Parenting Magazine

{35 at 35 List: Happiness}

By Glasgow_mummy @glasgow_mummy
I've been giving some thought to my 35 at 35 list, in particular the prompt 'be genuinely happy'.
When I wrote the list, I was in a bad place. My husband had just moved out 2 weeks before and I had a lot to contend with. I was on my own with my 8 month old daughter and my toddler son. I was sad, confused, hurt and scared/excited for what the future may hold.
Two and a half years later and nearing half way to my 35 at 35 list deadline, I thought it was a good time to take stock & reflect on where I was and where I am now.
I think my followers, friends & family would agree that I've come a long way since the start of 2012. 
When I was still living with the kids dad I was in denial. I don't think I was ready to face up to how I was feeling and the situation I found myself in. My health visitor had suggested I might have post-natal depression to which I was told, by the ex, that of course I wasn't clinically depressed. And I agreed with him. But now when I look back, it's clear that something wasn't right. It's only now, that I've come through the other side that I realize just how tough things were and that the thoughts I was having weren't necessarily normal.
I remember when my son was little, my father-in-law would babysit every so often so I could get my hair done. On one of my trips out I actually considered not going back to the house, ever. I was finding parenting very difficult & my son was a difficult baby. It's hard to admit this, but I didn't enjoy his first year & I wish I'd dealt with the situation differently.
{35 at 35 list: Happiness}{image source}
Then when my daughter arrived, the ex & I were going through a difficult time. I was convinced he was going to leave me & spent an hour in tears on the phone to The Samaritans when I was 36 weeks pregnant because I didn't know what to do. I also was in tears whilst talking to Relate who were trying to fast track me for some counseling. (Of course, little did I know at this point he had already started the affair - I just knew that something wasn't right).
I was high on gas & air giving birth to our daughter begging him not to leave us. Definitely not a happy birthing story.
After all the drama that then followed, I pulled myself together...
I hired a life coach, spent over half a year seeing a post-natal depression counselor & attended focus group sessions. What was I looking for? I'm not sure if I'm honest. I acknowledged that how I was feeling wasn't right and that I needed help. My health visitor was amazing, and I'm glad that I finally had the courage to listen to her.
I used to be anxious going out with the children on my own.
I used to have to go into the other room to cry so that they wouldn't see me upset.
I doubted every decision I made.
I found simple every day things difficult.
I am pleased to say that I am in a much better place now.
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Things are getting easier, and I'm enjoying my children so much more than I did when they were babies. My confidence has improved and yes, I think I can now say I'm happy :-)
Don't get me wrong, there are difficult days and tantrums and tears still, but overall things are positive.
I've been reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, and bookmarked this quote:
"While 'happiness' might suggest a final, magical destination, the aim of a happiness project isn't to hit 10 on the 1-to-10 happiness scale and to remain there perpetually; that would be neither realistic or desirable. I sought not to achieve perfect 'happiness', but rather to become happier".
{35 at 35 list: Happiness}
P.S. Thanks to everyone that's been voting for me for the BiBs Family award - this has made me extremely happy and I'm so chuffed to have made it onto the shortlist. If you're yet to vote, I'd love your support. You can vote for me here. Thanks so much!!
{35 at 35 list: Happiness}

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