A mum is someone who can beat SuperMan hands down – we don’t even need the word SuperMum because it’s a given that mums have super powers. Mums take care of everyone in the house and the house itself. We work, we take care of kids, do more than half the chore load (that’s backed by research!) and we take care of our spouse and his family too. But wait – not all the time mums are happy. It is easy to be stressed and frustrated, that things are not going the way they ought to be. At the end of the day, we don’t want to be super but sad. Yes, now it’s time to turn your life around!
Here are 10 habits to adopt to become a happy mum!
Habit #1 Treasure the Happy Moments
Raising a child with your spouse has many moments to be treasured – it’s not only limited to the first step or the first meal but there are many enjoyable moments in the park, hanging out at home as a family and every bedtime routine offers moments to be treasured. Sometimes we have selective memory – we remember the struggles but we don’t remember the happy moments. See those light-hearted moments in your family life and focus on them. Your heart will feel warmer and you will be happier.
Habit #2 Thanksgiving
Various studies have showed that being thankful and expressing gratitude increase happiness. There is much to be thankful for and one way is to look at what you have – life, home, family, peace and security. Comparing with others easily make you feel dissatisfied with what you have or disgruntled that others (who in your mind don’t deserve it) have what you want. If you find that you fall into this trap of wanting more, consider tuning out ‘updates’ (such as Facebook or LinkedIn) where you will see what others have.
Habit #3 Me-Time
Take time for yourself or doing things for yourself. It is not selfish to sign up for gym or take time to exercise. No one in your family will benefit from a resentful mum, but everyone will benefit from a happy mum. If you know doing certain things for others will create much unhappiness for yourself, consider sharing these openly with your spouse and decide what you can drop from your to-do list.
Habit #4 Family-Time
Sometimes we may spend much time on the family without actually spending time with them. For instance, we may count cooking, cleaning, laundry, getting ready for school as family time but they aren’t. Even physically caring for our children may not feel like family time (feels like a chore sometimes!). Prioritise your to-do list and family time (if you think back objectively on the time shared as a family) is mostly fun and enjoyable – make that the priority over time spent in the home slogging by yourself at chores.
Habit #5 Spouse-Time
Remember you married your spouse, not your kids. Marriage is the foundation of the family and children benefit a lot from seeing parents who are in love and connected to each other. Date your spouse, give praise, hugs, presents and re-connect with your spouse if both of you have let children and work take over your relationship.
Habit #6 Forgive
Conflicts are bound to arise, especially if there are challenges faced when raising your child. It could be a health condition, the lack of support, miscommunication and many more scenarios to kickoff that frustration. Forgive and move on – holding on to these negative feelings will only make yourself unhappy.
Habit #7 Fun Stuff
Don’t miss out on fun stuff that you can do as a mum – want to play arcade games but never dare to? Now is the chance to go as a family! Want to sit on that elephant but never did as a child, now is the chance! Want to go amusement park, zoo, take water rides, play wildly at water fountains? What better time than now! Parents can be kids again, doing all the fun stuff. Doing activities outdoors help relieve stress and anxiety too.
Habit #8 Do what you want to do, first
Most mums have to-do list and some mums have to get certain things done otherwise the rest can’t be done without frustration. Find a schedule that works for you and don’t be hung up if you have to do what you’ve got to do. If it’s making sure the family room is tidied before you can work, tidy it. Let your spouse know how you feel so that he can understand and either help or get out of your way!
Habit #9 Lifestyle
Eat well, sleep enough and exercise. Laugh, smile, hugs and kiss your family. We cannot change all of our external environment but we can change our attitude in life. A lot of times we know that a certain lifestyle is the ‘ideal’ for us but we are afraid to be different or to change. You’d be amazed how much others will respect your lifestyle if you make it clear you’re committed to it. One instance is many of us feel bad taking time for fitness, whether at home or at work. However, if you commit to it and persevere, soon everyone will see it as part of who you are.
Habit #10 Ask for Help
You don’t have to prove you are superb! Asking for help doesn’t make you less of a mom, instead you may sometimes be surprised at how much more attention your spouse gives you, knowing that he is needed. If you are truly unhappy or suspect that you may be undergoing stress or depression, seek professional help immediately.
Being a mum is for life and it is important to be happy being one. Don’t dwell on the unhappiness or things you think you did not do so well. Just give your all, do what you can, appreciate yourself and others and enjoy this journey.