Last Updated on September 12, 2021.
Are you unhappy as a mom? It’s not your fault. Moms these days are under so much pressure to be perfect and put their kids first, that they forget what it means to be happy. But there is hope! In this blog post we will show you 24 genius tips for unhappy moms on how they can reclaim the joy of motherhood and live a more fulfilling life with their family by following these simple strategies.
Why do moms end up unhappy?
Many moms are unhappy because they have unrealistic expectations of themselves, which are driven by the insanely high expectations that our society has for modern mothers. They constantly think that if only they could do more, their kids would be happier and better off. This constant competition between other moms has them always worried about what the neighbor is doing or how she’s raising her kid(s). It can feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with it all.
The expectations for moms to turn into super humans has only grown over time. Modern moms are expected to raise kids who thrive, maintain a career, keep their house immaculate, and compete with Pinterest-worthy kid products like cute home-packed lunches and handmade halloween costumes.
Lack of a parenting village
The phrase ‘it takes a village’ comes from African proverb that is used to describe how a child’s upbringing can’t be done by one person, but rather relies on the generosity and support of the entire community. For those ancient tribes, kids were literally raised by the entire village.
Unfortunately, our modern day society lacks this child-rearing village. Instead, we expect moms to pop out a baby and thrive as a parent from day one. Often times their family members live states away, and they are left alone to figure things out. Moms often feel isolated, unhappy, and exhausted because they may not have the support system that is necessary for them to thrive as a parent.
Loss of identity
This supermom culture makes it easy for moms to get lost in motherhood. They spend all their time caring for the kids and lose sight of who they are as a person. They often feel unhappy because they lack an identity outside of just being a mom, which can be incredibly isolating and depressing.
No time to recharge
Since unhappy moms spend so much time caring for others, they forget to take care of themselves. They don’t have the energy or desire to do anything fun after a long day with kids and instead just collapse on the couch when they get home from work.
It’s imperative to fill your own cup so you are fully capable of caring for others, but that’s so difficult when the expectations are unrealistically high, you don’t have the support you need from a parenting village, and you’re not even sure what sort of things you like anymore because you’ve lost sight of your own identity.
How to Reclaim Your Happiness
It’s time to reclaim your happiness as a mom! Take it one step at a time and start building these habits. You’ll find yourself feeling so much happier and more fulfilled on a daily basis, which will rub off onto your family.
Strictly limit your own screen time
Your phone is the enemy. Studies have shown that too much screen time is not good for our health. It can cause depression, anxiety, and even obesity! What’s worse, it’s designed to suck you in and make yo lose track of time. This increases your risk for mental health issues, and it means less time for productive activities. Limit your own phone use to make sure you are taking care of yourself first.
You will never function well if you aren’t getting enough sleep. Not only does it make you grumpy and unhappy, but your kids pick up on that energy and get cranky too! We all need around seven to nine hours of rest per night in order to feel our best, so start going to bed earlier or sleeping more during the day to make sure you are getting enough rest.
Build your parenting village
You can’t do it all, and you certainly don’t want to. Surround yourself with like-minded people who understand how draining motherhood can be, but also know that those feelings of exhaustion or unhappiness are normal for this stage in your life too. Identify the types of friends and family members (or even online communities) that make you feel happy and supported, and make sure to spend more time with them!
Get on a schedule
Easily the most important part of this process is to create a schedule for your day. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and enable you to take better care of yourself because it makes everything more manageable. You can even break up your tasks into smaller segments so that they seem easier as well!
Schedule me time
No one can go nonstop for their entire lives. You need to schedule in breaks so you don’t burn out, but also so that you have time to pursue your own interests and passions! Maybe it’s reading a book or watching your favorite show after the kids are asleep. Whatever makes you happy is what matters here, because unhappy moms rarely take care of themselves.
So put your “me time” on the family schedule. Make sure your partner, your neighbor, or someone from your parenting village knows that they’re responsible for the kids and you’ll be totally unavailable. You deserve this time.
Mother nature is the best medicine. Our minds and bodies function at their absolute peak when we spend time in the great outdoors, so take advantage of that! This can be as simple as going for a walk or run each morning before your kids wake up to give yourself some fresh air and sunshine.
If you don’t have a park near by, consider going on a nature walk in the woods with your kids. Even if it’s just for an hour, you’ll feel so much better afterward because getting outside is truly magical!
One of the biggest stressors of motherhood is clutter. Kids are messy, and they make a mess of everything. This makes it crucial to keep your home (and life) as minimalistic as possible.
Minimalism will benefit your kids, too! Kids with fewer toys tend to be less distracted and more focused, which can lead to better grades in school. So take some time during the day (or at least on weekends) to clean up all of your kids’ toys. Then go through their clothes and donate any items that they don’t wear anymore so you aren’t wasting money or space storing them! It’s a great opportunity to practice gratitude and generosity as well.
Start saying no
It’s okay to not be everyone’s #momboss. You don’t have to do everything that other people ask of you, especially if it doesn’t align with your goals or makes you unhappy! It takes courage to stand up for yourself and embrace saying no, but the more often you say it the easier it becomes.
Almost every unhappy mom has a problem saying “no!”.
