Hygge Mumma’s guide to achieving ultimate hygge
A few years ago, ‘hygge’ completely changed my life. At a time when I viewed the world negatively, hygge opened the door to a new way of living. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is why the Danes are one of the happiest nations in the world. It’s a feeling of safe atmosphere and experience that allows us to relax in the presence of people we love. When I entered the busy and somewhat chaotic life of parenthood, I asked myself, “How can I achieve hygge?”. The answer was easier than I thought.
Light. Less is more to create a soothing environment in which to unwind. Flickering candles provide an instant hygge atmosphere in your home. Safe spaces for lit candles can be scarce if, like me, you have a crawling baby, so a good alternative to create a hygge ambience are lamps and fairy lights. My Hygge Bubba enjoys a cosy tepee with lights hanging inside, an ideal spot to explore a music box and, of course, books.
Togetherness. An essential part of hygge. My family enjoy being together with other people to fulfil our basic need to be close and connected to others. In addition, becoming a parent has, for me, highlighted how important it is to be a part of a social group of mummas. The mummas I have met on my motherhood journey have motivated me and empowered me to think I am good enough for the job.
Food and drink. While others read about “chicken soup for the soul”, my motto is, “Cakes are for the mummas”. There is nothing more rewarding than good conversation with your mumma friends, with good cake and a hot drink in your hands, discussing sleep deprivation and milestones. At home, good hearty food eaten in the company of good people equals ultimate hygge. I enjoy preparing slow cooker meals as the recipes are manageable within a busy parenting environment, as well as treating myself to the odd donut from the local farmers’ market, which my Hygge Bubba also enjoys!
Clothing. Casualness is key to hygge, in atmosphere, attitude and dress code. I enjoy sinking into comfort, wearing my favourite oversized jumper, comfy leggings or bottoms and fluffy socks. Remember to sport the famous ‘mum bun’ (the higher the better in my opinion), and wear tops with easy access for the booby-feeding bubba.
Outside. At every opportunity, my Hygge Bubba and I get outside to become one with nature. We escape the entertaining electronics and return to the natural world. Savour moments when you can slow down and unwind on walks and picnics with your little ones. My bubba loves the swings, and has recently found a need for speed!
Everything in between. Parenting is tough! No one tells you how tough it is. Like a swan, you seem calm and collected on the surface, but under the water you’re paddling like crazy! This is why it is so important to make sure hygge is part of your parenting. Embrace the moments you’ll look back on and laugh about, even if, at the time, they are situations you never imagined yourself in. Explosive poo, the constant stream of dribble, and flung food are particular favourites I regularly experience! Fun and happiness abound in our house, even in the mundane jobs. Remember to cherish each moment before the next milestone begins.
Hygge Mumma, Anna Squires, has been passionate about the Danish way of hygge for about 4 years, and wanted to maintain this passion as she transitioned from teacher to mother 18 months ago. She likes to highlight the realities of parenthood, and to show how to reframe things in a hygge way.
This feature was originally published in JUNO Winter 2019.