When Mom Ain’t Happy

When Mom Ain’t Happy
Make sure you consume wholesome, unprocessed foods. (Just Life/Shutterstock)
Barbara Danza
You know it’s true: “If Mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
So, Mom, why ain’t you happy? The answer may be simpler than you think. 
The next time you find yourself overwhelmed, frustrated, in a bad mood, and perhaps taking it out on your family, or just generally feeling that you’re not the mom you want to be, stop. Before you decide that all is lost and you’re in dire straits, ask yourself the following questions.

Are You Hungry or Thirsty?

Hanger is a real thing. Dehydration can knock you out. 
You may have been doling out meals and snacks all day, but when was the last time you actually put a morsel in your own mouth or sipped some water? Running on empty is a sure-fire way to experience fatigue, reduced patience, and increased frustration.

What Are You Eating?

Maybe you are eating, but if it’s more often than not coming out of a box or a drive-thru window, you need an upgrade. Make sure you’re feeding your body plenty of clean, whole foods—the kind that can be found intact in nature. Stay away from processed foods and sugar as much as possible.

When Was the Last Time You Stepped Outside?

Is dinnertime approaching and you’re still in your pajamas? Do you have any idea what the weather is like outside today? 
Fresh air and sunshine are essential. Whether you lace up your sneakers and walk around the block or just step out onto the back porch for some healthy, deep breaths, make sure you head out the door and into the light.

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Might you be scrolling on your phone late into the night or waking up early with little ones underfoot? Prioritize your sleep and ensure that you’re getting enough quality sack time. 
You may think that you’re completely fine on six hours a night, but if you’re like most of us, that’s not nearly enough.

How Much Screen Time Are You Clocking In?

Staring at a screen—whether a mobile device or your computer—is draining. For most of us, some screen time is largely unavoidable these days, but reduce it as much as possible and see if you don’t find a little more pep in your step and glow in your cheeks. Look around you, in your real, non-digital life, and feel the relief wash over you as you do.

How Stuffed Is Your Calendar?

Are you over-scheduling yourself or your family? A great place to declutter is your calendar. How many of those obligations do you really need to be agreeing to? How many of those appointments align with your true priorities in life?
Reduce the noise by canceling plans, renegotiating obligations, and leaving only those things that are truly important to you and your family. Appreciate a slower pace.

How Much Solitude Are You Enjoying?

Of course, we all love our family, but everybody needs time to themselves sometimes to recharge. If your every waking moment is spent with other members of your family, it’s time to carve out—even a little bit—of me-time. 
Wake up early, ask for help, and do whatever you need to do to find some alone time.
Of course, your current state could be a symptom of a deeper issue. Introspection and spiritual searching are always recommended. It’s kind of funny, though, how often we moms tend to overlook the simplest probable causes. Remember this list the next time you’re feeling out of sorts.
Barbara Danza is a contributing editor covering family and lifestyle topics. Her articles focus on homeschooling, family travel, entrepreneurship, and personal development. She contributes children’s book reviews to the weekly booklist and is the editor of “Just For Kids,” the newspaper’s print-only page for children. Her website is BarbaraDanza.com
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