Search online for a definition of happiness and you will find many articles with differing descriptions of the key ingredients for happiness. Many focus on an overall sense of wellbeing and contentment. So how to achieve this in the midst of busy lives, at home and at work?

It is really hard to prioritise balance and contentment in a world that expects mothers to continually give. The reality is that for most of us, we need to claim what we need, rather than wait for it to be offered. This may look like communicating your needs, at home or at work. It may look like delegating tasks which someone else can do. It may look like scheduling in time for yourself before other tasks enter the diary.

My suggestions are to:

Embrace seasonality, with a view to achieving balance. To me, this does not mean equal time spent doing all the things. Rather, ensuring that when you are engaged in one activity, you are present with intention, instead of being pulled in many directions. Motherhood is often served with competing devotions, a split between work and family life. Some seasons will require more effort to be spent tending to family relationships (such as when children are very young) and other seasons will allow for more focus on career growth.

Stir in your values. Consider what is most important to you, and recognise that your values may change in different seasons of your life. Then notice whether the activities that make up your day to day schedule are aligned with your values. For any which are not, can you let them go?


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi


Experiment with putting perfectionism on ice. This is a hard one if you’re hard-wired to strive for the best. And on the face of it, wanting things to be perfect can feel like a worthwhile goal. But I am pleased to see that increasingly more and more people are talking about the downsides of perfectionism, not least that it usually comes along with a side of critical self-talk and a helping of anxiety. It is hard to feel happy while telling yourself you are not doing enough. When it comes to motherhood, most recipes for perfection are routed in unrealistic ideals steeped in patriarchal misogyny to boot. None for me, thanks!

Like the idea of ditching critical self-talk and creating more balance in your life, but not sure how or where to begin? Check out a self-compassion exercise here. Self-compassion is my starting point in matrescence coaching and from there we explore values, strengths, relationships and more. Get in touch if you’d like a taste!

This article was written by Tricia King, Matrescence Coach with Careering Into Motherhood. Tricia works with mothers who want to explore their shifting identities and feel fulfilled and confident in all aspects of life. You can contact Tricia via her profile page or at her website