Let me start off by answering the big question lingering right now… what makes a happy mom?
I’d like to first tell you what I believe a happy mom is NOT:
A happy mom is NOT a perfect mom.
A happy mom is NOT immune from messing up and making mistakes.
A happy mom does NOT have it all figured out.
A happy mom does NOT feel happy all the time.
A happy mom does NOT have super powers.
Years ago, I used to be the exact opposite of a happy mom. I was a tired mom, a short-tempered mom, a stressed-out mom, a burnt out mom, and a worried mom. But I never would have defined myself as a happy mom.
It’s not at all that I didn’t love being a mom or loved my kids with every part of me but I was so consumed with “getting it right” and “getting it all done” that all the fun in my days got sucked right out the window like a vacuum, leaving me
What Happy Moms Do Every Day
I needed a brand new perspective – one that freed me from the bondage of carrying my motherhood on my own. I wanted to learn what other happy moms I knew were doing who didn’t seem to feel overwhelmed all the time.
And I did. I pinpointed three things that happy moms do every day. And doing these simple things really help so much to remove the pressure and stress that comes with motherhood and focus on being free to focus on the things that matter the most.
The Bible calls children, His reward. And I believe that with all my heart. No matter how much stress I may experience as a mom, it will never ever outweigh the joy and gratitude I feel for having the title mom.
“He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!”Psalms 113:9 NLT
So what does a truly happy mom look like?
Well, she’s a humble woman who knows she can’t and shouldn’t try to get it all done on her own. She’s wise to know that there’s no badge of honor for working her mind and body to the bone. She sacrifices by finding her tribe and gains so much in return.
She survives on grace instead of coffee. I mean, coffee is the nectar of the moms and I love my hot cup of goodness every morning. But I couldn’t live without the fuel of grace from Christ allowing me to do what I do with a joyful heart.
A truly happy mom takes responsibility for her own happiness. This simply means our happiness is a choice. We can be happy even when our kids aren’t acting right or when our spouse isn’t giving us what we really need. We have the power to choose joy in the midst of things that aren’t joyful.
And finally, she’s a woman on a mission. She’s on a mission to win the heart of her children. And while she’s cleaning, teaching, feeding, and disciplining those kids she’s paying attention to the biggest goal – relationship.
Keep reading to know how to experience these things in your own life and home with these very simple tips.
Happy Moms Don’t Do #AllTheThings All At the Same Time
I’m not sure where the belief comes from that we, as moms, must do everything. This is simply not true and not healthy. I used to feel as if caring for the kids, for the house, cooking all the meals, doing all the driving, and on and on was my sole duty as a mom.
Meanwhile, I’ve always been a working mom. I quickly wore myself to the bone and had no joy… at all. Sure my kids were smaller back then but that isn’t a good enough reason to not enjoy one of the best season’s of a woman’s life… raising her babies.
So here are my tips for NOT doing #AllTheThings all at the same time!
1 – Ask for Help
Asking for help isn’t asking for a favor. It’s having an honest conversation with your spouse and your kids about what it means to be a part of a family. If you’re doing all the cleaning, cooking, and house duties in your home… stop.
I’m not saying that there’s one way to distribute labor in your home because there’s not. But it should be appropriate to your family’s dynamic. Consider your children’s ages and when you feel it’s time to introduce chores. And it’s been scientifically proven that giving kids chores is a really beneficial thing for them. So absolutely no downside there!
Also, consider your spouse’s work schedule with yours. If you both work equal schedules you both may find that dividing household responsibilities equally works best. Just start talking about it positively and without negative emotions or nagging getting in the way.
2 – Keep a simple schedule and put yourself on it
Having your kids involved in each activity under the sun can feel overwhelming for both you and your kids. As our kids have gotten older, we’ve allowed them to be involved in one activity per child, per season. There are case-by-case exceptions that pop up along the way but this is the norm for us.
This goes for your schedule too. If you are a compulsive people pleaser who just can’t say no, chances are you’re drowning in obligations. It’s OK to say no to volunteering every week at your kid’s school or being on the roster for every event at your church.
Being overloaded isn’t doing you or your family any favors. And do NOT forget to put time for yourself on that schedule. It doesn’t take much but you need to care for yourself too.
