There's been a lot of talk about how parents can't possibly be happy. While the odds do seem stacked against the modern mom (crap maternity leave, financial crisis, expensive child care, high autism rates), the fact is if you're a happy mom, you know all of the above can be forgotten about in the flash of a toddler smile.
Without sounding like an unrealistic Pollyanna, it's true spending time with her kids can fill a mom's heart with a joy that was previously unknown before she had children. And one rough day can also reduce a mom to exhausted tears. Such is the life of a mom -- bouncing back and forth between total chaos and total bliss.
A new book by pediatrician Meg Meeker tells us that there are things we can do to be happy moms. In fact, she's got 10 suggestions. From her book 10 Habits of Happy Mothers, here are five ways to keep looking on the bright side:
-Understand your value as a mother.
-Maintain friendships with women.
-Make time for solitude.
-Stop competing with other moms.
-Find ways to live simply.
What I'm taking from these suggestions is it's imperative to maintain the balance. That elusive, sometimes impossible, work/life balance. Also, when you're maintaining your mom friendships, keep your judgment to yourself and stop keeping tabs on whether they co-sleep or not.
When my life is in balance, I'm the happiest of moms. But it's easy to get off track and start to feel like the craziest mom on the block. While I would call myself a happy mom, I know there are moments when I've been so overwhelmed that "happy" wouldn't be the best word to describe my mood. So maybe that's the balance. Shoot for happiness as often as possible, but understand some days you just can't win. On those days, it's best to follow tip number two and try to get some validation from your friends regarding tip number one.
Are you a happy mom?