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A Letter From One Mama to Another: Working At Being Happy

By Shireena Shroff Mancharam
October 14, 2020

Dear Mummy,

Not everyone is happy all the time.

Even with the choices we make, and things we do to feed our soul, we aren’t happy partners, parents or people every moment. And that is okay. I think so often we feel the need to do everything right, and reach this euphoric happy state as an end-of-the-day goal, but in reality, life is challenging and full of ups and downs. As a Life & Happiness Coach for over ten years, I realise now more than ever the power of understanding that there are indeed things we can do to make ourselves happier, but at the same time, we need acceptance that life isn’t perfect everyday either.

As a mother, we juggle it all. During this pandemic the people who seemed to have the weight of the world on their shoulders were mothers who couldn’t detach from home based learning or those who still had to work, clean and cook while so many of their partners didn’t share the enormity of that same stress with them. As mothers we also feel guilty if we make time for ourselves, (even if that means 10 minutes of silence alone with your morning cup of coffee) Our goals are our children, their wellbeing, those of our partners and everyone else. We neglect to take care of ourselves and simply ask – what will make me happier? If we do that we feel indulgent and guilty. In reality that shouldn’t be the case – we as mothers, will be able to function to our optimal levels if we shift our mindset to know what makes us happy, implementing small moments in our day to fill our “happiness bucket” and also at the very same time understand that happiness is a constant work in progress and to take each day as it comes.

To mothers out there, some of the reasons why we are so unhappy is our inability to notice what brings us pure joy. With stress, worry, lack of sleep, social pressures etc., we lose sight of the ability to identify what makes us happy. As human beings we really are fundamentally simple (we just complicate our lives) and we need to prioritise things to make us better mothers. Small intentional changes to your life such as breaking down certain things you do on autopilot – driving, taking a shower, preparing coffee in the morning – try and do that with as much mindfulness as possible. Eliminate distractions, (ditch the phone) take a few quiet moments to do these activities giving thanks to the activity and being fully present. This calms our mind, restores balance and bring about heightened awareness to the activity. Other things like implementing a sleep routine and getting enough quality sleep is essential. I believe things like decluttering, setting daily intentions, exercise, and even complimenting someone once a day all fills the internal happiness bucket.  It definitely doesn’t eradicate challenges, but it can help build some resilience and ability to deal with the harder moments in life, just a little better.

Sending happiness, Shireena


** The Getting to Happy box set comprise of 31 cards – one for each day of the month.  The cards are based around the Getting To Happy™ four pillars, which are the transformative key areas in life:  Mindfulness, Positive Mindset, Prioritize You and Happy Community.  They are available on