10 Things Happy Moms Don’t Do


1. Base self worth on other’s opinions. Happiness that is dependent on what other’s think of you is happiness that will never appear. The truth is that there will be others out there that might not like you, might not like how you parent, might think you’re making the wrong education choices, feeding the wrong food, and on and on and on. So much of motherhood is being confident in your own choices that the opinions of others can simply be that. Opinions.

2. Expect the perfect day. It just won’t happen (and you’ll never be perfect anyway – motherhood is refining). If happiness came from the house staying clean, from the laundry being folded AND put away, from the kids never fighting, from dinner that was stellar without crazy cleanup, with no financial issues or relationship drama, and all of that well, you know, happiness wouldn’t come. Expect the real day. And be grateful for the moments.

3. Gossip about other moms. Simply don’t. Please, please, please don’t. Gossip doesn’t help anyone. No one. It doesn’t help you nor does it help the moms that you’re talking about. All gossip does is chip away at happiness as it makes you compare, contrast, and judge. So no gossiping.

4. Base success on the state of the home. So tough, really, but true. When you have kids in your home your home will probably look like you have kids living in your home. You can have it spotless at 8am only to look like you never clean ever by 8:15am. Kids do that. Do what you can. Keep it clean. But, you know, kids like to dump stuff out, mix paints, color on things, and create things. And that? That means a mess often. Your success isn’t based on the throw pillows always on the couch, the laundry put away nor is your happiness.

5. Live in regret. You’re going to make mistakes. You’ll bake the cookies wrong, you’ll forget appointments, you’ll yell even though you promised yourself you never would, you’ll not go and do things, and on and on. Living in regret will chip away at the happiness that you will find in today.

[Tweet “Don’t regret that you missed moments yesterday because then you’ll miss them today.”]


6. Worry about making wrong choices. Listen – there are a million and seven plus a million and eight choices out there about almost everything you could be doing as a mom. Want to buy a pacifier? Now, instead of just three choices, there is an entire aisle full of choices. The choices can overwhelm and that, well, that worry, that’s not happiness. So make your best choice, move on, and let worry go.

7. Forget about themselves. Do not lose yourself in motherhood. Don’t lose sight of your dreams, your passions, and all the things that make you super unique. Burying all of that can lead to resentment of motherhood. So find time to run, paint, sing, create, write, or whatever your passion truly is. Moms need outlets. And sometimes it means taking a bit longer hot shower and letting the hot water tank run out.

8. Martyr. Okay, tough love here, but we all know a martyr. And martyrs are simply no fun. I know it can be easy to martyr and even to not realize you’re martyring, but here’s what you need to do. Speak up for you. And if things don’t go your way or you miss something or on and on simply try to be positive. That positive thing leads to happiness. The martyring thing leads to crabbiness and really crabby kids. Choose wisely.

9. Race through everything. The to-do list will never be completed. There will always be one more thing to do but not always one more four year old to read a story to. You can speed but if you’re late, you’re late. Happy moms choose to slow down in their day. They choose to take moments in the afternoon and to read. And listen – they don’t feel mom guilt. So no guilt for not racing. The dishes will get done, the laundry finished, and the carpet vacuumed. Slow down.

10. Fight every battle. Not every battle needs to be fought. If the three year old gets themselves dressed and the shirt is on backwards and you’re just going to Target then just leave the shirt. There are battles that need to be fought, and there are other battles that you can just let go. And honestly the letting go of so much of the minutia of perfection opens up moments of joy within the day. It give space for laughter, for times with our kids, and it truly gives you, the mom, grace.


Is happiness inevitable? As we all know, no. There are still hard things in life, normal things, crazy times and more, but these ten things will certainly help in the journey to have those moments within the day where you can simply laugh and be grateful for your motherhood story. So much of happiness is hinged with gratitude.

Little things matter.

That’s the thing happy moms remember.

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24 Responses to “10 Things Happy Moms Don’t Do”

  1. June 19, 2014

    Kelly McKenzie-Day Reply

    I had a (thankfully mild) totally unexpected stroke in December, and for the last few months I have been struggling to come to terms with what I am physically able to accomplish as a Mum, thanks to the fatigue that recovery brings.

    I was having a deeply unhappy ‘moment’ and speaking to my Mum in Sydney about failing as a Mum and wife, letting our daughter and my husband down because I wasn’t able to be everything I thought I should be able to be right now.
    Her reply was this. “Look around you, at the toys on the floor, the mess of play dough and crayons on the table, the toddler who has decorated herself in 2 inches of sunscreen and ask yourself, would you be happier without any of this? If the answer is NO…shut up and smile, it’s a good Mummy day!”

    Tough love…but she’s right. xxx

    • June 19, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      So glad that you’re okay, Kelly. What an incredibly frightening experience. Sometimes those tough love moments from our moms are what is needed – I’ve had them as well.

