How do those upbeat moms we all envy keep the joy and love flowing? Are they on drugs or we are the only ones that are not coping?
Here are few tips I found useful on my journey so far:
1. Ask for Help
Happy mothers are not afraid to ask for help from family and friends. While martyred moms miss those out-of-town weekends and movie nights with their husband because they can’t find a babysitter or a willing relative, Very Happy Moms find it very natural to ask and just say, “Please.”
2. Leave the house – now
Dear mumma – have you been outside today? Fresh air, sunlight, and nature are believed to be critical mood enhancers for women, and moms can get this little lift while pushing strollers or swings. Look around that playground. Who looks happy? Go talk to her, right now.
3. Plan some big fun
Pause it all and take away the alarm clocks, the homework, the deadlines…break the routine and bring on the sunsets, the sand castles, the card games.
You can even inject some fun in those boring must-do tasks like grocery shopping. Bring home a fun treat for your family, we like little Sundae Cups, and call your kids to the kitchen to eat them together while everyone helps unload the rest of the haul. Suddenly it brings it all into perspective why you spend so much time washing these little people’s laundry 🙂
4. Get your groove on
You call him “honey,” and he calls you “sugar” — but are you giving each other enough affection? Happy moms like getting busy. Member paying attention to daddy being present to him as much as children. What comes back to you then naturally will put a smile on your face. And it’s nice to have a Very Happy Husband hanging around.
5. Eat, sleep, and be merry
Being sleep-deprived may be a badge of honor for those with young babies, but the sooner you can figure out how to get your eight hours back, the more easier it will be to focus again on your own nutrition, excercise and general well-being. If you have small babies and there is not way out yet’ – remember, it is just a stage and will not last than few more months and maybe even less.. Once you start sleeping more, you will feel like million dollars again, I promise!
6. Have a six-pack
I thought the main habit of Very Happy Moms might be popping Prozac, but I asked around and not a single happy mother mentioned drugs. Not even margaritas. Sigh. What they did mention, in droves, was exercise. And of course they’re right: it’s rather amazing how good good regular excercise make us feel. Fortunately, to a mom, exercise can feel almost self-indulgent – after all, you’re doing something for yourself, in the company of other grown-ups. And that’s part of the buzz.
7. One is not the loneliest number
Carving out time away from the kids is crucial, whether it’s poker night with the girls or just a long bath with a magazine.
8. Be nice to thy neighbor
You would think that moms would be tapped out in the giving department. Most happy moms make doing things for others a regular part of their lives, whether it’s baking a lasagna for a family with a new baby or offering a ride to an elderly friend. Managing your own energy levels with this love service is very important. Giving out from the full glass too. And yes, remember: Your helpfulness is another deposit in the karma bank.
9. Love the one you’re with
The happiest moms don’t compare and compete. Neither they, nor their kids, nor their cars, nor their houses have to be the smartest, cutest, newest, or neatest. The green-eyed monster has chewed up the happiness of many mums.
Around A.D. 89 the philosopher Epictetus offered advice for Very Happy Moms: To be content is greater than richest, so love what you have.
10. Hang with your gal pals
Very Happy Moms have close mom friends. Knowing that others are in the trenches with you is key. Having the no-mumma time with your friends is very important refreshing time out of your daily routine and ‘ga-ga baby talk’.
11. Plan a little fun
Very Happy Moms buy themselves flowers, just in case no one else has thought of it. They meet their husbands for lunch, get a facial and treat themselves to a nice meal.
12. Play with the rules
One of the best things about being the person who makes the rules is bending them. With each of my babies, we do allow ourselves to be a bit naughty from time to time – having a cheese for dinner, climbing on the window ceilings or fun puddle muddy time at the cost of wash machine working that bit longer that night… Very Happy Moms know when to turn the mundane into magic.
13. Pick and choose
Separate the siblings and enjoy some one-on-one time with each kid. No interrupting, no juggling, no si long rivalry. What joy!
14. Look ahead
When your happy buzz threatens to slip away altogether, remind yourself that “This too shall pass.” It works both ways: Either you get through the terrible stuff by knowing it’s not forever, or you put it into perspective by reminding yourself that the good stuff – the sticky kisses, the cute little tutus – will also soon be gone.
15. Forgive and forget
We all want to live up to our parenting ideals and do everything right all the time, and here we are, losing our tempers, being inconsistent and bribing kids with candy on a daily basis. Unfortunately, all the time you spend brooding and punishing yourself for this is more time when your best self is not there for your kids. Very Happy Moms know that even the best of us have days from hell. Ability to let those days go and instead, plan on doing something exciting is the way to go.
16. Pee in your pants laughing
Kids love to see their moms smile and I mean really smile and really laugh. My children respond to my laughing fit in very different way than the one when I am just ‘trying to be nice and cheer them up’. Laughing lots with your kids is one of the best Very Happy Mom secrets of all.
17. Cuddle up
I have a hug habit. “Hugs and snugs and snoodles” is how my 1.5-year-old, Hajal & Elianna, refer to as our smooching sessions. Happy moms cuddle their kids every chance they get, which is smart since those chances diminish through grade school and then almost disappear by the time your former cuddler gets her driver’s license. So do it – get it while you can.