How to be a Happy Mom: 13 Critical Habits

Key Points for a Happy Mom Life

Look around and you find hundreds of ways to be a BETTER mom: tips and tactics to be the best mom you can be!

And, I’m not against that. It think it’s important to grow.

Yet, if we only focus on better, we’re missing a crucial component.

How to be a happy mom

What about how to be a happy mom? What happened to enjoying motherhood?

As a mom of three, I’ve had moments I wished I was a happier mom. Being a mother was what I dreamed of. And yet, I didn’t realize it would also be so HARD.

When my firstborn was six months old, I cried in the shower, wondering why my mom never mentioned how ridiculously difficult it is to raise a human being. (I think she knew it was pointless to tell me.)

But what if something happened to me and the legacy I leave is a stressed-out mom, constantly teetering on my mental hinges?

My kids deserve better.

Plus, us moms are the hardest working people I know. And, sometimes, the lives we live come with ridiculous expectations. (Hello, thousand item to-do lists)

So, let’s take a moment to address mom’s happiness today.

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How to Enjoy Motherhood More

This post focuses on three key ways for how to be a happy mom.

  1. Start the day well
  2. Take care of mental health
  3. Manage motherhood hardships

1. Leverage Mornings for Happiness

Get Up Before the Kids

how to be a happy mom, get up early

Do you wake up to your child staring you in the face? Or bouncing off the walls? How do you feel when that happens? It’s awful, right?!

What if you woke 15 minutes earlier? You got up, poured yourself a cup of coffee, and read from a book. How DIFFERENT does that feel?

Whether it’s five minutes or two hours, it’s essential to rise before your kids. Take a few minutes to relax, re-set for the day, and work on your own goals. Once the kids rise, give them your full attention. But be sure that you’ve already had a moment to yourself.

Related Post: 10 Morning Habits to Conquer the Day

Start Morning Gratitude

To know how to be a happy mom, explore how to be a grateful one.

Gratitude improves relationships, stress levels, resilience, immunity and more. Most crucial for this post, gratitude increases the capacity for joy (source).

So, choose three things in your morning to be grateful for. Perhaps you had a delicious cup of coffee, your son made his bed, or you got in some exercise. Be specific, and change it up daily.

Or, check out more unique ideas to practice gratitude HERE & journal prompts HERE >>

*Bonus: If you’re struggling to enjoy motherhood lately, make those three gratitudes center around your children. What are you grateful for about them specifically?

Related Post: Easy Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life

Design Your Best Kid Morning

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Weekday mornings were terrible at our house last year. Going from one elementary school dweller to two was an adjustment. Especially since my kindergartener is NOT a morning person.

So, we made serious changes to our school morning routine.

For starters, I got to thinking…

What if I could engineer our day to start with more positivity?

Enter: the morning hug. It’s the first thing we do together, and it’s science. A hug that lasts six seconds improves your mood and immune system while combating stress and fatigue. And gosh, my family NEEDS that in the morning.

Now, it feels good to give them all big hugs, and we’re starting our school rush in an entirely different fashion.

How can you start the morning in a positive way? Play for five minutes. Send a lunch note. Have a dance party. Tell them you love them.

Little actions build to big feelings. So, start today!

A Great Morning Takes Planning

In addition, prepare as much of your morning as possible ahead of time!

Prep breakfasts and lunches, check folders and do homework the night before. This eases a lot of the burden that used to kill our joy in the mornings.

*Getting the kids on a routine is also incredibly helpful: See HERE for a free daily schedule template for kids!

Related Post: 11 Smart Things to do at Night for Daytime Success

2. Mom’s Mental Health Is Vital

After setting up your fabulous morning, get in on the self-care action!

how to be a happy mom

Lean on Friends

When I asked fellow moms what relieves mom burnout, this was the most common response. Lean on your friends, vent, and lift each other up when you need it. Get out of the house and spend time with people you care about on a regular basis.

Related Post: How to Make Friends as an Adult

Ritualize Self Care

Self-care is not optional. And mothers are awful at it. I’m looking at YOU, mama. Choose one from this list and do it today. Then, make it a part of your daily routine.

