I wish I could go back in time and tell my past self that I should be happier. I just couldn’t. So many of us who stay home struggle with day to day life – add in depression and anxiety and it’s just plain hard. I know I’m not alone in this. That’s what I want to share the changes I’ve made to be a happy stay at home mom.
Be a happy stay at home mom – 5 easy changes
Now I’m going to write all this out and tell you I’m going to solve all you problems. I’m also not going to lie to you that I magically willed myself into being happier. That’s not possible. I left a very difficult marriage and still deal with a lot of trauma and unhappiness.
But it also taught me what’s important and that happiness is possible.
If you’re dealing with something bigger than just being a bit content because life is mundane this isn’t for you. No amount of blog posts are going to make you happy in an unhappy life. But what I can share with you is how to find a little more jot in the everyday. In the mundane. In 10th load of laundry this week.
Change 1 – Do everything in love
I know it’s hard to feel love for your husband when you pick up his dirty socks. And yes, you love your kids, but you don’t love when they put their toys everywhere. You don’t have to love everything about them in order to care for them with love.
Next time you feel anger or resentment when it comes your chores stop and take a breath. Do you want to feel angry? Not likely. Instead of letting that resentment build and grow into something stronger do it for them.
No, your partner shouldn’t be lazy and leave everything to you. But I don’t know about you, but I’m not perfect either. I pick up his socks, he finds my car keys. Again. And he doesn’t complain nearly as much as I do about it.
Change 2 – Surround yourself with happiness
Sometimes I don’t even realize the impact that my friends and circles have on how I feel. If I have a lot of happy people in my life I’m going to feel happier, likewise if I surround myself with miserable people I’ll feel more miserable. This also extends to social media – if I have miserable people on Facebook share negativity it sucks me in.
I try and avoid the news and politics when I’m feeling down because they make things worse for me. Instead, I try and fill up my feeds and life with positive content and people.
Look for other moms who are also happy, or at least trying to be. Then you can share your struggles with friends hopefully without it turning into negativity.
Change 3 – Stop complaining
This ties into the last one. Maybe you’re the unhappy person that I was talking about there. I know I’m guilty of complaining too much or sharing passive-aggressive memes. We all are sometimes. The thing about complaining, though, is doing it can make us less happy. That includes “just” venting.
So if you’re a regular complainer, stop. Think about what you’re complaining about. If it’s a minor, petty thing it’s time to find ways to let it go. You don’t need to go to your friends or partner every time you’re upset about something. Take a deep breath and move on.
When you do feel like you need to vent (because dang it if I only got 3 hours of sleep everyone’s going to know!) keep it short, on point, and rare. Or seek advice – and mean it. And by the way I am totally open to hearing how I can keep my kids from waking me up 87 times a night.
Change 4 – Practice gratitude
If you are reading this article and are a stay at home mom chances are you have a lot of good in your life. Instead of being upset about what you don’t have, or miserable through this season of life, focus on the good. What are you thankful for? If you’re religious, do you only pray about wanting things or do you thank God for what you have?
This is also a great way to better your relationship. Do you nag your husband all the time? When was the last time you thanked him for going to work all day? If you’re like me and love staying home, but hate the day to day grind sometimes, it’s easy to appreciate not having to go to work. But sometimes I get so tied up in the thick of parenting that I forget the grass isn’t greener.
Change 5 – Fake it ’til you make it
This is one of my favourite phrases. I picked it up working at the dance studio. Every time we couldn’t do a difficult move my instructor (and friend) would say this line and soon enough we’d get the hang of it. It works in most areas of life, in my opinion.
I’m not saying pretend to smile when you’re upset and be some kind of robotic stepford wife. I’m just saying that if you’re unhappy, act like you are. Share gratitude online. Tell yourself how great your life is. When your friends are venting tell them that yes, you don’t sleep as much as you want to, but you love being a mom.
It will have a positive effect on you and how you feel.
You can’t always be a happy stay at home mom
Sometimes you’re upset or unhappy. It’s OK to have feelings. Just because you’re a mom and have other people relying on you doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to feel upset, sad, angry, or practice self care. Or vent to a therapist. You don’t have to be perfect. All I’m hoping is that your day to day can be a bit happier with these changes.
I also want to say here, again, that if you have bigger things in your life you can’t will yourself to be happy. If you have something like postpartum depression, or just mental health troubles in general, you may need professional help. Professionals are a piece in the puzzle to being happier.
Same thing if you are in a bad relationship or overly difficult situation. I wasn’t happy in my last marriage. I cried most of the 25 days my twins were in the NICU.
But under normal circumstances us moms need to work on being happier. After all, we have the best jobs in the world.