Cozying up to the word "Hygge"

Cozy, cozy, cozy...

I once, over a decade ago, took a financial therapy workshop in which the instructor asked us to draw a picture of our Happy Place. My Happy Place illustration was neither colourful nor particularly exciting in detail, it was simply my best effort at a representation of my duvet.

See, for me, comfort is the ultimate. 
I do some of my best lovin', and I come up with some of my best ideas, when I'm in elastic waist pants, maybe with a mug of something delicious between my hands. This may speak to why:

  • I have never been very good at camping (sleeping on lumpy ground, washing dishes in cold water, having to put dirty clothes back on the next day...),
  • working on organic farms in my early twenties, I always preferred cooking dinner for everyone else while they mucked about in the fields,
  • my favourite concert I ever went to was Maylee Todd's Musical Planetarium at The Great Hall, where audience members were encouraged to show up with blankets and pillows, and then lie about on the floor while Maylee played, and a light show was projected on the ceiling,
  • I wrote two books mostly from an indented spot on a futon couch, and find it almost impossible to sit still at a desk, and
  • wee squishy babies are some of my favourite people to be around.

And this what hygge is! It's the Danish concept (that perhaps we English-speakers are not embracing as unabashedly as we ought to, because we don't have such a succinct word for the idea) of well-being, comfort, coziness, safety, fun and connectedness. Hygge (pronounced "huguh" or "hooga" -- because I know you were wondering!) fills us up, so that when we're doing whatever we need to do, or have to do, we can do it with love, energy, and a sense of fulfillment. My first hygge thoughts are usually about physical comfort, but a sense of connection to others, and making real life fun -- where things get even hilariously funny at times -- is so very deliciously hygge too. The feeling of relief when one gets to come home from camping, building connections with sun-kissed farmers who share your love for the freshest food, getting horizontal in a sea of hipsters while being serenaded, preferring to be cross-legged when putting in quality time with my laptop (much to my osteopath's chagrin)... it's all hygge.

But! I digress. We're not really here to talk about therapy workshops or concerts, as much as they make me a better-rounded person. We're here to talk about new families and growing families, and how they can be better supported with a little more hygge.

I can't think of any other word to sum up what families with a new baby (or baby-on-the-way) need more to thrive than hygge. That feeling can come more easily with another skilled person around -- a postpartum doula. Someone who can adjust baby's latch while nursing and answer the famous question "is my baby getting enough milk?", who can draw you a bath, bring you a cup of tea, or encourage you to drop everything and grab a nap while she carries your little one in a sling and folds a load of laundry. Someone to support you in recharging, in a time when you're giving everything to this sweet new life.

If you think you only need a bit of a hygge boost -- three home visits to get you off on the right path, An Extra Hand would be just the thing.
If your parental intuition is telling you could do with something more along the lines of a hygge motherload, check out the details of the Full Hygge package. And if you're not seeing just what you need as you peruse my site, certainly don't hesitate to be in touch about how else I might help.

Jae SteelehyggeComment