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Long ago on my blog, TameraMowry.com, I wrote a piece about taking control of your happiness. Since then I've grown in my career as co-host of The Real, and my husband and I are now parents to two amazing little ones. Needless to say, a lot of big life changes have happened that make up who I am now! But one thing remains: I still think happiness is absolutely essential to being a good mother.
When you're not happy, your baby can feel it. It doesn't matter how old your baby is. I cannot give my children, my husband – or anyone else in my life for that matter – the love that they deserve if I am neglecting love for myself. A lot of moms think their put their happiness last. They pour all this energy into making sure everything runs smoothly (from the little day to day to the big moments too), and think – I'll get to myself eventually. Happiness is put on the backburner.
So what if you want to take control of your happiness, but don't know where to start? What if you can't seem to find a balance between caring for yourself and caring for others? Here were my top three suggestions back then – and what I think of them now:
1. Don't Compare Yourself – (Repeat that like a mantra!) Comparison is a major reason people, moms especially, find themselves unhappy. Our fast paced digital world only makes things more difficult – it not only allows for comparison, it INVITES it. But over the past couple years I've learned that the best way to deal with comparison and imposter syndrome is not necessarily to block people and social media out. Instead, it's simply to practice more gratitude.
2. Be Grateful – Since the key to beating the comparison game and remaining positive is gratitude, you must make this a regular practice. Let me tell you, there will be times where it feels forced! Walking through the grocery store with one hungry baby and an impatient toddler? Yeah, it feels pretty forced! But times it's hardest to find something to be thankful for are when you need them most. My advice? Start small. For me, I'm beyond grateful that I have these two to fill my heart with joy day in and day out.
3. Treat Yourself Right – When I first wrote this, I had only begun to practice self love. To be honest, for a while I didn't even know that was a thing! But I learned that if I care for myself, everything is a little easier. I already have a great support system of family and friends (cue gratitude!), but what about all that I do? It's so important to give yourself credit where credit is due! Treating yourself can come in many forms, from a mental pat on the back to opting for a guilt-free splurge or calling in the sitter so you can catch a movie with the hubby. Small gestures make a difference in the lives of those around you – think of how happy a friend gets when you bring her flowers or a thank-you note – why can't they make a difference in your life too?