The saying goes that if you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener.
And I have to say I agree.
Rather ironically we don’t actually have a garden – or any outside space at home at all – but we do have an allotment and it’s that allotment that has helped me stay sane since becoming a mum.
Every weekend I hot foot it there for a couple of hours child free, and in the summer months I go in the evening during the week whenever I can. I mainly grow flowers I can cut and take home, with soft fruit for the kids and Halloween pumpkins thrown in for good measure. Even when I’m not at my allotment I’m thinking about it – it’s what helps get me through the week. That and wine.
*My happy place* When it all gets a bit much – the teething, the tantrums, the wiping, the nappy changing, the washing, the general mothering – do you have somewhere you escape to? This is mine: my beloved allotment. The thought of escaping here at the weekend keeps me going during the week, on days like this. I know it’s only Tuesday but roll on the weekend! #motherhood #motherhoodunplugged #rawmotherhood #mumlife #health #wellness #wellbeing #thisisme #thismamaloves #garden #gardening #allotment #allotmentlife #outdoors #MyHappyCapture
Sound crazy? Here’s 10 ways gardening helps me stay sane.
10 ways gardening helps me stay sane
1. It’s good to have something ‘else’. When I say ‘else’ I mean something that doesn’t involve being a mum and something that doesn’t involve work either – or not that sort of work, anyway. An escape.
2. It’s an all-round workout. Whether you’re planting bulbs with a dibber (that’s a pointed wooden stick for making holes in the ground – triceps) or digging over the soil with a fork (quads) gardening is an all over workout you don’t even realise you’re doing.
3. It’s good for the mind. I forget about everything when I’m gardening: work, the kids, all the jobs that need doing at home. Everything.
4. It’s a welcome antidote to the chaos at home. One of the things I love about my allotment is that I can keep everything in orderly rows and neat and tidy in a way that just isn’t possible when you’re a work at home mum living in a two bedroom flat with three kids. My allotment is the only place I find just as I left it (give or take a few weeds).
5. Weeding is therapeutic. If you haven’t gotten hold of the root of a really deep weed and pulled it from the soil you haven’t lived!
6. Gardening is gratifying. There’s nothing quite like planting a bulb, watering it, protecting it from frost and then seeing it come up and bloom the following year.
7. You appreciate the seasons – and come to love them all. From the smell of cut grass in summer to the smell of damp soil and burning leaves in autumn, gardening makes me more aware of what’s going on around me.
8. Gardening involves being outdoors. And there’s nothing like a good dose of fresh air to help you sleep better at night.
9. Gardening makes me a better mum. After even just a few hours gardening away from home and the kids I come back feeling refreshed with patience restored and ready to put my mummy hat back on.
10. You can bring the outdoors in. Other than soft fruit and a few veggies I mainly grow cut flowers I can bring home and enjoy. And there’s nothing quite like having a vase of freshly cut flowers next to you while you work.
Are you a gardener? Would you like to be? Do you have an escape that helps you stay sane as a mum or dad? I’d love to know what it is!