GUEST BLOG POST: Five Points for Guilt-Free Happiness by Keryl Pesce, author, Happy Bitch

“Mommy, mommy, mommy!” A friend of mine said to me once “I love my kids, but for one day, I’d love to be someone other than “Ma!”

Motherhood is a dream for many women. And for you reading this, it is especially sweet because it came to you later in life – either by chance or design. I must admit, confess, whatever you want to call it, that I am not a mom. For whatever reason, it hasn’t happened for me. So my closest substitute is my Bulldog-Beagle mix named Ginger, who follows me from room to room, sometimes tugging on my pant leg,  gets into whatever she can reach if she doesn’t get enough attention, and more often than not, limits my ability to sleep through the night and pick up and go at the drop of a hat. Wait a minute, maybe I am a mom! With all that said I love her with all my heart and wouldn’t trade her for the world.

While I can’t speak to you as a mother of a child, I can speak to you as an expert on happiness. And although having a child was most likely a life-long dream and the answer to your happiness, my guess is there are times it is incredibly stressful and times you (with tremendous guilt), miss your time, miss making you happy.

Guilt no more my friend, here’s a case for both losing the guilt and doing more for your own happiness.

A case for happiness:

Point 1:

Giving time and energy to what makes you happy, whether it is a glass of wine (or two) with a friend, two uninterrupted hours with the bedroom door locked to read your favorite trashy romance novel or a blissfully quiet soak in a bubble bath, sets a great example for your children. I’m not sure where it began, but believing a mother must sacrifice 24/7 at the complete expense of her sanity is a twisted notion on how to be a good mother. Do you want to provide for those you love? Of course you do. At the same time, you need live your life by example. Your children will grow up and will live a much similar life you do. You need to live now, how you want them to live in the future.

Point 2:

Happiness is contagious, so the more you do that makes you feel good, the better equipped you are to provide to those around you. You will be a better, happier, more relaxed mom when you take time to regenerate. Do you want to share stress and anxiety with your children or do you want to share happiness. Quit feeling guilty about taking time for you! Not only do you deserve it, you are doing your family justice by making it a higher priority.

Point 3:

As your children grow up, do you want them to walk all over you? Do you want them to not give a crap about what makes you happy? Then keep on sacrificing to the point of exhaustion and breakdown. Here’s the deal. When you begin to make your happiness more important, by taking even little breaks, doing little things for YOU, those around you will make your happiness more important as well. Whenever I talk to a woman who says the people around her don’t make her happiness a priority, my first question is “How important do you make it?”

Point 4:

Studies show that every aspect of the human body functions better when we’re happy. We’re healthier, we live longer, look better and younger, our organs function better, our skin looks better, and we suffer less illness. You are literally designed for happiness. Living happier means living better.

Point 5:

Starting today, quit putting your happiness dependent on other people or circumstances. Choose a happy approach to all you do. Be grateful for what you do have. Focus on what you want in life, not on what you don’t want. Accept responsibility for the state of your life and happiness from this point forward. It’s not up to anyone else but you and you hold the power.