Trust the internet to provide you with a magnitude of information on how you can be a better mother.
Just about anything you can think of in terms of parenting is going to be available somewhere. Whether you want serious advice about the best parenting styles, or how to squeeze an extra hour into your already stressful 25-hour day, you could find the perfect solution online.
But how many parenting articles address the issue of actually being happy as a mother? That's right. I said it. You need to be a happy parent if you want the same thing for your kids.
I could be wrong, but I think mothers have a tendency to follow their duty before seeking personal happiness. In fact, I honestly believe some mothers feel guilty the moment they experience true happiness. And it's because we are drawn into the responsibilities that come with daily life. But little do we realize how important it is to sometimes focus on what we need as parents.
Make no mistake; I won't even pretend to be smarter or wiser than any other mother who takes the time to read this post. And just like you, I want the best for my kids. However, I do have some suggestions on how mothers can prioritize enjoying some "direct" happiness. Because as rewarding as it can be to support your family, it doesn't mean you are taking care of your personal goals.
Don't Let Perfection Get In The Way Of Excellence
I love this statement because it gets straight to the point. And the reality of the situation is that we love our kids based more on their imperfections - just like we love our partners for what they consider their shortcomings. It's the imperfections that ultimately make kids the unique individuals they grow up to be.
So, why on earth are you putting all this pressure on yourself to be perfect? In fact, now is the time to drop this word from your vocabulary, because it doesn't exist. And don't let social media make things worse. Remember that photos on Facebook and Instagram can be very deceiving, which means anyone can project the perfect life if they wanted to.
If social media only makes you jealous and negative, read a good book or watch a movie. Just do something you know you will enjoy without feeling guilty about it. As imperfect mothers who only want the best for their imperfect children, we are allowed to change how we perceive perfection.
Schedule Some Time for Yourself
No matter how you try to justify it, you cannot be a happy mom if you are not a happy person. And being a little selfish with your time does not mean you love your children any less. In fact, it's because you love them that you need to set some personal time aside, at least once a day. Failing this, at least give yourself some attention once a week.
Write it down on your schedule if you have to, but start prioritizing some alone time for your needs only. There is plenty of time to get back to your responsibilities. And you can only perform them at your best if you are a happy mother.
I have a strategy I like to use, especially when I know I need a break. It involves telling my husband and kids that I'll be unavailable for the next hour or so unless there's an emergency. Otherwise, my bedroom door stays locked and I do whatever I feel like at the moment.
Set Goals That Satisfy Your Needs Too
Yes, you are already saving for that college fund and who knows what else. But what do you want out of life besides healthy and happy kids? For example, is it your true passion to be a stay-at-home mom? Or do you see yourself as an inspirational figure who starts her own small business?
The world doesn't seize to be your oyster once you become a mother. And nobody is asking you to solely focus on the happiness of your kids. If this is the case, you probably started reading this post with more reasons than you thought.
Just like you need to set aside time for your own enjoyment, you are allowed to follow your goals and dreams. It's just a matter of getting organized and actually taking care of yourself as well as your family. Remember that kids love to see their parents happy. If you are truly unhappy, then perhaps seek a professional to help.
Make Use Of Your Options
In terms of getting more organized with your time and exploring personal happiness, I suggest looking at all your options. For instance, if you take on a major part of the household responsibilities as well as go to work, why not hire a professional cleaning service? And what about meal-delivery services to make things more convenient?
You don't have to be there for your kids every second of the day. Keep in mind they need some independence if they are going to develop properly. But this can't happen if you are always there to clean up the messes for them. At some point, they have to learn about minor responsibilities. You, on the other hand, need to learn to let some of the responsibilities go.
At the end of the day, as a caring mother, you have the right to cut a few corners if it means saving some time. What's wrong with making efficient decisions anyway? It's a natural talent for mothers in general.
Embrace the Mother You Are
Do not step into the trap of comparing yourself to anyone else. This is because every parent-child relationship is unique. But if you try to live up to other people in your child's life, you are simply going to burn yourself out. More importantly, you will not be happy. And an unhappy mother heavily influences a child's development in the long run.
So, it makes sense to give yourself the time and consideration you deserve as a mother. And nobody will blame you for wanting a little personal happiness. Because the moment you begin to take care of yourself, you automatically have a better time being the best mom you can be.
Keep in mind that life is essentially a balance, and what goes up must come down. But it doesn't change the fact that you are a mother who deserves her share of personal happiness.