time flies when you're being a mum

21 Oct, 2020

3 years ago today I woke with the most brutal hangover. I had had SO much fun the night before with some lovely friends (@debs @Laura @jo) but in my wisdom had drunk a whole bottle of tequila. To myself. It was my drink of the moment because it was “low calorie”…not at THAT quantity!


I had no idea when I woke up that I was about to embark on a t-total lifestyle. I was sick of feeling like shit, having THAT conversation in my head about when to drink, how much, who with, etc. So I decided I’d give it a whirl.

I’d read an article called Are You Afraid to Quit Drinking and it had been percolating around my brain. I desperately didn’t want to drink and yet stopping felt like the hardest thing in the world… 
My friends would reject me, I’d be boring and never go out…what do people who don’t drink DO anyway?

But I had to try. Over the course of the week I read This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, I slept a lot and the song “I feel free” went around my head as I slowly started to see the light. I AM free.

I missed my first 2 soberversaries, busy being preggers or looking after a small child, so this is the first year I’ve acknowledged it.

It’s not all been a walk in the park – it took a good 18 months to not feel self-conscious. And new scenarios (being single for example) often make me question the choice but generally I don’t think about booze. 

I do things like go to bed on time, and get up early so I can write. I have written a WHOLE kids book (40k words). And kids I don’t know have actually read it and told me THEY LIKE IT!!!!! I would never have done that if I was still drinking. I’m also really into yoga and connect with people properly (rather than assessing their party-going potential and then ditching if I don’t think it’s good enough…)

So this year I wanted to give myself a wee high five because it has been the hardest and best thing I have ever done for myself.

Lots of you have messaged me about drinking in the past, so I want you to know that I’m here if you want to talk. Whether you stop or not, I’m happy to talk about it!

Cheers!! (mine’s a fizzy water, thanks!)

3 years sober

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...and the birthday space time continuum!

03 Apr, 2019

This post has taken 2 weeks to write! 1 week to work out what was going on and 1 week to write it down…and it’s turned into a long one! I’ve given myself until today to finish it because otherwise I might never publish it. It’s turned into a mammoth one about finding purpose, moving on after another ‘failure’ (although I’m still having insomniac moments as I wait for the loose ends to be tied up) and working out what meaning truly is for me.

If any of this rings true for you, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below, come for a chat on the Mums’ Days Facebook page or even email me hannah@mumsdays.com.

Birthday blues

It was my birthday 2 Wednesdays ago (20th March) and I didn’t massively enjoy it.

Finding Meaning

That’s not completely true; I woke early and opened my present from Reuben (a thoughtfully chosen book by Mike!), I went to Bootcamp (which I really enjoyed), had a chilled afternoon (I watched lots of The Office (US one. I. LOVE. IT.) with Nancy feeding and sleeping on me) and we had a delicious family meal at a local pub. I got some lovely presents, thoughtful cards and many, many FB birthday wishes…but all day I had this underlying feeling of ick.

It’s taken a week to work out wtf is with this.

I’m grateful for my family and friends for their love and gifts – I had a great day and felt special.

I thought it might be because I’m now closer to 40 than 30 but I’m not bothered about my age. 36 isn’t old. I’ve got friends in their 40s and 50s (and older – my Grandparents are rocking their 80s) who not only look great but are content, so I’m hoping to improve with age.

I was wondering if I was gloomy about the fact I met Mike 10 years ago, just after I turned 26 – remembering the excitement and promise of a life together. But no, I’m happy to have that as a memory rather than wanting to go back in time and relive it (particularly the giving birth bits!).

Overall, I feel like I’m in a great place;

  • We have a beautiful home, that’s all but finished, and everything we need.
  • My body isn’t a dream one but it’s a very good one that’s served me well, and I’m enjoying the process of getting in shape.
  • Mike and I are in love (we’ve certainly had our troubles but we have kept working at it. We’re communicating better now than we ever have).
  • We have a complete family, with 3 beautiful, healthy children and our family time is brilliant and frequent.

So, if it’s not age or feeling unloved or my relationship or my family, what is up with birthdays?!

What is up with Birthdays?

Each year for as long as I can remember caring, I’ve felt weird on my birthday. I try to do things in solitude (one year I saw Music and Lyrics literally on my own; I had the cinema to myself) and I’ve realised it’s because I find birthdays like a portal in time going from birth up to death – each day linked to the other for all eternity! And, it’s too big to comprehend (hence zoning out under my baby and watching The Office).

Finding Meaning

At New Years it feels like a fresh start and we can tinker at the edges of ours lives. This year I WILL floss every day. Plus everyone is in the same boat.

But on my birthday, I’m alone.

It’s just me and my whole life, past and future, is staring me in the face.

