Maintaining happiness while you are busy juggling work, kids, and marriage is not easy. Add in a global pandemic and it becomes that much harder. There is always someone who needs your attention. A diaper that needs changed………..a lunch to make………..a soccer practice to get to………a client 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.
If you take a moment to look, you will see that the “happy moms” have a lot in common. Sure some people are naturally more outgoing and optimistic, but the key to happiness seems to be something we have more control over than our own genetics. In fact, happy working moms all seem to have these 10 habits in common.
1. Happy working moms don’t compare or compete. They know that there will always be another mom with a bigger house, a more expensive car, or more stylish wardrobe. Who cares? Let it go. You will only 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 to think that, but likely true. Don’t let jealousy suck the joy out of your life!
2. Happy working moms laugh often! Laughing makes you feel great. 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. Many of our favorite family memories are times when mom relaxed and led the way with laughter.
3. Happy working moms 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. If you are really lucky actual snuggles can still happen when nobody is looking. Shh…….just make sure you don’t let their friends know.
4. Happy working moms create one-on-one time with each of her children. 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. Happy working moms 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. Gaye is also a regular contributor here so keep your eyes out for her posts.
6. Happy working moms 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. Happy working moms don’t forget their gal pals! When you are struggling to keep up with laundry, cooking, cleaning, and board room meetings it is easy to forget that you were once a girl that liked to have fun. Your friends 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. Happy working moms 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. Happy working moms 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 (or kids or dog) out for a walk around the block. Whatever you do, just make sure you get some fresh air each day.
10. Happy working moms ask for help. Having friends and family help out with the kids can make all of the difference in your level of happiness. Instead of stressing out that you have to work late, think about the fact that your children get to spend time with their grandparents. Since you can’t clone yourself, it’s important to have friends run one kid to practice while you 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 can 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. Now it’s time to connect. Remember, we are here to chat and build friendships. Share the habits you have to maintain your happiness from day to day. It’s possible that your idea may be the one that someone reading this really needs.
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.