Today I Choose Joy

Last week was not a huge barrel of laughs. Through one reason and another we had to let our nanny go, which meant having emergency childcare on my work days. 5yo only slept all night once the entire week, and refused to go back to bed at 5am most mornings too. Little fella’s teeth made him absolutely miserable. 3yo started pre-school but I wasn’t able to dedicate much attention to her because of everything else going on, which of course made me feel like a terrible mummy.

On Thursday the black clouds loomed large over my head, and for the first time in I can’t even remember how long, I felt as if I was on the verge of a panic attack. I could barely breathe and I was close to tears most of the day. Although I wasn’t due into the office I went in on Friday and let hubby deal with the kids and emergency childcare. It helped to get out of the house, and I had a really productive day at work, which gave me a much needed boost. I can do my job still, phew, I’m not completely useless and incapable.

Friday night was not great for sleep and on Saturday morning I was physically and mentally exhausted. The tiredness was all consuming, and felt like it was crushing my bones. I wanted to do some yoga but just couldn’t with all the kids around, which left me feeling like a right old grump. We didn’t do much – hubby took 5yo to gymnastics in the morning, I went grocery shopping with the little ones. It peed down in the afternoon so we stayed home and did arts and crafts. Something unpleasant happened to me in the midst of all that, and I found myself zoning out from the children and desperately wanting a drink. Had we had a bottle of tonic in the house I would definitely have poured myself a G&T, and it wasn’t even 4pm. I had a couple of glasses of red wine later once all three were asleep, but to be honest, I could have easily polished off the bottle. Fortunately I did the sensible thing and capped it at two though.

Those that have read my book know how far I’ve come from negative, destructive behaviour. The thing is though, it never fully leaves you. Once you’ve flirted with the darker side of life, there will always be a little battle of wills between the angel that sits on one shoulder, and the devil that sits on the other.

Yesterday morning the girls were fighting, the baby was up at the crack of dawn, and hubby and I were really snappy with each other. He took 3yo out to break up the tension, and after some strong words with 5yo, l left her to calm down. When she was ready to, we made up. I tried to get the boy to nap in his cot and when I realised it wasn’t happening decided to pack everyone up and head out to one of our fave spots. As I was walking out the door I realised my phone was plugged into the charger still, and rather than going back inside to get it, I chose to leave the house sans mobile.

It might seem insignificant to some, but to me it’s a big deal, and when I told hubby he was really impressed. That tiny split second decision meant that I was choosing to spend the afternoon being truly present with my family. Not taking loads of photos whilst missing out on the real fun. Not glued to my online life while I went off to get the baby to sleep whilst missing out on everything the girls were doing. It was pretty liberating I have to say.

Yesterday evening was much less challenging than the ones that came before it last week, and although I was up in the night for about an hour with 5yo, I was so much calmer with her than I’ve managed to be lately. This morning, after the baby screamed the house down at 5:30am refusing to be settled, I was momentarily grumpy. Then I caught hold of myself and reminded myself that I could start the day on a grump, or choose happiness. Choose joy.

So I did the only sensible thing there was to do, I took a Melfie and it cheered me right up. We had a pleasant school morning and I was chuffed to be sending 5yo in with a smile on her face. My sunny disposition wasn’t even shattered by the news that my bestie has cancelled our lunch today, because I’ll see her next week instead. As I’ve been writing this post the baby has been having a massive feed. I was hoping he’d nap afterward but no chance, he’s full of beans now. It’s fine though, the sun is shining and it’s a good excuse to take my gorgeous girl to the playpark, he can nap in his buggy.

I’m going to leave you now with a few of my favourite recent photos, I hope you like them.

Today, I choose joy. What about you?

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love this photo of my gorgeous girls
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a rare photo with my hubby, 11 years together and still going strong!
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I’m so fortunate to have been able to breastfeed all three of my children, and that is definitely something to celebrate


sharethejoy

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WotW 

 

 

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74 thoughts on “Today I Choose Joy”

  1. Much better now thank goodness, thanks hon. It was a really difficult start to the year for us with all the illness, fingers crossed that’s it now xx

  2. Argh, I hope things are better now! Sorry it’s taken so long to comment. I did read this when you wrote it and thought I may have made some squeaks earlier.
    Bad days happen to us all and it’s hard. Good days happen too, though and they make it all worth it. xx

