Mothers are expected to do it all: raise superstar kids, look great, be the perfect wife and keep an immaculate house. Yet the rising pressure to excel can take a toll on us emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Here some habits happy mothers use to focus on the pleasures of looking after a family.
Happy mothers are not scared to ask for help from family and friends. Mums who feel they should be martyrs can miss out on a lot like a short weekend getaway or a date night with their husband because they don’t want to be seen as a bad parent if they leave their children.
Get out and about
Make sure to get some time outdoors. Fresh air, sunlight and nature are believed to be very important mood enhancers for women. Mums can kill two birds with one stone by enjoying a walk while pushing strollers or hanging out in the playground.
Plan a vacation
Content mothers work really hard, but they also plan so they have enough time and money for holidays. Forget about the alarm clocks, appointments and homework and spend some time appreciating a sunset, building sand castles or playing card games. When you enjoy quality time with your children, you remember why all the hard work is worth it.
Make time as a couple
You and your husband show your love for each other through texts and having nicknames for each other but are you spending enough intimate time together? As well as relieving stress and numerous other benefits, intimacy with your husband is a good way to get a smile back on your face. It's also a good way to have a happy dad around.
Eat and sleep well
Being sleep-deprived is pretty inevitable during the first couple of months of motherhood, but the sooner you can manage to get your eight hours back, the happier you will be. Diet also plays an important role when it comes to feeling good, so opt for a healthy chicken salad instead of finishing your kids’ nuggets and fries.
Make exercise your addiction
Forget about popping those pills that promise to make you feel like Wonder Woman and head to the gym instead. With all those endorphins flying everywhere, there isn’t a chance regular exercise won’t make you a happier person, and subsequently a happier mum. It may seem self-indulgent doing something for yourself, but you’ll all gain something out of it.
One is not the loneliest number
Carving out time away from the kids is crucial, whether it's shopping with the girls or just a long bath with a magazine. Very happy mums know they deserve some time to themselves so they meet their husbands for lunch or get a facial. When you know you're going to have a little treat during the day, it's easier to take on everything that's in front of you. Something like two hours every three days does the trick beautifully.
Be a good neighbour
You would think you give enough time to your family, but doing things for others makes us happy too. Whether it's baking a cake for another mum with a newborn or offering to drop someone else’s kids to school, a good deed will help create a good day. Plus remember, it’s another deposit in your karma bank.
The happiest mums don’t compare or compete. They don’t’ worry about their kids being the smartest or cutest or their house being the neatest and biggest. The green-eyed monster takes its toll on many mums and nothing positive comes out of it. Be content with what you have and count your blessings.
Hang with your girlfriends
Having friends who are mothers as well is key. Having someone in the same situation is a real comfort. Whether it’s about the cute stuff like birthday party preparations or more serious issues and crises, it’s hard to make it without friends. Who else can you expect to listen to stories involving potty training and the reasons you adore the Vice Principal?
Break the rules
One of the best things about being the person who makes the rules is that only you are supposed to bend them. Some treats turn everyday routines into something kind of magical. Imagine the looks on their faces when stopping for an impromptu ice cream on the way home from a doctor’s appointment or waking them up in the middle of the night to see a sky of shooting stars.
Make each of your children feel special and reduce your stress levels at the same time. Enjoying some one-on-one time is a win-win situation as your children will really feel the benefits of quality time with you while you can delight in some time that is free of interrupting, juggling and sibling rivalry. Make the most of it while it lasts.
When you feel yourself slipping into a darker mood, remember the phrase, “This too shall pass". This can work well in two ways. You know it’s a terrible moment but it’s not going to last forever. Putting things into perspective can also remind you all the sweet things like the sticky kisses and heartfelt drawings aren’t going to last forever.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
We all want to be ideal parents and do things right, yet we all have moments when we yell, contradict ourselves or bribe kids. Punishing yourself for not being perfect all the time means creating more unhappy moments for your children to capture. Even the best of us have bad days, the answer is to put them behind us and plan something to look forward to.
Laugh out loud
Kids love to see their mums smile, and of course it’s beneficial for you too. Recent research shows that just crinkling your eyes, turning up the corners of your mouth and laughing can produce the happy brain chemical serotonin. And laughing really hard with your kids is one of the best happiness secrets of all. Don't be uptight; enjoy lots of silly moments and dance with your kids to their favourite music or TV show tunes. Watch their faces light up as you dance in slippery socks in your kitchen while making dinner.
Get in as many hugs, snuggles and kisses as you can before they start Middle School. Just feeling their warm, welcoming embrace is enough to put any mother in a good mood. The chances diminish as the years go on and probably disappear altogether when they have a driver’s license in their hands, so get some TLC while you can.
Let them be
As a mum, it’s a natural reaction to want to make your kids more comfortable if you see them snoozing in an unnatural angle. However, when you do that you might likely wake them up, making them cranky. Or how many of you move your kids from the swings to the slide even though they are perfectly content where they are? Don’t you end up making them feel resentful and angry? If they’re not complaining then they’re happy, which makes you happy too, so leave them to it.
Accept the mess
Your house doesn't look as clean as you would like it to, but that just means your children are healthy and active. They may get the trousers you put on them dirty in 10 minutes flat or get their faces coated in spaghetti, meaning another trip to the bathroom, but you have to admit those kinds of moments can make for a cute picture. Try and see the positive in every situation.
Have a rest
Take 10 minutes to do absolutely nothing except relax. Take a break from your day, close your eyes, breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Do that several times while thinking about a place you love that is calming. Transport yourself there for 10 minutes and you’ll be ready to continue the day with zest.
Remember your dreams and goals
We work on encouraging our children to reach their full potential all the time. But sometimes we’re so busy being parents we forget about our own aspirations and ambitions. One of the best parenting tips is to inspire a child by leading by example. Happy mums cling to their dreams and goals and don't let go.
Mind your own business
Concentrate on creating the life you want. Taking care of your family should be your priority, rather than getting overly worried with what other people are doing or saying. Don't get involved with gossip or name-calling. Stop looking for other people to accept your choices and be confident in yourself.