How to be a Happier Mom
Last week my husband sent me a link to a story titled “8 Ways to be a Happier Mom.” The story was written by Theo Pauline Nestor and posted on Yahoo’s blog Team Mom. I read the story and thought the 8 tips were so helpful that I wanted to share them on this blog.
1 – Be yourself
Don’t try to be Super Mom, just be you. Your kids will love you for who you are and this will take all the unnecessary external pressure off to try to live up to some obscure mommy standard. Play to your strengths and go with the flow. I know I’ll never be the mom that brings the homemade perfectly adorable cupcakes to my kids’ class, but I can be the mom who brings tasty store bought cupcakes and a huge smile to my kids’ class and that is good enough for me.
2 – Pencil in Solitude
As a mom, we are always “ON” and always giving of our time, energy, love, etc. In order to keep up with the constant demands of motherhood, scheduling some solo time can help you keep your sanity. For my solo time, I like to go on long runs. I find after a good run, I’m refreshed mentally and de-stressed, which makes all mommy-tasks a bit easier.
3 – Practice “Slow Family Time”
This can be defined as unstructured time to hang out as a family. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives and all its activities, outings and obligations that we overlook the simple fun of having free time to just be together. Since we live in the country, we probably err on the side of having too much “slow family time”.
4 – Put your girlfriends back on the schedule
Take time to hang out with your gal pals. They can help you relieve stress and remind you to let loose and laugh. Motherhood can sometimes take it out of you but having some good gal pals to share the wild ride with helps so much. I don’t spend enough time with my gal pals possibly because all of my best gal pals live in other states but nothing helps me regain perspective and have a good laugh than swapping mommy stories with my BFF over iChat.
5 – Create a weekly no-work day
Set aside a day each week where no work is done – no emailing, texting, cooking or cleaning. To get this done right you need to plan ahead to be sure the house is mildly clean so you don’t have the urge to do so on your day off. It also helps to have some food cooked or plan a take-out night. By doing this, the whole family can take a whole day to relax together with no obligations hanging over their heads. This is something I currently do not do but will try to incorporate into my life soon!
6 – Share your passion with your kids
Whatever it is you love to do – share it with your kids. That way you can still do the things you enjoy and your kids can learn some new skills. My dad showed me how to play basketball and my mom showed me how to cook, both of which are things they are passionate about and things I learned to enjoy. Thus far, I’ve exposed my sons to my love of running and racing by having them tag along and do pre- and post- run stretches with me. As a family, we’ve shared our passion for the outdoors by taking our sons hiking, biking and kayaking and have many more activities planned for when they get older.
7 – Conquer Clutter
Clutter just seems comes with the territory. From bills, to papers, to clothes, to to-do lists, it just seems to pile up. A little organization goes a long way and will help your life feel less cluttered. At our house the bar in the kitchen is the clutter counter. You can tell what kind of a week we’ve had by the amount of clutter on that counter. The cleaner it is, the more relaxed I feel. Right now it’s a disaster.
8 - Outsource it
Running a household is HARD work; therefore, it’s good to use your resources. Try to get all members of the house to pitch in where they can to be sure all things get done. You are only one person and can’t do everything. Our children are still very small and can’t really pitch in yet but we do let Brooks, our 2.5 year old help take the dog for his walks and we’re working with him on carrying his folded clothes up to his room. I’ve found that giving him small tasks to do, makes him feel useful.
Click here if you’d like to read the full story.