Becoming a mom changes you in so many ways. It opens your heart and blesses you with a love that’s stronger than you could ever imagine. However, with all the joys of motherhood comes a lot of stress and challenges. It’s common for moms to carry the mental load for the family, which is exhausting enough in itself. Then there’s the physical responsibilities like working, shopping, cleaning, feeding, and parenting. The constant to-do list can quickly pile up and become a cause of stress. This stress not only affects us as moms, but also trickles down on other members of the family. That’s why today I want to share ways to be a happy mom for self-happiness of course, but also because it benefits the family as a whole.
How To Be a Happy Mom
You may have heard the term “happy wife, happy life”. While I definitely believe that saying to be true, I also believe that a happy mom leads to a happy family. Let’s be real, us moms hold it all together! Here are some key pieces of advice to take with you on your motherhood journey.
1. Set clear boundaries
Tip number one for being a happier mom is to set clear boundaries in your home with yourself and with your partners and children. Try to set expectations and boundaries that you can keep up with consistently. Some boundaries you set may be assigning chores to your kids, no television past 8:00, specific consequences for specific behaviors, or mandatory family dinners. There is no right or wrong way to parent, but setting up clear expectations with your family will enforce a routine and avoid the day to day chaos.
2. Take control of your reactions
Whether you have young children, or older children, moms all have to deal with temper tantrums. There is nothing like a full blown toddler (or teenager) meltdown to put an abrupt halt to feeling happy. While we can’t always control a screaming child, we can be in charge of our response to them. When you are having a bad day, and your kids are screaming, often our reaction is to scream back, which doesn’t ever fix anything. In fact, it only makes things way, way, worse, and usually leaves us feeling terrible about ourselves.
When you feel yourself getting angry, or overly stressed, you need to first acknowledge those feelings. Next, give yourself a moment before reacting. Taking just a few deep breaths can be so effective in managing these kinds of moments. Another idea is to walk out of the room for a few minutes to collect your thoughts until it feels good to go back into the room and respond.
3. Know your limit
Stress is a part of life, but we all have our breaking point. You want to be able to recognize when you are near your limit of overload. My biggest piece of advice here is to be intentional with your time management the best that you can be. Protect your time and your schedule. Mom life comes with a ton of responsibility, but you can’t do everything at once.
Try planning your day in a paper planner. Be sure to leave lots of white space to allow for down time or to account for unexpected things that pop up, which they always do. You only have so much time in the day, so keep that in mind. When it all becomes too much, advocate for yourself and ask for help.
4. Lean on others
Let’s face it, enjoying motherhood is hard if you feel like you’re doing all alone. To be a happy mom, you have to lean on others when you need it. Whether it’s a mom friend or family and friends, let them be there for you. Asking your husband to go to the grocery store, or asking your mom to babysit for a few hours, can make a huge impact on being a happy mother. Chances are, the people in your life will jump at the opportunity to help you if you just ask!
In addition to asking for help when it comes to getting things done, you can also lean on friends in other ways. Going out with a friend for coffee or a glass of wine without kids can be extremely therapeutic. A couple hours of talking with a friend can make you feel like a brand new woman. Going to an actual therapist is another great way to get things off your chest, and relieve everyday stress.
5. Commit to time for yourself
We hear all about self care, and that you can’t fill an empty cup. But do we practice it? Probably not nearly as much as we should. You have to plan time into your days that are devoted 100% to yourself. We can’t just hope that time appears, because it won’t! Whether it’s going for a long run, taking a nap, reading a book, or having a dance party, you need to spend time doing things you enjoy without everyday stress. I encourage you to find the time, make it consistent and worth it, not just 10 minutes here or there.
6. Don’t compare yourself
Comparison is the thief of joy, so do not play the game of comparing your life with what you see on social media. During this day in age, we are seeing the “best-of” people’s lives through pictures and videos. It’s hard to look at these snippets of other people’s lives and not feel bad about what you are or aren’t doing as a mom. Sometimes taking a break from social media for a few days every now and then helps!
What are your secrets to being a happy mom? Let me know in the comments, or tag me on Instagram @mommydiary! Don’t forget, we all need a little help sometimes. Always lean on your family and friends on the good and bad days! If you are enjoying this conversation, check out my similar post on why being a mom is hard.