Repeat after me.
(and if you have little kids it might take a couple tries simply because you don’t get much quiet.)
I will know that I make a difference. And yes it counts when you get up early and pack those lunches and tuck notes in and wait outside the door.
I will not compare myself to the mom sitting across from me in Starbucks, pick up line, or on Facebook. That mom is probably comparing herself with you too so it might be better if you just said hello to each other.
I will give myself grace when I stumble. Sorry, you’ll stumble. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll burn the pizza. But you’ll get up.
I will find moments to laugh again. And it can be laughing over anything. I laughed at myself when I was headfirst in the dryer attempting to remove crayon because I thought I would be supermom and get all the laundry done super fast and super fast meant not checking nine year old son’s pockets for broken crayons. So I just laughed. And sprayed goo-gone.
I will again give myself grace because chances are I won’t do everything on this list. If anyone on here completes a to-do list it will go on the Guinness Book of Mom Records courtesy of Finding Joy. Good luck.
I will not be so hard on myself. That means it is okay if you make cake balls and they turn into cake mush. It’s okay that your birthday decorations are from Target. It’s is way super okay (can we all just stand up and cheer) that you said no to the treat bags.
I will let the tears fall if they need to fall. Behind bathroom doors, on the phone, in the car, as you’re making lunch, to a good friend…tears are emotion…and sometimes they need to fall.
I will be proud of my children. Put their artwork up even if it doesn’t match your decor. Text your teenager telling them that you love them. Be proud.
I will let the handprints be on my windows and not apologize for them. Having kids means having handprints, sticky counters, and permanent marker in places. Like now, in my home, on my five and seven year old sons’ door to their room where they decided to write their name in Black ultra permanent never coming off you might as well buy a new door Sharpie. At least we all never forget which room is theirs.
I will say thank you to the barista at Starbucks. They are your friends. And at Target. And besides that – our kids are watching us. Always always always say thank you as you never know the impact you’ll make on someone else’s life.
I will not be apologize for not having everything together. Please don’t. Then I have to apologize for not having it together and then we’re both stuck thinking that we always have to have it together.
I will go to bed at night tired but knowing I made a difference. If you can remember this before you fall asleep than yes. Otherwise wake knowing that everything you do is awesome. Well, cleaning toilets may feel not awesome but let me remind you of your world if you did not do this. See? awesome.
I will try super hard to not judge others. You don’t know their circumstances. Maybe what is right in your world isn’t right in their world. Love. Don’t judge.
I will try even more super hard to not judge myself so hard. Um totally yes. (Sometimes the baristas at Starbucks remind me of this…see? Love them.) We’re our own worst critics. Enough. The Happy Mom pledge is about learning to give ourselves grace.
I will remember that my kids will make mistakes. When they screw up at school, which they will, and you get a note, which you will, it is not a reflection of your ability as a mom. Kids are human too. Help them with their mistakes and do not take it personally.
I will also remember that my kids do not indicate my parenting successes or failures. See above. Please.
I will remember again that I will probably not remember to do everything on the list. Just another reminder. Remember we’re only human. What matters is that you and I try. Get chocolate and start again.
I will look for one good thing every day. Yes, yes, yes. Please this. Look for one thing. I know life can be incredibly tough and hard and tedious and aggravating, but please look for one good thing everyday. Even if it was that your latte was extra hot and awesome or that your three year old went to bed without fussing. One thing. And three year olds going to bed without an argument counts as five good things in case you were wondering.
I will be thankful. Gratitude destroys comparison, envy, and that pesky part of ourselves that thinks we don’t measure up.
I will be me and will pursue the things I love. Just because you are a mom does not mean that every single thing you do has to do with mothering. Make sure to cultivate your dreams your desires and the things you love too. With NO guilt. Want to know how I did? Read my book The Brave Art of Motherhood.
I will not feel guilty for the nights when it’s popcorn for dinner. Or macaroni and cheese from the box with the powder that you mix with milk and a dash of butter. Or chicken nuggets. Or pancakes. YOU GOT DINNER ON THE TABLE. Remember that instead.
I will not let mom guilt bug me at all, in fact. Going back to that mom guilt thing. It’s way way way too easy to feel guilty and to think that we’re not measuring up. Nope. Not anymore. Mom guilt? We’re kicking it to the curb.