  3. Thanks so much lovely! A tech break is just the thing sometimes isn’t it, definitely need to get into the habit of doing it more often x

  4. Sometimes being away from technology really does help, it’s always nice to go outside and actually enjoy the time with family. I’m so glad you chose joy hun, and I love your photos. πŸ™‚

  5. Oh dear, it can be so hard to choose joy sometimes, but it really does make all the difference. Hope this week is kinder all round πŸ™‚

  6. I am having that too this week. Since Monday I cant do anything and my chores have filed up. After my son is in school all I did inside the house was walk back and fourth and sleep but not sleep as my head is just making up some stories that I dont understand. My option is to go out as well. Neglecting the blog in general. I am feeling a wee bit better today as I got to go out yesterday and had a chance to soak up the sun. #wotw

  7. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves to get fed up, we all feel like it at times no matter how much we try our best. We’re only human after all! Great that you chose joy on that particular morning…. it’s easy to get brought down and I’m a big believer in mind over matter! Well done for leaving phone too πŸ™‚ x #magicmoments

  8. Although they are amazing, I do sometimes think that smart phones are the bane of our lives!!

  9. It really is so liberating! I think I’m going to try and make it a regular thing at the weekend xx

  10. Such a great attitude. It’s funny the difference being truly present makes, and like you, I do it rarely as I always have my phone with me, distracting me. It’s liberating not to have it and powerful to ‘choose’ joy, too. Good for you. Hope this is a better week x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  11. Wow you really have had your hands full this week with challenges. So great of you to leave the cell behind that would be a big step for me to. I am trying to switch off more recently and put the phone away more but then I think what is they do something cute and I don’t have my phone to take a photo of them to remember. So silly I know. You are doing amazing job hunny. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  12. Wow, you have had some challenges this week. I know those days when the G&T calls at 4pm so very well. You pull through every time and you might still have thoughts of destructive behaviour, but like me it’s how we respond to it isn’t it #sharewithme

  13. Thanks so much for dropping by! My week has been pretty great in comparison to last week. Even though my eldest was off school with a sickness bug yesterday, and up in the night, I’m still choosing joy πŸ™‚ xx

  14. Now that is a fab way to sum a day my lovely – we all need more of the Blinkin Awesome ones!! Thanks so much for your gorgeous comment xx

  15. The Mothers say – What an amazing way of looking at each morning. You choose. We think you’re awesome for this outlook xx #alphabetphoto

  16. Oh hun – I read your posts and your book and know how far you’ve come. Yesterday was one of those days for me yesterday for various reasons. Today, I think I chose Joy as it’s been blinkin awesome. You’ve got some amazing blessings to count which I know you do every day – much love and hugs coming your way xxx #sharewithme

  17. As you know, I struggle with a glass half-empty tendency, but like you I know when I make a conscious decision to see the positives it makes all the difference. So glad that you’re starting to feel a bit better after a particularly tough week xx

  18. Love, love, love this post Renee as you knew I would! Oh I am SO aware of that battle between the two halves of ourselves and you are spot on when you say that once you’ve experienced those black times they never really disappear completely. As I continue along my path away from negativity it’s so empowering to read that others are also on their own journey and that some of the techniques that are helping me (having mobile free time to really experience life in the moment for example) are helping others too. Please do keep on sharing the tools in your toolbox! Gorgeous photos too. Thank you so much for linking this up at #sharethejoy this week. Much love x

  19. Well done you Renee! Without sounding patronising and condescending, well done for not finishing the bottle off… I’m proud of you for doing so (or not doing so, in this case!) When I read that line I did a mental air punch for you. It’s been tough for you. It quite often is, that much is clear from not only your book but your blog too. Yet your family are still smiling, as are you. You’ve broken through the clouds before and you’ll continue to do so. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt, honest and positive post with #WonderfulWorldofWriting x

  20. Ah I’m so glad this post ended on a positive note and you managed to pull through the dark times. It sounds like you’ve had a lot on your plate this week (again), and you really shouldn’t underestimate the strength it takes to shift your outlook to a constructive, joyful one rather than dwelling in the slog of it all! I think we are all in dire need of Spring – several of my friends are really struggling to stay on top of things at the moment, and I’m having way too many days that feel like wading through treacle… I hope things are a little easier this week xxx

  21. Nobody can possibly feel positive all of the time. Always managing to choose joy no matter what happens in the end shows how determined you are to be happy. You’re a wonderful mummy. xxx

  22. I feel your pain, it can be so desperately tough at times when the children are as young as yours. This was my family about four years ago! Well done for choosing joy instead of a bottle of gin! Definitely a harder choice to make, it’s so easy to drown your sorrows but obviously you’ve come a long way. Lovely photos x

  23. you have had a tough few days it sounds but so glad you have the strength to pick the happy road and feel better for it. I try and leave my phone behind or out of the way as the “online life” does get it the way. Enjoyed the read.

