Maintaining happiness while you are busy juggling work, kids, and marriage is not easy. There is always someone who needs your attention. A diaper that needs changed………..a lunch to make………..a soccer practice to get to………a customer that needs help. How is it that mothers are able to maintain their sanity and their happiness? It’s not always easy, but I thought I would share some practical advice today to encourage you. Your happiness is extremely important to your family’s well-being. The more joy you have in your heart, the more you have to share with your family.
10 Habits of Happy Working Moms
I looked around at my extended family and friends and noticed that the “happy moms” had a lot in common. Sure some people are naturally more perky, but the key to happiness seems to be something we have more control over than our own genetics. In fact, they all seemed to have these 10 habits in common.
1. They don’t compare or compete. Happy moms know that there will always be another mom with a bigger house, a nicer car, or cooler wardrobe. Who cares? Let it go. You will be truly happy when you are able to live in the moment and appreciate all that you have. Likely, there is someone else jealous of what you have. It’s crazy, right? Don’t let jealousy suck the joy out of your life!
2. They laugh often! Laughing makes you feel great. I think there is actually science to laughter producing happy chemicals in your brain. Go ahead! Look it up if you want. What I know is that every time I decide to be silly and laugh, I feel fantastic. My husband and kids are always quick to join in and laughter fills our house. Most of our favorite family memories are when mom led the way with laughter.
3. They give lots of hugs and kisses. We like lots and lots of cuddle time in our house. I’m pretty sure it is an actual craving I have. However, as the kids get older it gets harder and harder to get that time. They start backing off in the late elementary years and are just about over it (as the kids say) by the time they reach middle school. What is a happy mom to do? Maintain the affection in different ways. You don’t want to embarrass your kids with big hugs and kisses in front of their friends, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want any affection. Quick forehead kisses, fist bumps, and high fives are great ways to maintain the cuddle time into the later years.
4. They separate siblings for some one-on-one time. Individual time with your children really helps you to know and appreciate your child’s uniqueness. Realizing that you are raising amazing people is one of life’s greatest joys. Having four children, we have found that this is crucial. The kids get to have you all to themselves to talk about whatever they want and not be interrupted. This is the perfect time to see your children at their best rather than that bickering creature you see on a regular basis. We call this time “spoil only child night.”
5. They maintain a “relationship” with their husbands. I put that in quotes so you catch what I’m saying there. I blush too much even as I write it so obviously I won’t be providing any advice. Instead, let me refer you to my friend Gaye over at Calm.Healthy.Sexy. She has taught me so much about the importance of not forgetting your husband. Maintaining closeness and marital satisfaction are certainly key to being a happy mom. When you get a second jump over to Gaye’s blog for lots of great marriage encouragement and advice.
6. They plan family fun. Sure fun can happen in a spontaneous manner, but if you have a heavily scheduled life, it’s important to schedule some fun too. Don’t let your child’s childhood fly by without having some fun along the way. Pick some things you like to do as a family and put them in the schedule. Do you like to bowl? Go on vacations? Visit museums? Play in the park? Get out there and have some fun. The cleaning can wait for a day, right?
7. They don’t forget their gal pals! When you are in the throws of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and board room meetings it is easy to forget that you were once a girl that liked to have fun. Your gal pals are quick to remind you that you are more than a mom. Having a friend who knows what you are going through makes all the difference. Schedule a lunch date or night out. You deserve it!
8. They get plenty of sleep. There will always be something to do. Period. Forget all of the troubles of the day and get a good night’s sleep. You will be less cranky and better able to deal with what is thrown at you during the day if you have had enough sleep.
9. They get plenty of exercise and sunshine. If your only time outside is your walk from the parking lot to your office, you are probably not getting enough sunshine. Regular exercise and plenty of sunshine will improve your mood. It’s not just about being thin. I don’t care what you look like, I want you to be happy. Take your kids to the playground and run around with them. Take your husband out for a walk around the block. Whatever you do, just make sure get some fresh air each day.
10. They ask for help. Having friends and family help me out with my kids has made all of the difference in my level of happiness. Instead of stressing out that I have to work late, I realize that my children get to spend time with their grandparents. Since I can’t clone myself, I am thrilled to have friends run one kid to practice while I take the other kid to their event. Dump the guilt and ask for help. It’s a good thing. I promise.
There you go! These are 10 habits that really help you to be a happy working mom. No matter the stressors in your life, you can maintain your happiness with a little bit of intention. Leave me a comment and let me know what habits you have to maintain your happiness from day to day.
One last note. Depression and anxiety are real. If you feel like you may be suffering from these conditions, please consult a professional for help.