What I’m reading this January…*

*If you’re only really interested in finding out about the books by my bedside then skip the first 350 ish words of this post or go to this post from the summer ;-).

I must confess I’m feeling a bit funny this January.  Not the usual hotch-potch of excitement and gloom that is common when the festive season draws to a close and the new year starts in earnest.  Instead, something more complex.

You see at the end of the month I’m going away for a few days.  On a course.  Or a ‘holiday from parenting’ as my blogger pal Nicole from the Mum Reviews may call it.  Don’t get me wrong I’m looking forward to some good night’s sleep (fingers crossed) and the chance to develop my mindfulness practice further as well as furthering my teacher training.  However I’m also feeling incredibly sad about being away from the kids for quite such a stretch…

To the point where I’m not sure how I’m going to cope.  There I’ve said it.  I know it sounds a bit melodramatic but it’s true.

How I’m feeling at the moment reminds me of how I used to feel the few days before I was being packed off to Brownie camp.  The whiff of ‘homesickness’ is following me around.  The virus is incubating inside me ready to become a full-blown disease when I get on the train to leave my little corner of south-east London.

And I’m worried.  I’m worried that I’m going to be dreadfully, awfully, embarrassingly homesick….or should I call it ‘familysick’ when I’m on my course trying to be in tune with my mental state and emotions.  Am I just going to be a wreck?!

Now don’t get me wrong I suffer my fair share of ‘familysickness’ when I’m at home too.

  • I can sometimes get a bit sick of having ‘no’ shouted at me all the time
  • cleaning up food from the floor after mealtimes
  • the constant negotiations about screens, sweets, biscuits etc

I can sometimes get a bit sick of the constant sorting out of squabbles too, oh and the disturbed sleep.

In fact sometimes I dream of going away for a few days for a bit of peace and quiet. However, now this dream is coming closer to reality I am feeling increasingly miserable about it.

In fact I can feel the catastrophising thoughts that sometimes grip me taking hold….crazy, dark thoughts that involve train crashes, children who wind up in therapy because of being  ‘abandoned’ by their mother for a few days at the beginning of 2017 or……Ofsted Inspectors.  Yep – bad stuff.

This rumination can be a sure sign that my mood may be deteriorating.  A signal for me to take it easy, to spend more time on my mindfulness practices and to look after my mental hygiene. It’s a good job then that in preparation for the residential course I have to two excellent books to read.  Both of which can’t fail to help me in my current mindset.

The first is Jon Kabat-Zinn’s ‘Full Catastrophe Living’.

The second is ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression’ by Segal, Williams and Teesdale.

I’ve already got stuck into ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ as it’s been on my must-read list for a while now (it’s widely viewed as the ‘bible’ when it comes to all things Mindfulness you see) and I have not been disappointed so far.  Despite basically being a training manual for an 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, it is easy to follow packed full of thought-provoking and insightful comment.

I have already been reminded that a by-product of ‘non-doing’ or ‘being’ (i.e. meditative practice) is the chance to “make room for new ways to seeing old problems”, and that:

“facing our problems is usually the only way to get past them.”

However, my favourite statement from the book so far is:


A good take on life eh?

I have to admit I have been a bit more reticent about reading Segal, Williams’ and Teesdale’s book.  At the moment my Mindfulness is all about being warm and fuzzy and generally positive.  I have moved away from the dark days that I inhabited when I initially stumbled across this approach to life and don’t particularly want to be reminded of it.  Yet it’s good to keep in mind that though I generally use mindfulness to enhance and add more vivid colour to my life, there are times when it is a treatment for depression.

Mindfulness is still traditionally viewed as a form of therapy for people suffering from ‘low mood’ and so, as I will be qualified to teach it to adults next month, I need to be aware of this.  Therefore I trust this book will be very helpful to help me to complete my training.

Wish me luck – seeing as it’s taken me about five months to read two books from my pile in my bedroom then I had better log off and get reading as I only have a few weeks to go….

Thus, January will be a quiet blogging month for me.  Instead I’ll be reading REAL books for a change, fighting my ‘familysickness’ (both versions no doubt) and training to teach Mindfulness to adults as well as children.  Deep breaths….or just breaths I suppose, will be needed I think.


One Messy Mama

Diary of An Imperfect Mum
Diary of an imperfect mum
Two Tiny Hands
The Pramshed


  1. January 9, 2017 / 7:31 am

    I know what you mean about family sickness – it definitely goes both ways. Is it the kind of place where you check your phone at the door, or there is no phone reception? I find a single photo a day of my family smiling while I am away makes the world of difference when I am missing them.

