Yes, we have a lot on our plates as moms, but there are ways that we can be happier—and not so stressed. From toning down the yelling (c’mon, you know you do it!) to shrugging off the mom guilt, follow my ten steps and prepare to smile more.
1. Say no
We have to start learning to say no more. Remember that Jim Carrey movie where he said yes to everything? He had a lot of fun, but he got burnt out—just like you. It’s okay to miss a birthday party, or not bake cupcakes from scratch for that holiday shindig. We need to stop judging people who actually take the time to say no; instead, we should follow their lead.
2. Say yes
It takes a village to raise a child, so stop trying to do it all on your own. If someone offers to help, accept it. If that person offers to help you carry your stroller, let them, If your neighbor says she’ll watch your baby so you can take a shower, let her. It’s okay to say yes to things we think we have to manage on our own.
3. Take a sick day
Some moms tell me how they actually look forward to sick days because it forces them to take downtime with their children (think snuggling, watching movies and unplugging from social media). Sounds great, doesn’t it? Not that your child is sick, but that it gives you a day to just be a mom and nothing else. I say, take a “sick day” even if you’re not sick to just snuggle, watch movies and sleep in. Or even better, take a spontaneous “snow day” and take an outside adventure with the kids. These are the days you’ll remember. Everyone deserves a day off here and there.
4. Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect upbringing
If you haven’t seen A Perfect World, rent it—the movie truly teaches a beautiful message. It shows that our children are going to grow up, and they’re going to be exposed to the world and things we may not want them to see. We have no option but to accept it. Once we can let that go, we can live much happier lives.
5. Quit reading negative articles
There are so many scary headlines in the news today. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read up and be informed, but the news is also notoriously known for being negative, and reading too much of it at once can be rough. Try to even it out by reading happy news—we publish lots of great inspiring stories right here on Mommy Nearest. Another one of my favorites? HuffPost Good News—they only publish positive stories! What a great idea!
6. Don’t keep score
You know you are, so stop denying it. We all do—it’s called “Keeping up with the Joneses: The Mom Edition.” If I’ve learned anything from my mom community, it’s that we all have hidden lives or secrets to keep. Sure, the mom next door lost her baby weight faster than you, but did you ever stop and think why? Maybe it’s because she found out her husband is cheating on her and she’s too upset to eat. Just be thankful for what you have. Are you babies healthy and happy? Then what else do you need.
7. Stop yelling all the time and give more compliments
Do me a favor—every time you catch yourself about to yell, switch and give a compliment really quick…mid-yell. It will not only be hilarious, but will immediately lighten the mood. Coming from someone who’s been labeled “the yell voice” her entire life, this is something I struggle with. Yelling isn’t good for anyone.
8. Shrug off the guilt
Like Taylor Swift says, just “shake it off.” As parents, we need to realize that we can’t always be with our children—and that’s okay. Sending them to day care, or going out on a date night with our spouse isn’t going to make them resent us. Instead, it will show them that we all have to make sacrifices, and that taking care of yourself is important, too. I watched this beautiful video that made me tear up because as moms, we don’t realize how our children really view us. They see us as amazing super heroes, and it’s time you saw yourself that way.
9. Do something for yourself
It’s okay to be selfish and take some alone time. Plan a trip to the nail salon with friends. Reserve an hour for a bath. Go shopping. The world won’t stop spinning, and you’re sure to come home with a much clearer head.
10. Laugh more
When’s the last time you had a full, deep belly laugh? The type that makes you double over and just let it all go. The next time you find yourself upset and angry, make yourself laugh—it will immediately make you feel better. Plus, it’s proven that laughing is good for our health.