooting around with her friend, baby asleep on godfather's lap. Cake, good friends, good weather. Seriously good times.
Monday. Tiny navigating the nursery, making friends and working with teachers, not even glancing in my direction. That child is good to go anywhere, so different to her sister!
Tuesday. Breastfeeding the baby while at PTA meeting. Can you feel any more mummy-ish?!
Wednesday. Family movie time...the moral message of sweetpea beauty recited at me by the minis (bless those kids) followed by 'dancing in your underwear' courtesy of Mulan 2. Never a dull moment, and just when you think it's getting too hard, they give you a reason to smile...
Thursday. Hubbie worked all day, stopped in at the grocery to bring in food so I could skip shopping in the rain, fixed the blocked drainpipe AND bought me fancy houmous to snack on. And offered to do bedtime with the babies so I can knit some. I do love that man. :-)
My daughter’s smile, complete with dimples on each cheek.
My son cuddling me, both arms wrapped around me and squeezing tight. A rare moment.
My daughter saying ‘fan-koo’ (thank you) or ‘soh-eee’ (sorry). So cute! I wish I could bottle it.
Realising my new business might just work!
My husband and son engaged in an intellectual discussion about who is the biggest baby. You’re a baby. No, you’re a baby. No, you’re a baby…
Sunshine, a Cornish beach. Three little boys splashing in the waves killing sea monsters. Two little girls playing quietly in the sand.
My son asking me: Mummy, do you like pasties and ice-cream?
Me: Of course.
My son (very seriously): Good. Because they're my favourites!
You can't argue with that!
My first ever walk round Heligan, enjoying the garden’s mixture of wild and cultivated spaces and the company of friends, bees buzzing, sun shining, carrying a sleeping baby, pretending not to be puffed out from the exercise.
Ooh out on the town (well actually round a friend’s house but it’s my first night out alone since babe came along) to eat popcorn, drink cava and watch Tangled, squeezed into a sofa amongst friends.
A large takeout coffee, sunshine despite dark clouds, warm park bench and a beautiful beech tree, managing an intelligent caffeine-fuelled chat with another lovely friend about life, work and motherhood as our babies sing and blow bubbles at each other.
After a shady walk and picnic at Trewidden, a cool late afternoon swim in Mousehole harbour with two mum friends, first time in the sea in ages, braving the seaweed and not looking down, watched by our paddling happily-squabbling boys, the menfolk holding the babies and preparing a delicious BBQ including a plastic champagne glass of Prosecco, and then proudly managing to attempt baby led weaning with steamed potato pieces despite the sand and chaos.
Cuddling my smiling bare-bottomed baby in the shade of a big umbrella on a windy beach.
Watching my excited toddler attempting to combine blowing bubbles, tiger arms and ballerina kicks as I held him in a woggle in his second ever swimming lesson, momentarily forgetting my worry about the baby’s first ever stay in the crèche and instead enjoying seeing my son growing in a moment.
Walking home after baby club along the blustery prom, laughing with a friend, fresh fish from newlyn swinging from my pram handle, the sea at my side, baby drifting off to sleep, bumping into yet more mum friends for a chat what seemed like every twenty metres, trying not to clog up the pathway with our buggies, enjoying not having to rush because another lovely friend was collecting my son for me.
Mon: I woke up feeling like it was Christmas monring as a child, that excited feeling of what presents I will receive, as I entered my little girl's bedroom and could not wait to see her and her little face, which was very smiley and beautiful.
Tue: Many will think I am crazy to write this as I am sure it will send a lot of people mad, but with all my trips to the local Boots, I have grown to feel rather fond about the sounds that come from the photographic machine, which is next to all of the baby essentials aisle, after arriving rather stressed, I have found that this is rather calming in a strange sort of way, obviously not there for a reason and it makes me smile to type this, but it will always bring back great memories when I go into Boots. Anyway, on to Wed
Wed: Awoke to a lovely cuddle from my hubbie and thinking about how lucky I am. As I walk through Morrab Gardens, and along the prom breathing in the air and thinking about when I was little, I think about how lucky I am to hopefully be able to share this space with my little girl, I used to dace around the band stand and bring smiles to old grannies (so I thought!), thinking that I was part of a big westend show, how far it was from now, but then again so near, how lovely to be able to do that with her I hope.
Thur: Walking through the madness of Aug and living in PZ, trying to get through with the pram, to buy a pasty at Rowes which normally does not take all day, hearing some lovely comments about how lucky we are to live in Cornwall from some visitors, nice to hear, when sometimes it does seem tricky, but will always be home.