3 – Separate work and Kids whenever possible
Finally, the one thing that stole my joy faster than anything was trying to do work regularly in the presence of my children. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve always been a work at home mom with a computer and a baby in my lap at all times!
This led to many, many tantrums (eh hem… from me) when I couldn’t manage the constant interruptions while I was trying to get my work done. I finally had an Aha moment that my kids were doing nothing wrong. It was me that needed to make the adjustment.
I either needed to learn to seamlessly bounce back and forth between my work and my kids’ needs, or I needed to schedule my work around my kids. And because I just didn’t handle the back and forth very well, I make a huge sacrifice and started working around my kids. You can read about that here.
Since making that single change, I am soooo much of a happier mom!
They Give Themselves Heaps of Grace
Grace is knowing that we’re all highly imperfect and we need so much grace along every step of this motherhood journey. There are so many decisions, choices, and the many opinions of others that can make us second guess everything we do.
From the very beginning, we’re making big choices like whether to breast or bottle feeding or whether we should co-sleep or sleep train in
And what we don’t need is more mom guilt eating us alive!
Learn to forgive yourself freely
When you do have one of those days, or weeks, where you yelled so much your throat hurts and you feel like the worst mom that ever lived… stop. Stop beating yourself up. It’s not good for you and it’s also not good for your kids.
The best thing your kids need to see is a true example of a person who knows how to positively respond and recover when they make a mistake. Simply make it right however appropriate, apologize genuinely, and move on!
Know you weren’t made to do this on your own
None of us were meant to do this mom life on our own. Whether you’re married to a husband who helps or one that doesn’t, or whether you’re single, divorced or widowed – you shouldn’t strive to do this life on your own.
This is a very in-depth subject in and of itself without a one-size-fits-all answer. But what is true, is we all need a support system. This can be a group of other mom friends that all help each other out when we need it and when we don’t. Or simply having an honest conversation with our family on why it’s important that everyone in the house do their part.
But you were made to do this
The most important part I want you to really know is though you weren’t meant to do this on your own, you were made to do this.
You were given the privilege of becoming a mom and therefore I truly believe you are already equipped for the job. God created you and called you to be a mother before you were born whether you adopted or birthed your children! There is a special grace given to all moms… you just need to put a demand on that grace through faith.
They Foster Connection Above All Else
The final and most important thing that happy moms do every day is foster connection above all else. Too often we can get caught up in teaching, leading, and disciplining our kids… and I didn’t even mention cleaning up after!
But happy moms see that the relationship that they build with their child is one that actually helps make the rest of the mom stuff so much easier. Kids naturally want to please those they love and respect.
When we’re truly connected to our kids, they don’t like breaking that bond by doing things that can rock the boat. And the seeds we sow now in bonding with our children is a harvest that will last a lifetime!
There are many ways to foster this connection. Here are a few of my favorites:
1 – Have one on one time
It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, having one on one time with your kids can easily be done every day. Simply schedule a time block for each child every day. Ten minutes is just fine.
You and your child may just love to talk and catch up on the day. You may love reading a book outloud together or even playing a short board game every night. What you do isn’t as important, as your child knowing they have your undivided attention.
Just keep in mind to do what is most fun or interesting to your child. Showing that we’re “into” what they love, even if we’re not, shows how much we care!
2 – Hug it out
Hugging has been shown in many scientific studies to help children deal with emotional challenges, make kids smarter, grow bigger, and even stay healthy. Yes, all that!
Hugging your child for at least 15 seconds is highly recommended. Now, not all your kids will be natural huggers and others will love to stay in your arms for days on end. And other kids will be wiggling out by second-2! But getting those hugs in every day is beneficial to them and us.
3 – Focus on the good
The final way to foster
This doesn’t mean you ignore the bad, but you praise and high-five all the good moments you can find and this helps inspire your child to keep repeating the good behavior. Instead of getting all the attention from their questionable behavior.
Happy moms aren’t perfect or immune from mistakes and bad days. Even after you’ve read this entire post and even put these tips into action, you will mess up.
Just remember that section on grace! You can do this AND enjoy the day because as the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. In other words, time flies way too fast, so why not work on enjoying this journey!