10 Things Moms Can Do Everyday to Have More Joy

10 Things Moms Can Do Everyday to Have More Joy

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

10 Things Moms Can Do Everyday to Have More Joy

Being a mom can seem like endless drudgery of doing the same tasks over and over and over. After mopping and vacuuming, five minutes later a child leaves crumbly cracker trails in her wake. After hours on laundry–gathering, washing, folding–the dirty clothes seem to pile again immediately.

But as you know, being a mom also brings moments where your heart feels like it’s going to burst from joy and happiness. Moments where you are overwhelmed with love and gratitude for your children and you life.

Unfortunately, those moments may not be a frequent as we want them to be. But making simple changes can increase our daily happiness and overcome feelings of drudgery and overwhelm.

Here are 10 practical strategies that be practiced daily to increase those sublime moments of happiness–and generally just make us happier.

10 Things Moms Can Do For More Daily Joy

10 Steps for More Daily Joy

1) Wake-up before your kids & do something for yourself.

You can't pour from an empty cup.

Whether you exercise, read, meditate, pray, or write your to-do list, take time for yourself first thing. Filling your own cup first thing in the morning enables you to lift up and help those around 

you. This book completely changed my mornings and drastically improved my life. 

To make the most of your mornings, check out Makeover Your Morning and Be the Mom You Want to Be. If you, like myself, are NOT a morning person and need extra help to wake up in the  mornings, here are some awesome tips to help get you our of bed in the morning.

2) Make your bed every day.

It takes just a minute or two and making something look neat and organized right off the bat is a great way to start the day. I used to think it was a pointless exercise, but I’ve changed my tune. Making my bed starts my day with a sense of accomplishment and organization and it makes my bedroom more peaceful. Slipping into a made bed at the end of the day simply feels better.

3) Exercise.

Just 20-30 minutes of exercise a day–a quick run, a dance party, or an exercise circuit–has amazing effects on mood, health, sleep quality, and energy level! If you are looking for a quick workout solution, I personally LOVE The Shaun T workout video series T25. It’s really helped me get in shape after having babies when my days are jam packed. There are seven really amazing 25 minute workouts. For ideas on ways to fit a workout into your day, check out 6 Ways For Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout or follow my Pinterest Board (below) full of quick exercises for moms! 

4) Use your phone at the right time for the right things.

Have you ever gotten on your phone and suddenly your kids start throwing epic fits. So you get frustrated and then everyone’s upset. Why does that happen? When we are on our phones, we are no longer engaged with the world outside of out phone, even if we acknowledge its existence. So you’re disengaged from your kids. What do they do? They act out. Why? Because that’s how they know they can get you off your phone.

Your smartphone can help your life be more efficient. There are so many fantastic apps and features that can boost your productivity and help you stay organized. But it can also be a complete waste of time and energy. And it can be a distraction from the things that matter most.

5) Hug your husband for at least 20 seconds a day.

After a busy, often hectic day away from one another, it’s easy to feel disconnected at the end of the day. Try a 20 second hug. It is relationship-building and a mood booster! It releases oxytocin which creates feelings of trust and it also helps to relax your body. It may feel awkward at first, but embrace the awkward and reap the rewards.

6) Snuggle each child individually giving them 100% focus.

No matter how chaotic your day is, give at least a few minutes of snuggles and undivided attention to each child. LIke hugs, snuggling is going to build your relationship with your child and make everyone happier.

It’s amazing the peace it’ll bring to your home. Your kids will have fewer meltdowns and you will all be much happier. When I snuggle my children, I can literally feel the tension leaving their bodies. I love it!

7) Choose your battles wisely.

With your spouse and your children, make sure you choose the right things to focus on. Whether battling over mismatched clothes, messy hair, toilet training, or a picky child, make sure you’re picking the right ones and letting the rest go.

Personally, I let my girls dress themselves. Sure, they are often clad in a mismatched array of patterns and colors. But they are happy and developing a sense of self and I don’t have to worry about it.

And I usually only make a stink about brushing hair on Sundays before church. We brush our hair for Jesus. On school days, they rush into their classrooms with spectacular bed head–passed the girls with their perfectly coiffed braid and bows. If they don’t care, neither do I (though I suspect that will change in a few years).

