It’s not just a cliché, but when “momma’s happy, the whole family is happy.” Unfortunately not all moms are happy. In a poll conducted by “The Today Show” approximately 57% of mothers said that they were “happy with their life,” while approximately 43% said “No, I’m not really loving life at this moment.” Now there are those moms that may have just been having “one of those days,” but with almost half of the mothers who responded are not happy with their life that means there are a whole lot of families out there that are unhappy, too. So why aren’t some moms happy? Asking moms I know in real life and online why they are unhappy I found recurring themes, however I also found no one saying the one thing that I think is the number 1 reason why some moms are happy.
(Please note, not all moms are unhappy).
“I can’t give 100%, there is just not enough of me to go around.”
It is sad but true. Mothers today are expected to do so much more than ever before. Some work outside the home; others work at home and then on top of that there are all the other demands on their time and their person. Mothers today are expected to do more, go farther and be better than ever before.
“I’m a stay-at-home mom and wouldn’t give that up. But in today’s culture, it’s so isolating!”
Stay-at-home moms can feel alone and isolated. I know when I first moved to a new city I had no family and no friends. At times I didn’t even want to leave the house. I knew the move was what was best for our family and that it’s a gift to be able to spend some time home with the children but after years of pursuing a career and having a close network of friend and family to rely on, the isolation can keep you from being as happy and satisfied as you could be. Men (and women) are social creatures, and do need more than just home and hearth to keep them happy. It is no wonder that playgroups, play dates and mommy cards have become so popular.
“I am doing things I don’t want to do and I don’t even know why I am doing them.”
No one is a harsher judge of a mother than another mother. From day one the “mom-petition” starts slow with “Johnny walked at 9 months” verses “Sara walked at 12 months” to mother’s even questioning their own abilities. Many moms simply involve their children in activities that they (moms or children) have no desire to be in simply because other mother’s offer them advice such as, “Oh you have to take Sam to this piano class. Studies show musicians perform better in math.” Maybe you or your child doesn’t have any interest in piano lessons, and if so neither one of you is going to be very happy about them.
“I just never have any time alone! I love my children but can’t I at least take a shower by myself?”
I know I struggle with this one and it’s not just the shower. I went from having plenty of time alone to having a houseful of people and animals over the course of three years. But moms need to make time to be alone. It provides us with time to think, read, dream or pursue our own interests (or to perform basic grooming). Locking the door to go to the bathroom doesn’t mean you don’t love your family. It just means you need a few minutes alone. Consider getting up a little early or staying up a little bit late. I know it is easier said than done.
“I feel like I have lost myself, I want the ‘old me’ back”
Caught up in the whirlwind of being the perfect wife, mother, friend and coworker sometimes it seems like “Susan” is lost and all that is left is “Addison’s mommy,” “Dennis’ wife” and the professional school counselor. Moms need to remember that there is more to them and their life than what they do.
The number one reason that moms are unhappy? JUDGMENTS! And judgments lead to criticism. No matter what a mom does there is always someone telling her how to do it better, or worse yet questioning those decisions. It’s not just friends and family either. How many times do you visit your social media account thinking of taking a few minutes down time in a group or community to be judged for everything from homeschooling vs public school, public school vs private school, breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, as well as a myriad of other parenting decisions which we make every day? If maybe we moms could all just agree to disagree we might all be a whole lot happier.