These days it seems like an oxymoron to say “happy mom.” Is this even possible to attain? What do you have to sacrifice in order to have this happiness? I promise you don’t have to give up any of the good stuff. You do have to give up some things you’re attached to – addicted to maybe- that aren’t helping you.
We get so used to doing things the way we’ve always done them and it pushes us to the point of pulling out our already thinning hair because we’re literally exemplifying the definition of insanity. You know, doing the same thing but hoping for a different outcome. I feel a lot of us are doing this with our daily routines. Constantly going to bed with a messy kitchen, only to wake up angry that the kitchen is messy.
Changing your life starts with questioning everything you’re doing. Why do you do the things you do? Are our current habits helping us, or are they contributing to our exhaustion and outrage?
1 Give up negative self-talk
How you speak to yourself is how you see yourself. Constantly telling yourself you’re a bad mom, you’re unworthy, you’re not enough, that is only going to lead to you believing those lies and searching out ways to prove it’s true.
Instead of letting this inner voice – I call mine Gretchen, because she’s a “mean girl” – run your inner narrative, begin dismissing those lies as they come up and replace them with a positive affirmation or realization.
When you’re tempted to call yourself stupid for forgetting that load of laundry in the wash again: pause and think of how you’d talk to a friend in the same situation. You’d never call your friend stupid, give yourself as much grace as you’d give her. Be your own best friend. Remind yourself that this happens to everyone instead of immediately insulting yourself.
2 Stop taking things for granted
If you want to be surrounded by blessings, look around and start noticing that you already are. When you’re tempted to be upset about the house being a mess again, the kids’ toys all over the place, burdened that it’s time to make dinner again, and you can’t get a moment of quiet – instead be grateful.
You have a roof over your head, you’re blessed enough to have a home to clean. Your kids have toys that need cleaned up, how blessed you are that you have money to spend on toys and entertainment. You get to make dinner, you have a choice in what you feed your family, what a blessing to not be starving. You are surrounded by noise, how wonderful to not be alone in the world.
Daily gratitude isn’t just a once a day thing, it’s an all day thing. You’ve got to start being grateful for all the little things and all the things you don’t want to feel grateful for before you’ll reap the rewards and see the big difference. Start thinking of all the things that you’re grateful for when you’re feeling stressed the most. Find gratitude in all the things that cause you grief and see how your world view changes.
3 Quit the pursuit of perfection
Perfection isn’t real, you’ll never get there. It’s an illusion like trying to get to the end of the rainbow. Chasing it is only going to lead to disappointment.
If you’re striving to have a perfectly clean home, and always make a 3 course semi-gourmet meal every night, and still keep your mental health at it’s best, I’m sorry but you really need to lower your expectations. Having a lived in home, a simple meal, and calling yourself sane at the end of the day is enough, my friend.
You can’t be everything to everyone and you are not perfect. Be who you are, where you are, and keep doing the best with what you’ve got.
4 Do not let your days decide for themselves
You have to take ownership of your life, your home, your motherhood. This is YOUR life we’re talking about. As Allie Casazza says “don’t let anyone poop on your purpose.” You get to decide how your days look, what boundaries you hold, what you want to spend your time and energy on.
We can start living our lives on purpose by paying attention to what we are doing. Begin to question whether your habits are helping you or holding you back. Are your current routines serving you? You’ve got to set the intention for your life. What is your goal? Who do you want to be?
Setting your intentions is the key to responding instead of reacting. Get ahead of the problems by knowing yourself and looking ahead to what you know is coming. If you know a messy kitchen is going to put you in a bad mood in the morning, then make the changes needed to get it clean before heading to bed. Know who you want to be, and do what it takes to be that.
5 Put an end to denying your dreams
Those dreams are there for your purpose. You’ll constantly feel unfulfilled as long as you deny them. I tried to suppress my dreams and ambitions for the longest time, playing small like I didn’t want more from life that I was getting.
You’ll grow to resent your kids if you use them as an excuse for putting your dreams on hold. Momma, this is an important note: when it comes to dreams, have your priorities in line, your dreams don’t have to take you out of the home. If being a stay at home mom is your dream, do it fully and have no regrets about it.
Ask yourself: is this dream really your purpose or just something you wish to do someday? What is important to you, if being all-in in your homemaking and motherhood IS your big dream, then do that and don’t let your little fun ideas get in your way. Don’t play small with your purpose just because of what others might think about it.
Be you, and be you fully.
Lucky for you, you can build these skills and let go of the yucky parts you’ve been hanging onto with the Happy Mom-Brain Workbook. I’ve worked months to assemble this guided workbook to lead you from the overwhelm and anxiety and into your life as a happy mom. This workbook will take you by the hand and walk you through how to stop the negative thoughts, how to set intentions for your life and so much more! The best part? It’s now available on Amazon!