Stop it. No one is happy all of the time. No one, and our kids do not need our exclusive happiness .
Happiness is not an attainable state of permanency. Happiness is dependent on conditions. No one can live in a state of constant happiness. Are we happy in loss? Are we happy in the suffering of a loved one? Of course not.
We can stop our aim at happiness and instead focus on the notion of personal peace. While happiness is impacted by the external, peace is a state that can be cultivated and maintained in any circumstance. It is possible to be sad but at peace. It is possible to feel compassionate but at peace. Peace is even possible in loss.
My external world with a young family feels chaotic most days. Getting little feet in socks and shoes can rattle my nerves before the clock strikes 9am. Kindergarten has me and my child melting, and then there is the noise. Noise noise noise noise noise. As moms we owe it to ourselves to be honest. Not every moment of life deserves our happiness, and it’s okay for our kids to experience that.
Today, I suggest we give ourselves a break. We can relinquish the idea of exclusive happiness being imperative for our family. We can allow ourselves to be human with our kids, allow them to see the true range of emotions of their mother. We can replace the idea of a “happy mom” with a more attainable state, a “peaceful mom,” a mom with a true range of emotion who manages the ups and downs of life with underlying grace and steadiness.
When we approach life from a honed state of peace the external begins to mirror the internal. A peaceful mom makes a sock slide on easier, and a rattled mom will almost always twist up the sock. Try it. It’s basically science.
When we look to peace rather than happiness we realize that peace comes with a gift that is beyond a basic happiness. That gift is joy, a spontaneous grace bestowed upon us that removes the lens from our eyes and we see our families as the blessings that they are. In peace we pause. We notice the twinkle in a five year olds eye. We notice the crooked smile in a precious baby. We see that time speeds by, and all we have is the moment we share now. Bonus, we also get the sock on smoother, every time.
So let go of happiness. Your kids don’t need a perfect mom or a happy mom, they need a peaceful mom, a mom with a true range of emotion who manages the ups and downs of life with exemplary grace and steadiness.