How to be a Happy Mom

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.

Have a question or just want to say hello.


  1. says

    I love this post — and the TIMELINESS of it. I needed to hear most of these things. I’m constantly comparing myself to others (and I just posted about this yesterday!) even though I’m really trying not to. I am guilty of the opposites of a lot of things on this list from time to time. However, I am trying to change and getting better every day. :)

    Such inspiring, lovely words. Thanks for posting! :)

  2. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I really needed to read it today. Sometimes I just don’t enjoy my job because I’m always having to discipline my kids or act like a drill sargent to get them to school on time. I always wonder if other Mom’s just adore every second with their kids.
    Thanks so much!

    • says

      LuLu, I know that feeling.
      There is a great quote I have on my fridge so I see it a lot. It is by M. Russell Ballard. Concerning motherhood. It say…”Recognize that the joy…comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times, But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction…”
      It gives me great comfort every time I read it.

      • says

        Oh how I love M. Russell Ballard. Thank you for sharing that quote. I will certainly try harder to seek out those small moments of joy and recognize them when they come. You have made an impact on me again Heather :-)

  3. says

    Wow…just wow Heather! Thank you so much for this excellent reminder for us moms. I’m definitely sharing this on FB and Twitter!! I can think of lots of my friends who need to read this and be reminded that they are already wonderful mommies!

  4. says

    What a great article…such an encouragement and reminder for all moms. I really need to remember #1 – it’s so hard not to compare yourself to another mom who is a better cook or more patient or seems to have it all together.

    And, I totally agree with the one about having good friends…it takes intentionality to cultivate deep friendships, but I know when I feel isolated or lonely, I am not in the best frame of mind to mother my boys. Friends make a huge difference in my attitude…just wish I lived closer to all my pals!


    • says

      Paige, I agree, #1 and #3. Both tricky. When I feel alone, things are extra hard. I am sorry to hear your best pals don’t live closer. I have a best friend who lives far away also. We have set up a time once a month to chat. Our conversations are always a breath of fresh air. I sure wish she lived next door, instead of three states away.

  5. says

    Thanks so much for the encouraging words! It is so hard to be a mom, but so worth it! I need to remember #1,5 and 7.

    • says

      Fabi, you are so right. Being a mom is the most humbling thing I have every tried to do. But also the most rewarding. It’s 1, 5, an 7 for me too. With a little 8 thrown in. :)

  6. Melissa says

    Thanks for the great reminders. I think we all instinctively know these things, but forget them with all the day to day “stuff” we all deal with. Motherhood is hard, but so worth it if we can step back and remember why we do what we do.

    • says

      Melissa, I agree with you. Taking a step back helps us regroup and gain a little clarity. We can loose clarity really quick when life is too busy. Here’s to a refocus.

  7. Christina says

    So many moms need to hear these things. Great post, except #4. Happy moms do NOT need faith and to pray. Plenty of happy moms are not religious.

  8. says

    Oh, so, so, SO true! Each and every one! Thanks for the great reminder. I have struggled with the comparison game, jealousy and envy for a long time. It wasn’t till January that things started to turn around and it has been so freeing. I needed to accept that I am special too, and like you said, needed to recognize my own worth. God is so good in dishing out his love, and I simply need to accept it! Needless to say, I am bookmarking this page. :)

    • says

      Janel, love that you used the word freeing. What a perfect word. Loving ourselves and accepting God’s love for us is freeing. So is letting go of all the jealousy and envy that creep in. It is not easy, but it sure is worth it.

  9. says

    I found myself nodding my head as I read this entire article/post! Such true words…I’m a rather new mom (my little man just turned 18 months yesterday) and I have absolutely found that not comparing myself of my son to others, having a healthy self image, turning to God, and simplifying are KEY things that when I focus on I am a happier mom and that makes for a happier son :) I especially loved that you included having good friends! Have a support group that uplifts and understands you is such a gift :)

  10. says

    Thank you very very much for the inspiring words. It is hard to keep it positive 24/7 but at least I have to give it a try just for my own sake. I think these words are pretty much to live by. Thanks again for sharing!

  11. says

    Love this article Heather! Thank you so much for inspiring us to do and be better woman. We should never underestimate the power we can have when we take care of ourselves!

  12. says

    I loved this and so completely needed this today! I’m very confident as a mother and as a homemaker and rarely compare myself to others when it comes to this. Then I recently started a business and a blog and it’s amazing how much time I spend comparing myself to other bloggers, their productivity and their success. Thank you for reminding me that it’s only causing unhappiness!

  13. Fiona says

    Thank you so much heather from the other side of the world! I have a 13 week old little girl and have been struggling a bit and needed to read and be reminded of those things. I will be passing it on to fellow friends.

  14. says

    Hi! I LOVE this post! I am a mom of a little boy who just turned 5 …my pride and joy :) You touched on so many things that I’m sure we all share in common. I must say to myself a few times a day the Serenity Prayer! Your #7 speaks to that :) “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things we can & the wisdom to know the difference :)” Great post & thanks for sharing!

  15. Amy says

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been really stuck in the compare mode since Friday. It’s exhausting! Thanks for helping me snap out of it.

  16. says

    I love your post!!! It’s so meaningful :) I wish to add as well that a happy mom need a happy married life– so it’s important to make time for the other half or go on dates to have that love nest keep going ;)

  17. says

    Wow, this is exactly what I needed to read at this very moment. I’m not even a mom, but this is just amazing advice to any person to be happy. Beautiful, well-written, and from the heart. Thank you for this, Heather. Ha! I realize that I’m about a year late, but I just had to let you know. :)


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