    Sarah x
    I blog at dietitianslife.com too x

  24. I really hope you got some sleep and managed to turn it all around hon. Lack of it is the absolute pits. I’m definitely going to embrace being phone less more often! Hope this week is kinder to you xxx

  25. Thanks so much gorgeous lady. It was a rough start to the year, but I’m feeling so much better about it all now. Changing my mindset has been like a miracle cure for so many things and I’m much happier for it. Isn’t it fabulous to properly feel that Spring is in the air πŸ™‚ onwards and towards lovely xxx

  26. Thanks so much lovely Maddy for all your support! You’re a true cheerleader and I really do appreciate it xxx

  27. Thanks hon. I didn’t actually realise when I posted it originally on Instagram that breastfeeding selfies were a thing ‘the brelfie’ whatever next? πŸ˜‰

  28. Totally agree Sam, putting PMA through its paces in the face of adversity is the real challenge… It can be hard enough when life isn’t being particularly unkind!

    I’m having a much better week thankfully, and am back to feeling like my normal self. My friend asked me what had changed, and in all honesty, the thing that changed was my mindset. Really is incredible xxx

  29. Thank you so much kind lady, such a lovely comment. Really pleased you enjoyed the book xx

  30. Sounds like you’ve had a rough time too lovely. Babies and illness, sleep deprivation and general grumpiness due to teeth are par for the course but get you down after a while. Hope you’re having a good week xx

  31. Thanks so much, I feel like a new person in comparison. Just goes to show what the power of positive thinking can do πŸ™‚

  32. Ahhh the bender fantasy, you are so right, it does make it momentarily better. It’s not like we’re actually going to go out clubbing all night is it?! πŸ˜‰

  33. Funnily enough I was saying the exact same thing to my friend today about the phone. I take it out because of photos, but always end up checking it for messages and notifications. Definitely need to leave it at home more often xx

  34. It’s a bugger isn’t it, and although I’m well versed in the lack of sleep department, every now and then it gets to me… Watching the girls playing dress up always brings back smiles though πŸ™‚

  35. Ah sleep deprivation and having little ones – it can be such a hard time. Lack of sleep affects everything from judgement to mood and even sanity. All I can really offer is to say that the light is at the end of the tunnel. Just keep looking towards it. On another note, what is a melfie anyway? Love those photos, your girls are so sweet. I miss having little princesses!

  36. Sounds really tough Renee, glad you’ve chosen well though. So hard sometimes, isn’t it? Well done on all counts. I also chose not to take my mobile out on Sunday afternoon when I went for a gym session and coffee with my daughter. I often say that I’m taking it to take photographs but actually it’s just a distraction. We’ve committed (as a family) to spend one Sunday a month together, going out without our mobiles. Sounds easy but it’s a big commitment! Your girls look so, so cute in those little dressing up outfits! x x

  37. Lovely photos and so sorry you had such a rubbish week. I know what you mean about the dark side never quite leaving – it’s more about how under control it becomes. So glad you managed to stop at 2 glasses of wine and that you were able to choose joy over being grumpy – so easy to say and so hard to do at times. I hope that this week will be a much better one for you x

  38. I was kind of nodding along with this with the rubbish week you were having (sorry about losing your nanny, that’s pants) and then when you said about hitting the wine I started to really nod. I’m exactly the same, when it gets really bad I often fantasize about going out once they’re in bed and going on a massive bender. These days I know it’s just a fantasy and is not going to happen, instead it’ll be a couple of glasses of wine infront of the telly, but fantasizing about it actually makes me feel a bit better sometimes…

  39. Love the photo of you feeding your beautiful baby. Sorry you had a rubbish week last week – it’s very hard to feel positive when events are against you, especially when you’re so tired. Choose joy, indeed! A great uplifting post to inspire us, thanks Renee. xxx

