Being happy is probably the last thing on your mind as you chuck toys into the cupboard before hitting the sack. Every day passes in whirlwind speed and downing a cup of coffee itself seems like a luxury, leave alone holding a thought in your head. You look after everyone else’s needs to perfection only to sometimes overlook your own. However, the one thing your family will benefit most from apart from the good food, clean sheets, and bedtime stories, is a happy ‘YOU’. So on that note, here are some simple rules to be a happy mom.
Hygiene vs. Cleanliness obsession
Your child deserves clean food, neat clothes and a tidy house. However, trying to maintain an ideal home where everything is in its place ready to be photographed for a lifestyle magazine is a Herculean feat for a mother. So choose your battles wisely and let go of the ones that don’t matter. This one definitely doesn’t. At least till your babies are little.
“Am I making the right decisions for my child? Should I have done this differently?” are questions that plague every mother at different stages of her life. Remember that the fact that you worry about such things actually means you care and will do your best. Guilt is a definite no-no and is a spiral staircase with no end. So step out and chin up.
Whenever you find yourself two steps away from losing it, choose your sanity over everything else. The last two spoons of the meal can be skipped once in a while. Laugh over a goofy spill instead of holding your breath till you clean the last crumb on the floor. Your child will learn to live life with grace from this one choice of yours. So choose sanity. Always.
Stress is like a fire that slow cooks your health. To break down the stress hormones that build up in your body during your long day, unwind and exercise at least thirty minutes every day. You will be surprised at how much positivity it brings to your life.
Take time off for yourself
Sometimes you crave to be the person you were before you became a mother. Take time off to do exactly that. Pursue a passion you had before your baby came along. It will recharge your batteries to keep going.
The five-year question
Whenever you find yourself fretting over something, ask yourself if it will matter five years down the line. If the answer is yes, then go ahead and try to resolve the problem. Otherwise, let it go. It really doesn’t matter. You will agree five years later that you did the right thing!
Motherhood is a road full of unpredictable twists and turns. So keep yourself prepared for whatever you can. It will save you precious time at a tense moment. Keep that extra bag of clothes in your glove compartment and take your medicine kit when you travel. With efficiency comes satisfaction and with satisfaction comes peace.
Someone else might look far more graceful doing exactly what you do. But remember that you don’t know their life’s details. Refrain from comparing yourself or your family with others. Accept that each one is unique and different. Remember to count your own blessings because you never know who might be pining for the very same things in life.
Try to stay in the moment of ‘popsicle kisses’ and runny noses. They don’t last forever. Worrying about whether your child should be reciting rhymes at three will distract you from enjoying the lisp with which he or she talks. Be in the moment because you will long for these moments many years down the line.
Happiness is a priority
Choose your happiness over small problems every day. Celebrate life and make happy memories with your children. They will remember your laughter and the fun you had much more than how diligently you taught them the alphabet.
Imperfections are okay
Don’t be hung up on making life perfect. Many mothers pursue perfection with a hound-like dedication and miss life’s music in the process. Embrace life with its imperfections and see how much more beautiful life can be.
Build your village
No child can be raised by a mother alone. As they say, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. So build your little village of support around you and lean on them when life gets you down. A community is something every mother needs in order to deal with the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
Ask for help
When you need help, teach yourself to ask for it. There is no rule that says you have to do everything by yourself. You will be surprised how many would love to help.
Enjoy the moments
Every day is full of joy and discovery especially when you have the privilege to be in the company of a growing child. Treat this as an honour and enjoy every moment of it. Mothers who enjoy small everyday things with their child seem more relaxed as it is a great stress buster to be around these little curious bundles of joy. You will see yourself grow along with your baby.
Take each day as it comes
When you are overwhelmed by your role as a mother, one simple way to survive is to take each day as it comes. This will teach you to be thankful for your blessings and always put your best foot forward. Happiness inevitably follows when you do your best.
In the end, it isn’t the lack of chaos that bringsjoy but the ability to be comfortable around it. As a mother, remember that choosing to be happy is one of the most important life lessons you will impart to your child. So go ahead and choose happiness. Be cautious, wise and efficient but sometimes be impulsive too. Have that ice-cream and do skip into a puddle with your children once in a while. You will then remember how much fun it was when you were a child.