I’ve been reading a lot about happiness lately; seems it is
the new ‘hot topic’. A few weeks ago I
picked up a local parenting magazine and read an article about mothers and
happiness. Seems many of us are not.
The statistics were scary: According to this article, if a recent survey
done of mothers is an accurate measure of all 82 million moms in the U.S.,
nearly half of us are unhappy. Furthermore, nearly ¼ of all women are clinically
The statistics don’t surprise me, though I do find them scary. Mothers have a lot on their shoulders. We take care of our
family, we take care of our homes, we take care of our jobs if we work outside
of raising our family, we take care of a ton of little things like getting the
oil changed and dropping the dry cleaning off and by the end of the day we have
no time to take care of the one thing that we should always be focused on
taking care of: ourselves.
Really, how great can we be to our family, to our jobs and
to all of the little things if we don’t take time for ourselves? Yet I could guarantee that in most of your
homes, everything and everyone else is being catered to by you and you are
taking care of your own needs last. If you aren’t stopping
to take care of yourself, it is time to make a change.
Today Oprah ran a show about this topic, and she included a
short quiz to help people determine just how happy they are. For those falling
in the middle (not as happy as can be and not extremely displeased) Dr. Holden,
author of Happiness Now and founder of the Happiness Project in England, offers
this advice: Live in the now. Oftentimes, we look backwards and are angry about
our past or we wish for things that we don’t have. In order to be happy, Holden
feels we have to live in the moment.
I wonder if that would make more mothers happy? Rather than
worry about how we’re going to get laundry done or the house cleaned, maybe we
should spend the evening playing on the floor with our kids. So what if the
basket of clothes doesn’t get folded? Does it really matter? (I can tell you
that no, it does not, because I haven’t gotten a basket of clothes folded
immediately following the dryer in at least 9 months now!)
If we look at our children today and see who they are, and
talk to them and play with them and tell them how much we love them, perhaps
that will make us happier than if we come home at night and keep the momentum
going as we rush through making dinner, giving baths, vacuuming the house, and
doing the bedtime routines.
What if, just for one night, we eat take out, leave the dishes for later and
really talk to our family?