If you want to know how to be a happy mom, you’ve come to the right place!
I made a promise to myself long ago that if I was fortunate enough to have a family of my own one day, I’d do things differently.
I’d be more present and patient.
I’d be more intentional with my words and actions.
I’d look for the good instead of focusing on the bad.
Our home would be a positive and happy environment.
We’d encourage and pull each other up instead of tearing each other down.
You get the idea…
I’ve always had a very clear vision of the kind of wife and mom I want to be, and while I like to think I’ve done a fairly good job of living up to the expectations I set for myself way back when, it takes a surprising amount of effort to stay true to my promise to do better for my family.
If you’re trying to figure out how to be a happy mom, I hope these tips and ideas help you to show up for yourself and your family as much as they’ve helped me!
How To Be a Happy Mom: 9 Tips to Find Joy in Parenting
1) Eat well and exercise
As irritating as it is to hear people preach about the importance of eating a well-balanced diet and fitting at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your day, we almost always feel better when we make good choices in the health and fitness space. Not only do we have more energy, but we also sleep better and find it easier to handle stress and anxiety. Dietary changes are easy – all you need is a big dose of commitment and a hell of a lot of self-control – but finding the time to exercise can be challenging. The good news is that we live in a day and age where you can stream workouts for free, so there really aren’t any excuses.
2) Prioritize self-care
Tending to your emotional health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, but when you’re juggling kids, a marriage, a home, a job, and everything else in between, it can be difficult to find time to shower let alone go for a workout or read a good book. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and most of us put ourselves on the back burner in order to tend to all of the things that are pulling at us for attention. What we fail to realize is that an imbalance in our emotional health can lead to physical issues such as chest pains, ulcers, and high blood sugar, as well as emotional issues like stress and depression.
Our emotional health impacts how we feel about ourselves. It also enhances the quality of our relationships, and effects how we deal with our feelings and handle difficulties. If you’re trying to figure out how to be a happy mom, prioritizing self-care is an absolute must. CLICK HERE for tips and ideas to help you make this part of your regular weekly routine.
3) Practice daily gratitude
While I’m not really one to write my feelings down on paper for all the world to see, I started practicing daily gratitude at the beginning of the year and it’s had a huge impact on my life. It took some getting used to, especially since I thought my list had to be filled with huge and awesome things. But once I started focusing on the little, seemingly inconsequential stuff, it just sort of had a ripple effect. I found myself searching for the positives instead of the negatives, and if you’re looking for tips and ideas to help you figure out how to be a happy mom, this should be high on your list of things to try.
If you’re looking for a guided gratitude journal, I highly recommend The Five-Minute Journal. It’s a simple yet powerful tool you can use to train your brain to start and end each day with feelings of gratitude so you can learn how to be a happy and positive person rather than a miserable cow. LOL. And it only takes 5 minutes to complete! The Five-Minute Journal is also available for kids, so you can purchase a set for the entire family and make it a ritual you complete together.
4) Live in the moment
Another one of the BEST tips I’ve been given over the years to help me learn how to be a happy mom is to be completely present in the moments I spend with my daughter. We live in a day and age where we’re encouraged to over-schedule ourselves and our children as much as possible, and we’re constantly trying to juggle a million things at once. But when we make it a point to turn off distractions and just live in the moment, we get so much more out of the time we spend with our kids. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you need to turn your smartphone off for an entire afternoon – you just need to give 150% of yourself during those one-on-one moments with your child.
5) Schedule quality time with your child
This is sort of a continuation of the point above, but if you feel like you’re constantly falling short in every area of your life, being more purposeful with the time you spend with your kids can make a huge difference. You can even take it a step further and create a ‘mom and me’ calendar with your child in which you pick activities to do together every afternoon/evening so that your child has something to look forward to and knows he or she will have your undivided attention for a period of time every single day. When you’re more deliberate and intentional with the time you spend with your child, you will likely see an improvement in his or her behavior because he or she doesn’t feel the need to beg for your attention. If you want to know how to be a happy mom, scheduling one-on-one time with your child each day will be life-changing for the whole family.
6) Take up a hobby
Whether it’s crochet, DIY projects, cooking, gardening, or starting a blog, finding a hobby you love provides great emotional release and can help you cope with stressful situations in life and work. Hobbies encourage you to take a break, and in a world that’s always go-go-go, this is particularly important to those who are searching for tips on how to be a happy mom. Hobbies offer a positive challenge and urge you to continue to learn new things, while also reminding you to stay present and helping you connect with others who have the same interest.
7) Surround yourself with the right people
Our lives are a direct result of the choices we make and the people we surround ourselves with, and if you’re struggling to figure out how to be a happy mom, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people who lift you up. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to completely cut negative people out of your life forever. Just remember that misery loves company, and make a concerted effort not to allow the negative energy of others to take residence in your mind and spirit. I find it helpful to engage in something positive after interacting with negative people, like going for a walk with some upbeat tunes, watching my favorite TV show, spending time connecting with my husband and daughter, or writing out a list of 5 things I’m grateful for.
8) Stop comparing yourself to others
One of my least favorite parts of social media is that it is extremely one-sided as most of us only share the positive parts of our lives on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Rather than sharing the things we’re struggling with, we want the world to think our lives are perfect, and while there’s something to be said about focusing on the good instead of the bad, this unrealistic portrayal of motherhood leaves a lot of us feeling…inadequate. My suggestion? Ignore it. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses, and instead of competing with the other moms in your life, make it a point to compete with yourself instead.
9) Stop dwelling on the past
My final tip for those who want to know how to be a happy mom is to stop living in the past. If you have a tendency to spend your evenings recalling all of the things you did WRONG throughout the day, take a deep breath and remember these famous words by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
‘Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.’
I hope these tips and ideas inspire you to take care of your emotional well-being so you can spend quality time with your kids and be the kind of mom (and spouse) your family deserves. Remember to prioritize self-care, to be present and intentional with your time, to surround yourself with the right people, and to stop comparing yourself to others!