Yesterday was not a good day.

It started early, 3.27am, the moment I woke with a jolt from a sad dream. The kind which leaves you wondering for a moment or two; was it real or maybe a sneak peak into the future? I glanced at the clock defeated in the reality that I needed to get back to sleep if I was going to face the day ahead without dragging my sorry, tired but around the house. While I lay there trying to force the bad thoughts out of my head and crawl back up to my natural optimism I heard a noise from my son’s room.

Sleepily walking across the pitch black room, I misjudged the door opening and ‘wham’ walked straight into the door frame, taking the full force on my mouth, sending my braces into my lips and my head flying back. I’d done that walk many, many times before and as my mouth filled up with blood I knew, that no matter how hard I tried, it was going to be a bad day.

I’m a positive person naturally, always looking for the good in a situation and tackling obstacles and problems with a “que sera sera” approach. Things happen for a reason and sometimes you just have to let karma do it’s thing. But yesterday I struggled to find any positivity, not a scrap. A big black cloud loomed heavily on my shoulders and with it a niggling worry that it wouldn’t go.

I been warned there’d be days like this as I stepped on the rocky road of the end of my marriage. Shrugging off the mere thought, that I was in full control of the situation and that this was a good thing. But as I wallowed in self-pity with a fat lip and pain in my neck, I realised that I’d already had a few days like this, only this one was much worse. I’d hit rock bottom.

sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to appreciate the good days, read more here

And that was when it struck me,  I needed those bad days to appreciate the good ones.

That when you hit rock bottom it gives you a gauge to all your other days and it’s only when you get that low that you begin to get a real sense of appreciation of how good it feels to see the positive.

And slowly I clawed back some of my natural optimism.

So why am I sharing this?

Why am I spilling out the very core of my deepest darkest days?

Because I wanted to let anyone else who’s struggling to see that positivity I bang on about on here so often. That there will be a rainbow after your rain. That sometimes, just sometimes, when everything seems to be falling apart, they’re actually falling in to place and once those moments are here, you’ll appreciate it so much more and see it for what it is.

when you hit rock bottom, sometimes it's for a reason, read more here


It’s good to talk. So the saying goes, but why?

Do you really know the reason why, the science, the psychology or the reasoning? I’m a selective natterer, the kind that can talk the hind legs off a donkey one with one person and keep my council with another. It’s a technique I’ve fine tuned through age and experience. (And through performing the god awful, open mouth – insert boot, trick one time too many times.)

I was testing this theory when I turned 40 last year, something which challenge the very core of my belief system as the aging process stared and taunted me in the face. I never minded telling people I was thirty something, but as a child I clearly remember celebrating my Mum’s 40th birthday and now, in the flick of a switch it was my turn. So rather than wallow in the impeding middle age that haunted me, I tried to think of the benefits of having a life time of experience behind me, one of which, is hindsight.

What would I have done differently in hind sight?



Well, I’d have paused and thought of what was about to come out of my mouth before speaking on many occasions for one.

I’m not saying I’ve taken a vow of silence, or exercising a method of selective mutism. Far from it, I love to talk. I chatter away all day to my toddler, my inner talk spills out all over the pages of my blog and once my boys are in from school,  I attempt to engage in the dance of reciprocity, helping them to off load their day and settle into the peace and tranquility of their safe haven.

But why is it good to talk?

When I’m frustrated, I feel stressed. I feel anxious, like I’m about to explode. Sometimes, in the past I did explode, I’m not perfect, I’ll admit, (I’m not talking anger management candidate, here, don’t panic.) I’m generally quite a laid back, un-frustrated person, but there are times when something gets my goat and I need to tell someone. But if I don’t, it stays inside, building up until I either calm it down in my head, sleep on it or shout it out! Not good.


Yes there is a but, there’s always a but.

Now I’m older, I’ve learnt that it’s good to talk and occasionally I’ve been asked how I stay so calm, so for those people, this is how:

I have some amazing friends and family who I know I can trust. My go-to people who, when I need to off load. I talk to them and they help rationalise my thoughts and reinstall my inner calm. It’s no biggy, everyone does it.

Imagine this, your mind is like a room. A room with a wardrobe, a bed and chest of drawers and to be able to tidy everything away, it needs space to walk around. Your thoughts are the things that need tidying away (compartmental-ising) but it you keep putting things in there, you won’t be able to get in and it becomes full, squashed and untidy. You can’t move, you can’t think.

Then you chat, you talk your thoughts out of your head and into their place, their compartments, their wardrobes, chest of draws, under the bed. and you free up space to move and think in you room head.

