Tuesday, May 7, 2013

THE HAPPY MOM




Ask a mom if she's happier now that she has a child and she'll usually say yes. More times than not, children top the list of the most enjoyable things in life.

I love my children beyond measure -- they bring such joy to my life! But happiness is more than just a smiley feeling. It's also feeling a connection to something larger than yourself. When people are in service to something bigger, they describe their lives as filled with meaning.

This statement may shock you, but to some, the time taking care of children is not the high point of their day. That’s not to say those moms don’t love their child(ren). Being a mom of a young child (especially under 3) is rich and rewarding (I should know), but it can also a real strain on your mood (personally true). Feelings vary, but at any given moment, you may be exhausted, frustrated, even angry.

I’m no expert but I think it just takes a little tweak in one’s perspective to attain a more positive view of motherhood.

Admit when you’re frustrated. It’s okay to feel frustrated, angry, tired, or irritable. You're not a bad parent – you’re normal.

Get adequate sleep. Let your husband take over on the weekends so you can catch up on rest. Or skip that late night TV show and hit the sack early. It will make a HUGE difference in the way you feel.

Maximize your priorities. If you can afford it, pay someone to clean your house so that you can enjoy the time with your child(ren). If that’s not an option, determine what’s more important – that the beds are made or coloring with your kids. When they are 20-something, they are not going to remember how clean the house was/wan’t…they’re going to remember the one-on-one times and the bonding.

Savor the moment. If your child asks you to read a book, even a book that you dislike, ask yourself, ‘How long will this last?’ These childhood moments will fly by and before you know it, they will rather be with their friends or too busy to spend time with their mom. Be grateful for the time with him/her. Realize how empty your life would be without these people in it.

Stay connected with your husband. The diapering years require a lot of your attention, and it can take a toll on a marriage. It’s especially important that you don’t lose sight of each other during that time. If you don’t have the money to get a sitter and go out, at least put the kids to bed and watch a movie together. Better yet, open a bottle of wine and sit across the table from one another – talk about your day and give yourself 15 minutes to dream. Even talk about how stressed you are. If you can both just say, 'Raising a kid is hard,' putting it out there diminishes the strain. Little steps easily move onto bigger ones.

Give thanks! Even when your roof is leaking, be thankful for the home you have. When you child is moody and not cooperating, be thankful for all his/her good days. Finances are tight…be thankful that the bills are getting paid even though you may not afford that pretty dress you saw in the store window. Feeling grateful is a mood booster…a character enhancer. It can be as simply as saying grace each night or going around the table having everyone contribute their high of the day and their low of the day (a game we call “high/low”).

Happiness is a feeling. And feelings follow thoughts – they don’t precede them. And the more you engage in positive thinking, the more enjoyment, satisfaction and fulfillment you’ll have in your life. Mothering can give us any one of those at any given moment – if not all of them at the same time!


Do you have any tips that might help others attain happiness?




15 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 07, 2013

    Awesome poѕt.

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  2. I think this is beautiful and you are totally right! It doesn't make me a bad mom to say that today the highlight was NOT cleaning up after my children. It doesn't mean I love them any less. I'm just a human and I get tired, frustrated, and angry. I'm a better mom by being honest than I've ever been by trying to hide reality! Thank you for these reminders!
    shanascott.blogspot.com

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    1. You are right on track...admitting to being human and being more forgiving of yourself. That's not to imply we shouldn't strive to be better. In fact, we should always make room for improvement. But rather, don't beat yourself up if you miss the mark every now and again. XOXO

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  3. Great post. I'm a mom to a 3 week old and I go through a ton of emotions. Really great tips!

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    1. Oh, your tender little heart! You are indeed on a roller coaster of emotions, and it's best to remind yourself that hormonally, you're incredibly forgivable! :-)

      Congratulations on that wee little blessing -- there's nothing more rewarding than motherhood!

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  4. all true things - enjoyed this post.
    -Morgan of Style Oyster

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    1. Thank you, Morgan...my loyal supporter! As always, I appreciate you.

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  5. I really feel like this is advice we can all take to heart, not just moms.. As a childless women in my 20s, I feel like that some of this advice can be tweaked and applied toward my life and my relationships. Thanks for posting Mandi!!

    -Sammie :)

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    1. Absolutely, Sammie! It's definitely advice we can use in the workplace and in our relationships. I'm thrilled you see the abundance in my advice -- thank you for your encouragement!

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  6. I agree, I constantly get too little sleep, but somehow, once the kids are in bed, I'm somehow not tired any more. Weird me!

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    1. Oh, I do that, too -- so frustrating! I can feel drained all day and then once I have an opportunity to turn the lights off, my mind starts racing. I've learned that reading and/or watching a black&white movie helps sooth the mind.

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  7. This is a good list! I'd like to have the money to hire a cook, at least for dinner. That would be awwwwwwwwwwesome, but it "ain't happenin'." :)

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    1. It ain't happening for me either, my friend. But it's doable for some, and those some should take advantage of it! Personally, I would love NOT having to think of or plan or cook dinner every night -- it gives me anxiety! ,-)

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  8. These are great, great, great reminders. Especially savoring while they are small and staying connected with your husband. Those were two I put off for the first year, unfortunately.

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    1. It's easy to do -- don't beat yourself up about it. There is always now!

      Thank you for reading here and spending time with me in my corner of the world -- I appreciate you so much!

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I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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