25 Life Changing Habits to Become a Happy Mom when Motherhood Feels so Hard
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Whether you’re struggling with postpartum depression or just feeling like you are not able to be the mom that you want to be, these 25 life changing habits will help you go from surviving to thriving and become a happy mom who loves life.
- Motherhood is Hard
- Why is motherhood so hard?
- The Science Behind Happiness
- How to be a Happy Mom
- 25 Life Changing Habits to Become a Happy Mom
- 1. Get enough sleep
- 2. Start your day off right
- 3. Eat healthy foods
- 4. Exercise regularly
- 5. Take time for yourself
- 6. Connect with other moms
- 7. Find a hobby or passion
- 8. Create a routine
- 9. Practice gratitude
- 10. Spend quality time with your partner and kids
- 11. Ask for help
- 12. Don’t compare yourself to others
- 13. Practice Self Care
- 14. Set goals for personal development
- 15. Live in the Present moment
- 16. Find your village
- 17. Connect with your spirituality
- 18. Get out of the house
- 19. Set boundaries
- 20. Take care of your mental health
- 21. Practice Optimism and Positivity
- 22. Let go of perfectionism
- 23. Identify and Accept your Emotions
- 24. Relax
- 25. Say I love you
Motherhood is Hard
Mothehood is hard, and I’m not just talking about having a baby or parenting kids.
Motherhood is a constant roller coaster of emotions. You feel like you’re constantly either too much or not enough. You’re always worried about whether you’re doing things right or not. You have a major identity crisis, feel guilty for wanting time for yourself and then feel guilty whenever you get it.
Not to mention the physical aspect of motherhood. The never-ending fatigue, the changing diapers, the breastfeeding, the carrying a child around with you ALL THE TIME. Kids are hard! And it’s physically and emotionally exhausting.
All this together can make being truly happy as a mom feel impossible. It’s what leaves us questioning why no one told us just how hard it is, and leads us to ask our own mothers “does it get easier?”.
Why is motherhood so hard?
The major reason moms say that motherhood is so hard is because it can make you feel like you have no control over your life, and the pressure society puts on you as a parent.
You’re constantly being pulled in different directions, and it feels like society expects you to be able to do it all perfectly.
The loss of self
When you become a mom, suddenly, your time is no longer your own. You are constantly responsible for another human being and their well-being. You start to feel like you’re just going through the motions and that you’re not really living.
You might feel like you’re losing your identity and sense of self. When you become a mom, your entire world changes. Your priorities change, your body changes, everything about you changes and you don’t have much control over it.
And if you choose to be a stay at home mom, you may also feel a loss of financial control resulting in the total loss of your independence, becoming wholly dependent on your spouse.
Motherhood can feel like you’ve lost your time, body, finances, independence and life. It can be hard to find yourself again in the midst of all of that, and to top it all off, society expects us to be perfect doing it.
Society’s Pressure on moms
Society puts a lot of pressure on moms to be perfect. We’re expected to have it all together, be able to handle everything and never falter, all whille never complaining. We’re supposed to have happy and well-behaved kids, be able to cook gourmet meals, keep a spotless home and always look put together.
And if we can’t do it all, we’re made to feel like we’re failing. We see other mothers who seem to be doing it all and we compare ourselves to them, which just makes us feel worse.
That pressure from society also prevents us from talking about just how hard motherhood can be. No one wants to admit that they’re struggling, because then they feel like they’re admitting defeat.
So we suffer in silence, thinking that we’re the only ones feeling this way when really, every mom feels like this at some point.
Feeling like you have no control over your life combined with society’s pressure and just the day-to-day tasks of motherhood can make it hard to be happy as a mom.
The good news is, there are things that we can do to help us become happier moms. We don’t have to feel like this is just the way it is. So how do we mothers make it through this hard journey and learn to emerge as a happy mom through it?
The Science Behind Happiness
To become happy moms, it’s helpful to start by identifying the elements of emotional wellbeing and happiness. In other words, what is happiness and how do we experience more of it.
Psychologist Martin Seligman wrote Flourish, a book that contained his findings in positive psychology. In it, he identifies five elements of emotional wellbeing and happiness, which he calls PERMA. PERMA stands for:
- Positive emotion.
Seligman’s research shows that each of these five elements are essential for happiness and emotional wellbeing.
