I used to be a very negative person. And that trait became worse in my first year as a mother. I became so stressed, so resentful and so depressed. The little things used to easily trigger me but I’d bottle up everything inside until I either implode or explode. I’m probably, if not surely, the last person to approach on tips on how to become a happier mom, during my first year of motherhood.
Looking back, I wish I knew what I knew now about becoming a more positive and happier mom. It would have made my life so much easier, less stressful, and well, happy in general.
I am now in that place where I’ve never felt so much at peace with myself and so much happier about my life, in general.
And I can attribute that to the things I’ve learned as a mother, the tips that I’m going to share below.
Some of the tips here are easier to do. You can start doing it tonight or tomorrow and you just need to stick to it.
Others require some mental and emotional workout. And it will take some time.
But the results are long-lasting and impactful enough to turn you into a more positive and happier mom.
Ways On How To Be a Happier Mom
Have a routine
Babies and toddlers are not the only ones that benefit from having a routine. Even adults can benefit from it too.
Having structure and knowing how your day will go, more or less, will make you feel at ease and relaxed.
If you want some ideas on how to make a routine, check out some here by real moms. Some of them have multiple kids of different ages so I’m sure you’ll see something there can help you make your own routine.
Start and end the day on a positive note
I always wake up by hugging and kissing my kid (we co-sleep by the way). Then I also do that at night. Hugging and cuddling with loved one’s releases oxytocin, hormones that make you feel closer to your loved ones and that can also make you feel happy.
It gives that surge of positive emotions so practice starting and ending your day by hugging your loved ones. Takes only a few minutes but will definitely give you that extra happiness boost.
Schedule “self-care/ me-time”
This is vital to one’s sanity, especially for moms who have so much going on on their plates.
I can imagine how hard it is for most moms to set aside time for self-care or “me-time”. Especially those that have multiple kids with a full-time job, with an unsupportive spouse or lack thereof.
But it’s so important to schedule “me time”. It’s necessary to “fill your own cup” because otherwise, where are you going to get the mental, emotional and physical strength to take care of your family if your “cup” is empty?
So as much as possible, schedule this in your day. If you have 10 urgent things to do, push one out, and make this into an urgent, must-do-today task.
Trust me, filling your cup is as vital as anything else that you find urgent and important. So put that every day in your to-do list.
If it’s possible to go outside, then please, take in the view, breathe in the fresh air and go outside. Not only will it relax you and give you a new perspective on things, but it will also rejuvenate you from being cooped up for so long in the house.
This is probably one of the most important things that I have yet to do, consistently. I know its benefits, I know how important it is but I am still struggling to do it.
Just recently though, I’ve noticed that I get tired easily. The simplest of physical tasks seem to tire me out and I think it’s probably because of one, lack of proper sleep and two, lack of adequate exercise.
Although I do chores every day and walk for 30 minutes outside to drop off and fetch my kid from school, I feel like those activities are still lacking and I really need to ramp things up, physically.
So I’m going to schedule this in and put it on my to-do list. I tried to do this before and I know how good it feels after I’ve worked out so I’m just going to be more consistent with it by scheduling exercise in my day and making it into a routine/habit.
Sleep and eat right
Another thing that I know I should be doing but I’m struggling with occasionally is eating right and getting an adequate amount of sleep.
I crave sweets most of the time and I find myself munching mindlessly at some chips whenever I can catch a break. So to put a stop to that, I am going to cut the supply and not buy any sweets or chips, at all! So there’s no big temptation, beckoning me from the kitchen.
I also noticed that I get extra cranky when I don’t get enough sleep.
I easily lose patience with my kid, I don’t think of other more positive ways to pacify and connect with her when she’s not listening and I tend to lash out at my husband when things don’t go my way.
And this all because I didn’t get enough sleep.
When I’m starting to feel that way, I immediately tell myself that I just need to sleep this off.
Also, I assess myself every time I feel a little bit off. I’m normally cheerful and super patient with my kid but when I’m starting to get annoyed, I check myself. What happened, did I miss something, what is causing me to feel this way?
And it is usually because I’d didn’t get enough sleep.
The following tips on how to be a happier mom below require much more work but the benefits and the positive impact that it can do in your life, are so worth it.
I should know because I’ve done the work and I’m so much more at peace and happier now.
Forgive and forget
There are some heated conversations that sometimes, can creep inside your head, even if they happened months or years ago. If you keep playing those talks over and over again in your head, emotional wounds that are starting to heal will open up again. And it will never heal at all.
My marriage with my husband is far from perfect. In fact, it became challenging when we had our little one. We had big fights and some hurtful words were exchanged.
But we got over it. We talked it through and we forgave each other.
But there was this one time where I had an “emotional relapse” and I started getting angry again with my husband.
