We have all heard that motherhood can feel like a rollercoaster ride. There are highs and lows along the way. While that is a true statement, there are also many days when things feel mundane and repetitive. The ride can feel less like a rollercoaster and more like a slow-moving monorail. Whether you feel like your life is a rollercoaster or a monorail, every mom wants to be happy and a positive influence on their children. Is there a secret to being a happy mother? While no one can be happy in every moment, here are some tips to keep smiling and feel contentment during the highs, lows and mundane days of motherhood.

Take care of yourself

When flight attendants review safety information before a flight, they remind passengers to put on their own masks before assisting others. As moms, we often put others’ needs before our own. The same idea can be applied to motherhood. While moms can’t always put themselves first, it is still important to make sure your basic needs are met. “I’ve made self-care a priority.” says mom, Bekah Bayer. “I go to bed early enough that I can wake up before the boys do. This gives me time to drink my coffee and start my day off in a peaceful way.” Get adequate rest, eat regular healthy meals, exercise regularly and take care of your mental health. Assuring these basic needs are met will help you feel healthier and happier so that you can take care of your loved ones.

Schedule time for you

“I like to get up before the kids for quiet time alone with my coffee,” says Liz DeArmond. “I also make sure to give myself time for running, reading or sewing, all my favorite things, at some point during the day. I feel it’s important to model this for my kids.“ Allowing your own hobbies and interests to develop and allowing yourself time for them can boost your mood and help you feel happier overall. “I love having time away scheduled, so I have something to look forward to during the hard times,” says Kara Thomas. “My rotations include lunch with friends, pedicures and book clubs.” Give yourself permission to do the things you enjoy both with and without your children.   

Enjoy your kids

One secret of happy moms is they enjoy their children. “Allow yourself to relax and have fun with your kids,” says mom of three Heather Lewis. “Include your kids in the things that make you happy.” Choose an activity that brings you joy, such as gardening, cooking, reading, sports or travel and show the kids why you find it fun. “Ask them to help you and then let them do it their way. It will build their confidence and give you a break from feeling like you have to do it all.” Try not to compare yourself or your kids to other families and enjoy your own circumstances.  

Let it go

Try to pinpoint what is bringing your mood down. If it is a messy house, have the family pitch in and help you clean it up. Don’t expect it to be perfect, and try to appreciate that everyone is pitching in. If getting them to help is a battle, leave the house for the day and do something fun. The mess may be waiting when you get home, but your mood may be lighter, and it will seem easier to tackle after you’ve had a break. Try to remember that your relationship with your kids is more important in the long term. You may find your mood is improved just by taking time to play, laugh and be silly with your kids. 

It is an unrealistic expectation to be happy every moment of every day, but you can have a general feeling of contentment with your life as a mom. If you are having feelings that seem out of control or hopeless, please seek professional help. Not all sadness can be simply brushed away, but for many moms, simply slowing down to appreciate how great their children are while also taking time to take care of their own mental and physical health can make all the difference in staying happy and healthy.

Quick Ways to Boost Your Mood

After taking care of your family’s needs, working and doing household chores, moms can feel like their gas tank is running on empty, which can drain your energy and your mood. Here are some quick ways to boost your mood.

  • Sing along - Turn up your favorite song and sing along. Dancing and singing are sure to boost your mood.

  • Laugh it off - Call a friend who always makes you laugh. Turn on a funny TV show or podcast. Laughter is the best medicine.

  • Take a bath - A relaxing soak in the tub is always a good mood booster and can help tense muscles relax, helping you feel physically better as well.

  • Take a walk - Physical exercise and a break from your house and chores is a great way to change your mood.

  • Let it go - Do you have piles of dishes and laundry to do? Is it overwhelming? Let it go. You can’t leave it forever, but you can for now. Find something fun to do instead, just for the day. You might find after a break away, you come back to it with a better attitude.

  • Take a nap - There is nothing better than a nap to help you recharge your batteries. It can help you feel recharged and ready for the rest of the day.