The happy mom: You know her. (Heck, maybe you are her.) She’s not necessarily smiley or giggly — more content, confident, and completely cool. If you aren’t her, you kind of wish you were. Okay, you don’t “kind of” wish… you actively have to stop yourself from daydreaming about it. Well, the good news is that you could be her. Here are the habits that make for one happy mama.

1. Taking “Me” Time: That five minutes to yourself in the car between daycare drop-off and pulling into work counts as “me” time, right? Um, not really. “Me” time has a few requirements: It has to be intentional, it has to last for more than a minute or two, and it has to have nothing to do with anyone except yourself. And before you go thinking that you’re dropping your parenting duties, moms who are steadfast in their abilities to take some serious “me” time aren’t selfish. They’re happy!

2. Belonging to a Partnership: No, this doesn’t mean that mommy happiness requires marriage. There are plenty of over-the-top joyous women who aren’t married, dating, or in any sort of romantic coupledom. Even though keeping the spark alive in your relationship can certainly contribute to your overall happiness, spending time with your BFF, sister, or other favorite person (that is, your favorite non-child person) can keep you smiling too.

3. Knowing How to Laugh at Yourself: Parenting can make you laugh. And sometimes you need to direct that laughter inward. Happy moms have that much-needed ability and don’t take themselves seriously 100 percent of the time. Sure, there are times when you need to respect the role of mama. But when the baby spits up all over your shoulder in the middle of your preschooler’s holiday pageant, laughter is infinitely better than bashfully ducking out to cry in the bathroom.

4. Enjoying Everyday Moments: It’s Sunday afternoon, and the baby is crawling around the family room. Just exploring. That’s it. There are no Insta-worthy moments, and nobody is doing anything majorly adorable. It’s just a normal sort of day… and the happy mom is totally in her element. She rejoices in these mini moments that aren’t super-special.

5. Striking Silly Poses: You’re in the middle of the mall when your toddler turns into the T. Rex of tantrumming tykes. A happy mom might lose it. (Hey, everyone does sometimes.) But she can just as easily act out the silliest scene she knows, relieving the tension and helping everyone chill out.

6. Giving Yourself a Break: Again, everyone loses it at some time or another. Sometimes the baby cries and cries and cries. And sometimes even the happiest of moms starts crying too. Sometimes she yells. Sometimes she puts herself on time-out. And sometimes she thinks she sucks at this whole parenting thing. But she can also give herself a break. She knows that no one is perfect, and she doesn’t hold herself up to some imaginary parenting standard that is entirely impossible to ever reach.

7. Forgetting About Comparisons: The race is on: Every mom wants her child to walk, talk, and read before all of the other children in the neighborhood playgroup. Or wait — not every mom. At least, not the happy mommy. She couldn’t care less if her child paints like Monet, can dunk a ball like LeBron, or is reaching every major milestone well before anyone else does. She’s totally joyful about where her kid is and whatever they’re doing right now.

8. Being Nice to Others: You expect your child to play nicely with others. The same should go for you too. Happy moms aren’t judgy moms. They don’t point and whisper. And they don’t gossip about who just brought (shock! gasp!) a soccer snack that has high-fructose corn syrup in it. They smile, they’re kind, and they treat everyone like they would hope to be treated.

Tweet us your happy mom habits @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)