Should I wait to be happy?

If your child asked you this question what would you tell them?

"Yes, honey, wait to be happy. You're about to be three, and when you're three everything will be different. You'll have more time, less stress and things will just be easier then."

No. I don't think you would.

If your child told you they were going to wait until (insert arbitrary time here) to choose to be happy I'm sure you'd pull over and tell your child something like this:

"Honey, the time is never right. There is never some magic perfect time, and life is never going to create the time for you. YOU create the time, my sweet baby. If you keep on waiting, then you'll blink and life will completely pass you by. If I teach you nothing else in this life, I want you to know that whatever you want—do it NOW. The days are long but the years are short and I want you to have the courage to go live your dreams."

Waiting can be the death of our dreams. There are moments where it can feel like a long shot—to get to that life that you so deeply wish for, the one you're working so hard for. There are days I sometimes think "Why do I even bother? It's never going to be the way I dream."

But what if it can be that way?

What if you had the power within you to make your dream life happen?

We so often think we have to do it all ourselves and I want to remind you that you don't. We can easily feel alone because we think we are supposed to handle it all—to be Super Wife, Super Friend, Super House Cleaner, etc.
But the weight of that pressure slowly chips away at our soul.

When I had my firstborn I instantly started to carry the titles of Super Fiancé, Super Mom, Super Daughter-in-law and Super Daughter. If someone asked if there was anything they could do to help I would quickly respond "No, I got it!" as I was trying to hide my exhaustion while I stuffed my overwhelm down with pecan pie every night.

I would clean everything as it was used. At times, I became obsessed with the house being clean while being home with my newborn because that it what a Super Mom and Super Wife do …right?!

It wasn't until I broke down to my mom. She said, "You're trying to be perfect when you don't have to be. You are going to wear yourself down real quick if you continue in this way." And I instantly knew she was right.

But I know there are so many women out there who don't receive that message. That we might not be "happy" necessarily, but we are doing what we are "supposed to" do. There is easily a long list of supposed to's and loads of mom guilt that we can carry.

But it is no longer your burden to carry those around, because there is a way to dissolve that list, and here is the secret.

By putting your needs first, by taking action and by asking for help.

There is a community around you that is untapped. We have neighbors, spouses, family friends, school friends, people at your church, family, best friends, siblings. Start asking them for what you need and want and I promise people are just waiting for the opportunity to be there for you.

I have seen many women in my life (10 years as a hairstylist) put their needs and wants last over and over and it's painful to see them now spinning in circles not knowing how to care for themselves. Or even worse, to see them feeling resentful toward motherhood and their spouses.

Mamas, the time is now. We have to stop waiting to create the life we desire and so deserve. We have to speak up and ask for what we want and need.

Take the advice you would give to your kids and choose happiness now. Don't delay it. Go after what you want today, not weeks or months from now.

It's time to do a little mothering on ourselves. We aren't meant to do this life alone, we are meant to have a village, to feel supported, and to thrive.

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Lace up your shoes: A baby on the move means a mama on the move!

Scooting, rolling, crawling—there is no denying that their increasing mobility makes your life a bit busier.

Gone are the days when your baby was content to hang out in one place to observe. And, really, who can blame them? With so much to discover, your curious little one's cognitive skills are booming along with their fine motor skills.

It's natural to feel as though everything revolves around your baby's schedule, wants and needs right now. But it's time for you to think of yourself, mama! Now is the perfect time to treat yourself to something that'll help you adjust to mom life. Maybe that's a cozy new outfit (perfect for Sunday morning snuggles), a product that streamlines your beauty routine, or something that'll motivate you to get back to regular workouts.

As you celebrate the 8-month mark, here are a few helpful items to toss in your shopping cart:

For a little jam session: Bright Starts safari beats

Sitting unassisted offers your baby an exciting new view of the world! Keep them encouraged as they build their sitting endurance with a toy that also introduces colors, musical sounds and more.


For safe exploring: Skip Hop playpen

Skip Hop playpen

When your baby constantly wants to play with mama, it can be nice to give yourself a breather. A spacious playpen is a lifesaver when you need to keep them in your sights while crossing some items off your to-do list.


Indestructible dinnerware: Cloud Island plate

cloud island

As your little one graduates from purees to more traditional dinner time fare, it's a nice time to introduce plates, bowls and cups—just not your grandma's breakable dish set.


Follow the leader: Skip Hop crawl toy

skip hop

It's a fact that remains true throughout life: Getting moving is easier with proper motivation. If your baby is this close to crawling, give them a bit of extra encouragement with a toy that begs to be chased around the room.


For keeping stairs off-limits: Toddleroo safety gate

Having a baby in the house certainly makes you look at things differently, like those stairs that now feel incredibly hazardous. On the flip side, since permitted people (like you!) will want to access the stairs regularly, it's helpful to have a gate that's easy to open with one hand.


For looking cute in your sleep: Stars Above short pajama set

Stars above

If you've spent the past few months sleeping in milk-stained pajamas, you are due for an upgrade, mama. We're willing to bet that a special someone in your life will approve of this cute set, too.


For supporting your ladies: Auden full-coverage t-shirt bra

t-shirt bra

Let's just call it like it is: Your breasts have been on quite a rollercoaster ever since that pregnancy test was positive. Whether you are nursing less frequently or exclusively bottle feeding now, you owe it to yourself to try out some bras that actually fit.


To cover up household odors: Project 62 3-wick candle

Project 62 candle

One of the quickest, best ways to refresh a space? A candle with your favorite scents. Take a moment to take a deep breath in and exhale any tension—ahh.


If you have to skip that shower: Living Proof dry shampoo

living proof

If a day of chasing after your baby means you have to pick between collapsing on the couch or taking a shower, just know we have zero judgment for the camp that goes with dry shampoo.


For the nap time hustle: Merrithew Soft Dumbbells

soft dumbbells

Running after and picking up your baby is a workout all on its own. But if you also like a little dedicated sweat time for your mental and physical health, a basic set of hand weights is a simple (yet super effective) way to ensure you can squeeze in those at-home workouts.


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

Our Partners

How often do we see a "misbehaving" child and think to ourselves, that kid needs more discipline? How often do we look at our own misbehaving child and think the same thing?

Our society is conditioned to believe that we have to be strict and stern with our kids, or threaten, shame or punish them into behaving. This authoritarian style of parenting is characterized by high expectations and low responsiveness—a tough love approach.

But while this type of authoritarian parenting may elicit "obedient" kids in the short-term, studies suggest that children who are shamed or punished in the name of discipline face challenges in the long-term. Research suggests that children who are harshly disciplined or shamed tend to be less happy, less independent, less confident, less resilient, more aggressive and hostile, more fearful and at higher risk for substance abuse and mental health issues as adults and adolescents.


The reason? No one ever changes from being shamed.

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