Happiness is a strange thing. The more you chase it, more it eludes you. More than anything, it is an art. An art of living and going through the ups and downs without loosing optimism. While it is easy to be happy when you are your own priority but things change once motherhood hits you. Suddenly, you forget all about yourself and seem to know so much more about that little child. The whole day revolves around keeping that little soul happy and content. So much that mothers often loose themselves and forget to be happy themselves first.
Being a mother, I have experienced it first hand. Giving up dreams does not come easy. But if we are to keep our children happy and give them a childhood they deserve, we need to fill our cups first. We need to be a Happy Mommy. Simple habits can go a long way in nurturing happiness. These habits can easily transform an angry, lost mommy to a Happy Mommy:
Take ownership of your own happiness: This could mean a simple routine of as small as 10minutes. Put the fragrance of your choice in the diffuser and just sit and breathe the aroma while you sip your fave drink. This is one habit that has bought me lot peace and happiness.
Schedule short time-outs for yourself: These time-outs are small moments during the day when you stop playing mommy. These moments help you remember yourself and take care of your needs. I take such 3 breaks during the day, each lasting 10-15mins. Use these breaks for reading, coloring, naps whatever makes you happy and lets the steam off.
Make time for Girl-friends: Once you become a mother, you need your tribe more than ever. So make time to call up your friends, meet them over weekends and if possible plan an all girls date. Bonding with girl friends is great at keeping you happy and gay.
Do something Constructive: A lot of happiness come from work. It need not be particularly from financial perspective. Work helps look beyond the day to day job of handling children and taking care of the house. It gives a purpose which is instrumental in bringing peace and happiness.
Accept your shortcomings: Identify your shortcomings and accept them. Sometimes the biggest hurdle to happiness is accepting our inherent weaknesses and flaws. If you are short tempered, accept it. Don’t punish yourself every time you loose your cool. Rather, try to work on it. Once acceptance comes, it is easy to improve and move forward.
Say goodbye to MOM Guilt: Guilt and happiness do not go together. Always remember, you are the best mother your child could have. So stop feeling guilty about not taking your child for that class, not doing crafts with her or not playing enough. You are enough and doing enough for your child.
Stop playing the Superwoman: Learn to prioritize and say ‘NO’ to work and people. Don’t try to be a Superwoman by trying to do it all. There are no medals for the extra work you put in for people and things before yourself. Instead make yourself and your happiness a priority.
Don’t Benchmark yourself: Comparison is the thief of joy. We all know that and yet we compare ourselves. Women specially beat the happiness out of themselves while benchmarking against the so-called perfect women. ‘I am still fat’, ‘She resumed work 4 weeks post her baby’, ‘She is managing both work-home so well’ these are some of the constant comparisons we draw. We forget that the woman who lost all that pregnancy weight never put-up so much in the first place. Or perhaps she has a great metabolism. And the one who heads her business and manages home has lot of support to do-it-all. Stop benchmarking yourself and be the best you can be. Everyone has their own challenges. You don’t know theirs, so stop comparing yourself with them. Be happy in your own skin.
Ask for help: It won’t hurt if you ask for help. Trying to do everything and keeping everyone happy is not possible. Even God can’t keep everyone happy all the time. So stop being responsible for everyone’s happiness. Take care of yours and that will be the best gift you can give to your family.
Practice Gratefulness: This is the key to a happy life. Before counting your sorrows, count your blessings. Be thankful of what you already have and how blessed you are.Thank the people around you and open your heart to welcome them. Let go the grudges you have and free yourself.