You’ve seen them, maybe you are one of them, a happy mom who is smiling and calm with her happy kids while shopping, in the park, at after school pick-up or at home. You wonder if it is fake or real.
It’s real. There are a few secrets when it comes to happy moms. There are things that happy moms do differently. Unleash these secrets in your daily life and you will be the calm mom with a smile on your face with happy kids.
7 Habits of Happy Moms and Happy Kids
1. They don’t compare themselves to other moms. Happy moms don’t keep tallies of what other moms are doing, quite frankly, they don’t care what other moms are doing! A happy mom chooses to clothe diaper or use disposables depending upon what works best for her situation and child. A happy mom bakes cookies for her child’s lunchbox because she knows it will bring a smile to her kid’s face, not because another mom will see it. She does something because it works for her family, not because she will get noticed or because her friend is doing it.
2. They let their kids stick out. Happy moms do things with or for their kids because their child is interested, not because a friend is doing it. They even let their kids stick out and be different then everyone else. They see the value in individuality. They know that their kids have different needs then the kids down the street. A happy mom doesn’t frantically run all over town getting the same type of shoes that are in style just to make sure their kid isn’t left out, she know her child is valued for who they are not what they are doing or wearing. Happy moms and happy kids know that happiness comes from within and they understand that it is our differences that makes the world a more interesting place.
3. They give their kids room to grow. A happy mom knows that we all learn things at different paces. Some kids are better organizers, other kids are more creative, we all have our strengths. A happy mom doesn’t look down on her child for having a “weakness”, she knows in time her child will grow and it could be a strength. She also doesn’t rush her kids to grow up into the “next stage.” The best book about this concept is The Hurried Child by David Elkind, Ph.D
4. They provide their kids with ways to build skills. A happy mom doesn’t do everything for her child, but rather gives their child opportunities to build their own skills. She knows that confidence comes from little “rites of passage”, moments where the parent trust the child to learn it on their own (after observing and practicing with the child many times). A happy mom invites her kids to pick up toys from an early age and when it is appropriate lets the child know they are big enough to do it on their own. Same with tying shoes, taking out the garbage, setting the table, working in the kitchen, riding their bike down the street. They are all little “rites of passage” that help build skills and internal confidence.
5. They take time for the little things. There is a saying by Catherine Wallace, “Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” Happy moms know that these little things are huge for kids and thus don’t brush off the little conversations that kids bring up.
6. They don’t let the kids run the show. A happy mom doesn’t drop or change everything for the child. If their child gets upset that they can’t have the blue sippy cup, a happy mom simply says, “Thanks for telling me you like blue. Let’s remember to use that one next time.” She doesn’t immediately switch the cup for fear that her child will get upset. If the child is older and wants to go to the park, but it doesn’t work for the family or schedule that particular day, she will acknowledge the child’s feelings, but state why it isn’t a good time and then make plans for when it will be a good time to go to the park. The child learns that life is about working together, not getting what they want all the time and this makes for both a happy mom and a happy child who grows into an understanding, happy adult!
7. They let their kids get hurt. A happy mom knows that life is full of ups and downs, bumps and bruises and that we often grow the most from the hardest experiences. She doesn’t try to fix everything or create a false reality that shelters her child from ever feeling sad or hurt or upset. When (not if) her child gets hurt, a happy mom doesn’t make it into a big deal. She knows it is part of life and teaches the child how to work through the feelings.
Happy moms and happy kids are not a random coincidence. It is a result of a parent who is willing to always grow, to learn and to evaluate their own parenting, verses evaluating their own child (or other people). Happiness comes from within.
There is not path to happiness. Happiness is the path. – Gautama Budda