Staying home with little ones can be emotionally exhausting. What’s standing in the way of you and happiness? There are simple strategies that you can start putting into place tomorrow to help increase your happiness. Below you’ll find 7 barriers to happiness that many stay home parents may experience – along with a “Start it Tomorrow” solution to each and every one.
Please note, I am not talking about postpartum depression or anxiety; I’m talking about simple strategies to maximize your happiness as a stay at home parent. If you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue, please seek the help of a qualified professional!
1. You aren’t putting yourself first: You know that thing on airplane when you have to put on your own mask first? Yup. It’s hard to love on those babies when you aren’t living on yourself! Make sure you are getting what you need! Start it Tomorrow: Call an old friend to catch up.
2. You aren’t living a healthy lifestyle it’s easy to fall into a cycle of poor eating, goldfish grabbing, naptime binging, post-bedtime food rewarding. Sound familiar? Stock your home with healthy, easy to prepare food, and choose some special snacks just for mommy. Be sure to get outside often. Start it Tomorrow: Sit down and eat breakfast with the kids, and be sure to get outside for at least 30 minutes.
3. You need to get out more: Listen up, Mama. You need to get out. Even if you don’t know anyone. Even if you live far away. Even if you’re broke. Even if it’s hard. What’s your thing? Babywearing? Hiking? Mall walking? Find a group and get involved! Visit a new park.Start it Tomorrow: Google the closest playground you haven’t been to and make a trip!
4. It’s been too long since you tried something new: Getting out and trying something new is a key to personal growth. Whether you sign up for a language or arts clas, a new sport, or try a new kind of food, you’re bound to find yourself laughing as you try something new! Start it Tomorrow: Visit a website about something you’ve been interested in trying for a long time.
5. You aren’t living in the moment: Time and time again, research has shown that individuals who live in the present are the happiest. Don’t spend your days lamenting how things went yesterday or worrying about how they’ll go tomorrow. To truly engage and enjoy the day, one must focus on the present and be in the moment – especially true when we are with children. Start it Tomorrow: Every time you find yourself worrying about the past or future, gently accept it and pull yourself back into the moment. Simply be aware of keeping your mind present.
6. You haven’t set firm rules: This is a tough one because it means being stern, but kids crave to know their limits and boundaries. Set house rules and expectations and both you and your kids will be happier. Start it Tomorrow: Select one part of the day that needs work, such as nap time, bedtime, or visiting a store, and set what the rules and expectations will be.
7. You’re comparing yourself to others: From social media accounts to running errands, the opportunities to compare ourselves to others are endless. You may even be comparing yourself to some vision in your mind of how you think it’s supposed to be (where is that perfect bedtime routine we see in movies?). The moment your stop, the moment you’ll realize how important it is to live life for yourself – not for anyone else. Start it Tomorrow: If you find yourself comparing your life to someone else’s, make a mental note of something you’re grateful for in your own life.
What can you do differently to make tomorrow a happy day?
PS: For more tips on how to think positively during the day, check out these 14 Steps Toward Positive Thinking!