How To Be A Happier Mom
I’m going to start this off by saying: Do not feel guilty for researching how to be a happier mom.
Way too often there are too many pressures on moms to be everything, do everything, accomplish everything–all with a perfectly placed smile at all times.
News flash–that’s not even real. That is a totally unrealistic expectation that we’ve either brought upon ourselves or allowed someone to place on us. The idea of being this perfect, always happy person is a complete falsehood.
That idea is totally responsible for the overwhelming discouragement and downright despair moms are feeling everywhere.
Before we get into this whole “how to be a happier mom” thing, I’m going to break down a couple of concepts.
Moms Aren’t Required to Always Be Happy
Constant happiness is not a requirement for raising strong, healthy children.
Let me say it louder for the people in the back.
Your success as a mother is not measured by being happy 100% of the time. In fact, that’s totally unrealistic. It’s unattainable, and if you try to be that, you’re either faking yourself out or running in impossible circles.
You aren’t failing your children if you’re not always feeling happy. Period.
It Is Impossible to Feel Happy 100% Of The Time
Yeah. Let that sink in. Then let out a gusty sigh while that pressure rolls away. You simply can’t be happy 100% of the time, so stop trying.
Allow yourself the privilege of complete, utter honesty. Only then can you truly improve.
So, let’s just be clear. This isn’t about trying to be happy all the time. This is about improving.
This is about starting right where you are and doing what you can to be genuinely happi-er–not about always being happy.
5 Ways To Be A Happier Mom
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1: Stop Being So Hard On Yourself
We’ve already covered the part where you can’t be happy 100% of the time. So let that one go.
Part of what steals a mom’s happiness is this feeling that you’re not ticking all the boxes. When you don’t accomplish X, Y and Z, you’ve failed at the day.
I’m speaking from total experience. How many times have I created this ridiculous to-do list of all I should accomplish in a day while raising 2 babies?
More times than I like to think about.
How many times have I actually accomplished everything on that list?
Almost never. And when I did, guess what? I still wasn’t happy. I was exhausted, drained and totally wiped out.
That obviously isn’t the avenue to becoming a happier mom.
If you’re a stay-at-home-mom and your to-do list for the day looks something like this, you can bet you’re setting yourself up for failure:
- Wake up 2 hours before anyone else. Brew coffee
- Work out
- Take a shower and dress for the day
- Wake up the kiddos
- Start breakfast
- Make your protein shake
- Change diapers/get kiddos dressed for the day
- Serve breakfast
- Do 3 loads of laundry while kids play
- Wash dishes, scrub the sink, mop the kitchen floor
- Interactive play with the kiddos
- Serve snacks
- Vacuum the house
- Make lunch
- Change diapers/start naps
- Fold and put away laundry
- Sort mail/pay bills
- Eat a snack
- Dust and polish the furniture
- Clean the bathroom/s (toilets, tubs, showers, counters, sinks, floors)
- Serve kiddos snack
- Craft time for kiddos
- Prep dinner
- Serve dinner
- Clean up dinner, put dishes away, scrub counters and top of fridge
- Give kids a bath and put them in jammies
- Story time/Bedtime routine
- Sweep the floors one last time
- Prep lunches for the next day
Accomplishing More Tasks Will NOT Help You Be A Happier Mom!
Okay, I don’t care who you are, that looks absurd. Because it is. This is almost physically impossible to achieve every day.
This isn’t even including time for your marriage, personal care or daily time of prayer and devotion (which are all crucial).
And if you’re trying to accomplish something that’s anything at all similar to this (add a work schedule or a child’s school schedule), yeah… this is not going to help you be a happier mom.
This is going to drain every ounce of life out of you.
So, why do we continually feel like this is the level of performance we must achieve every day?
It’s because we feel like we have to prove we aren’t bad moms. So in order to prove we aren’t bad moms, we have to be amazing, all the time.
We’re giving ourselves an “F” from the start, instead of starting with the mindset “I’m an A+ mom” and working at it from there.
Being a mom means you have little ones to care for. They are the priority.
But then there’s this pressure to cook, clean, organize, work out, and look and be amazing, too.
It becomes a daily battle to make the choice of when to stop doing “house stuff” and when to focus on your children.
Instead of trying to take on everything in the world in a day, divide your tasks up to what you know you can happily achieve–not what you think Supermom should be able to achieve.
You can’t physically do everything every day. So what can you do in a day while being a connected mom and keeping a healthy balance?
Hey, this takes time, and it’s hard to find that balance. But working at it and shrugging off those ridiculous expectations is the first step to feeling a little bit happier as a mom.
Tip: Try scheduling 1-2 chores per day (aside from the daily necessities like dishes and meals and general wipe-downs). Spread the larger tasks out throughout the week.
Do not beat yourself up if you can’t get to everything!
2:Shake Off Outside Pressures
You mean you aren’t absolutely elated to be a mom, like all the time? *Gasp*
I know I’m not the only one that hears that weird, nagging voice in my head of what I imagine all my friends, peers and family members might think of my not feeling so super happy all the time.
