Chasing the Dream: How to find happiness as a mom
Many goals revolve around money, career and travel. But what if your goal is simply to be a happier mom? Here's how to find the happiness in your life — and be happier as a result.
Are you happy? Like really happy? With all the economic and societal pressures that come with being an adult — and a parent — it's not surprising that happiness can be a truly challenging goal. The good news? It's not insurmountable. You can be a happy mom.
Are you realistic in your life? If not, it could be making you unhappy says Christine Morgan, mom to an 11-month-old boy and stepmom to a 13-year-old girl. "If you expect your house to always be clean and your kids to always be well-behaved, you're setting yourself up for stress and unhappiness. I set my expectations a little more realistically and it makes a huge difference," says Morgan.
Realistically, you need time both for your kids and for yourself. It's OK (actually, it's good) to take time to enjoy your interests. So if you want to take a class, read a book or even just have a little time to yourself, do it. This refreshes you, and that makes you a better mom.
Kristin Hodson, a therapist, author and founder of The Healing Group in Salt Lake City, is a mom of two who believes moms should embrace their “inner rock star.” Her organization recently launched the Hey Mom! Campaign, which is an initiative to connect women and their families around postpartum depression.
Hodson offered these tips so all moms can embrace that inner rock star:
Celebrate your rock star moments!
Let yourself be "good enough"
Perfection is the No. 1 blocker in embracing happiness because it's simply unattainable. When you allow yourself to be good enough, you allow yourself to be and feel successful and happy.
Let go and breathe.
Instead of “to-dos,” create a list of "would-like-to-do." Prioritize and give yourself an exit strategy so that when life happens — and it always does and will — you can let go and breathe through what needs to be taken off of your list.
This too shall pass
When you hit a particularly rough patch — perhaps your child isn't sleeping or you've had to clean poop from the crib three times this week — remember that these moments are temporary. "I rely on photos a lot. Seeing a pic of a smiling little face reminds me why being a mom is great. And a quick look at a newborn baby photo reminds me how quickly they grow and change — to cherish the good times and know the bad times will pass quickly," says Morgan.
The bottom line? Take a few deep breaths, let yourself laugh and make the choice to be happy. You can do it, Mama!