How To Be A Happy Mom: 7 Tips To Improve Your Happiness
Motherhood is a journey full of incredible moments that are often joy filled, inspiring, and just plain amazing.
But let’s face it, finding joy in the tears, tantrums, and the mundane of everyday isn’t always easy.
And most of us at some stage finds our ourselves asking how to be a happy mom, as it can feel all too much.
Like most things, motherhood has its seasons, and some are easier than others.
So maybe you feel pretty happy as a mom right now.
Or maybe you don’t.
But the truth is, at some stage we all experience moments of frustration, overwhelm, and exhaustion under the constant demands of motherhood.
And that’s okay. Because even the happiest of moms have unhappy moments.
>> Related: To My Child: I Needed That Hug More Than You Know
The Key To Unlocking Your Happiness
Acknowledging that you can’t be happy 100% of the time is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn.
We often look at unhappiness as a negative feeling, but the truth is, periods of sadness, frustration, doubt, and anxiety allow us to appreciate the joy.
Those feelings help us to slow down and provide an opportunity to reflect upon our life, our feelings, and the people around us.
Which in turn, helps us to adapt, accept, focus, persevere and grow.
Three Things Happy Moms Don’t Do
Although feeling sad is a healthy feeling, being unhappy for sustained periods is not.
So let’s explore a few key things that may inhibit our long term happiness.
Because when we quit doing the wrong things, we make more room for the things that make us happy.
1. Don’t Compare Their Journey With Others
It is time to forget about how someone else’s motherhood journey is going.
Stop looking at where they are and what they have.
Comparison is a joy thief and perfection is a myth.
They have their own struggles too, whether they choose to show them or not.
It’s time to focus on you, to walk your own path, and become the best you can be for yourself and your family.
Because your kids don’t want a perfect mom, they just want a happy one.
2. Don’t Spend Prolonged Periods Of Time In Negative Environments
If you want positive choices to come easily and feel natural then start hanging out in environments that encourage them.
Surround yourself with happy people who rewire your brain towards love.
You see, hanging out with our own negative thoughts rewires your brain for negativity, as does hanging out with negative people.
Author and student of human nature, Steven Parton, explains, “When we see someone experiencing an emotion (be it anger, sadness, happiness, etc), our brain ‘tries out’ that same emotion to imagine what the other person is going through. And it does this by attempting to fire the same synapses in your own brain so that you can attempt to relate to the emotion you’re observing. This is basically empathy. It is how we get the mob mentality…. It is our shared bliss at music festivals,” Parton writes. “But it is also your night at the bar with your friends who love love love to constantly bitch.”
So protect your mind from negativity by limiting your negative thoughts and limiting the time you spend with negative people and the environments they inhabit.
3. Don’t Seek Validation Of Self-Worth From Others
At the end of the day, you are the one that is living your truth.
It is easy to spend a life time seeking validation from those around us, our friends, our family, even complete strangers, but truth be told, no one has the right to judge you.
No one else can feel what you feel.
No one knows the effort you put in day in day out to raise your child the best way you can. No one else is living your life.
So mama, it’s time to reclaim your power and stop waiting for others to make you happy.
How To Be A Happy Mom: Hacks To Get You Back To Happy
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Claim back your happiness with some of these practical tools.
1. Practise Gratitude
Practising gratitude helps us to feel more positive.
Being thankful, allows you to appreciate what you have.
And when you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.
So instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make you happier, relish in what you have and bring a deeper sense of appreciation and happiness into your life.
Practising gratitude is about searching for the positive.
For instance, we could complain about being woken up in the middle of the night by our child or we could be grateful in the knowledge that we are their source of comfort.
It is about actively learning to switch the conversation in your head from a negative to a positive.
- Each day, set a time aside to put pen to paper and write down thoughts about what you are grateful for.
- Writing it down in a gratitude journal or similar will help you to solidify those feelings. It also provides you with a great resource to look back on when you are feeling down and needing a little boost.
2. Start A Journal
Journaling daily is one of the most powerful habits you can acquire.
In fact, there are several benefits you’ll get from keeping a journal.
In terms of building your own happiness, keeping a journal allows you to clarify your thoughts and feelings, and gain valuable knowledge about yourself.
When you are in an intensely emotional mood, journaling can help you better experience and understand those emotions.
You are able to vent those feelings on the pages of your journal, and quickly find a release, allowing you to quickly move forward.
Without that release, and left to feaster, those emotions can be crippling for hours, days, or even years. And nobody needs to be holding onto that.
Journaling gives you a way to channel out the negative and focus on the things that make you happy.
And when we look back and reflect, they give us detailed insight to just how far we have come on our motherhood journey.
Get yourself a journal. The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day is a great journal if you’re new to journaling or having prompts.
Set aside a time each day to just write down your thoughts.
You may want to:
- Start by writing about your activities. Just write what you’ve been doing.
- Write about what scares you, what worries you. There’s no better way to address your worries than writing about them.
- Write about your decisions. Use your journal as a feedback mechanism to help you solidify and justify your own decisions.