I will tell a friend how great a job they’re doing. Starting now. Us moms need to hear from our friends that we appreciate them. Send them this note and have them be a part of this Happy Mom Pledge. No more you versus me versus her. That’s not happy. Unity.
I will see the good in me. After all you’re the only one who knows just what to tell your eleven year old when they’re nervous about that Social test. Or how to cut their sandwiches in the morning. Or where to find the missing shoe or mitten or homework. Or how to deal with slammed doors or I hate you’s and to not take it personally. You are great.
I will know that I am enough. If you forget read this -> Why Being a Mom is Enough
I will try again. And again, and again, and again. That’s called strength.
I will be real. There is no perfect mom in this world of utopian ideals. There is real. And real is beautiful, powerful, amazing, giving, loving, and awesome. So, yes, that’s you.
I will fight for my heart. And that means letting yourself be happy again.
I will love me.
That’s the Happy Mom Pledge.
Will you take it too?
To change your life and find happiness grab my new book -> The Brave Art of Motherhood
I’d love for you to be a part of our wonderful group of amazing moms on Facebook
Yes, yes, yes!
This is wonderful and you are as well!
Ah! So my heart. So real and refreshing. So the things I write, recite to myself and conveniently forget when the chips are down.What a happy circumstance I stumbled on your site today. I will sure to be catching up on archives and looking forward to new posts as well.
I’m taking the pledge 🙂
Thank you soo much for doing this Rachel!
Another gem that begs to be shared, Rachel! LOVE THIS.
Love this site! Wished I had known these things when my children were small, but I can use it with my grandchildren….
Yes! Much needed!!! Thank you!
I promise and pledge to be the happiest mom I can be for my children and myself.
Thanks for all your encouragement,Rachel!
Yes, pledge taken and will be the happiest mom for my daughter and me! Thanks for the nuggets of insight, support, and reassurance. Always what I need, when I need it!
This is fantastic! What a great mom mantra for the tough days and everyday. Moms need to take this list to heart.
Yes. I am so thankful to you. More than you know. I read your words and I find myself nodding, crying and feeling more at peace with who and what I am. Perfection is a myth yet somehow I feel like I need to chase it. I am wanting to work on granting myself the grace you speak of. Yes. I am in on this. Thank you!
I am all in!!! Yes, Yes, Yes!! I need this on one of those big canvas pieces, hanging prominently where I can constantly be reminded of these so very important things. Thank you for your posts that keep me focused and allow me to refocus and be washed in grace.
Yes! LOVE! Thank you!
Yep and done!
Thank you! The best thing I’ve read in a long time.
Great but…can I make a difference in my kids’ lives if I don’t put notes in the lunchboxes?! Because that is not happening.
Change “Mom” to “parent” and you’ve got something good here.
Plenty of us dads out here need this, too.
Yes, thank you Spencer. I appreciate dads greatly. Thank you for all you do – as a writer to moms (and as a mom) I tend to write from that perspective. I would love to hear more of the dad side – would love for you to share as well.
I am taking the pledge!
Hey here’s a great idea why don’t you take your own advice
“I will try super hard to not judge others.You don’t know their circumstances. Maybe what is right in your world isn’t right in their world. Love. Don’t judge.”
So if you don’t want to make favor bags good on you. If you go to a party where (gasp!) the parent gives out favor bags just say thank you and take one and shut your judgy judgy trap!
I think it’s fantastic when there are favor bags. I’m not judging, nor calling names, nor using a social platform to be vindictive. The point was that those things don’t need to define happiness and whether or not a birthday party was great. They are extras and if you read more content you’ll read that I think it’s fantastic if those bring you joy or make your kids happy.
Thanks much, Amy.
Love it. This is a breath of fresh air.
Thank you – you have no idea how much I needed to read this right now 😭
a wonderful article which every mother should read it to make her world better. a practical, heartfelt guide for every mom out there.. thank you for sharing..
Thank you for the encouragement!! God bless you! More power to future posts!
Let’s add to the list when you feared boys getting ticks and you made them strip in 3 sec to shower, took all the clothes, jackets and bath mats and towels and threw them in the wash with the iPhones. When you hear something thumping in the dryer , ignore it thinking it was a sneaker. Then trying work the “find my iPhone app” while assuming it was outside on the grass with the ticks, when all this time was washed and dried with the clothes.
Can I copy this down and print it so I can post it on my mirror, please?