Contentment during maternity leave!

I feel I should confess… prior to getting pregnant I was stressed. I had frequent attacks of vertigo, to the degree that on bad days I couldn’t drive, if I had already got to work I had to take a taxi home and I would spend the rest of the day being sick or sleeping. The following couple of days would feel like a really bad hangover.

This might seem a strange place to begin this post, but its sometimes important to look back, to recognise where you’ve got to. Once I fell pregnant, I had read enough to know the potential impact being stressed could have upon my unborn child. These risks were not OK and I needed to change. I approached my work differently and had no instances of vertigo throughout my pregnancy, yay!

So, 6 months into motherhood I had a total realisation, just how happy and content I am. There are definitely things that have contributed to my current state and my hope is that by being mindful of how I got here, perhaps, even when I return to work, I can hold onto the seemingly slippery thing that is “feeling content”.

I have read a lot and tried where possible to make small changes to my mindset, so for anyone who feels they are interested in the books/things that have helped, here’s a summary (thank goodness for Amazon keeping track of the many books I have ploughed through on maternity leave!):

  • Derren Brown’s show Miracle – truly a wonderful thing to see. Definitely something I reflect upon regularly.
  • Happy – Derren Brown
  • 10% Happier – Dan Harris
  • The Year of Living Danishly  – Helen Russell
  • Designing Your Life: Build a Life that Works for You – Bill Burnett, Dave Evans
  • ENUFF: Eliminate the Needless, Useless, Foolish and Frivolous – Kate Carpenter
  • Everything that Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists – Joshua Fields, Ryan Nicodemus
  • Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
  • Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (Should be on all Netflix, globally!! So worth the 90 or so minutes, it will most likely change how you think about things!!

I’m not promising miracles, but think this reading/watching list has genuinely changed me. I want to consume less, I am trying to be in the moment, practise compassion and make time for meditation and generally live more simply and deliberately. Even if you read/watch one of these, I hope it gives you pause for thought and helps to make life better in some small way.




What is wrong with other people…?

For some reason, once you become a parent (or pregnant for that matter!)….you are suddenly “public property”. Don’t get me wrong, being made a fuss of when you are struggling about in your 7/8/9th month of pregnancy, or swanning around with your adorable new bundle of joy is lovely.

But…being public property has it’s downsides too. Apparently it means that other people can share their opinions with you/about you/at you (or in such a loud voice that they may as well say it to your face.!!)

I have made some parenting decisions, mostly based upon what feels right for me/us, things I have read, scientific research (I am the ultimate teacher geek!). Some of the decisions I have made are different than other parents have made, that is fine and to be expected, we all have different experience and backgrounds.

What I object to is other people feeling the need to openly criticise the way I have chosen to raise our little boy. An older lady at some local gardens made a comment about the fact I was using a sling to carry my 4.5 month old, suggesting it would lead to “so many problems”.

Frankly you can f*** off, keep your opinions to yourself!!

I wish more people would follow the “THINK” before you speak rule:


I’m a pretty confident person these days and an uninvited comment from some random pensioner is unlikely to make me change how I parent, but there may be some  of you who aren’t. If you’ve made a decision that feels right for your family, stick with it!! Then slag them off behind their back like a normal person!!