      With joy.


  2. June 19, 2014

    Kathleen Reply

    Other than Sunday, for church, (they get there socks out of a sock bin that is not matched) i could care less if the socks match! They can get there socks and shoes on with no supervision!…….we stopped sorting and matching socks. We have a kids clean basket of socks and a dirty basket. When time to wash the dirty socks they are all thrown into a lingerie bag, zipped, put in the washer, put in the dryer, and then dumped into the clean sock bin. No matching, sorting, or losing socks!!! My husband and i each have our own bags, that i dump back into our separate sock drawers/plastic bins. (My husband and i each have all of the same socks, and the kids all wear the same size white socks(gender nuetral). This is of my favorite and most used discoveries i have found!!!

    • June 19, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      I, too, have stopped the crazy sock battle. One basket, one treasure hunt each time.

      Thanks for sharing, Kathleen. 🙂


  3. June 19, 2014

    Nancy H Reply

    What an exceptional post! You definitely made me think!

  4. June 19, 2014

    Pamela Hodges Reply

    Yes, I was yelling.
    Now to print out your graphic to help me remember your list.
    I am not always my best friend.

  5. June 19, 2014

    Nicole Reply

    I love this post and a few of these points really hit home with me today!!!! So much so, in fact, I just wrote a post about them and included a few of these (with you credited, of course 🙂 Thank you for this post….very needed today!!!

    (this is my post in case you’re wondering…..http://indulgentaromas.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-over-crabbiness.html )

  6. June 19, 2014

    Janell Reply

    I’ve been so hard on myself as a mother and I know it. I am fighting the thoughts that I haven’t done enough or right or like others. You are the source of bringing me back to the little things that matter before the moments of the kids being little and missing out on it because I’m worried about everything around me. I am printing and posting this list as a constant reminder. You are a blessing! Thank you!

  7. June 20, 2014

    Kevin Reply

    Hey – no, I am not a Mom… more of a Mr. Mom. I work weekends and keep my 4 year old son (5 in Sept) and 2 year old daughter at home during the week. My wife works during the week and then we switch. I have to say most of these apply to me as well. I believe it or not, do stress over some of these things and am guilty of others. Thanks for the post – so I can stop beating up on myself and try to enjoy time with the children more.

  8. […] 10 Things Happy Moms Don’t Do […]

  9. June 23, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    Continuing to lift up prayer!
    Psalms 130:1-2, 5-7 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications (5-7) I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

  10. June 24, 2014

    Michelle Caskey Reply

    Excellent points! Learning which battles to fight is a hard one for me… and it took me awhile to find outlets for myself. Now that my boys are getting older (13 and 12) that is becoming easier, too. 🙂

  11. […] 10 Things Happy Moms Don’t Do | finding joj […]

  12. June 28, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    No matter what happens, the Lord is our shield! Praying!
    Psalms 5:11-12 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

  13. June 29, 2014

    Harmony Reply

    Really great post! I agree with all of them and I think this is a must read list for any mom. 🙂 Thanks for posting!

  14. This is such an encouraging post! I couldn’t agree more. I have learned lately (now that I have teenagers!) that the more I simplify life (housekeeping, cooking, commitments, etc.), the less stressed and happier our family is. It is hard to let go, but the rewards are so wroth it. Thanks for the reminder.

    • July 2, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thanks, Heather. it is hard to let go for sure – I get that. So many things to take up our time, so much to do. Life is such a balance.

      With joy.


  15. July 15, 2014

    Colleen Reply

    I was surfing thru Pinterest and I found your sight and I started looking at your website and I love what I read. The 10 things that happy moms don’t do was inspiring as I realized that those 10 things were a reminder of the things in MY life that I forgot 🙂

  16. August 14, 2014

    Kgomotso Reply

    I got here from Britmums Live and I love this post! I even printed out the graphic to walk around in my bag! Awesome!

  17. December 5, 2014

    Rabia @TheLiebers Reply

    I think it’s also important to remember that different moms choose to fight different battles, and that’s okay. I let wardrobe choices go. I really could not care any less about what they wear as long as it covers the appropriate part of the body. But don’t mess with sleep in my house. We don’t flex on bedtime. We don’t stay out late “just for fun.” But my friend is the exact opposite. Sometimes it’s been awkward (like when my kids look like a circus next to hers or when we have to leave all the fun to go home for bed) but mostly it’s just fine. We are both okay with the fact that we parent differently!

  18. July 17, 2015

    Grace Reply

    So glad I found your blog. Desperately struggling to find my happy place these days. Thank you!

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  20. May 15, 2019

    Brooke Roberts Reply

    I would love it so much if schools taught us about the toxic patterns and how to avoid them. I wish somebody told me that being a martyr is not a good thing. I wish I had known that earlier.

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