Fri: Ahh the weekend is near, bought some lovely monk fish and cooked a special meal with hubby, shared some wonderful giggling moments with the little one as she trys to say Mummy and Daddy, sharing exciting thoughts of the future, possibly a holiday, probably will be in Cornwall, but hey how lovely! Will check in soon and it has been lovely to share this xx
I watch my toddler and his best friend play together in the sun, hats still on despite much rolling and tumbling, while I sit in the shade on the grass with my friend and our babies who are finally both awake at the same time, touching each others cheeks.
(oops I'm sure there was a happy moment today but I forgot to write a sentence...)
The sun breaks out as I listen to a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace, humming along with a group of near-strangers on a clifftop to celebrate the naming of a friend's baby, exhausted having hiked there with hubby carrying toddler and me carrying the baby, so happy that we made it for the final joyful song despite being late, lost, and battling dodgy backs and knees.
A rare cuddle in bed with my husband.
Wet and shattered after the hecticness that is Monday morning, blissfully relaxing sofa time snuggled up stroking my son's hair and watching Mr Ben, a nostalgic treat from my childhood, while baby gurgles.
Running out in the rain as my lovely friend draws up outside in her car - aware that hubby is working all hours, she has collected my son from nursery and delivered him back to me with a fresh out of the oven fish pie for us to have for tea, the tupperware warming one of my hands, my son's little mitt in the other.
My baby sleeps, I write a blog, finish it and she's still asleep - I have a blissful moment of wondering what to do with this unexpected time, and I don't choose tidying. I write that sentence instead which makes me smile.
Saturday 14th May 2011
Watching my two boys laugh uncontrolably as their dad went 'fast-forward' and 'fast rewind' round the dining room table.
Listening to my two boys (aged just 3 & nearly 6) compete in extraordinary conversation to impress Bill, friend of their granda Hugh's.....& his valiant attempts to understand & respond to two concurrent & completely unrelated stories!
Settling down on big sofa with a cappucino to feed Tommy (1 month old) whilst watching two curly blond heads confidently heading off to jump on the softplay.
Seeing a wren just outside the kitchen window, singing it's little head off.
First proper smile from Tommy, aged 4weeks.
Listening from the other room to my boys defending their baby brother's right to breastfeed as often as he wants to at the end of the day, in response to their granny saying 'you can't be hungry AGAIN' to the baby - real LLL kids- made me super proud!
Kindness of strangers, small things which make my life happier... Random businessman in coffee shop interacting with my 3yr old (versus 2minutes previously, derision of woman on hands free phone as he was staring at her talking to herself!)
Hot sunshine on the decking, & getting to listen to 'Wear Sunscreen' by Baz Lurman sent via FB from lovely friend Louise.
Lying on the bed in the evening having just breastfed my 10 month old to sleep. My heart swelling as I take in the exquisite perfection of the little sleeping being. Noticing how he is becomming more boy and less baby.
Lying in bed this morning with my 4 year old, taking turns to guess the letters that we trace on each other's backs.
11pm. Partner out. Children sleeping. Lying in bed on my own listening to the sound of the rain on the roof and windows.
Ten delicious minutes alone in the sea.
Cuddling with my girl at bedtime and feeling a closeness again that I've missed so much.
Returning home from a morning run to toast-crumbed faces smiling at me from around the breakfast table.
Sitting in a field watching my partner play with the children and remembering that I love him.
Having finally spoken to and cuddled my madly working husband for the first time in days, settling into a blissful 'dream feed' with my dozing girl, her tiny cheeks puffing, her hand softly stroking my skin, so beautiful.
Walking through the park in light rain, baby girl singing in the sling as I chat away to her unselfconsciously, pointing out tiny blue flowers and huge leaves, both of us smiling at random passersby who smile back.
A brief but much needed soak in a scented bath with my baby grinning and trying to make kissing noises back at me every time I peep over the top of the tub.
Trying to rush my son to the sea for a pee, pants round his ankles, on a nearly sunny Porthgwidden beach, only he decides to hold on to me, plank forward and do it just there, with me belly laughing at his immediate and shameless approach to weeing.
The end of a difficult day - pannacotta, a cup of tea and finally a moment to think about me instead of everyone else, with joyful chatter and insights from a mentor by skype, continuing even when baby wakes and joins us quietly before falling back to sleep.
A cold can of lemonade and a sit-down on a shady park bench on a warm day as baby smiles toothlessly from pram.
Kids in bed and I should be catching up on sleep but I'm watching the first Harry Potter film, stage one of my unlikely-to-be-fulfilled plan of watching them all again before seeing the final film in the cinema, feeling excited and sad and nostalgic and happy, I love Harry Potter.