6 Surefire Ways to Make Momma Happy

There’s a wise old saying that goes, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” (Well, okay, it could be a wise old saying or it could just be something that was invented to put on a decorative wall plaque.)

Either way, it’s relevant: We moms are the backbones of the household, and the internal “climate” has a lot to do with how we feel. If I wake up feeling good (on payday or a good hair day, for example), stuff gets done. I’m productive. The house is more likely to be picked up, I’ll be slower to snap at someone, and the probability of a well-rounded dinner on the table is much higher. But if I’m not having a good day, I can quickly slip into “screw-it mode” and let everything around me slide – and, in turn, make pretty much everyone as grumpy as I am.

Moms are vitally important to the well-being of the home and everybody in it. When the shiz hits the fan (sometimes literally, because kids are gross), Mom comes to the rescue. We are the driving force behind this well-oiled machine. So what keeps us happy? The stuff on this list:

1. Say the magic words. There are three little words that can make a world of difference, and every mom needs to hear them from time to time: “I’ll make dinner.” Alternately, the three-word combinations of “Let’s order pizza” and “Let’s have cereal” are just as powerful. Because sometimes when our figurative plates are full, the last thing we want to do is figure out how to fill those literal plates at dinnertime (especially when we’re pretty sure our efforts will be met with wrinkled noses and whines of, “But we don’t like fill-in-the-blank-with-whatever-nutritious-meal-you’ve-worked-hard-to-concoct!”).

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2. Clean up after your damn self. We’re not asking you to keep the house Martha Stewart-spotless. But here’s a news flash about moms: even though we like a clean house, we don’t actually enjoy cleaning it any more than you do. Additionally, we are not the only people in the house who are capable of keeping the place decent. So please, do us a solid. Wipe the seat off if you pee on it. Throw the wrappers/empty juice boxes/paper scraps in the trash can instead of stuffing them between the couch cushions or under your bed or just leaving them in the middle of the floor. Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Toss your dirty underwear in that clever invention we call a “clothes hamper.” Or, if you really want to see Mom smile, get crazy and fold and put away a load of laundry! A little housekeeping help goes a long way.

3. Don’t come a-knockin’. Seriously, when Mom is behind a closed door? KEEP. THE DOOR. SHUT. Doors were invented for a reason: to keep other people out. If we wanted to use a public restroom, we’d go poop at the gas station. Don’t knock. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing in there. It doesn’tmatter how long we’re going to be. Us closing the door is not a signal to ask questions or make complaints through the crack.

4. Stop the spur-of-the-moment invites. There are few things as annoying as unannounced company, so it would greatly benefit you to ask before inviting someone over. I think I can safely speak for all moms when I say it’d be nice to know in advance so we can, oh, put on a bra and perhaps something other than stretchy pants. Or clear the sink of last night’s dishes. Or take care of the stuff we need to take care of WITHOUT the addition of someone else’s kids. You might always be ready for company, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Mom is, so run it by us first.

5. Be practically perfect (in public). We’re proud of our families – after all, we’ve literally put blood, sweat, and tears into cultivating and tending to them. But if you really wanna get on Mom’s good side? Make us proud in public. Use the manners and etiquette we’ve been pounding into your head gently teaching you since your infancy. Nothing validates our efforts, or makes us feel like better moms, than remarks from the general public about how well-behaved or polite our children are. And for our spouses? Be a team player. The odds of good public behavior are dramatically increased when both parents are involved in whatever family outing we’re on – not glued to the phone, or walking ahead while we struggle with a stroller or a stubborn toddler.

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6. Toss us some thank-you’s. Motherhood is a thankless job. I mean, doing things for our families 24/7 is part of the job description, so we don’t expect high praise all the time, but a little appreciation once in a while (and not just on Mother’s Day when it’s, like, an obligation) would be pretty sweet. Think about it: you have your own personal chef. Maid. Chauffeur. Nurse. Stylist. Psychologist. Teacher. We keep track of your appointments, applaud your successes, coach you through your failures, advocate for you, and match all your socks. We’re on call every hour of every day, and let our own needs go unmet so yours can be not only fulfilled, but exceeded. So it’d be nice if, sometimes, you were like, “Hey Mom, thanks for the clean clothes/homework help/assistance in molding us into respectable citizens.” Throw in a big hug and we’ll be putty in your hands … because, pssst — the more appreciated we feel, the more likely we are to keep up the good work.

… Just sayin’.

Related post: 28 Reasons Kids Are Awesome

About the writer


Rita Templeton is a writer and mom to four lively, imaginative little boys. She lives in Davenport, Iowa, where she maintains her sanity by blogging at Fighting off Frumpy (and occasionally locking herself in her closet with a box of cookies). Come say hi on Twitter @fightingfrumpy, Instagram, and Facebook.

From Around the Web


Jennifer VanRoy Christensen 7 months ago

Not just kids. 100% applies to husbands too

Valerie Mohs Cichoski 7 months ago

Yes, yes, yes!!!!