Related Posts:

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Get Help

If you’re stressed out as a mom, chances are you’re not asking for enough help. So, make a quick list of all of the things you could use help with and who you can ask. Here are a few ideas:

  • Laundry
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Childcare
  • Work-related tasks

Now, match up who can help with what. Perhaps you can take the baby to a mom’s day out, your kids can help more with cleaning, and your husband can do some laundry. Share those responsibilities, and pay for something if you need to!

Lighten Up

Ever notice that dads get to be the fun parent? Let’s follow their lead.

Start a tickle fight, tell jokes, or chase your kids up the stairs. Drop your burdens for a bit and just BE fun. It will make you happier in the process.

Related Post: How to be a More Playful Mom

3. Manage Motherhood

Finally, motherhood is sometimes tough, and we need strategies to help manage ourselves (and our families) in a way that encourages joy.

Find Re-set Strategies

how to be a happy mom, mother and daughter

Once, at the grocery store, my daughter tried to ride the cart and knocked it over on herself (with a full coffee in it). Not only did she get a black eye, but also the attention of the ENTIRE store. I was not exactly a happy mom.

But there will be moments like this. The quicker we can bounce back, the easier it is to enjoy parenthood. Try one of the following calm down strategies to build resiliency.

A. Breathe or Meditate

Deep breathing is extremely effective at hitting that re-set button in times of stress. Try one of these today:

  • Simply take six deep breaths. Count them in your head.
  • Count three seconds inhale, one-second hold, and six seconds exhale. This forces you to take slow, deep breaths. (3:1:6) Do it until you relax.
  • Commit to five or ten minutes to meditate every day. Focus only on your breath, envision your happy place, or scan down your body.

Related Post: How to Meditate (From a Mom Seeking For Peace)

B. Set an Alarm

Sometimes we need a visual cue to reset. If you know that the time before dinner is the witching hour, set a phone alarm that says “breathe” or “be grateful.

Give yourself a cue to re-group at your worst times of the day.

C. Set Up Independent Play

Some nights, I feel mentally exhausted and snap at my children more than I’d like. So, we have fun kid boxes that they only get to play with at special times.

If it’s a long night or mom’s tired, pull them out. Not only is it an independent play for the child, but it gives parents some time to re-set and re-group.

How do you best re-set? Share in the comments below!

Remove the Friction

how to be a happier mom

At one point, my kids became addicted to technology. They asked people to leave so they could play on the iPad. And it was a constant fight. It wore on us. So, we removed the problem.

We started doing screen time on weekends only.

The result? We eliminated dozens of weekly fights with ONE decision. (And gained hours of quality family time).

Whether it’s shoes that can never be found or screen time that’s out of hand, it pays to do a little critical thinking. Remove the friction where possible to make your daily lives smoother.

Time Block

We get 86,400 seconds in a day. When they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

And yet many of those seconds are wasted on social media or doing things that don’t serve us. So, create boundaries.

Determine what parts of the days are for what tasks. If you want more devoted time with your kids, block that off. Likewise, if you need more self-care or work time to feel balanced, then time block those in as well.

Make a block schedule, and stick to it.

Related Post: 11 Time Management Tools for Successful Women

Finally, Cut Yourself Slack

how to be a happy mom

I mean, who loves it when their three-year-old has a meltdown? Or your body is so overstimulated you want to cry? Some moments aren’t made to be happy. And that’s ok.

You are a GOOD MOM. Even if you have bad moments.

*And if you’re having a specific issue, let me know in the comments and I’ll help brainstorm solutions. 😊

Something to Consider for Happy Moms

How to be a happy mom and a good mom are the same, and we should treat them as such.

Finally, our time on this earth isn’t guaranteed. Make it happy. Give your kids memories of the joyful mom that wanted to be around them. Then, watch your relationships grow to new heights.

“There is no role in life that is more essential than that of motherhood.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard

What strategies help you be a happy mom?

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