It’s time once again for Heather from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series with Heather Johnson” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words…
Since the beginning of time, all of mankind has had something in common, we want to be happy. I know I want to be happy. My greatest happiness and joy comes from my family. Receiving awards, recognition, money, doesn’t compare to the feelings I have when our daughter learned to ride her bike without training wheels or when I saw the smile on our son’s face when he worked side by side with his dad on his pinewood derby car. But, if I am not careful, the stress of taking care of others and managing family life overshadows the happy and leaves me sad and miserable. It doesn’t have to be this way. This plan of family life is meant to be a happy plan.
Here are 8 things that Happy Moms have in common.
1. Happy Moms Avoid Comparisons As mothers and women we have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. If we want to be happy, we have to stop. We are usually comparing our weaknesses and shortcoming to someone else’s strengths. It is not a fair comparison. And, when we compare, we foster feelings of jealousy and envy. Those feelings will make us miserable. There will always be someone skinnier, with a cleaner house and with kids that seem more behaved. Always. SO what…comparing will not make us skinner, or our house cleaner. Don’t waste energy on comparing. It is the same with our children. Don’t compare our kids to others. When we do, we miss all the magic that is in each of our own children. We overlook how wonderful and unique they are. And we put unfair pressure on them. When we find ourselves longing for someone else’s life, sit down with a piece of paper and pen and start listing all the things you are thankful for. List all the blessings in your life. When you feel yourself starting to compare again, get out the paper and re-read all that you are thankful for. We will quickly realize how blessed we really are. The other thing we can do to stop the comparing is to serve others. Serving others brings humility and helps us recognize our many blessings. Lastly, we have to be careful with social media. It is easy to read about all the recipes and refinished furniture and beautifully sewn cloths and feel inadequate. Just because we don’t do all those things, doesn’t mean we are less. Nor should we compare ourselves to all the “ideal” posts we read.
2. Happy Moms Recognize Their Worth. There comes a time when we have to accept ourselves, as is. We need to love ourselves. Instead of wondering what we are good for, we need to know that our role is THE most important role. We are raising and influencing future generations. We are primarily responsible for nurturing little human beings. It doesn’t get more important than that. Even if we don’t have children of our own, there is nothing that compares to a women’s loving influence. Take a minute and write down all the things that you are good at. Don’t be shy, write them down. Maybe you are a good friend, patient, a talented seamstress, or creative. Own them, find strength in your strengths and use them to help others. The sooner we can recognize our true worth, the happier we will be.
3. Happy Moms Choose Good Friends. We are quick to preach this to our children, but do we realize how important it is for us. We need to surround ourselves with people who lift us up, who believe in us, and who support us. Avoid relationships that are one sided and draining. We want friends who don’t compare, who revel in our successes and who believe in lifting others up, not putting others down. That is also the type of friend we want to be for others.
4. Happy Moms Have Faith and Pray The act of being faithful, in and of itself raises our spirits and gives us hope. Hope is happy and healing. Couple that hope with prayer and the sun will shine happy rays. :) Even on the worst of days, having faith that we are trying our best and that tomorrow will be better, can help us feel happy today. Prayer can help us lead happier lives also. It gives us a chance to express gratitude and ask for help. When we pray, be specific. Yesterday I prayed that I could be more creative with our 3 year old. Lately she has wanted me to play zoo, and make animal sounds. Sometimes that is hard for me, so I asked for help. Pray for more time with your family, pray for stamina to get through a long day. Sometimes my prayers are that I can get through the next 15 minutes. Happy moms have faith. For me, faith helps because I know that I am never alone.
5. Happy Moms Make Time For Themselves As mothers and women, we tend to take care of ourselves last. I have caught myself more than once saying “when the kids are older then I will have time for….”. We need to stop thinking like that. We should find some time for ourselves to cultivate our gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn to do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. It is not selfish.
6. Happy Moms Simplify We need to clean up and clear out. Take a look at your schedule and make sure it is not too full. Don’t over schedule our kids, or ourselves. Juggling a million things doesn’t make us better moms with cooler kids. It just stresses us out. We are not happy when we are stressed. Our kids only need one or two extra activities, same with us as moms. We should simplify our homes also. Too many clothes and toys in our homes and cars add stress. It can become overwhelming to manage so much stuff. Simplify. Cut down to what is manageable and spend less time keeping up with all the stuff, and more time with those you love, doing things you want to do and being happy.
7. Happy Moms Stop Worrying I am very guilty of this. I am a worrier. It causes stress, and then I am not happy. It will take practice, but think about it this way: If you can’t change it or control it, then there is no need to worry about it. Instead think about what you can control and put your efforts there. The other thing we can do to stop worrying is to turn off the news. I watch the news filled with all the negative and horrible and I worry more.
8. Happy Moms Smile and Laugh Smiling and laughing naturally brings happiness. Let your face light up and let out a giggle. In fact, smile at someone else and watch their face light up. We can get so rushed and serious that we forget to be happy. So even if you have to force it at first, smile.