8) Schedule downtime at the end of the day.

Stress is often a culprit in our bad moods and unhappiness. After the kids are down, treat yourself to a relaxing routine. Take a bath, read a book–do something relaxing and rejuvenating that will prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

9) End your day reciting your “Top 10 of Today”

With your spouse or by yourself, go over the 10 best parts of your day. Can’t make it to 10? Shoot, even the top 1 or two will still be a mood booster. Focusing on the positives brings sunshine to even the cloudiest of days. More on my top 10 habit here.

10) Make your sleep a top priority.

This is much more important than a clean house. Your sleep is directly related to your mood, your energy, your health, and how you interact with others. SLeep deprivation can literally kill you. Check out this fantastic video done by a sleep expert. Mom getting enough sleep = happy home.

Need help? Here are 10 amazing strategies that can help you get dramatically better sleep tonight.

Am I missing anything?

What daily practice helps you be happier? Answer in the comments or email me at erin@theincrementalamam.com.

xo

Erin

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Happy Mama Hack: Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary

Happy Mama Hack: Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Messy homes are natural byproducts of having children.

When I became a mother, I realized why my parents had brown carpet growing up. Small kids are whizzes at creating spectacular messes in miraculously short times. While I was vacumming the other day, my child had snuck some chips from the pantry and was silently trailing me so when I was finished, I looked upon my work and the carpet was actually dirtier than when I had begun. While messy homes are normal for homes with small kids, it’s very hard for some moms to find peace while in the midst of dirty dishes and messes to clean. So how can a mom get some true peace and relaxation without staying up all night cleaning? One fantastic way to find peace and relaxation at the end of the day (or in the middle!) is to make your bedroom a sanctuary, free from clutter, toys and the like.

You don’t have to light incense and meditate (though this are actually awesome things) to create a room where you can relax, clear your mind, and unwind at the end of a long busy day. Just taking some simple steps can transform your bedroom (or another room in the house) into a place of refuge from stress and an oasis of peace in your home.

Create apeaceful bedroom for moms

I Can’t Relax in Clutter

I am most definitely someone who cannot sit down to relax until my house is clean. Four small kids, a job, and a husband who doesn’t have the same needs for cleanliness make keeping my house clean and trying to relax at the end of the day incredibly difficult. Despite running around all day picking up and helping kids to pick up after themselves, I rarely had the house up to my standard by bedtime. Instead, I would look around after the kids went to bed, my eyes heavy with sleep, and my house would be a complete disaster. Often I would stay up for hours cleaning then stagger into bed at 1 or 2am only to have the messes begin again a few hours later.

However, a while ago I decided to make my sleep a top priority for overall health. Because my mind goes about a million miles an hour at all times, I tend to have a hard time falling asleep at night. After reading a lot about improving sleep, I decided that I needed to make my bedroom a place where it is easier for me to relax. I instituted several rules for my bedroom and it absolutely changed my mood at the end of the day. Not only is it easy to relax and unwind in my peaceful room, but my sleep is exponentially better. Even if other parts of my house are messy.

Making My Bedroom a Sanctuary

Turning my bedroom into a sanctuary was actually quite simple, yet yielded incredible results. After changing a few things in my bedroom, the end product was an oasis from the chaos and mess of my everyday. Not everyone likes the same things, so everyone’s idea of creating a sanctuary will be a little different.

But here’s what I did:

1) I banned toys from my bedroom

This was a major source of annoyance for me. My girls love to play in our bedroom, but stepping on small toys while getting ready for be of while getting up at night to pee does not inspire positive emotions. I basically told my girls that if toys end up in my room, they were going to disappear forever. They didn’t believe me and proceeded to leave a bunch of toys in my room the next day so I gathered them all up. Instead of throwing them away, I made them do chores to earn them back. They started to get the picture. With constant enforcing (and a few disappearing toys), I rarely find toys in my bedroom now.

2) I moved my alarm clock across the room

This had served multiple purposes. Firstly, the lights and the electronic buzz coming from my alarm clock made it hard to fall asleep. It did not promote relaxation while I was in bed. Also, if I was tossing and turning, having the time staring at me in big red letters wasn’t exactly helpful in relaxing me. As an added bonus, having my alarm clock across the room helps me avoid the snooze button so I an achieve my morning goals easier.