On this day, I feel a direct hotline to my calling. It shouts at me, almost angrily, that I should be doing something. But it’s also tiny. Like the children in Honey I Shrunk The Kids. So I can’t quite make out what it’s trying to tell me. The secret to my existence remains a mystery beyond the fact that I know it’s there and I know I’m not doing it.

The feeling is along the lines of… Is this all you have to offer? What will you have achieved by next year? Next decade? By the time you die? What will you do? What do you love? And why aren’t you doing it? Will you ever do it?

Finding Purpose

I’ve distilled it down to finding purpose. I’m a perpetual searcher for my thing. I’ve done more jobs than you can shake a stick at from helping the milkman (age 13 to 18) to University researcher (after finishing my masters in Civil Engineering) to public speaker to working for myself (blogging and trying to write a novel) and running a business (two in fact).

So far nothing has stuck. Most recently, I started a business with a friend 3 weeks before giving birth to Nancy and in the midst of major building work… My friend had a great idea, the drive was intense so we just went for it – and it was a great business idea, Emily and I loved what we were doing and we had customers, lots of them not even friends and family! But I couldn’t sustain the workload, scrabbling for time around the 24/7 demands of a newborn baby (and on a bad day, 15 builders all making as much noise as possible and wanting decisions and teas made).

A week and a half after having Nancy I wrote the first draft content for the January box during an epic 2 hour night feed, and we spent a week printing and packing boxes in-between feeding and taking it in turns to hold the baby. The next month I got up between 4 and 5am (basically after the second night feed) every day for almost 2 weeks, just to get the February box out. I loved what we were producing but I was exhausted so I had to tell Emily the sad news that I couldn’t keep it up. Just over 3 weeks ago, 5 months after starting, we closed the business.

Failure, Daemons and finding Purpose

All this experimenting can make one feel like a failure. And a nutter. Why keep trying and failing when I don’t need to? I have a baby to look after, 2 older children, a house, 4 pets, a humongous garden that the triffids have started to take over and I don’t need to work, so what is this urge?

In Steven Pressfield’s book, The Artist’s Journey, he calls it our Daemon – a thing that we cannot control that makes us do often crazy things. It presses us to keep striving despite our ‘better’ judgement. It doesn’t care what our circumstances are, it just keeps that fire burning, encouraging us to move towards our higher purpose.

That’s a little woohoo for me, but equally, I like to think it explains a lot.

Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve been doing a Bootcamp in town. Not only do I love the workouts and extra endorphins but I’m absolutely loving my commute. 35 mins there and back to listen and learn and think.

I’ve listened to tons of the James Altucher show, a couple of them twice, which has led to listen to Failing Forward by John Maxwell and, as I mentioned, The Artist’s Journey by Steven Pressfield. Both of which are nice and short at around 2 hours each and have been hugely helpful for reframing my thinking. Particularly around ‘failure’ and also how to move forward.

The big take aways are…

  1. Fear has been paralysing me – I’ve completely stopped writing and making things again because I’m scared of everything from Trolls and what people will think of me if I truly open up; to indifference and what if no one gives a shit; to hard work and do I actually have what it takes to keep going when the going gets tough?
  2. Create art to find out who you arepurpose and your subject is something you find. It doesn’t find you – beyond that initial tap on the shoulder and a pull in the right direction.  By creating art (aka something that didn’t exist before) we are reaching beyond annoying things that stand in our way, like ego, arrogance, fear of failure, and fear of success, even, and we start to understand who we truly are beyond the bullshit.
  3. Quantity over quality. Creating art is hard work because obstacles pop up all the time. And, obsessing over perfection while trying to create ‘quality art’ does not result in good work. Good work comes from trying, and ‘failing’, again and again. Create loads of stuff (stories, art, videos, blog posts, podcasts, music… whatever you want) and see what works and which themes emerge.

Each time I’ve started something since quitting professional blogging 3 years ago, it’s brought me back here. To Mums’ Days. The place I document all the highs and lows in life. The place that keeps track of what I’ve done in the past and what I hope to achieve in the future. The problem, I think, is that I keep thinking perhaps blogging IS my thing, when in fact it is purely the tool for keeping track and discovering my thing.

When I make blogging my thing, it distracts from discovering my subject by making me obsess over the things that make me feel down and don’t actually matter – planning, social media, numbers, making money, etc. – instead of making art and connecting with people on a deeper level.

I believe my purpose lies here and this blog is the tool for helping me document the finding of it. Making something every day is far more meaningful to me than planning a bunch of blog posts that I hope may go viral!

What now?

Another podcast I listened over and over again was a Tim Ferris one, where he called his listeners and answered one of their questions. I listened to his answer to one chap’s question (starts just after 20mins of the podcast linked above) about 5 times in a row to get my head around it.

Tim was asked how he found meaning in life, now he has achieved so much.