You don’t have to make homemade valentines for every one of your child’s classmates. You don’t have to volunteer to be a soccer coach, even if they are short on volunteers. You have to prioritize you, and say no to things that you don’t have time for.
Put good food in
Don’t underestimate the importance of high quality whole foods. The food you put in your body matters.
Our brains and bodies function at their absolute peak when we eat nutrient-rich foods, and an unhappy mom usually don’t consider the importance of this. So start making meals that include greens or other vegetables with each meal. From there, add proteins like eggs or beans to your diet as well!
Practice positive affirmations
Did you know that unhappy moms tend to be more negative than positive? You might not even realize this about yourself, but it’s true. When we’re unhappy our minds automatically go towards the worst-case scenarios and what could go wrong instead of focusing on the positives.
This is why positive affirmations are so important! They can help you release some of this negativity and focus on the things you do have.
For example, if your unhappy mom mantra is “I am a bad mother,” start saying instead that you are an excellent parent who does their best to raise kind, respectful children. It might feel weird at first but after a while it will become automatic. Then work on replacing other unhappy thoughts with positive ones.
The more you do, the less time you have, the more stressed you are. So if unhappy moms are constantly doing things they don’t want to be doing (like errands or volunteer work), it’s important not to over-schedule yourself or your kids.
Start using a family calendar
Keep track of any activities your kids have coming up and you’ll feel a lot more organized. You’ll also can easily avoid conflicts when everything’s on the calendar!
You can use a paper calendar, planner, or a digital one! We love the COZI family calendar. It’s free and easy to use for the entire family.
Find a hobby
It’s important to find a hobby that feels fulfilling and makes you happy. There are so many unhappy moms out there who don’t have any hobbies because they feel like it takes time away from their children, but having at least one activity you enjoy will make your life way happier!
Practice self love
Start treating yourself like you would treat your best friend. When unhappy moms are unhappy, they tend to be even harder on themselves than anyone else is!
So start practicing self love by using self-love affirmations and finding time for some meditation or yoga each day (or at least a few times per week). Start taking care of yourself and feeding yourself with nutritious foods that make you feel great.
Use a yelling-free parenting strategy
Yelling at your kids makes you feel like crap.
Luckily there’s an easy solution – try using a yelling-free parenting strategy that focuses on connection instead! We love Positive Parenting Solutions. You can read all about it here.
If you’re not sure, try the FREE 60-minute introductory webinar to see if the program is right for you.
Let go of the little things
It’s easy to let little things get to you. But if there are little things that don’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things, be like Elsa and let it go.
Unhappy moms tend to hold onto little things that don’t matter. If you’re unhappy, start letting go of the small stuff so it doesn’t weigh on your mind or heart!
Give your kids chores and responsibilities
Moms often forget that their kids want and need responsibilities. Let your kid be in charge of setting the table or cleaning up after dinner – it will make them feel good about themselves while also teaching important life skills!
Plus, it’s less on your plate.
Create your own sanctuary
You need a space that feels comfortable and relaxing. If you’re an unhappy mom, one of the first things you should do is create your own sanctuary – whether it’s a bedroom, den, the back porch, or even just a nook in the house.
Start by removing all clutter and decorating it with things that make you feel great. Add items to your space that are calming for you like pictures of loved ones or fun pillows to sit on while reading.
Practice lazy parenting
Lazy parenting prevents lazy kids. Moms tend to be people-pleasers, and when our kids ask us to do random little tasks, we jump! The next time your kids as you to get water, find their other shoe, or do something else totally unimportant, tell them you’re done helping and that they can figure it out themselves. You both will be better off for it.
Follow parenting experts you identify with
There are all kinds of parenting experts out there. Some unhappy moms follow and try to meet the expectations of parenting advice that doesn’t exactly fit them. Stop trying to force parenting strategies that just don’t work for your family.
Check out these 26 amazing parenting blogs, or find parent magazines that you love. You could also pick up a couple of parenting books to see if you can find authors that resinate with you.
You’ll be a lot more successful at being a happy mom if you’re following advice that resonates with your family instead of trying to make everyone else happy (including unhappy moms).
Get into your child ego state
Moms have tons of responsibilities, and it’s easy to forget to let it go and play once in a while! Find an activity that you truly enjoy and dive right in with your kids. If you love to paint, get a big canvas to paint together. If you love puzzles, or playing with kinetic sand, that’s cool too!
Start giving experience gifts instead of stuff
One of the biggest contributors to clutter are over-gifting during the holidays or birthdays. Avoid this trap by giving experiences instead of “stuff”. You’ll avoid the extra mess and create life long memories with your kids!
Start a gratitude journal
You’re unhappy and you want to change that. Start with gratitude – it will help shift your negative thoughts into positive action by making sure you focus on what’s going right.
This is a great way to connect with your kids as well! You can even start a gratitude jar together where everyone gets one slip of paper per day, or week, to write down something that they’re grateful for.
Setting goals is a great way to get things accomplished. If you’re unhappy, try setting goals for yourself and your family (if it’s appropriate) on a weekly basis to make sure everyone is getting what they want/need out of life!
The Bottom Line
There are tons of unhappy moms out there, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re unhappy, try following these 24 genius tips for a happier motherhood!