Positive emotion is simply feeling good most of the time. We all have good days and bad days, but when we’re generally happy and have more good days than bad, we’re said to have a “positive emotional tone.”
Engagement is feeling like you’re fully involved in what you’re doing. It’s being in the moment and not letting your mind wander. When you’re engaged, time seems to slow down and you become lost in what you’re doing.
Relationships are close, supportive and satisfying relationships with others. These could be our relationships with our spouse, kids, friends or family.
Meaning is having a sense of purpose and feeling like what you’re doing is important.
Accomplishment is a sense of achievement and mastery. It’s feeling like you’re good at what you do and that you’re making progress in life.
When you have all five of these elements in your life, you’re said to be “flourishing.” And Seligman’s research shows that people who are flourishing are happier and have a more positive outlook on life.
Physical Health and Happiness
Along with PERMA, another element to consider when it comes to happiness is your physical health. When we’re physically healthy, we’re more able to do the things that make us happy. We have more energy and we’re able to better handle stress.
A study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that physical health is one of the main predictors of happiness in later life. The study followed a group of people over the course of 20 years and found that those who were physically healthy at the beginning of the study were more likely to report being happy 20 years later.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Richard Davidson, said, “Our findings underscore the importance of physical health as a foundation for happiness and suggest that interventions that improve physical health may be useful in enhancing happiness.”
So it’s clear that physical health is a main component of happiness. And while motherhood can be a joy, it’s also very physically demanding. All those sleepless nights, constant worrying and running around after a small child can take its toll.
When we’re exhausted, tired, or feeling sick, it’s hard to be happy. So if we’re not taking care of our physical health, feeling happy is going to be even harder.
The last thing to consider is postpartum depression.
Yes, becoming happy is a short way to say “have better mental health”. And this entire post is dedicated to getting you into that wonderful mental place called happiness. But sometimes it’s not that simple.
Postpartum depression is “a type of mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Symptoms can include sadness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating habits, and problems concentrating.”
It’s more than just the “baby blues” and may require medication to get under control. So keep in mind that if you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression, it’s best to talk to your doctor to help you find solutions.
How to be a Happy Mom
To become a happy mom, we need to increase positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, achievement, prioritize our physical health and possibly talk to our doctors. And these 25 habits will help you do that!
25 Life Changing Habits to Become a Happy Mom
1. Get enough sleep
There is no doubt that getting enough sleep is crucial for overall mental health, and this is especially true for mothers. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, lack of patience and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s hard to be a happy mom when you’re always tired and cranky.
Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. If you find that you are struggling to get this much sleep on a regular basis, try to establish some healthy sleep habits such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine and exercise before bedtime, and using relaxation techniques before bed.
2. Start your day off right
The way you start your day can set the tone for the rest of the day. If you start off feeling rushed and stressed, it’s likely that the rest of your day will follow suit and put you in a bad mood.
But if you take some time for yourself in the morning to relax and prepare for the day ahead, you’ll be more likely to feel calm and collected. Helping you to feel more of that positive emotion we talked about in PERMA.
Some ideas for starting your day off right include waking up early enough to have a few hours of quiet time alone, drinking a cup of tea or coffee in peace, taking a walk outdoors, reading something positive, or practicing some relaxation techniques.
Related: How to Become a Morning Person and Love it (In 10 Easy Steps)
3. Eat healthy foods
What we eat has a direct impact on our mood and energy levels. When we’re eating lots of processed foods, sugar and unhealthy fats, we tend to feel sluggish, irritable and low on energy. But when we’re eating nutritious foods that give our bodies the vitamins and minerals it needs, we feel more energetic and positive.
So if you want to be a happy mom, it’s important to eat healthy foods that will make you feel good. Fill your diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins, and limit processed foods, sugar and saturated fat.
4. Exercise regularly
Exercise is not only good for our physical health, but it’s also great for our mental health. It releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects, and helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Regular exercise also helps us in feeling a sense of accomplishment, which is one of the key components of happiness.
So if you’re looking to become a happier mom, make sure to get some exercise each day. Even just a 30-minute walk can make a big difference in a positive way.
5. Take time for yourself
Finding time for yourself is crucial to having a happy mom life. It’s important to schedule some time each day to just relax and do something for yourself.
