What if, in addition to striving for the Happiest Baby On The Block, I become the Happiest Mom On The Block? What if I’m also the one giggling more, sleeping peacefully, and a joy to be around? Because just as the photo clip below says—“In the end… I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life”. Me. Not a character in a book, or an actress on TV—only I can paint that picture. And dammit, I want it to be a masterpiece.
I try to consciously do something everyday to make me happy and cheerful. We’ve all heard that a happy mom/wife is a happy life. Yet we always work tirelessly to make everyone else happy and can forget our own needs. We often run our battery down to zero and never think about if we are happy. Do we want our children to follow in those footsteps? I don’t want them to only remember what a stressed out mom looks like (though I do have that look perfected).
I want them to look back, and have their memories heavily rooted in happiness and patience. Because they won’t just remember me on my good days– so I want it to be a habit. And when they think of me, they remember how I always dance (flail) to music, how I sing loudly in the car, how I go down the slide with them at the park, and how I (try to) do Mickey Mouse’s voice when we play. Or how I listen to their favorite song on repeat every effing time we are in the car (even on 2 hour drives) because they love it, but I play the Spanish version of it– because the song is actually about casual sex…
And when my kids are testing my patience, and I’m gearing up for battle, I always stop and think– is this really important? Will this matter in an hour, or a week? Last night my 3 year old didn’t want to sleep. She had her new purple corduroy pants on and refused to take them off. I insisted she put her PJs on. When I came back in the room she had the PJs on over her pants. I held my tongue and smiled at my little smarty pants. That’s not a battle worth having.
And on the days when I’m struggling– not feeling very positive or questioning how I’m doing as a mom– I think about the reenactments. My 3-year-old stages elaborate reenactments with her toys between moms and daughters. The conversations include a lot of “Oh its okay baby, it was an accident”, “Dancing will make you happy” and “I’m your mommy, I’m always here to protect you”. She never uses harsh language, and she never raises her voice. Her conversations as a “mom” are always cheerful and compassionate. And as I watch her be the imaginary mommy to her bear/caterpillar/donkey my heart fills with joy knowing this is how she understands parenting. This is what I modeled for her.
It’s hard to think about, but in the end I will only be a memory my children carry with them. I want it to be a good one. I want the influence I had over them during their youth to be positive and grand. Years later they won’t remember every day, just the highlights– and I want that movie reel to be a great comedy.