“if mama’s not happy…”

I’m sure you’ve heard some form of the saying:

“If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy!”

Well, it’s pretty darn true, don’t you think?

As moms, we’ve got a lot of hats to wear.  Not only that but we’re the lifeblood of our families; our spouse is counting on us to pick him up on a bad day, our kids need our attention, our pets want our love, our parents may need our physical assistance, our friends want our advice, our jobs want our time….and in the midst of all this we’re supposed to be getting up on time each day, looking quite presentable, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, preparing healthy (yet edible) meals for our family, paying our bills on time, and keeping a house, too.  Are you exhausted just reading all that?  Because I am.

Many Hats

I’m tired.  Sometimes I’m just plain tired…I need more sleep, my body is exhausted.  And sometimes I’m just tired of it all….I need a break from my life.  When I’m having bouts of the latter, I find a nasty attitude creeping into me.  I find it worming it’s way into the areas of my life that have previously made me happy.  In fact, there are even times when I’ve battled depression.

So what can you do, then, when you’re not happy and you find it seeping into all those other precious areas of your life?

  • SEEK FRIENDS.  Sometimes the cure-all to a good old fashioned funk is some time with friends.  Laughter, understanding, a good cry, and perhaps some chocolate or wine…true friends will lift you up when you’re down.  If they don’t know whats been going on with you, reach out to them.  A friend isn’t going to mind that it’s been (too) long, and they may need a friend just as much as you need them.  A friend who knows you and loves you just might be the thing that hits the spot.
  • SEEK SUPPORT.  Sometimes our unhappiness is rooted in a problem…an issue we face that not all of our friends or even close family can relate to.  If this is the case, search for a local support group.  From mental health issues, to infertility, to parents who have lost their parents, to parents who have experienced the loss of a child,to parenting children with special needs,to adopting…if you’re facing something that causes you to feel alone, unsure, vulnerable, confused, sad, or all of these emotions, there is likely a support group for people who are dealing with the same or similar.  By picking up your phone and simply dialing 2-1-1 you’ll be connected to local information and referral sources for what you’re seeking.
  • SEEK KNOWLEDGE.  Are you unhappy because you want to know more?  Do you feel less than educated on something that has come up in the course of being a parent?  Then ask your questions…take a class…learn a new skill…volunteer.  Increasing your knowledge base can not only boost your self esteem but it can actually help with the way you deal with some of the problems you may face.
  • SEEK HELP.  Sometimes a friend or spouse can’t “fix” things for us, and no matter what we’ve tried on our own, nothing seems “enough.”  Perhaps you need professional assistance.  Asking for help and acknowledging that there is a need is nothing to be ashamed of.  Talking to a professional or seeking help with medicine or therapy (for you or as a couple or family) may be helpful in some instances.  Talk to a trusted Doctor for a referral.  Exercise and prayer are other ways you may find help for what you’re dealing with.
  • SEEK CHANGE.  Oftentimes our circumstances won’t change until we’ve directly taken action…and this may need to be drastic.  Moving, switching careers, having another child…these can be amazing and wonderful life changes, but some of the most stressful, too!

As I said, we are the lifeblood of our families…we are what keeps things running in our households, and that can be a lot of pressure.  If it ever feels like so much that you can’t go on, please call 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Hotline.  Moms, if you ever feel like life is getting to be too much, and maybe this unhappiness is actually anxiety or depression, please think about seeking professional help.   Whether it’s a day, a week, a season, or years, no mama needs to feel unhappy and alone.

So tell me, what helps make you happy?

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