This can be something as simple as reading a book, taking a bath, listening to music, or spending time outdoors. When we take some time each day for ourselves, it helps us to relax and de-stress, which in turn makes us happier moms.
It’s hard to find time for ourselves as parents, especially when you have young kids at home, but having time for ourselves is critical to not reaching our breaking point.
6. Connect with other moms
Developing relationships and having a supportive network of other moms is one of the best things you can do for your happiness. When you have someone to talk to who understands the challenges and joys of motherhood, it can make all the difference.
So make an effort to connect with fellow moms and make a friend, whether it’s in person or online. Join a mom’s group, go to a mom’s night out, or just chat with other moms on social media. You’ll be surprised at how supportive and helpful they can be.
7. Find a hobby or passion
When we have something in our lives that we’re passionate about, it helps us to feel more engaged and motivated. It gives our life purpose and meaning, two of the key components of happiness.
So if you’re looking to become a happier mom, find something that you’re passionate about and make time for it in your life. This could be anything from painting to hiking to biking. When you have a hobby or passion that you love, it makes life more fun and enjoyable.
This blog is my passion! It practically saved my life and sanity and allowed me to enjoy parenthood, feel fulfilled, and make money from home doing it.
8. Create a routine
Having a daily routine can help to reduce stress and make life more manageable. When we know what to expect each day, it helps us to feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
Creating a routine for yourself as a mom can look however you want it to look. It doesn’t have to be rigid or inflexible especially if you have little ones. But having some sort of daily routine will help you to feel happier and more organized. This free mom planner is a huge help!
Wake up at the same time each day, make your bed, eat breakfast, get dressed, spend some time on your hobby or passion, take the kids to school or daycare, go to work or do some work from home, make dinner, spend time with your family, and then wind down for the evening. Having a daily routine will help to make your days more enjoyable and productive.
9. Practice gratitude
When we focus on the things that we’re grateful for, it helps us to feel more positive and optimistic. Gratitude is one of the quickest and easiest ways to shift our mindset from negative to positive.
Start each day by writing down three things that you’re grateful for. It can be anything from your family to your health to your job. When you take the time to focus on the things that you’re thankful for, it helps you to see the good in your life and feel more positive.
10. Spend quality time with your partner and kids
One of the best things you can do for your happiness as a mom is to spend quality time with your partner and kids.
This doesn’t mean spending hours upon hours at home, but rather taking the time to really connect and engage with them. Remember the E for engagement in PERMA? Spend time Play games, read books, go for walks, have conversations, try a dance party, a tickle fight, or making dinner together and focus on just enjoying being together.
Plan date nights with your partner, so you can reconnect and focus on each other. When we take the time to nurture our relationships, it helps us to feel happier and more fulfilled.
11. Ask for help
If I could give one piece of advice on how to be a happy mom, it would be to ask for help. I know that it can be tough to admit that we need help, but when we ask for it, it shows that we care about ourselves and our families.
There are so many people who would love to help us out, but we have to be willing to ask. Whether it’s our family, kids, husband, or friends, people are often more than willing to help if we just ask.
Your happiness will help your whole family, so instead of falling to martyrdom ask for help.
12. Don’t compare yourself to others
One of the quickest ways to feel unhappy as a mom is to compare ourselves to other moms. We see other moms who seem to have it all together, that don’t struggle with their kids, and we think that we should be able to do it all too.
But the truth is that no one has it all together. Everyone struggles with something.
So instead of comparing yourself, to others, focus on your own journey and what works best for you and your family.
13. Practice Self Care
If we want to be a happy moms, you need to take care of yourself. This means making time for your own needs and taking care of your own wellbeing.
Self care looks different for everyone, but some self care ideas include: getting regular exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, meditating or practicing mindfulness, spending time in nature, practicing yoga or stretching, listening to calming music, savoring your favorite foods and drinks, taking a relaxing bath, and spending time with loved ones.
When you take the time to care for yourself, not just your kids, you will find that you are happier and more content.
14. Set goals for personal development
One of the best things you can do to find happiness is to set goals for personal development. Choose something that you want to work on, such as learning a new skill or becoming more organized.
Then create a plan of action and take small steps each day to reach your goal. Setting and reaching goals will help you to feel accomplished and happy. Which is an important element of being a happy mom.
15. Live in the Present moment
One of the keys to happiness is living in the present moment. This means being aware of what is happening right now and not letting the past or future bother us.
