I have been a mom for 5.5 years. And boy has it been a journey! Only now that my boys (aka: nuclear energy bombs) are 5 and 3, I can sit, reflect, think, go to the bathroom in peace (not really) and take a shower on my own. All of these are vital to the sanity of any human, especially a mom.

The first few years for any parent of small children are a challenge, to say the least. As women we deal with so many things at once like lack of sleep, loss of self, post partum depression and the list goes on and on.

As the kids get older we start to settle and re-invent our identity as a mom while still keeping some aspects of ourselves in tact. It was at this point in my life that I started to realize that as a mom I have a huge influence on everyone in my household.  My attitude and state of mind influenced everyone around me. Then it downed on me that what my kids really wanted and needed is for me to be a happy mother. I had an obligation to be happy so my kids and my family could be happy as well. If I didn’t take care of myself I would really be neglecting my family.

After I had this realization I sat down and made a list of things that made me happy.  I asked myself what filled me up and what were some things I could do on a daily basis to sustain my happiness.  Alone time was very important to me and I realized I had to carve out daily ‘me’ time to keep my sanity. I thought that by being with my kids 24/7, I was being a better mom, but instead I was cranky and annoyed especially towards the end of the day. After my ‘me’ time I came back to my family refreshed and with a smile on my face. The time away gave me a reason to miss them and want to be with them again.

After a few weeks of having more time to myself to do the things that I loved to do, I became a more productive, more supportive, and over all a happier mom and wife. My enjoyment of being a parent was higher and I found myself smiling more and able to enjoy the moment with my kids. In return the kids were happier because they had a more patient, relaxed and happier mom. Bottom line is that my kids wanted a happy, smiling mom and I am the only one that can give it to them. One more toy or another trip won’t change their lives. But having a happy mom will, so even when things get tough I am now committed to being happy everyday and I encourage every mom to give her kids the gift of happy ?