  40. Good for you lovely, it is all too easy to choose the opposite when days are hard. Even after writing my fortunate post on Friday I feel like I am.sinking again this week, thank you for reminding me I have a choice to be happy or not! Xx

  41. YES YES and YES!
    I’m so glad you were able to feel the joy and stop yourself from slipping too far into the dark side. It really makes all the difference to be able to catch yourself and actively make the decision to find the happy in things.
    Love your post and loved the book by the way xx

  42. Such a lovely post – so open and so honest, just like your fab book. You’re a strong lady, you always have been and I love that even though you’ve had a seriously tough time of late – you still manage to find the joy in the small things. I try to take a leaf out of your book, too. Big hugs lovely lady x

  43. It’s such a good thing to do every now and then isn’t it? I’ve only recently had WiFi on my phone again after a whole year of using a battered iPhone that didn’t pick it up. Think I got a bit over excited but it’s definitely time to step back again. Choosing joy has a really big effect over the whole family, a whole other blog post I think. Hugs hon xxx

  44. I’ve been banging on a bit about having a positive mental attitude but I’m so lucky that I haven’t yet had to take that advice in the face of a seriously unbearable situation – pain, sleep deprivation or even bereavement. It takes a strong person to alter their reality under such strains and I just hope I can do it too when the time comes. I’ve also had some times lately when my phone hasn’t been available (ran out of data and refused to pay for extra, forgot charger etc. ) but it has been liberating to know that I just have to get on with living in the real world, in the present moment. I think it probably made me a better person (briefly!) Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout and here’s to a better week xx (ps – I can understand why you aren’t up for a weekend play date right now!)

  45. Bless you, sh’mum! I’m sure we all do much better than we give ourselves credit for lovely. Thanks for popping by πŸ™‚

  46. Some days I feel like such a sh’mum too (this is what my 22 year old son jokingly calls me when I don’t perform my motherly duties to his expectations!!) But looking at your lovely photo’s of your sweet little ones must bring joy to your heart πŸ™‚
    #AllAboutYou

  47. I’m starting to let go of the phone more and more and you’re so right, it is liberating! Well done for choosing joy my lovely, sometimes we just have to force ourselves through xx

  48. Choosing joy- I like that. I’ve noticed the same thing that sometimes you just have to make yourself take up a happier disposition and that helps in making through the day. A mindset definitely matters. #allaboutyou

  49. Those inner battles can be tough can’t they and lack of sleep really doesn’t help at all. Well done to you for having the strength to choose joy-I know how hard that can be. And you’ve reminded me I should be doing the same x

  50. Hello there this is a fabulous post and I’m grateful to you for sharing what sounds like a very tough week. I love the idea of choosing joy, it really is inspiring. Hope things continue to stay on the up for you x #magicmoments

  51. What a super lovely post and pictures. Leaving the phone at home sounds like a good challenge that has to be done sometimes. x
    #magicmoments

  52. Looks like you had such a tough week… and yet you’ve still come up smiling and look at what you’ve got to celebrate – a gorgeous family, successful relationship with your husband (and these early years of child-rearing really do put a strain on even the best of marriages) and a difficult past that you’ve stamped on and kicked to the curb! Go you! (and that’s a great breastfeeding shot!) xx

  53. Your so strong to pull yourself through. I too find it makes a big difference not to take my phone sometimes and to just get out of the house! And mum guilt comes on so easily sometimes doesnt it. Really lovely post as its so honest and how so many of us feel sometimes. #MBPW

  54. Such a lovely post hun because it’s so honest and it’s so, so important we are honest, we have good times and bad and posts like this help us all, they make sure we don’t feel alone. You are remarkable and so strong and some weeks are tough but like so much of these times, they’ll pass. The last month as you know was rubbish for us due to illness, bugs, sleep deprivation, sad news, the works but we’re coming through it all and spring has nearly sprung. Much love to you and I LOVE the breastfeeding shot, definitely something to be proud of. #sharethejoylinky x

  55. This is a great post and thanks for sharing. I had a bad week last week too; by Thursday I had reached breaking point. I just needed a break and some sleep so badly. I am so glad you chose joy and everything started to look brighter for you.

    I love the part about you choosing to leave your phone at home and it’s something I definitely need to do sometimes. They really stop us from living in the moment sometimes don’t they? Lovely photos xx #sharethejoy

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