Last week at my MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) group, we had the priest from a neighboring church come and speak to our group about relationships, gratefulness, and ultimately being the bigger person to gain peace within our lives. He asked us all to think about the last time we were truly happy – not just happy, but head to toes with excitement happy. I immediately thought about the minutes after my second son was born. In that moment I was ecstatic to have a healthy baby boy, to be done with labor, and grateful to have a loving husband supporting me. A few people in the group spoke up and shared their most recent “true happiness” moments, and the priest pointed out that all of them revolve around the relationships we have built in our lives. As I heard other moms speak about watching their child’s joy, I came to the realization that my kids’ happiness is on me, and I think I had a “my life is going to be a little bit different from now on” moment.
The only relationships our children are 100% certain of when they are young are mommy, daddy, and in some cases siblings. Of course my toddler understands grandma and grandpa, and he is aware that aunts and uncles are important people in his life as well as mommy’s friends that he sees weekly, but on a day-to-day basis it’s just me and my husband. Wow. If our happiness is a direct result of our relationships then his happiness starts with me. I would say that for the most part I am a happy person, but we all have our days where we wake up grumpy and it’s hard to shake. Days when your toddler is having a case of the Mondays all week and you have to dig 20 feet deep to find some patience. We all have days where the world is just not spinning how you want it to and it’s hard to put on a smile. It’s okay to not be okay 100% of the time, and it’s okay to show our children that we are sad or upset because emotions are normal but….
Maybe those really bad days don’t need to happen – at least not around our kids? Maybe we can set aside that aura of unhappiness until naptime or bedtime when the little ones are happily tucked in? It’s hard for me to think about that too because when I’m in a bad mood my grumpy is the grumpiest of grumpy, and it is hard to set aside that feeling, especially when hormones are running high after having a baby. When I start to feel this way I am trying to stop and think – if internalizing it for a few hours makes my child happier, isn’t it worth it? That’s my goal from now on – when I’m in a bad mood, take a step back and ask myself if my momentary state of unhappiness, grumpiness, anger, or whatever it may be is necessary enough to also bring down my child’s happiness. Looking into the eyes of my almost two year old as we were giggling and playing yesterday afternoon, I can tell you that the answer is no, it’s not necessary enough. ♥
Doesn’t this melt your heart? He loves his brother so much. Before G was born, I was worried R would feel like he was being neglected but it turns out it’s the opposite. He loves having someone else to make laugh.