When we’re living present in these moments, we’re able to enjoy life more and feel happier. This helps us stress less and focus on engagement. So try to practice this as much as possible, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a mom.
16. Find your village
Finding your village is an important part of being a happy mom. This means having a group of people who support you and care about you.
These people can be your family, friends, neighbors, or even a Facebook group of other moms. When you have people to rely on, it makes life much easier and happier.
17. Connect with your spirituality
Connecting with your spirituality can be a key for how to be a happy mom. This could mean practicing your own religion, connecting with nature, or just having a connection to something bigger than yourself.
When you have a spiritual connection and perspective, it can help you to feel happier and more content. It can also provide comfort during tough times.
18. Get out of the house
One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to get out of the house. This could mean going for a walk to get fresh air, visiting a park, going to the library, a long run, or even just going to the grocery store!
When we get out of the house and interact with others, it helps to improve our mood and makes us happier.
19. Set boundaries
Setting boundaries is an important part of being a happy mom. This means knowing what you will and won’t tolerate from your children, your family, and your friends.
It also means setting limits on your time and energy. You can’t do it all and you need to take care of yourself first. When you set boundaries, you are more likely to be happier and more patient.
20. Take care of your mental health
This entire post is about improving your mental health and finding happiness as a mom. But it’s important to mention again because it’s so important!
There are a few ways to know if you’re taking care of your mental health.
- Are you feeling happier and more content?
- Are you feeling less stressed?
- Have you been you’re more patient with your kids and family?
- Do you feel more connected to yourself and your spirituality?
If you answered positively, then you know you’re improving your mental health and staying in a happy place.
21. Practice Optimism and Positivity
An optimistic outlook on life can make all the difference when it comes to how to be a happy mom. When you’re feeling down, try to find something positive about the situation.
This could mean looking at the silver lining, practicing gratitude, or just finding something to laugh about. It can be super hard to control your feelings when you’re sleep deprived, managing temper tantrums, and taking care of EVERYTHING else. But if you can find a way to be positive, it will make a world of difference in your happiness.
22. Let go of perfectionism
One of the biggest happiness killers is perfectionism. We often put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect moms, wives, and women. But the truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect mom.
We all make mistakes and that’s okay! When you can let go of the need to be perfect, you will find that you’re much happier.
23. Identify and Accept your Emotions
A big part of how to be a happy mom is being in touch with your emotions. This means being able to identify how you’re feeling and accepting those feelings.
It’s okay to feel angry, frustrated, or even sad at times. If you can identify your emotions, it can help you to evaluate possibly why you are feeling them. Which in turn can help you to find solutions for what you can do to fix it.
So feel your emotions fully, and make a plan going forward to cultivate more joyful feelings.
It’s important to take some time for yourself every day to relax and unwind. This could mean taking a bath, reading your favorite book, meditating, or just taking a nap.
When you take some time to relax, it can help to improve your mood and make you feel more refreshed. It’s important to find a balance between taking care of yourself through relaxation and taking care of your family.
25. Say I love you
One of the simplest things you can do to impact how to be a happy mom is to say “I love you.” The words we say has a huge impact on our happiness. When we say positive things, it can help to improve our mood and make us feel better about ourselves.
Saying “I love you” is a great way to remind yourself that you’re doing a good job as a mom. No matter how hard motherhood gets, remember that your kids love you and appreciate all that you do for them.
My friend, you are a good mom. The fact that you worry about doing it all while balancing your own joy is a testament to your greatness. Keep these 25 tips in mind as you continue on your journey as a mom. And know that you are not alone–we all struggle at times. But by implementing these habits, you will be one step closer to becoming a happy mom!
So there you have it: 25 habits that will help you become a happy mom.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try implementing some of these tips to help improve your mood and well-being. And always remember that you are not alone in this journey! We all struggle at times with how to be a happy mom, but by working together we can create a happier and more fulfilling life for ourselves and our kids, husband, or wives.
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After becoming a stay-at-home mom, I felt like I had lost myself. I had no control over my life, no interests or hobbies and my husband was out progressing in life while I was at home stagnant.
After starting my blog, I was able to take my life back and still be the mom I want to be. I realized that you don't have to choose YOU or motherhood.
Now I'm focused on helping moms just like me create their dream lives without sacrificing motherhood.
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