Smart Moms Do This

Follow these tactics for a happier, better life

They excel at taking good care of those around them, we know that.

From our idealized visions of smiling, laughing mothers who relish their roles (think Marion Ross on “Happy Days”) — to modern and real ones we know and love, smart moms, it turns out, possess similar traits and have the same tricks in their arsenals.

So what do smart moms do, you ask?

Go to Bed!
The smart mom gets her kids to sleep at a fairly early hour, which ultimately makes for happier kids. It also makes for happier parents.

“So mums and dads, getting kids to bed early is not just great for them. It’s good for you, too,” said Jon Quach, lead author of a recent sleep study and research fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

The researchers also found children with earlier bedtimes had a “better health-related quality of life” compared to the other kids, while their mothers had improved mental health. That’s a win for all.

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Ha Ha!
She laughs — at jokes, her partner, at movies, at friends, at herself.

Studies show that laughter releases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemical. It also increases one’s threshold for pain, a handy plus.

Related: Blossoming Through Humor

Smart moms don’t take life too seriously and know how to throw back their heads and let out a good guffaw, no matter who’s watching. Truly happy people can find humor in almost anything, and a smart mom knows how to get in on that action.

Help, Please
She wisely asks for help. Sure, she could be martyrs to the mothering cause, but knows that’s not smart.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are strong families.

The smart mom reaches out for assistance when she can’t get it all done, and doesn’t sweat or regret it. Family, friends, neighbors, babysitters, and hired help are all part of the smart mom’s master plan.

Hangs with Gal Pals
She nurtures her relationships, particularly those with her good female friends.

She helps fellow moms with their own chaotic kid universe, is there to assist with a move or the school fundraiser, and is an  empathetic ear in crisis.

Related: Time for Your Friends

True friendships are priceless. Research shows they boost health, one’s mental state and moods, and the ability to deal with crises. Smart moms cultivate friendships.

Just Dance
… or lift. Cycle. Go for a hike. Tear up the pavement. Bowl.

Whatever the exercise, smart moms find time for physical activity. Taking an hour for yoga or a Pilates class can often feel indulgent — a whole hour to myself — but the physiological, psychological, and emotional boost from endorphins and countless positive health benefits is one serious reason to keep activity levels up. It also sets an excellent example for young eyes. Smart, indeed.

Right Here, Right Now
The smart mom lives in the moment, whether it’s listening to her daughter’s latest story about her imaginary friend or her son’s first heartbreak.

She’s there, in the present, knowing there’s nothing to be done about the past and that the future will unravel as it should.

Practice Thank You
She’s grateful. For her life, her choices, her blessings, her family.

Related: Great Lessons from Friends

Perfection isn’t a pursuit, but the nurturing of all she has received is. In numerous studies, gratitude has been shown to improve physical health and psychological health, enhance empathy, reduce aggression, increase self-esteem and resilience, and improve sleep. Speaking of …

When a mom doesn’t get enough sleep, she gets moody, makes poor judgments, and lacks clarity. In other words, she gets dumber. When the smart mom snoozes as many hours as her body needs, her anxiety decreases and her emotions stabilize — two highly intelligent benefits of a good night’s sleep.

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