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Are You a Happy Parent?

What are the secrets to being a happier parent?

The topic of happiness and especially the mix of happiness and parenting kept coming up in conversations I was having lately, and it made me stop and ask myself if I was a Happy Mom. I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, saw she has a new book out Happier at Home, and I stumbled upon this book 10 Habits of Happy Mothers, by Meg Meeker, M.D. After reading through some of the key points of these books I've decided that I am a Content Mom with a lot of Happy Moments. But, what about you? Are you a Happy Parent?

We all want more happiness in our life, right? Well, according to these three books, there is a big emphasis on "Mom Time" or "Dad Time" for creating happiness. Spending time with friends, seeking quiet moments, and even resting or getting enough sleep. In this article on Moms and Happiness, the number one habit you need for happiness is to "Find Time for Yourself." In an interview about her book, Dr. Meeker says "I also learned one extremely important lesson very early on as a pediatrician: if I really want to keep kids emotionally and physically happy, the best thing I can do for them is help their mothers. Once she's happy, I didn't need to worry about the kids."

After reading all of this, I realized that I do have a lot of "Mom Time" activities which keep me grounded. How I make that happen is to plan my “Mom Moments.” I sound uber organized when I say this (and trust me, I am not the spokesperson for the organized Mom) but I write my Mom time activities down in my daily planner so that I don’t schedule anything over them and they’re treated as an important engagement. I write down when I am going to work out and I even write in my lunch time where I get to read a juicy novel while eating. That way I have no excuses for why I didn’t take some time for myself to create happy moments. I encourage my husband to do the same. Go play basketball, call some friends for golf, or organize a poker night. He needs to do things for himself just as much as I do.

To me, happiness comes in moments, which is why I called my blog "Chocolate Cake Moments." Happiness just can’t be a permanent state. Life throws us too many curve balls. There is too much stress. I think happiness comes from adding up all of the little moments in your day or life when you are smiling with your family and friends. So planning these Mom time activities and even fun things to dow tih your family will help to create more "Chocolate Cake Moments" – where we are smiling, relaxed, and enjoying life – giving us an overall sense of happiness.

What do you think? Does happiness come in moments or can you be happy all of the time? Are you happy? How do you make time for yourself?

For ideas on how to plan more fun "moments" for your family or yourself, check out my blog ChocolateCakeMoments.com

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Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.


Mary Olen September 21, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Terrific article with great advice! I think there is something instinctual in moms about making sure our families have everything they need and then we can take care of ourselves. But if we are stressed, tired and overwhelmed, that plays a part in how we parent. I agree with Ms. Kirchner and I plan to take her advice starting today!
Sue Kirchner September 24, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Thanks for reading and for your comment, Mary. I appreciate it! I hope you had a happy weekend.

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