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Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 18 – Get happy!

by Deborah Cruz

Yesterday’s Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 17 – Don’t Ask. Tell.
was a pretty good challenge for me. It especially has been helpful this week because school starts tomorrow and I have had to be the bedtime Nazi…”No staying up past 6:30 for you!” Before (this week) I would waver. “Oh, you did take a nap, so if you are up a little late..it’s OK” or “as long as you promise to sleep in tomorrow” but that’s all over. My oldest is starting kindergarten tomorrow ( more on that in the next post) and she absolutely has to go to bed by 6:30 or she simply will not function. Long gone are the days of “Bella, go to sleep for Mommy, OK?” “Bella aren’t you getting tired?” Of course she was tired, she is 5 years old and she is up at 9 pm. Well, this week its been very regimented and its been explained fully and she adheres. No problem, no argument. Can you frigging believe it? You mean I could have had my evenings to myself all this time?WHAT??? OK, so I do love the occasional Mommy and Bella stolen time when she wakes up and I’m still awake and she wants a little cuddle but we have to get this routine down for school. I am so proud of her for listening with no sassy back talk or bargaining and I am proud of myself for telling her what needs to be done and actually doing it. How did your Don’t ask.Tell day go?

Today’s Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 18 – Get happy!
I suppose this may actually be the most difficult challenge yet because who knows exactly what it will take to make us happy. And maybe we’re already as happy as we’re going to get. But this is definitely a case of half empty versus half full and let me tell you, perspective can change absolutely everything about your life.

The point I’m trying to make is that in order to be better parents, we need to be happy people. I think we need to try and look at the world with a little optimism. Give that bitch a new spit shine, if you will. Happiness comes in all sorts of various forms – whether it’s the small things like being well-rested, getting a much needed pedicure, having a date night, or being alone without the kids.( These may seem like simple tasks to the untrained eye but for a parent, it can mean the difference between happiness and despair). Maybe your happiness is dependent on tackling the big guns, like issues with your spouse or frustration with your current work and not-work situation.Your happiness could be a reflection of how you feel about yourself but do you want your lack of fulfillment to trickle down into making your children unhappy? Of course not. If we do this we never even realize it.We need to find happiness in our lives and embrace it, change the things we can and let those we can’t fall away. We will be much happier people if we make a conscious choice to count our blessings and not our worries. This attitude and perspective will trickle down and we will effect our children’s lives in a positive way, not only by being better parents to them but better role models for them. Happiness is contagious!

Maybe we can’t make our lives perfect, but we can certainly strive to be happier in the lives we have.
I’m a firm agreement with Kristen  that in order to be really great, attentive, loving, awesome better parents, we need to be happy people. “We can certainly fake it for awhile, but you can only shake a soda bottle and leave the cap on for so long before it pushes itself open.”

So today, take some time to figure out what your “happy” is. And if you’re at a loss, you might enjoy two of Kristen’s favorite sites, The Happiest Mom (a great blog soon to be book written by Meagan Francis) and The Happiness Project (a great book and now blog written by Gretchen Rubin).

Now Don’t worry, Go GET HAPPY! Let me know how you got happy!

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