Here’s some more great journaling tips to get you started!
3. Schedule In ‘Me’ Time
Now I know as a mom that having ‘me’ time can seem as unlikely as going for a ride on a magical unicorn.
But, that old saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ has merit. So find something that fills your cup and schedule it in.
By scheduling it in, you are purposefully making time for it.
It allows you to plan for the occasion, whether that be to organize a sitter or save up some money.
By scheduling it in, you are giving yourself something to look forward to when things are hard.
And, by scheduling in your ‘me’ time it is more likely to happen.
- Look at your diary and pick a date.
- Organize a sitter and book in a massage, hair appointment, a catch up with a friend, whatever fills your cup. Give yourself something to look forward to.
4. Learn To Be Present
We often get so caught up in being the ‘perfect mom’ or raising the ‘perfect child’, that we forget to enjoy the journey.
We focus so much on the big picture, that we miss the perfect little moments of joy right in front of us.
Yet, ‘being present’ allows us to live in the moment.
It teaches us to be mindful and enjoy what is right in front of us, right now, rather than focusing on future successes to make us happy or dwelling in past regrets.
By changing our focus to what is right in front of us, we are able to ditch the distractions and engage in the things most important to us and bring us joy, like our family.
- Take a breathe and really focus on what you are doing right now. Ask yourself questions, look around and take it all in, focus on what you can be grateful right in this very moment.
- Focus on one thing at a time. For instance, if you are playing with your kids, then focus on playing with them. That means limiting the distractions, turning off social media, and allowing yourself to just be in the moment, allowing yourself to take it all in and enjoy it.
>> Related: To My Child: I Don’t Want To Take Out Time Together For Granted
5. Take Care Of Your Body
Looking after our bodies can have a huge impact on our happiness. When you don’t have the physical energy, enjoyable moments like running around outside playing games with your kids can seem like a tedious chore or near impossible.
In fact, when our physical energy is low, it also has a negative impact on both our emotional energy (your feelings), and our spiritual energy (your purpose).
Taking care of your body doesn’t mean you need to go on a strict diet and hit the gym 7 days a week.
It means being mindful on what we put into our bodies, getting outside in the fresh air, incorporating exercise into our daily routine (like going for a walk as a family), making time for sleep, and treating our bodies with the love and respect they deserve.
- Add some exercise into your daily routine. Get off the bus a stop early, take the stairs, turn off the TV, go for a walk with the family – anything that gets you moving.
- Eat nutritious food, drink more water, catch up on sleep. Notice which healthy actions lift your mood and do more of them.
6. Take Time To Connect
The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.
Research into the impact of social behavior on health and longevity has been going on for years, with study after study concluding that humans are, simply put, social creatures who require connections with other humans in order to thrive.
When we feel connected to our kids, our family, and our friends, we feel a part of something more meaningful than just our own isolated existence.
It is empowering to know you have love and support there when you need it.
Our broader social networks bring a sense of belonging.
Which definitely provides a warm fuzzy feeling you get from knowing that you have an active community around you, whom you can share your experiences with, especially when it comes to the struggles and joys of motherhood.
So ‘find your tribe’, whether it be in person or online and start building those relationships. Because, the more you connect, the happier you will feel.
- Make more time for the people who matter. Chat with a loved one or friend, call your parents or play with the kids.
- Make three small connections everyday. For example, stop to chat in the shop, wave at a neighbor, learn the name of someone new.
7. Learn To Let Go Of Perfectionism
Within society, we probably all agree that the endless pressure to look a certain way to feel accepted and loved is unhealthy.
But we still judge ourselves by these unrealistic ideals of perfectionism.
And perfectionism regarding *anything* can lead to feelings of failure whenever those ideals are not met.
Especially when it comes to motherhood and raising our children. If we fail to be the ‘perfect’ mom or the ‘perfect’ wife it makes us question our self worth.
But the truth is, things and areas of life don’t need to be perfect to be excellent.
You don’t have to be perfect to be an excellent mom. Your worth doesn’t hinge on the concept of perfection. Your family love you for you, flaws and all.
And just to be clear, letting go of perfectionism isn’t about lowering our standards.
It doesn’t mean we should stop trying to do our best.
It just means we should stop ourselves from measuring our success in terms of perfection.
- Next time you harshly judge yourself for something that hasn’t been done to your level of perfection ask yourself, ‘what is the long term impact?’ For example, if you don’t get all your housework done today, what will be the impact in 6 months?
So mama, it’s your turn, it is time to find your happy and live the best life you can for you and your family!
And if you loved this encouraging #momlife post, you’ll want to read these:
- Being A SAHM Is Lonelier And More Overwhelming Than People Imagine
- To My Child: I hope I have Loved You Enough Today
- To My Child: I Hope You Will Remember That Mommy Tried
- Four Words My Husband Spoke To Me That Changed Everything
- Dear Mama, Keep Doing The Things No One Sees
- The Mama With The ‘Wild Child’ Is Trying Harder Than You Think
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