Do a quick scroll down Instagram and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the key to being a happy mum is vase of tulips and a smiling child wearing a spotless outfit.
If that’s true, then there’s no hope for any of us!
Those tulips will have wilted in a few days and the outfit will be stained within 10 minutes. The smile will disappear and tears will replace it. Game over! Bye-bye happy mum!
Except that it’s all a big social media scam! The key to being a happy mum is not having a perfect life, it’s being able to pick out the happy moments as they happen in the chaos.
How to be a happy mum
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. There’s the monotony of telling your kids to take their shoes off at the front door. Every. Single. Day. It can be frustrating to nurse a child through sickness only for them to yell “You don’t care about me” a few days later. And then there’s that one thing that gets right up your nose that they just keep doing again and again and again and again…!
But I want to let you into a secret – that’s all normal!
The mums who love being mums aren’t immune to this stuff. They don’t float above it in some sort of angelic daze. Family life is gritty and hard and there are times when you all yell at each other. They have just learnt to focus on the good bits.
Search out the good. Celebrate the happy. Talk about the fun times and replay those memories. If you always think of family life as being tough, it will be difficult to find joy there. But if you can edit your memories to prioritise the joyful moments, your perspective will be very different.
11 happy mum moments to look out for
But if all that sounds a bit “airy-fairy” and life just feels too bleak to change your perspective, let me get you started. Keep your eyes out for some of these 11 happy moments over the next 7 days and make a note of them. You might be surprised just how many happy moments are happening and simply getting lost in the chaos.
- That was yummy – It doesn’t matter if it was fish fingers or a 5 course banquet, if your kid thanks you for their meal, take it!
- Physical affection – It could be resting their head on your shoulder, holding your hand* or a full-blown cuddle
- Watch this – They’re involving you in something that interests them*
- Kindness – Seeing your child do something kind for someone else should fill you with pride
- Creativeness – How does your child like to be creative? Are they musical or artistic or do they like to cook? Take time to appreciate their gifts
- Going the extra mile – Did they make a cup of tea for you or fetch your slippers?
- Not complaining – It’s so nice when they load the dishwasher the first time you ask or they sit down and do their homework straight away
- Tidying up – They used something and then put it away again – hurray!
- Sibling Love – Getting along with siblings and working together
- School achievements – Celebrate stickers, certificates, ticks in books, good comments, working hard
- Sharing – It could be offering their sweets around or making a picture for you
Those are just a few to get you started. If you want to be a happy mum, you need to clock the little moments and not discount them because of the context.
- Your 2 year old gives you a sloppy kiss – don’t discount it because he then draws on the wall.
- Your 14 year old gets a certificate at school – don’t discount it because she has a strop and slams the door.
If you can take time to consciously appreciate the good in family life, you will find that you automatically feel happier. Your perspective starts to change and suddenly life becomes more manageable and enjoyable.
I know it’s not all sunshine and roses, but that’s why it’s so important to take stock of the good things when they come along, no matter how small they may seem.
REMEMBER: A happy moment is still a happy moment, regardless of what happens before and after it.
What are your happy mum moments? Are you good at seeing the positives or do they get lost in the busyness of life? Do you have any tips for being a happier person? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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