The Happy Mom vs. The Unhappy Mom: Part One
I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the differences between the happy mom and the unhappy mom... The mom who finds joy in her role and the one who struggles to find it...What sets us apart?
For years, I had thought that happiness lied in something tangible...the working mom vs. the stay at home mom, the thin mom vs. the curvier mom, the cloth diaper mom vs. the disposable diaper mom, the home school mom vs. the preschool mom. It was my firm belief for the longest time that happiness meant falling on the "right" side of these choices. I thought that happy moms must be falling to the other side of where my arrow pointed because not only was I unhappy but I felt guilty for being the "wrong" mom.
What Raw Honey Mamas is teaching me is that none of the above matters. We talk about this stuff at length like it does matter when in fact it's all irrelevant bull shit. Picking a side...living within this box of motherhood we have created in our head doesn't determine happiness. True happiness can't be found in a number on the scale, true happiness isn't found on the job. True happiness has nothing to do with breast feeding vs. bottle feeding and it certainly has nothing to do with whether we decided to co-sleep with our babies or put them in a crib when they came home from the hospital.
For so long, I perseverated over these choices. I knew in my heart what worked for me, but I would still research and judge myself when I felt like I wasn't adding up. Maybe if I lose the weight I will be happy. Maybe if I can learn how to cook actual meals for the kids, I will be happy. Maybe if I just keep moving and stop thinking then I will be happy because at least then I won't have time to stew over how I am failing as a mom, as a wife, as a human being.
For so long I asked the irrelevant questions about motherhood.
I AM DONE.
Maybe the thin mom IS the happy mom. Maybe the working mom IS the happy mom. Maybe the homeschooling mom IS the happy mom, but there are moms who are curvier, there are moms who stay at home with their children, and there are moms who send their kids to preschool who are just as happy! SO, what is behind all that???
Where are my happy moms and what is it that YOU are doing???
What are YOUR thoughts? What are YOUR passions? What is on your mind when you wake up in the morning? What are YOU doing that propels you forward??? What is it that you are doing right and I am doing wrong? I don't want to be thin or rich. I don't want to be the perfect parent according to what is trendy at the moment, I want to be the happy mom. I want to be the mom who loves the title and wears it proudly. I just want to be me and I want to do what works for ME.
For the longest time I found myself thinking about the "working mom", man she has it all. For the longest time I found myself staring at the "thin mom" wishing I looked more like her, and for the longest time, I felt like I didn't measure up to the mom who never let her kid watch TV or to the mom who didn't feed her kids anything but homemade food, for in my mind, she was better and I was worse. I used to tell myself, if only I did these things...if only I was this person,THEN I would be happy.
It did not dawn on me until this blog happened that we are looking at all the wrong things!
We constantly search for answers from the mom who's in shape and the mom who has an amazing career and the mom who follows every study recently published on how to be a parent in 2016 but we are missing out on a HUGE DEMOGRAPHIC.
WHY ARE WE NOT LOOKING AT THE HAPPY MOMS AND ASKING THEM THE QUESTIONS? Why are we not seeking advice from the mom's who relish this time of their lives and why are we not picking THEIR brains? Why is it that as a society we do not seem to value happiness the way we do careers or a reflection in the mirror? Why are we not researching happiness the way we do for TV under two? I know for a fact, that as a society we sure as hell don't notice it. We notice the thin mom, we notice the mom who has four degrees and an impressive salary, but never do we see a happy mom and think, "WOW! Now there's a happy mom, man do I wish I could be just like her."
Happiness isn't found in the superficial and it took me decades to figure it out.
Happiness is a choice.
Happiness is a feeling.
Happiness is a state of mind.
Happiness isn't about your husband or your children and what kind of food they are eating, Happiness is something that comes from within.
What makes me happy and what makes you happy may not look the same on the surface, but behind it, the principals are the same..and I am not talking about perfection here. We are all human and we all get grumpy and short tempered at times, but deep down you know in general which mom you are...who are you 80% of the time?
I can confidently tell you that I am a recovering angry mom. I can also tell you confidently that who I was then is no longer who I am today, and it's not because I lost weight or because I stopped feeding my kids Eggos...it isn't because I got a job for I am still unemployed. I made a mental shift and finally it is all starting to click.
To be continued...