  2. January 9, 2017 / 8:42 am

    Was lol-ling at Ofsted inspector nightmares 😂 I definitely can relate to the double-edged sword of leaving your family. I had similar worries particularly last April when I left my youngest for the first time, stopping breastfeeding in the process, to go to a conference in Washington DC. Incredibly scary to go so far away! But I was ok in the end – too busy with what I was doing there to worry much. I hope it will be the same for you. Thanks for the mention xx

    • January 9, 2017 / 1:52 pm

      Ahhh it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who feels like this but we get through it. No worries. xx

  3. katyclark345
    January 9, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    I like that breathing quote, too. Good luck with your course. I think it sounds like you’ll do great once you work thru your feelings/homesickness. I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts on the CBT as I’ve recently become aware of that and want to know more.

    Cheers from #globalblogging!

  4. January 9, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    These books sound really interesting, off to put them on my wish list to look at later. Best of luck when you go away, I’m sure you’ll be fine x

  5. January 10, 2017 / 6:27 am

    I feel your pain.I also suffer from family sickness. It can be crippling. I hope the course goes well! Thanks for linking up with #EatSleepBlogRT 🌟

  6. mindfultreemama
    January 11, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    I’m so excited to hear how your trip will go. Remember that kids do appreciate it when parents can take care of themselves. I’m sure it’s really challenging to think about being away from them, though. So, I hope you get what you need out of your parenting holiday and can feel rejuvenated upon reconnection!
    Please update us with your opinion of Full Catastrophe Living. I’m excited to read his and his wife’s book about parenting, Everyday Blessings, but likely won’t have time for a while. His book Wherever You Go, There You Are did not disappoint either so I’m sure the same can be said about FCL, as you mentioned.
    Take care!

    • January 12, 2017 / 9:51 pm

      Ah thanks for the lovely comment. Yes, I’m really enjoying FCL – it’s like his mindfulness so straightforward and simple but so insightful. Have Where you Go…. on my pile too. Didn’t realise there was a parenting book – yes would really like to read that too! Thank you for your suppport xx

  7. January 12, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Being away from my family makes me anxious. For all the reasons you write about. My biggest being that they’ll “need” me and I won’t be there. Or that I will miss some beautiful moment! However, they’ll survive, like they always do.. 🙂 .. All the best.. Sounds like you have a lovely month ahead! Looking forward to reading about it! Thank you for sharing !! #globalblogging

    • January 12, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Ah you’re right and it’s always so reassuring to hear I’m not the only one feeling like this. Thanks for the lovely comment. xx

  8. January 12, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    Where do you find the time to take care of your kids, write a blog, read some great books and train to teach? ! Well done and good luck with it all! I hope you managed to catch up a bit on your sleep? Thanks for joining #globalblogging. I hope you will join again next week!

  9. twotinyhands
    January 13, 2017 / 6:40 am

    Aww Hayley there is going to be all the worry over leaving your kiddies. You will all be stronger for it when you get back together. Hark at me; I’ve never left Robert for any length of time before and don’t think I ever will! Hope you enjoy your course it sounds like you are going to enjoy it! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    • January 13, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Ah thanks so much for the reassuring words Karen – you’re right the course should be enjoyable xx

  10. January 14, 2017 / 11:26 am

    Good luck with your course. Enjoy the short break and make use of FaceTime! Just think of the amazing cuddles you’ll get after getting back.

  11. susielhawes
    January 14, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Oh good luck with your trip. I’d feel the same I’m sure. It sounds like a fantastic opportunity though. Can’t wait to hear all about it. And I will try to remember these books for future! Xx #familyfun

  12. January 14, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    I love that quote it really is a great take with fantastic perspective. I know what you mean about feeling homesick or familysick I would absolutely be the same. I hope you enjoy your time away and you don’t get too sick and I look forward to hearing g about how it went. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun x

  13. January 15, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    I admit I can’t relate to the missing the kids bit as I think a break from kids is a godsend and I went away three times last year for 6 days at a time and barely even spoke to them during that time. They’re fine with their dad and I’ve always believed it’s good for them to have a break from their mum and not need to be in constant contact as it doesn’t really encourage independence and kids don’t actually need us as much as parents (mainly in Western cultures) think they do! BUT The mindfulness I can relate to. I think I need to look into this as I definitely suffer from awful low mood (which I know the causes of but unfortunately can’t do much to change, so the only thing I can change is my state of mind right?) I presume you’ll be blogging about your teaching venture so I’d be quite interested to read about that. Best of luck with the trip and with the teaching!

    • January 15, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      Hee hee – it’s definitely good to get another perspective. I think I will feel like this in a couple of years – I just think at the moment the girls are so young I can’t explain to them that I WILL be back….. I’m so sorry you suffer from awful low mood. Mindfulness has really helped me battle this and this is why I try to promote it to others so please do keep a look out for more blog posts that I help can spur you on to explore mindfulness. Take care xx

  14. January 15, 2017 / 10:48 pm

    Yep, families … can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
    But I’m sure you’ll be fine. Enjoy your training. I don’t know much about Mindfulness but it sounds great.

  15. January 21, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I hope it goes well for you. It can be so hard to leave them can’t it but it does give you a chance to refresh your batteries. Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG

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