Ask any mom out there what she wants for her kids and while answers will vary slightly, the common denominator will always be, “I just want them to be happy.”
Am I right or am I right?
Would you prefer a kid who makes a ton of money as a top performing attorney but hates his job or a kid who is super satisfied as a middle manager in a retail chain?
Would you prefer a kid who is a star athlete but would rather be coding or the kid who never scores a goal but loves playing soccer?
Would you prefer the kid who is bummed about his 96 GPA or is proud of his hard-earned C report card?
Here's the thing.
Raising happy kids starts with being happy yourself. As a mom, sometimes I feel like I am always thinking about what needs to happen next to keep my life, my family and myself organized. It’s easy to forget about practicing happiness and setting that example for my kids every day when I’m constantly giving directions, cooking something, cleaning up, working, commuting, and every other thing that occupies a lot of my time each day.
Here are 3 simple ways to be happy every day, for yourself and for your kids.
Wake up and say “Thank You”. Seriously, let these be the first words you say. Every morning, I get out of bed, put down my left foot and say “thank” and right foot and say “you”. This is such a simple way to start your day and remember to be grateful, even if you’re having a rough morning, didn’t sleep all night, or are still pissed about whatever happened the day before, You can always be grateful that you can put those feet down on the ground, right? A small reminder of so many simple things we take for granted; this one really grounds me, literally.
Change your resting bitch face. Full disclosure, this is a little hard for me because I have a real issue with RBF, even if I’m in the best mood ever. One time, on a customer survey at work, someone literally wrote, “The Director makes weird faces.” True story. But just to give you some perspective, I did really try to make this change years ago when I was a stressed-out commuter in NYC and it really did change things. I was always rushing to work those days. Why? Who knows? I was young, single, and had nobody depending on me except, well, me-but I digress. I would power walk through the city, furrowed brow and clenched teeth, get to work and start my day with lots of nervous and anxious energy. Again, WHY?! Then, I started doing something. I started relaxing my face on those power walks. I started smiling even. And I probably looked a little insane in the rat race of NYC commuters, but I’ll say, it changed things. That small gesture of changing my facial expression transformed my whole vibe for the day.
Help someone out. Honestly, this doesn’t need to be a HUGE favor and it doesn’t always need to be helping your kids (you’re already doing that multiple times per day). For me, and probably for you, you often feel like you can’t take on anything else. But, seriously, this is a lot easier than it seems. The other day, I was cooking bolognese sauce. I’m Italian, so when I cook sauce, I basically make a catering size portion to feed my entire block. I’m also a planner, so I plan to freeze a bunch of this for easy weeknight dinners for my family. In addition to that, I like helping people, so I picked up the phone and texted my friend who had just had her third kid and told her I was dropping some off for her. You see? Not. That. Hard. Helping someone can be something as simple as asking a friend how her day was and offering 10 minutes of your time as a sounding board. It can be holding the door for the person behind you who is holding 4 bags, a dog leash and an umbrella. Try and do something every day to help someone else. It really does elevate your mood.
What else makes you feel happy on the day to day? Drop me a line here and let me know.