It’s that weird pressure we feel from others, like we ought to keep a perfect house, raise perfect children, and look perfect while doing it.
Not to mention being a perfect wife to a perfect husband who has the perfect job.
Are you seeing all those Instagram photos flying through your memory like I am?
All those ideas of attainable perfection are false. But we still feel like we have to somehow reach that.
Well, here’s another news flash. That isn’t real happiness.
Maybe, instead of letting other people and outside pressures tell us what happiness looks like, why don’t we discover it for ourselves?
As a mom, you can do a lot of things. You have a million and one capabilities. Discovering how to throw off all that nonsense and find your own path of parental (and life) success is a great start to be a happier mom.
3: Learn the Art of Gratefulness
It’s amazing how this works!
When life starts to take off and we start spinning in circles to achieve this or that, it is so easy to lose sight of what is truly going on.
Maybe, mom, you can stop for a second, and sit back and take another look at what is going on around you.
I am not talking about that condescending voice that says, “you should be grateful you have…”
That is not the heart and spirit of gratefulness, especially when you feel beat over the head by a voice saying, “you should feel grateful…”
When it comes to striving to be a happier mom, it is crucial to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. So, what exactly are you doing?
What is your true purpose when it comes to being a mom? It’s not a bad idea to write it down.
What does being a mom mean to you? In your mind, what does a happy, balanced, healthy mom look like and do?
Here’s another thought. What makes your family happy and content? Is it a sparkling, pristine home, or is it that 20 minutes spent building a Lego tower?
Does perfectly folded laundry and polished furniture bring out the smiles, or does a family walk with a silly song bring the smiles?
Find what makes your family happy. Be grateful you found it and know what it is. Then find ways to recreate that gratefulness.
4: Find the Beauty of Little Moments
Oh am I ever guilty of this one!
When it comes to making our families happy, we all of a sudden think big. We think big ideas, big events, big trips, big spending.
I mean, we love our families with big love, so the moments in which we show it must match, right?
Children have the hugest hearts on the planet. They have the hugest dreams, ideas, imaginations, and affections.
But if you’re a mom, I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s the small things that make them happy. Things like:
Sitting on your lap and reading their favorite book. Playing a game. Playing tag with you outside. Building a fort. Talking about their day. Telling you about their favorite colors…
Those little, tiny moments bring one big element to the table: connection.
In our frantic search to find the meaning and then become Supermom, it’s scarily easy to lose sight of what our children are begging for.
They want to connect with us. Our kids need to feel like their hearts have connected with yours during the day, that you understand them, and they aren’t alone.
They have their mommy.
5: Learn to Just “Roll with It”
I’ve saved this one for last in the search to be a happier mom because this one is the hardest one, but it’s so important.
Am I the only one who feels like my “control freakism” skyrocketed when I became a mom?
I know I’m not the only one.
It seemed like as soon as my first little was on the way, I had to control everything about my–and his–environment.
The scary part is that it worsened over time, and when my second little was on the way, it grew exponentially worse.
It took some serious prayer and reflection to realize I was stealing my own happiness by feeling like I had to control everything, from the day’s events to every possible outcome involving my kids.
If routines got out of whack or plans got changed, I tried to fight it back under control.
When I finally accepted the fact that kids are kids and nothing is certain, I felt a ton of stress and added pressure just go away.
Not all the day’s stress disappeared, and yes, there’s still pressure, but the extra pressure added by the constant need to be in control all the time went away and left a lot more room for other things.
How To Use “Rolling with It” To Be A Happier Mom
It’s super easy to try to control everything about your kids, from what they wear to what they eat (actually eat, not what you offer them), to how they play, to when they fall asleep and for how long.
But you’re raising little humans–humans with a mind, ideas, imagination, and determination, just like you.
It’s impossible to control everything your kids do and how every situation turns out. This is where it’s important to learn to try your best and help your kids improve their skills.
You’re not in control of how they think. Your responsibility is to raise them to become successful, healthy people.
So, trying to force them to wear the matching blue socks when they’re having meltdown because they want to wear the red ones probably isn’t worth it, right?
That’s when the art of “rolling with it” comes into play. And it makes things so much easier.
Be A Happier Mom
So, if there’s one thing I could beg you to take away from this whole list, it’s to let go of the need to be in control of everything, all the time.
You’re raising little humans. They’re itty bitty sources of wild, carefree abandon, exploring and creative innocence, and exploding emotions on all scales.
So, no, they can’t always be controlled. They are meant to be guided, directed, discipled, trained, corrected, loved, and nurtured.
I’m not the most experienced mom out there, but as far as I have been able to see, “control” has never fit in the equation very well.
There’s no way I’d ever presume to tell you how to raise your kids. But I can say this with confidence: learning the skill of “rolling with it” changes everything. For the happier.
Want to Be A Happier Mom? You Can Do It!
Are you striving to be happier? You can do this! Just remember: don’t expect or try to always feel happy 100% of the time.
Instead, work at feeling confident, realistic, balanced, grateful, and adaptable.
Happy is easier to find when you’re walking that path.
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”Nehemiah 8:10
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