Most mothers often feel harassed, whether they go to the office, work from home, or are full-time homemakers. “Mommying” is hard work, and you never really get time off, so how can you infuse your life with joy despite the stresses of life and parenting?
1. Get enough sleep. If you are sleep-deprived, there’s no happiness hack on earth that will be effective, so if you have to make just one change to your lifestyle, ensure you’re getting enough sleep every night. Whatever help you need to make this happen, work at it. There’s no point head-bobbing your way through every day, or struggling to keep your eyes open while spending time with your children. That’s not really living life.
2. Plan a date with your child. When I read that Angelina Jolie scheduled an hour for each of her children every week, I assumed it was because she had many children. While that may be true, scheduling dates with one’s children have other benefits. Much of the time we spend with our children– bathing, feeding, doing homework, making hair, etc- feels like “work” to us especially when we’re already exhausted by life’s demands. A date, on the other hand, makes the time we share special. Whether we’re watching a movie, making sandwiches to enjoy together, or playing games, the focus is on having fun and bonding, and that’s great for you and the children. It also gives both of you something to look forward to, and the anticipation is a pleasure on its own.
3. Commit to spreading kindness. When you’re already feeling overwhelmed, taking out time to do something for someone else may seem counterintuitive but it’s not; it’s actually rejuvenating. Just one random act of kindness a day can increase your joy tremendously, immediately and over time. You may want to begin your charity at home by doing something for a family member that they will appreciate, and then extend that kindness to those outside the home. Trust me, there’s so much hardship, pain and sadness in this world that what may seem small to you might make someone’s day, week or year- or even save their life.
4. Let go of pressure. When you do, you will experience the life equivalent of taking off your bra after a long day. Let go of the pressure to cook every meal your family eats, attend every school event, doll up for your man every day, or make being a wife and mother look effortless. It’s okay to hire a cook or order food sometimes. Skipping one school event does not automatically make you a bad mother. Some days your hair will be in cornrows you can throw a wig over when you’re stepping out. And it’s okay to admit that being a mum is not easy. Cut yourself some slack. You’re not superwoman and at the end of the day, there really is nothing to prove. Free yourself, sister.
5. Embrace simple joys. Waking up to a delicious smoothie with your favourite fruits in it. Taking a walk in the morning sun that allows you to pray, enjoy music, or listen to an audio book. Reading your favourite magazine. Catching up with a loved one on the phone. Consciously look out for life’s simple joys, incorporate them into your day, and savour them.
How do you feed and preserve your joy as a mother? Do leave a comment.