So when something little or big goes back in it doesn’t bother you. You need space in your head so by tidying up your thoughts by talking and getting them out, you create that space.

You still with me?

So next time you feel like you can’t think, your head’s full of silent chatter or you’re about to explode;

Just talk. Text, email or FaceTime.

You need to off load and empty those buzzing thoughts..

Defragment your mind as a problem shared is a problem halved.

And you’ll feel so much better, ready to face the next challenge head on.

its good to talk, to off load and share your thoughts, read more here;

 ever wondered why it's good to talk? this quote says it all, read more on why it is here';

I’ve decided it’s high time I shared the experience of what happens following the end of long term relationship. Some of you reading this will recognise what I’m about to say, some will completely disagree and some won’t really give a stuff, you’re just intrigued and passing time before East Enders starts. But I thought it may (or may not) benefit someone who’s just stepped onto the rocky road of singleton. So here goes;

First off, keep focused, keep positive and most importantly, keep looking forward. If there’s one piece of advice I can give anyone in this situation is that there WILL be a positive, even if you’re struggling to see it right now. Dig deep, even if it’s something as simple as having full hold of the remote control, there is always something.

Sure, there are things you will miss which will try to hog your thoughts from time to time. I really missed having someone bring me coffee in bed, stupid I know, but I’ve decided a coffee machine next to my bed is the way forward. See, negative thought gone and shopping trip scheduled.

There will be good days and bad, and the bad days will catch you unaware. I shocked myself how well I handled the fall out of my marriage breakdown. Surely it wasn’t supposed to feel this good? But just as I thought life couldn’t get any better, one little thing brought it all crashing down. And that is all it will take. For me if a was a little comment which brought home the reality of what had happened. So I wallowed, moaned, listened to Alanis Morrisette, searched out quotes on Pinterest which matched my emotions.

And then messaged a friend.

And that leads me seamlessly into my next snippet of advice. NEVER under-estimate the power of your friends and family.  I have an amazing support network which I can call on and who I know will pull me out of the doldrums, even when they don’t realise they’re doing it.

I have my funny, crazy bestest friend who never fails to make me giggle. We swear, we laugh, we send silly GIFs, I rant, she rants, and we plan. I don’t even have to tell her I’m feeling crap, she just knows. Same goes for my sister, 100’s of miles away and living a crazy busy mum life, she’s the one to tell me how it is. Facts are facts, straight talking but caring. Lecture if need be, but always says the right thing and, along with my mum, dad and brother, is my rock.

And then there’s the ones who I coffee with, drink wine with and talk about our children with. They’re my distraction, where I don’t have to disclose too much and stop me going to where my negative thoughts are trying to take me.

Get your support network in place, it doesn’t have to be huge, but you will need it.

how to survive the early month of the end of a long term relationship. this quote is a perfect reminder of how to see the situation

Look after yourself, your emotions are taking a battering right now and you need to be able to take what ever life throws at you. Don’t let yourself get too stressed. This has huge implications on you mentally and physically. I’m a huge fan of reflexology to help balance and restore. I tend to internalize stress resulting in unexplained aches and pains. The problem with this is that pretty soon you get over loaded and you find little things you could once shrug off start to bother you.

Think of your body being a vase, each stressful situation is a cup of sand, filling it up until you can’t hold it anymore. It over flows. Think of the mess & how heavy the glass now feels. If you can find balance & ways to offload that stress and overloading you emotionally  (talking is always a good way of doing this too) you can cope with so much more. Keep that space in your head for when you really need it.

And I’ll say it again, keep looking forward. Don’t look back in anger (sing it Oasis style if that helps) Embrace the occasional down days, your body & mind needs to process what’s happened and move on, but don’t let the bad outweigh the good or play the victim, you’re the navigator of your own happiness.

What’s done is done. Be graceful in your departure from the old you, things happen for a reason and sometimes beyond your control. Embrace the next adventure on which your life is leading you,

Exciting times are ahead.

I promise you.



Mum in a Nutshell is a personal blog, documenting the life of a Devon mum to 3 boys, which you know. And the reason you guys keep coming back to read what’s going on in my little corner of East Devon, or any blog for that matter, is to see a snippet of what normal family life feels like. So it’s only fair that I share what’s going on for me right now.

It actually feels weird saying it out loud, if truth be told,  never in a million years did I think I’d ever have to. I made my vows and that was that. I took up my position of wife, general chief decision maker, financial advisor and there I stayed, 21 years in total. For better for worse, till death us do part. But things change, we changed, I changed and I had a gut feeling something wasn’t right.

