STOP Doing These 5 Things To Be a Happier Mom

We know that motherhood is transformative—it can provide love and purpose like we haven’t known before. But it can also be a grind. Meeting the never ending needs of our kids, dealing with their rollercoaster of emotions. Dealing with our own rollercoaster of emotions!

If you’re like me, you may find yourself feeling irritable some portion of every day, frustrated, and then feeling guilty because you’re “not doing it right.”

The motherhood journey can be so hard.

Unfortunately there are things we do that exacerbate our suffering—things that we may not even be aware of because they are so ingrained (by our culture of consumption that wants us in a state of dissatisfied restlessness).

I invite you to look at this list honestly and let it build your self-awareness.

#1 Stop Putting Yourself Last

We live in a culture that encourages you to put everyone’s needs before your own. But frankly, that’s some leftover patriarchal b.s. that leaves moms under-resourced and overwhelmed. When you’re not taking care of your own needs for sleep, exercise, social-emotional needs, and more—you’re not doing your family any favors because you won’t be able to parent as compassionately and effectively as when your needs are met. Martyrdom doesn’t help us become better parents and it models lack of self-worth for our children too.

Creating boundaries around your needs models self-esteem and will give you the resources to respond more effectively and compassionately to your child(ren).

#2 Stop Filling Every Minute With To-Dos

Parenting is scary because we’re often worried, “Am I doing it right? Am I messing up my child?” That anxiety sometimes becomes the fuel for doing constantly. We tackle the to-do list with a fervor as if a.) it will get done finally, and b.) it will confer “good mom” points in the parenthood rat race.

When we’re constantly doing, we never have time to become aware of our anxiety. It’s a way of pushing away uncomfortable feelings. The problem is that it doesn’t help us process or understand the feelings, so they just keep coming back.

Plus, when we’re constantly doing, we can’t be fully present for our kids. They register our anxiety and pick it up as their own.

You are allowed to have ease. When you do, it fuels your ability to parent mindfully and be present for your family.

#3 Stop Faking Your Feelings

When we are feeling uncomfortable feelings like worry, sadness, loneliness, etc., many of us push those feelings away with distractions like the to-do list (above) or the phone. We feel bad for feeling bad, and try to show our children a positive face. Or we feel guilty about feeling irritable and frustrated, so we “fake” our calm.

Let me say this: You are allowed to have your feelings. They won’t go away by pretending that they’re not there, and your kids have great b.s. meters and know when you’re not being real.

What to do? Rather than pushing them down, practice to mindfully move through your difficult feelings. Bravely feel them, and offer yourself nurturing self-compassion. As that becomes a practice, it leads to a sense of freedom on the other side.

#4 Stop Neglecting Your Friendships

Motherhood becomes so all-consuming that we put ourselves and our needs last (see #1). This is where we don’t have those conversations with our parenting partners or family to get time away for ourselves and we neglect our friendships. This can compound over time leaving many moms lonely as their children become teens.

You deserve to have time with your friends. In fact, Aaron Huey, Family Crisis Coach Certification Trainer, names “time with adult friends” as one of the best ways we can keep our own kids from struggling as teens. Why? Because we need spaces to talk outside of our families. It’s healthy.

#5 Stop Leaving Yourself Ungrounded

How do you get up in the morning? Are you going the moment your feet hit the ground? Do you grab your phone right away? These habits can make us feel ungrounded and reach for unhealthy coping strategies. It’s incredibly hard to be a parent. We need habits and strategies to ground ourselves—to nurture our own peace, calm, and steadiness—to ride this parenting rollercoaster. You aren’t less than if you need some tools, you’re human.

To ground yourself, think: what helps me feel peaceful and calm? How can I remind myself of my greater intentions and the bigger picture daily? How can I counteract our natural human negativity bias and anxiety?

In the mindfulness world, we have all manner of meditations, practices, breathing styles, and mantras to help us become grounded. These things can literally reshape our brains to build the area responsible for impulse control (prefrontal cortex) and shrink the area associated with anxiety (amygdala).


It’s Your Turn

You deserve to enjoy motherhood more than you may be right now. As you create more peace and ease in yourself, you become a more effective, more compassionate parent too. Your needs really matter.

If you’d like to stop just surviving and start thriving in motherhood, I have one of my most powerful resources for you:
Mindful Mama Transformation Coaching group. With coaching, you are getting much more than an online course. With just 6 women, group coaching means tons of personal attention to your life and issues. The group coaching means you join a sisterhood of other mamas supporting you. It's transformative.

Click this link to learn more:
Mindful Mama Transformation Coaching group.