Here's what other mums think of
The Happy Mum Handbook:
"It really is great to know that there is someone else out there that understands. The processes are very easy to follow too. I have done other 'self-help' stuff which has been great but is more time consuming so it is nice just to have something to refer to quickly and to have a greater awareness of why I get frustrated with some situations. My husband also found the book useful - he really is a super husband and very helpful at home and with the babies so he could relate to it too!"
Kate - Scarborough, WA, Australia
“I have loved the book and can totally relate to so many of the real life situations that are identified in the book. Just ordering the book helped start to change my mindset – I was doing something pro-active and positive to make a change and that in itself was great. I am slowly making my way through the book and am getting something out of every chapter that I read and most importantly am having loads more fun with my fabulous children."
T B , NSW (mother of 3)
"I have been struggling with the change in my life since baby was born. I found it lonely, hard work and a huge shock to the system. I searched for help through friends, other mums and online. I found other mums were always trying to be happy or just talked general chit chat and not many actually talked about how hard it all is and how to cope. When I found the Happy Mum and began to read, I actually cried cause situations were completely what I'd been going through and it gave me hope. Now one year down the line little one is thriving and I have the book to thank for making things a little easier."
Jenny E, Northern Ireland
“I have never really read anything like this. It made me realize how much judgement I have in my life. And that my mood is determined by my 'get my life right' model. It's nice to accept myself and know I have implicit value despite my output. Quite a contrast from my corporate world existence.”
Lisa, Melbourne. Australia
"I would just like to say Thank you....I have only just started reading The Happy Mum Handbook and I have already found that I'm dealing with issues more constructively. I also realise that my child's behaviour is NOT a reflection on my parenting skills. I really struggled with this before!"
Tracy - ACT (mother of one)
“I'm not a new mum at all. My son is 12 but, I when I read your book, I found a new perspective on parenting, partnering and home life that has helped me to cope with entrenched anger, stress and tiredness. I had tried other cognitive therapy self help books with a greater focus on psychology but your practical insights and examples were much more helpful for me. Thank you.”
Caroline Noonan, NSW. Australia
After finally being diagnosed with PND (when my son was about 4 months old) I was referred to a psychologist and started taking anti-depressant medication. After 5 weeks of this it became clear that whilst I had improved a little, I was still a long way from being myself, and was still struggling with some very confusing thoughts and emotions (such as just wanting to 'disappear' so that I wouldn’t have to feel so sad/deal with my baby/be a wife etc etc). I was sent to a psychiatric hospital which has a dedicated wing for mothers suffering post-natal depression. My baby boy came with me...the hospital stay helped a great deal in terms of sorting out a better dosage of anti-depressants, group therapy, one-on-one's with psychiatrists and psychologists, and just being in a unit with 7 other mums who were all going through a similar experience. After 4 weeks I was ready to leave and my baby and I came home.
I was doing a lot better than I had been, but I was still having regular & frequent 'bad days' and I was still extremely anxious when my child cried/whinged or showed signs of anything being slightly amiss. I just felt that I could never relax - even when he was asleep I would worry about when he would wake up/will he have slept enough?/will he be whingy because of lack of sleep?/will i get all the housework done?/will he 'let me' cook dinner while he plays or will i have to carry him around all afternoon???? etc etc. I was still trying to be 'supermum.' I guess and I felt that if my boy wasn't happy 100% of the time, and I didn't have dinner ready for my husband when he got home from work, and if the house wasn't spotless, then I was a failure!
A friend in my Mothers Group mentioned that she had been given your book and that she was finding it very helpful. She emailed me your website and I ordered the book within about 5 minutes of receiving the email! I had read so many books by that stage that I figured 'what the hell one more can't hurt!'...
I found your book unbelievably helpful in making me change my pattern of thinking about situations, which in turn helped to lessen my anxiety about certain things, and lowered my stress levels! Your advice and examples helped me to realise when I was expecting too much of myself or my son, and to recognise that he would cry or whinge to tell me he needed something. He wasn't doing it to annoy me, he wasn't trying to stop me from doing things, and most importantly he wasn't doing it TO ME! I started to change the way I spoke about things, for example when trying to cook dinner one evening my son was at my feet crying. The 'old me' would have said something like "Why are you doing this to me? I just want to get dinner ready so your father can eat when he gets home. Stop annoying me"...but since reading your book, I could stop myself before that train of thought took hold. I would stop and think "Well hang on a minute, what does he want/need...does he want a cuddle? Is he bored because we've been inside all day? Does he want me to play with him? Maybe I can sing to him while I cook"...
I am a lot more patient with my son now (he's now 16 months old so patience is a virtue!!!) and I feel like I'm a better Mum because I don't snap at him if I'm doing a job and he comes up to me being a bit sooky. I stop what I'm doing and figure out what it is he needs before resuming my jobs. I have suggested that my husband read your book because he tends to lack patience with our boy and I often hear him say the things that I used to "Why are you doing this to me? What now? Stop whinging" etc etc.
I have told many friends about your book and how it helped to change my way of looking at a situation, and to be more patient with my son. I don't try to be supermum anymore, I simply go with the flow - if the house is tidy and dinner is cooked by the time my husband gets home, great! But if not? I don't let it stress me out, and my husband is quite happy to either take over with our son, or to cook dinner when he arrives home. I make a conscious effort to try to just enjoy the time with my son while he is at this fun and lovely age where he is happy to play with me/give me cuddles etc - I know that one day when he is in his teens, he won't want to know me!!!
We are now thinking about having another one or two children whereas 12 months ago the thought of having more kids to cry and whinge at me would make me so anxious I would get teary and sweaty and scared!! I'm now really looking forward to having a bigger family and will really savour the time that the kids are young and have no inhibitions! I hope that by being a more patient and 'chilled out' Mum, my kids will grow up being well balanced individuals who can be independent but also know that I am always here for them and that they can tell me anything they need to and I won't be mad at them!
Thanks for providing such a great book which really talks about the pressures of being a Mum, the unrealistic expectations we have of our kids, and how to start to change the way we think about communication and interacting with our kids...
Merryn, Speers Point, NSW Australia
I just wanted to let you know that your book is a wealth of really useful information. Just knowing there is a book out there that deals with motherhood stress immediately removes some of the guilt surrounding how i felt about my parenting style. I found I could relate very well to Chapter 2 and this section really helped me to see there is hope that change can be achieved. My parenting style has changed for the better and I approach each day more relaxed and confident armed with knowledge from your book. This is not the sort of book you read once. For me it is a constant source of reference, encouragement and sound advice.
Many thanks Tanya, Sydney Australi