I'm rushed nearly every afternoon and evening shuttling my 9-year-old daughter, Alison, to scout meetings and piano lessons, helping my 14-year-old son, Andy, with school projects, getting dinner on the table, washing a load or two of laundry, and making last-minute runs to the store and library. By the time nine o'clock rolls around, I'm exhausted and irritable, and don't have a lot of energy left over for my husband—or myself. I cherish my kids and love being a mom, but I wish that parenting felt less like hard work at times. "Enjoying your children's company is essential to good parenting," says Kay Willis, a mother of ten grown children in Rutherford, NJ, and coauthor of Are We Having Fun Yet? (Warner Books). Start with these mood boosters today.
Denver-based Pamela S. Kramer, mom of two, writes on psychology and parenting.