Happy mum happy child, that’s such a powerful statement. I was curious, as I explore the idea that at the centre of designing a life you love, which brings you happiness every day, is yourself (read more about designing your life here.) Specifically a version of yourself where you spend time filling your cup.
My third guest blogger is Maria, a mum of two, creator of website / Facebook page Happy Mum Happy Child, which is dedicated to helping parents feel less alone in this parenting journey. Having started in 2014, HMHC is now the top parenting blog in New Zealand.
I know firsthand that within the most beautiful picture perfect surroundings of family can lie our greatest struggles. I know that we bring these tiny, helpless bodies into the world and from us they expect nothing, but love, but from ourselves we expect everything and we give everything, until often there is nothing left in our cup. I wanted to hear directly from Maria how she maintains self care as a priority to stay happy and what happy mum happy child means to her
– What has been your greatest challenge as a mum?
I find a lot of things challenging about being a Mum, but the biggest challenge for me was coming to terms with the fact that my life would never be the same as it was before I had children. I’m more used to it now, and I wouldn’t change it for the world – but it was a very difficult for me when my daughter was first born – I think it triggered my post natal depression somewhat.
– What has been your greatest learning as a mum?
That I am in fact capable of so much more than I could have ever imagined – the love I have for my children, the patience I have, the ability to clean up so much poo – honestly so much I have learned about myself
– How much of a priority is your own self-care in your life?
It’s more of a priority now than it was when I first became a Mum.
– How do you keep it a priority?
I think it’s important to have at least one moment a week where you have no children around you (if at all possible). Whether the other half takes the kids to do the grocery shopping, or they go to the grandparents for the morning. Just a moment alone can do wonders for the soul.
– What happens when that priority slips
Thankfully for me my husband is an amazing friend and supporter – if I am struggling then I communicate with him and he helps out where he can.
– What stresses you out?
My children. Lol – honestly though, just the challenges of being a parent stresses me out. Kids fighting, being demanding, etc it all gets overwhelming.
– How do you avoid overwhelm?
I try and be honest with myself and my family if I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m also not afraid to put the TV on and say to myself “hey I just can’t do it in this moment, so the TV is going to help me out”
– What brought you to inspiring mums as your work?
When I started talking about my journey with postnatal depression, so many wonderful mum’s confided in me with their own struggles and told me it was so nice to hear someone talking about it. I don’t necessarily think I’m inspiring anyone, but just working together with everyone so that we all know we’re not alone.
– How do your personal challenges and how you overcome them influence your work?
90% of my work is off-the-cuff – so it really is dictated by how I feel each day. If I’m having a bad day, then I’ll share it with my followers. Not only to possibly make others feel like they’re less alone, but also for me to feel like I’m not alone. Even for me I can get stuck thinking I’m the only one going through something.
– What blogs do you read and who do you look up to in your industry?
I don’t get a lot of time to read other blogs, but do focus on a couple. Here in New Zealand, my wonderful friend Lisa runs No Filter Mum and it’s a wonderful page for me. She is open and honest about her own journey as a Mother, and she’s become a wonderful friend to me outside of the internet.
Internationally I love Tova Leigh – she predominantly does videos, but also has a blog and I love her and what she talks about.
– What does Happy Mum Happy Child mean to you?
Happy Mum Happy Child ultimately means if Mum is happy, then the child is happy. So it’s important to focus on yourself as a parent.
If you’d like to read more from Maria, visit her Facebook page
Of find her on Snapchat: happymumnz
Visit her website here