Do you want to be happy? I mean, everyone does right?
There are stories written, songs sung and self help books up-the-wazoo all about the pursuit happiness and how to achieve it. Why do we put such pressure on ourselves achieving it and telling ourselves we will be happy when ‘something’ happens? Isn’t that just accentuating the fact that we aren’t happy now and circumstances changing will make us happy? Why do we put conditions on being happy?
I know, as a parent, I have said many times “I will be happy when we get through ‘this’ stage…
Whatever stage it is that we are struggling with at the time. The Terrible Two’s and Threenager’s have been difficult ages on all of us in the past!
But there is always another stage lurking around the corner. Each stage has their challenges as well as their perks, but we all know one thing… It goes way too fast! They grow up and we know we will miss the stages that we desperately wished they would get through quickly.
I know my teenager wouldn’t come and hop into bed with me now if he was scared, he might not even talk to me about it. I have been replaced as his safe haven and he has friends that fill that void now. The sad thing is, I spent so much of his childhood feeling like I was struggling, I didn’t take the time to appreciate it when I was his safe haven. When I was his whole world.
I didn’t feel like a happy parent.
I have worked hard on changing that, over the many years and many kids.
So how do we make our kids and ourselves happy? Especially when we face difficult times and challenging behaviours?
Destination Happy 🙂
Accept the things you cannot change!
I always tell my kids that you can’t change the way other people are or what other people do, you can only change your reactions and your attitude. Concern yourself with that and let the other person deal with their issues, good or bad. That’s not something you are in control of.
Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.
I have failed many times, in parenting and life, I will fail many more times. My dad used to have a saying when I was growing up, “It’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it”. I try hard to learn from it. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results…. Try something different 🙂 Try not focusing on the bad and focus on the good instead.
Be Kind to yourself and to others!
Beating yourself up doesn’t help at all, it is a vicious cycle that is hard to break out of. It erodes your self confidence and enables a victim mentality, which isn’t helpful in parenting. You need to stand tall and BE. THE. BOSS!
Some days you will not have this, that’s alright too. It’s only one day! Tomorrow is a new day, focus on making it a good one.
Change the Story.
As corny as it sounds, change your inner voice to reflect what you want to be. Telling yourself that you are a kind, smart, good parent will change you into that over time. Sometimes it is that simple. Changing the story you tell your kids will help them too, every child wants to hear they are good, smart, loving and gentle. Sometimes it may not be true… But saying it helps them focus on being it.
There is so much to be grateful for! Don’t waste time focusing on what you don’t have or what you desperately want for a while and focus on what you have already. If you are happy, healthy and loved, what more could you ask for?
Even in your darkest days there is always something to be grateful for…. Even if it’s the kids going to bed early, the sweet caress of the first morning coffee or finding a bottle of cooking wine hidden in the back of the pantry!
Some days will be hard, full of obstacles and attitudes and we just have to struggle on through them knowing that it’s just a stage and find the good in it. Focusing on that, will make you (and them) much happier 🙂
Just remember my motto: This too shall pass….