3) I avoid any clutter like the plague

Clutter makes me cranky. While I can’t keep on top of my entire house no matter how I try (and get enough sleep) I can keep on top of my bedroom clutter. Discarded clothes, shoes, and other items can usually all be put away in a few minutes if you are doing it regularly.

4) I make my bed every day

I admit that I used to find making my bed entirely pointless. But I have totally changed my tune. I make my bed first thing every morning and I get a rush of happiness when I’m done. Then, every time I see it during the day, I get small little jolts of happiness. And sliding into a crisply make bed at the end of the day feels so luxurious. Making my bed brings me joy and peace throughout me day. And it really makes my bedroom feel like an oasis.

5) I put in a reading chair

Reading is one of my favorite things. I’ll do it in the bath and in my special reading chair. This chair from Ikea is amazing and I am completely in love with it. My husband thinks it’s hideous, but it makes me so happy. I was surprised how comfortable it is and it’s made the perfect reading chair in the corner of my room. Creating a space where I can relax and read has been such a delight. Instead of just taking away annoyances in my bedroom, it actually adds something that brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment.

Create Your Own Sanctuary

Everyone’s idea of a relaxing sanctuary is going to be different. Mine is perfect for me. Maybe your bedroom isn’t even the ideal place–maybe you have another room in mind. Regardless of your situation, creating a space where you can relax and find peace daily will significantly increase your happiness.

What is your perfect bedroom sanctuary? Let me know in the comments!

-Erin

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Create apeaceful bedroom for momsCreate apeaceful bedroom for momsCreate apeaceful bedroom for moms

Happy Mama Hack: Daily Top 10 List

Happy Mama Hack: Daily Top 10 List

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Happy Mama Hack: Daily “Top 10” List

As moms, we all have bad days. Days when a trip to the store ends up with epic meltdowns, rude strangers, and everyone in tears (including mom) in the parking lot. Or when a child’s scientific toilet experiment ends with a very costly plumber’s visit. Or when mom runs ragged all day long accomplishing things left and right, but at the end of the day there are mounds of laundry, a filthy house, and cranky kids. Strangers we encounter lovingly tell us to “enjoy every second,” but we wonder sometimes how exactly we are supposed to do that amidst the chaos and the messes. While I am convinced not all moments are meant to be joyful (I’m talking to you potty training), I am convinced that every day can end with a little bit of joy. One simple way to find daily joy is through a nightly top 10 list.

Top 10 List for Daily Joy

The Birth of the “Top 10” List

Each night, my husband and I would crawl into bed completely worn out from our respective days, minds reeling with the events of the day and the stresses of tomorrow looming. We tended to go over the events of the day anyway, often focusing on the challenges of both parenthood and our careers. Remembering a gratitude journal I kept in high school, one night early into our parenting days, I proposed that we instead list the top 10 things that happened that day. In order to keep our conversations upbeat, we would take turns sharing 10 of the best moments or successes of our day. What happened was amazing! Instead of focusing on and sharing the difficulties, we shared the successes, the silver linings, and the tender moments.

 

choose to see the good

What Goes on the Top 10 List?

Whatever you want! The whole purpose of this exercise is to see the good things all around you. It could be:

  • a particularly sweet snuggle you got from a child
  • getting to school/appointments on time
  • that the weather was pleasant
  • your children didn’t break anything
  • you were able to finally get to some laundry
  • that your child is improving at a skill
  • you got to have an adult conversation
  • your children shared toys
  • you didn’t have a major emergency

 

When days are particularly tough and moods particularly crabby, it can be as tough to get through the 10. But that’s when we need them most! Once you start the practice, you’ll start to see all the WONDERFUL and sweet things that happen everyday. The top 10 list will help turn crabby moods around, fill you with gratitude, and send you peacefully to sleep.

Let Me Know How it Goes!

So tonight, as you crawl into bed, go over the top 10 moments or miracles of your day. Let me know how it goes in the comments or contact me at the incrementalmama at gmail dot com.

–Erin

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