5 Ways to Be a Happier Parent

As a parent, the day to day responsibilities of life can get in the way of being happy. Taking time to enjoy the moment seemingly becomes less important as you think about the sink full of dishes or the laundry that needs to be washed. It feels like there’s always something that needs to be done and that can distract you from truly being present. 


However, over time you’ll realize that most of the things that annoy you as a new parent really don’t matter. You can make a conscious effort to find moments of happiness and let the rest go. 


How do you keep joy flowing, even when you’re flat worn out? Here are a few tips to help you find more happiness in your life, and remember, it’s the small things that matter the most.


  1. Trust yourself.

Today parents have quick access to enormous amounts of information from experts. This creates an expectation that every problem has a “right” answer. The truth is, even experts struggle with their children. Parenting is not an exact science. Happy parents engage their children based on their experience, judgment and values. They are willing to go against the grain of what everyone else is doing and pursue the long-term gain. They learn to say no when they need to. After mistakes, they regroup and try something else. Use it as an opportunity to model for your child how to fix mistakes.


  1. Teach kids to do things for themselves.

People who describe themselves as happier parents typically move from greater involvement when their child is younger to encouraging independence when their child is older. Make parenting an evolution — for example, they wake their child up for school when they are young. When their child is older, they buy them an alarm clock and expect them to get up on their own. If they are a little late for school, so be it. Use this as an opportunity to be a more helpful, calmer version of yourself.


  1. Allow your child to experience consequences.

Stop trying to cushion the consequences of our child’s actions. Instead, focus on coaching them through challenges and helping them learn from the experience. It empowers your child and helps you focus on what you can control. Failure, difficulty and obstacles are what create and hone the skills and abilities they need to be successful as adults.


  1. Don’t always put your child first.

Happier parents don’t put their child’s everyday needs above their own. When it comes to things like dinner, weekend activities or even vacations, they don’t make their choices solely based on what their child wants. Happy parents have their own preferences, and they prioritize those things. Just because your child wants something, it does not mean you have to drop everything you are doing to make it happen.


  1. Look for the joyful moments.

Simply put, try to soak in the good times — like the small, everyday family moments or a beautiful sunset even when the house is a mess. Make it a point to notice the laughter more than the tantrum, and create a familiar path in your mind to focus on the joyful stuff. Stopping to look up is not just a metaphor. When you look up at the horizon, it helps your brain to see the broader picture.


Traveling with Babies & Children During COVID-19 

There was a point, soon after the coronavirus pandemic first hit America, when we all probably wondered if we’d ever travel again. As the months went by, the desire to get out and explore has only grown and many people are reconsidering what’s possible in terms of safely traveling and vacationing this year. While safety is still paramount, parents also have to consider their own sanity and what memories they can still make during this unprecedented time.

Parents across the country want to travel, connect with friends and family and have adventures; however, they are questioning whether travel can be safely done with kids right now. Making travel plans seems even more complicated than ever.  Flying with babies and children is  already a stressful experience, and the additional COVID-19 safety precautions now give travelers even more to think about.

To help, we’ve gathered answers to some general FAQs so you can decide whether you should be making or canceling flights for your family. 

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to advise against nonessential travel, noting that “travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.” Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
  • On January 12, 2021 the CDC issued an order for all international travelers – as well as Americans traveling abroad – to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the U.S. The new rule went into effect on January 26, 2021. 
  • Additionally, President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating masks in airports and on planes, trains, ships and intercity buses.
  • There are more ways to prevent transmission when traveling by plane. Use alcohol-based sanitizer or disinfectant wipes on items other people have touched, such as tray tables and armrests.
  • The CDC also recommends people age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household. If your little one is under 2 years old, the CDC says he or she should not wear a face mask because it could be a choking hazard.
  • Some states continue to impose quarantine or testing restrictions for travelers, especially travelers from states that are currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
  • However, one of the most important things remains maintaining proper hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water – especially before eating and touching your face. Make sure children scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse with water and thoroughly dry with a clean paper towel.


Public health experts agree that while there’s no such thing as a “risk-free trip” during the pandemic, these are ways to significantly reduce your family’s risk of getting sick.

The Bottom Line


The good news is that you don’t have to cancel your plans. You can make travel with kids a reality during the pandemic. However, social distancing is still highly recommended to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Every parent knows that might be a little tricky on an airplane or in an airport. At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you and your family. Experts recommend staying home right now whenever possible but if you do travel, we hope these safety suggestions help you and your family stay safer and travel smarter.