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How to be a happier mom

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Be happy and healthy

You love being a mom, but that doesn't mean you can't be happier. Moms are overworked, overstressed and sometimes underappreciated. Slow down and take some time out for yourself, and follow these other steps to become a happier mom.

Mom having breakfast with kid

Step 1: Don't overschedule yourself

Believe it or not, you don't have to host dinner parties, head every committee, attend every event or sign your kids up for every activity. One of the biggest reasons for moms to get burned out and unhappy is overscheduling. Make it a rule that you'll only participate in extracurricular activities and events that you and your family truly enjoy. You'll be surprised at how many things you can scratch off your to-do list.

Step 2: Find some "me time" every day

The stress of family, finances and all the other pressures in life can be overwhelming. Long-term, chronic stress can have some serious effects on your physical and emotional health. Carve out some "me time" every single day to reduce stress, rejuvenate your mind and recharge your batteries. Even 15 minutes of meditation before you go to sleep at night can do wonders for your stress levels and ultimately your happiness.

Read about finding me time >>

Step 3: Spend time with your girlfriends

Every mom needs a few girlfriends, and ideally some of them shouldn't even be moms. Hanging out with a non-mom or a mom of older kids every once in a while will allow you to have some time to talk about something other than your kids. If you are yearning to discuss something besides Dora the Explorer episodes or potty training, then having a non-mom friend is essential.

Step 4: Don't lose yourself

When you became a wife and a mother, you probably put aside some of your favorite hobbies and interests for the sake of your family. It's important for your long-term happiness to not lose yourself completely. Try to find time to do some of the things you enjoyed before you became a mom.

Step 5: Date your hubby

Just because you're a mom doesn't mean that you shouldn't be interested in romance any more. Rejuvenate your relationship with your husband or partner by setting aside a night every couple weeks (or at least every month) for date night. Date night doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive -- just some romantic, relaxing time as a couple.

Read about the importance of date night to married couples >>

Step 6: Get back to basics

Schedule regular "family nights" where you can connect with your kids during some unstructured time. The key is to not have a goal or a plan. Just hang out together at home as a family. You can watch movies, play board games, cook together or even have quiet reading time. Just go with the flow and enjoy connecting with one another.

Step 7: Take a day off

If you are a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, then every day becomes a work day. Everyone else gets weekends off, so you should take at least one day for yourself. Set aside a day each week where you don't do housework, check your work email, answer phone calls or spend the day in the kitchen. You'll be able to concentrate more on family fun and yourself.

More parenting how-tos

How to get your kids' help with dinner
How to get fit as a family
How to start homeschooling your child

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