Megan Woolsey 9 months ago

I love them all! Especially #3- can a mom use the restroom or take a shower in peace please?

Gillian Ellis 1 year ago

Thank you for putting my thoughts into writing!! This is so perfect! I am sharing this with my family. I think it’s time they were told. 😛
Love it!!

Robin Wilson 1 year ago

If only!!!

Anna Hande 1 year ago

Extra kids I don’t mind at all, but as to the rest – hell yes, wouldn’t it be lovely :)

Wendy 1 year ago

You Know, my husband is guilty of a lot of these ad well as my kids!!

Jodie Devall Dean 1 year ago

Amen Sista!!

Meg Vine 1 year ago

My husband need a read

Karin Wheatley 1 year ago

Oh, this one will be shared!!!

Maryland Family Psychology 1 year ago

Love this! I know this is for the kids but you should also write a funny one for the husbands!

Judy Cem 1 year ago

You hit the nail on the head! Especially with the cooking and cleaning, I hate them both, but still have to do it every day.

Caz Lythgoe 1 year ago

This needs to be a wall poster!

Sheila 1 year ago

I often find it funny that no matter what my 4 yr old and 9 yr old are doing….as soon as I go to the bathroom, one or both need me….its almost like they hear my butt hit the seat….

lynn 1 year ago

Love this article…rings so true! Just shared on my Facebook page. I will put link onto my website;-)

Kristie Herrington Zahn 1 year ago

Holy crap. This hit way too close to home!

Sharon Funk Erb 1 year ago

Love this post!

Jill Turnbull 1 year ago

2 and 6 – all I’d need !!

Laura Hopper 1 year ago

Love #3!!

Rose Harris 1 year ago

how is “shut up already” not on this list? 😉

Mary Sheldon 1 year ago

That’s a good saying!when I was raising my kids anything on the list would have been nice.

Esther Renea Poole 1 year ago

I tell my 6 and 4 year olds all too often do your chores if you want a snack from the prize box ( their chores consist of picking up toys and putting them in proper bins ) I give them fair warning then I say if I do it then I get a snack .. boy are they shocked when I enjoy that box of NERDS then they argue with each other over who will get a treats the next day. Normally they listen the following time but reguardless I selfishly always enjoy a box of NERDS. That makes this momma happy!

Heather Best 1 year ago

This is the most perfect list, ever.

Dana Lopez 1 year ago

I help him, but threaten no bath toys if he doesn’t help. It makes him help. And I always follow through if he decides he doesn’t want to.

Bonnie 1 year ago

Yep 6 times! This will be the kids (and the hubs) bedtime story tonight!

Victoria Olson 1 year ago

If my 3 yr old told me that I would tell her ok Mommy will get it & then that toy would be picked up & put in the trash. Trust me I have done it before & never got that response again. Now I say pick up your toys & she does it right away.

Laura Jo 1 year ago

Keep her sedated!

Alyssa Raffini 1 year ago

Gotta say I’m pretty lucky! :) 1 and 3 could use some improvements though

Dana Lopez 1 year ago

I ask my 3 year old to pick up his toys and he says, “No thank you. You do it.”

Kerstin Spain 1 year ago

I have twins, so it’s double the fun, but double the mess!

Rachel Paugh 1 year ago

Love this! Hahaha

Jennifer Anthony Murray 1 year ago

Love numbers 3 and 5

Sarah Samson D’Amato 1 year ago

Mine too! My 7yo tells me I’m treating her “like Cinderella” because I’m making her clean HER MESS in HER OWN room !

Tara Simon 1 year ago

1. A glass of wine and a good nap, only to wake up to a clean house and dinner on the table.

2. Repeat #1 daily.

(Edited to add: and all of the things in the article, too. Maybe throw in the winning Powerball for good measure.)

Nicole Slaughter 1 year ago

#6 OMG #6 !!!

Deborah McClendon 1 year ago

I started inviting my 5 & 3 year old into the bathroom with me. Told them I was about to take a big stinky poo poo and I wanted them in there with me. They’re getting better

Kerstin Spain 1 year ago

#2 I have been after my 7 yr olds lately to do their own stuff and the response I get “you make us do everything!!!!” Oh! Boy!

Stacey Downing Laurin 1 year ago

Especially #4!!! I take my kids to the park to get them out of my house, not to find more people to fill up my house!

Martin Harmon 1 year ago

What could be better than La Llorona?

Theresa Byrne 1 year ago

My life would be perfect if #2 happened. My oldest got home from school and pointed out the front room is still full of all of her stuff from yesterday. I said “Yup, I took the day off”. The look I got was priceless :-)

Mary Fran Hiebler Yeagle 1 year ago

All of these but especially #4!!!

Stephanie Renaud 1 year ago


Jamie Mertz 1 year ago


Beth Blye 1 year ago

#1 & #2 are great!