The nitty-gritty is bye -the-bye and something I’ll never share, the reality right now is that the ugly side of separating with a husband / partner / boyfriend / whatever, is suddenly your relationship becomes public property. A topic of conversation on everyone’s lips and close one’s thoughts. But strangely it’s also a time when people want to talk to you less. So I’m going public with my own words.

You become the elephant in the room, conversations become strained as they desperately try not to mention the word ‘marriage’ or talk of what a wonderful time they had with their spouse. It never bothered me, most days I’m lost in my own thoughts to take any notice and I’ve hid myself away during the early days. Licking my wounds and wondering what the hell I do now.

It’s a fact of life that people talk, and sometimes gossip is good, it helps control behaviour as you try not to be the latest word on the streets. But sometimes that gossip can be cutting as they speculate about what happened. I’d love to share my story but it wouldn’t be fair and one day my children might read this.

So while the gossips do their gossiping,  I’m gripped in a roller coaster of emotions; excited about the future and new possibilities. While panicking about the fact I’m going to have to tackle motorway driving if the boys and I are ever going to go on holiday again. It’s a strange old situation which no one can ever prepare you for.

But hey ho, it’s happened and things happen for a reason. I’ve updated my status to single so while I exercise all manners of positive thinking and snuggle in the warmth & support of my amazingly family and friends. I thought it was only fair I told my readers what was going on and to remind you all to trust your insticts. I’m still here, still writing, still smiling and hopefully, with many more new adventures to share.

To be continued….



I’m an optimistic person, annoying I know, but that’s me. Think Tigger in slow motion. I wasn’t always Mrs Brightside though,not a total kill joy, but were occasions when I’ve been more Eyeore, woe is me and all that junk.

What I learnt, though, over the years is when you think the worse, the worse will probably happen. A self fulfilling prophesy, if you like.  It might be full on in your face, this is really messing me up stuff, or just a whisper of ‘man this sucks‘. And when you are faced with a glimmer of negativity, that glimmer becomes a tornado, sucking you in until you’re so single focused on the crap, that the great stuff passes you by.

I’ve been there and it sucks.

But in all honesty there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, a positivity to hang on too. It might be a speck or it could be a complete case of sending your thoughts in another direction. Seeing the situation from another angle and pushing the bad stuff aside.

And that’s what I try to do.

Sometimes it takes me hours, days or even weeks to see that other side. Other days it’s immediate. But what’s important is I try.

If mama ‘aint happy, ‘aint nobody happy!

Because what happens if you don’t keep your cool when everyone around you is loosing theirs, is you run with them. You take on the stress and negativity and you get sucked into the tornado until you see nothing but chaos and darkness. And that’s bad, that’s really, really bad.

On the surface, when I’m stressed, I’m quiet. There’s little tells, like the scowl which I carry round while I’m lost in my thoughts. But on the inside it’s a different story, that chaos is like a whirlwind flying round my mind. Shouting at and blocking any happiness which tries to get in. And I have a tell, a physical tell that reminds me I’m internalising too much stress and I need to let go. A pain in my side.

We’re all different though, I have a friend who’s the opposite, when she’s stressed  she talks, and talks and talks. She wears her heart, soul and mind on her sleeve. You know when life has thrown her lemons!  If she was a colour, she’d be yellow! Either way, if you’re struggling you need a plan.

So what do I do?

how to keep your cool when everyone around you is loosing theirs

Well first I mull it over. I searched for the worst case scenario and the possibly of that happening. And then I convince myself that actually life ‘aint that bad. That some good will come out of it or I simply remind myself that this isn’t my grief and I don’t have to worry about it. I have a space in my head reserved for the times when the going gets tough and right now, that’s not going there.

So off you go on your merry way. See ya!

Take these last few weeks. They’ve been tough, really tough. And twenty something me would have crumbled. I’d have shut down and hid in my own dark, nasty thoughts. I’d feel angry, injusticed and sad all at the same time. But then things changed and I got my light. My children, my beautiful innocent children. Those boys needed a mum who was present, who could mum without a scowl on her face and pain in her side.

So I learnt to push those dodgy thoughts and the worst case scenario’s aside. It may happen, I may not. But me thinking might just make it come true. But unless I focus on the good and the positive, then the good stuff should / could swing in my favour.

And if it doesn’t, then I’ve still got room in my head to store it while I keep looking for that glimmer of light..

how to keep your cool when everyone around you is loosing theirs

how to keep your cool when everyone around you is loosing theirs with this positive quote to remind yourself each day.

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