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The happy mom pledge

I will give myself grace when I stumble.

The happy mom pledge

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. That mom at Starbucks is probably comparing herself to 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.

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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 a crayon because I thought I would be supermom and get all the laundry done super fast and super fast meant not checking my 9-year-old son’s pockets for broken crayons. So I just laughed. And sprayed goo-gone.

I will 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’s okay if you make cake balls and they turn into cake mush. It’s okay that your birthday decorations are from Target. It’s 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 sons’ door 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 will 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 say thank you as you never know the impact you’ll make on someone else’s life.

I will not 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 then yes. Otherwise wake up knowing that everything you do is awesome. Well, cleaning toilets may not feel awesome but let me remind you of what it would be like if you didn’t do this. See? Awesome.

I will try hard not to 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 harder not to judge myself. Um 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 3-year-old went to bed without fussing. One thing. (And 3-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.

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 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 they’re doing a great job. 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 11-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?

Original article published in Finding Joy.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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