His main driver for everything is ‘scratching his own itch’

  • Everything he does comes from a problem he has and he says, whatever your problem is (even if you’re a housewife searching for the meaning of life) there will be thousands, if not millions of people out there with the same problem who will benefit from you documenting and sharing your experiments.
  • Life is about your perception of what matters. The people around you may have strong opinions about what you should be doing with your time, but doing things to please others and not being true to what matters most to you will not lead to meaning and fulfilment.

He recommended reading The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch (it’s a bit heavy, I’m working through it at the moment on audible and I’m struggling, so I think I’ll switch to reading it -the rap at the beginning is toe curlingly bad!) to help identify what is most important to you. Other books mentioned are Awareness by Anthony de Mello and Man’s search for meaning, The Classic Tribute to Hope from the Holocaust by Viktor Frankle.

A couple of itches I want to scratch are…

  • Weight loss after baby number 2
  • Writing a novel (that one is refusing to quit)
  • Motherhood
  • Finding meaning, obvs.

I’d like to address the above through a number of medium from writing to podcasting and even a bit of video making!

Right, that was a long one! Did you make it to the end? If so….

  1. can you relate?
  2. what itches do you want to scratch?

As I said above, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below, come for a chat on the Mums’ Days Facebook page or email me hannah@mumsdays.com.



because I'm struggling to read at the moment!

21 Feb, 2019

I haven’t read anything for AGES!! But I have been listening to stuff, so I’ve a couple of things on my recommends list.

Listening list


Firstly, The Self-Care Project by Janey Hardy was a nice, quick, easy to digest book about, you guessed it, self-care! I really enjoyed it and found it to be so helpful to reframe some of those ‘jobs’ that you can’t be bothered to do or feel guilty for doing. Self-care is so important, especially if you’re a mum with a family that depends on you. It can often be the last thing you want to do but the cracks start to show very quickly and a frazzled mum does not make for a happy family. So, have a listen (or read!) if you feel like you need to pay yourself a bit of attention.


Secondly, upon the recommendation of my pal and Yoga teacher, Natalie (Natural PT), I listened to Brené Brown’s lecture, The Power of Vulnerability. I listened to this over a series of evenings while feeding Nancy and settling her to bed. Phew, what a great listen! She’s an researcher of shame and vulnerability and hit the big time when she did a TED talk that was seen by millions of people (as of writing this it’s more that 9M!!!). The whole premise is really interesting. She also shares some great parenting tips. I feel like I need to listen to it over and over again to really let the messages sink in. Here’s her TED talk as a little taster, but I’d highly recommend having a listen.

How do you find time to read? Or do you listen too?

I’d love to hear what you’re reading and listening to at the moment. What do you recommend?

Comment below or come chat on the Mums’ Days Facebook page or Instagram.

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12 Feb, 2019

My Mum has always worked (or studied) full time. Well, she’s a primary school teacher so she’s always worked more than full time. But recently she went part time and it’s been amazing!

Not only has she had time to pursue her own interests – something she had very little time for as she’d normally be working every night and weekends – but she’s also been coming to see Nancy and me on a Tuesday!

We get to have a good old natter and, in true mum style, she helps me with stuff. The first week she came I had about 50 things that all needed name tags. She did at least 45 of them.

The next week her toy hospital was open and then she helped me get a bunch of books out of storage onto the shelves.


This week  (after tidying the kitchen and walking the dog) we had afternoon tea together. I bought her afternoon for two at Matfen Hall for mother’s day last year and we finally got to use it.




It it was so nice!! Delicious treats with my lovely mum. I feel very lucky to get to spend so much time with her now.

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11 Feb, 2019

I put a call out to the FB community today in a confessional manner to say I am currently sweaty AF.

Breastfeeding this time around has resulted in a serious armpit situation to the point where my current favourite, natural deodorant, Pitrok (which makes me sing ‘I can make you Pit rock’ to the tune of Bedrock by Young Money, every time I use it), is no longer able to hold back the flood gates.

Noice huh?!


Now, I was aware that putting out such a call for action could have resulted in the internet equivalent of tumble weed (no comments) but thankfully the Mums’ Days FB community have some up fake-armpit-trumps and made a bunch of suggestions.

Others merely showed solidarity with my plite by saying “me too 🙋‍♀️ I am also sweaty”.

Thank you, fellow pit pals.

So, my plan is to test drive a bunch of deodorants and let you know how I get on.

Some are woohoo crystals. Others look like blocks of cheese. But I’m quite excited to see how I get on.

  1. Japanese Cherry Blossom from The Body Shop – £4
  2. Crystal deodorant stick – £5.15
  3. Driclor Solution – £6.19
  4. Aromaco solid deodorant from Lush – £5.50
  5. Perspirex – £8.49
  6. Earth conscious – £7

I shall report back. This is edge of the seat stuff, so I hope you’ll enjoy the rollercoaster!

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