Tricks of the mind


Deep in my heart, I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer. As a child, that was my ‘When I’m grown up I’m going to be…’ I have always had a deep love of books, magazines, words, language. I studied writing. I value writing. I know I am (mostly) good at writing.

I’ve worked in some kind of writing all my adult life. One of my first jobs was creating quiz questions for Teletext (ahem, showing my age) and then I went on to work in editing, magazine features, blogs, websites and now social media.

Yet, I still feel unworthy and stuck. I have imposter syndrome. My brain tells me that I haven’t done enough writing yet to call myself that. (It’s been about 22 years.) Or that I can’t be a writer because I am not currently making money from it.

My internal monologue tells me I am not good enough. I am not interesting. I am being self-indulgent. I am not an expert. This comes up hugely when I thinking about this Happy Mums stuff – I don’t want to position myself as some kind of happiness/mindfulness guru but I do want to share what works for me in maintaining a life that’s vaguely satisfying.

That’s one of the cornerstones of blogging, surely? Personal experience.

My rational mind knows all this is bollocks and is some kind of fear/shame related baggage from my past, but it’s so hard to move past this.

So, as well as working with a coach, I am doing what I know best. Writing. I have realised that I want to write for me. If no one reads it, that’s fine. I need to write and the only way to move past these feelings is to write. Finish up all those half-completed blog posts that swirl around in my head.

A ‘real’ writer once told me it all starts with putting your bum on a seat.

My bum is on my seat. I can’t promise every post will be a good one, but I hope you’ll stick with me and enjoy my writing, find something that speaks to you or learn something along the way. Maybe I will, too.


More words about work

When I was young and had a career with kudos, I was happy to define myself by my career. I was proud of working in magazines and loved that people were excited by my fun job. It was always a talking point.

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

After Ted was born, I had a wobble about working. On one hand I had been through an earth-shattering maternity leave, where my whole life was turned on its head. You feel so different having become a mother that your goals and priorities naturally shift, but never so seismically as after a traumatic birth and a journey on the rollercoaster of life-long disability.

Lacking the motivation to enthuse about fashion, culture or current affairs, my family gently but firmly persuaded me that I should reframe it as respite and give the magazine world another whirl. While never diagnosed with PND, there was no doubt that I was pretty low and constantly stressed and in tears. Looking after Ted was hard going. He cried almost all the time (in the car, the buggy, the flat, the park, the cafe, the bus, the train…), needed constant attention, near-constant movement and often required close proximity to a warm body to make him feel safe. I struggled with his medical fragility and stressed a lot about how I could ever leave him with someone and go to work.

Luckily grandma took Ted two days a week and we found a reassuringly experienced special needs nanny for the third day so that I could return to Marie Claire on a part-time basis.

Live well, eat well, feel happy – 7 essential life hacks for busy mums


Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Hang on. *All* mums are busy, aren’t they? It comes with the territory. We are (usually) the driving force behind the household. The person who knows where everything is, the one who does the washing, the cleaning (or who briefs the cleaner), the tidying, the shopping. We are the replenisher of toothbrushes, keeper of tissues, signer of school forms, and so on and on and on.

The list of tasks is endless but while I have previously railed against the mental load, I am now here to bring you some super duper life hacks to combat that. Seven simple ideas to free up more headspace, make life run a little smoother, maybe even save you some money.