Then I kept thinking, where was this feeling coming from, its been so long already, why do I still feel this way. And I found out that it is stemming from the fact that I haven’t completely forgiven him for saying those really painful words.
It’s not easy to forgive, let alone forget, but there’s a lot of benefit in doing so, physiologically and emotionally speaking.
So exercise that skill, forgiving, and forgetting. Not only will it bring you so much peace and joy in any kind of relationship, but you will also feel so much lighter and even healthier.
This is probably, one, if not the best piece of advice I’ve gotten to become a happier mom. And it came from my husband!
When you heap expectations on yourself, on others, on an event and so on and they don’t happen, you end up getting frustrated and upset. Most of the time, it can contribute to one’s depression and sadness.
I’m not saying to lower or not have any expectations. Of course, we can’t help that, we are wired that way. We have been trained to have expectations since we were little.
What I mean by managing my expectations is one, being realistic about it, two, communicating it very well, if needed, three, not attaching yourself to the outcome, and four, adapting to changes.
It will take some time (and probably a slew of articles to discuss this) but managing your expectations is I think, one of the ultimate keys to happiness.
This I think, can fall under managing expectations but to put it simply, comparing yourself to another person will never, ever make you happy.
And comparing yourself to a seemingly less fortunate person, just to feel good about yourself, will not also make you entirely happy.
Just focus on you. Focus on your lane, focus on yourself, focus on improving yourself and good things will come.
Simplify your life
I think this can also be covered by “managing expectations” and “stop comparing” but another way to become a happier mom, is to simplify your life.
If doing some multiple DIY activities for your kid is stressing you out, then don’t do it. If scheduling a lot of activities in a day is overwhelming you, then stop doing it. If trying to finish a lot of tasks on your plate is making you anxious you, then don’t try to do it all.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, just to meet some form of expectation – from yourself, from someone, or from society.
You’ll be a much happier mom if you just simplify your life.
Practice the art of gratitude
This might sound a lot of bullshit but ever since the pandemic happened, I have never been more grateful in my life.
It took me a few decades to learn what it really means but being consistently grateful, gave me the happiness and the peace of mind I never knew I could ever have.
Now, even the simplest of things, like spending time with my family, makes me so grateful, it is more than enough to fill my cup and make me happy.
Practice it every day. Write down what you’re grateful for, think about it before going to bed, read about it, etc just do the work.
It can be hard initially to practice this, especially when you’re in the thick of things. I remember being so miserable when my kid was a colicky newborn and she had to be carried for hours, just to be pacified and to finally sleep.
For moments like this, I wished I learned how to manage my expectations and to be grateful that I have my kid with me. I wished someone told me how extremely hard the first months or years of parenting might be, so I could have set the expectations already.
I also wished I had been more mindful of that time with my kid then.
Now when I look back wistfully, I always have this urge to go back in time and do things over again.
If only I know what I know now about managing expectations and being grateful, I wouldn’t have gotten easily upset over the lack of sleep and just be thankful that I have a healthy newborn (I almost lost her and almost had a premature birth) and just enjoy the whole new motherhood journey.
So remember to practice the art of being grateful and you’ll every day have the happiness and peace of mind that’s been missing in your life.
Get a hobby
This might seem like a silly tip but having a hobby you truly enjoy, can do such wonders.
Think of it as like, a playtime, but for adults. When you’re “playing” or doing your hobby, you become more relaxed, more engaged, you feel good about yourself because you’re learning and enjoying the process, you feel confident, etc.
I can go on and on about the benefits of having a hobby (and there’s a lot of it online) but the point is, having a hobby can make you a more positive and happier mom.
Finding out what you truly enjoy doing might take some time. I never knew mine would be blogging but here I am, feeling feverish and sickly and still, doing and enjoying writing this article.
One more tip: Stop watching the news
News are formatted in a way to make you panic and worry. Their objective is not only to report current events, but to also get more eyeballs, to earn more money. So what they’ll do is report things that basically threat our survival. And if you watch that everyday, it will eventually get into your head. All that worry, all that stress from watching will eventually get to you.
Any urgent, important news will eventually reach you. So stop watching any kinds of news, online, on TV, radio, etc.
Of course, I don’t feel happy all the time. That would be worrisome if that was the case. I still feel frustrated, upset, and sad sometimes.
But now, those negative feelings are much more manageable, if not toned down. I only feel that way if I didn’t have some adequate sleep or if I have that “time of the month.”
When the latter happens, I just roll with it. I eat ice cream, I watch my favorite shows, I give myself some slack by delaying some household chores.
In general, I’m in that place where I’m just super grateful that all my loved ones are safe and healthy.
And I hope you’ll eventually be in that place too.
What tip have you tried or are you going to do first? Do share your other tips on the road to becoming a happier mom by commenting below.