In this month's M&B column, Giovanna Fletcher says 'It's the little things that make me happiest now I'm a mum!'
My definition of happiness has changed since becoming a mum. The central axis of your heart and soul seems to gone through a massive shift leaving nothing as it was before. You are changed (definitely). Altered (yep). Bettered (possibly… I’d like to think so). You are flooded with new challenges, experiences and emotions – meaning the moments that fill you with the most amount of joy might seem small and trivial to others, but are everything to you.
Many things bring a smile to my face and a warmness to my heart, and motherhood (and getting older) brings the knowledge (or possibly the acceptance) that it really is the little things that make me the happiest. Years ago, happiness probably would have been in going to certain parties, meeting ‘cool’ people, or squeezing into a certain pair of jeans. My list now is somewhat different: sausage sandwiches on a Sunday morning after a Saturday night spent on the sofa; a crisp walk in the woods while the boys run ahead holding hands; and being comfortable in my body whatever its size!
And life now isn’t just about what makes me happy. It’s about what makes each individual member of the household happy, as well as what makes us happy as a collective. We all have our needs, wants and desires.
Buzz revels in having a sing and dance (he’s forever bouncing), but also loves a good old natter and a cuddle. Buddy loves having someone to play with but comes into his own outdoors where he can run, jump and discover. Max is happiest when he is with me – this was an overwhelming thought when I first had Buzz, but now I know how quickly time passes and how quickly they grow up, I’m enjoying being the main focus of his joy. What a gift. Tom’s happiness comes in simplicity. His head is so hectic with a million creative ideas that it’s good for him to occasionally step away. I’m happiest when we’ve all slept, the house is tidy and organised, my ‘to-do’ list is empty and we’re all laughing and being silly.
As a family, being together makes us happy. Especially when we’re out of work mode and away from distractions, meaning we’re fully immersed in being together. In fact, earlier this year I realised how important those moments are. So, I’ve put the put the school holidays in my work diary and will be trying my best to block that time out, or at the very least limit our work commitments to once the kids are in bed, so that they get the best of us without me fretting over deadlines. Happiness needs to be fed time so that it can fester and permeate, allowing us all to sink into it as it takes over.
The happiness of now and before cannot be compared. One is not naff just because the other makes me fulfilled in a different way. Each have made me who I am today. And sometimes, you have to go through a period of wanting to get into those skinny jeans so that you can have the later realisation that your body is nothing short of miraculous, no matter the size of your bottom.
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