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Happy, Mommy?

So I have been writing since I was 9. I have all my old journals and some day, when I have the courage and the time (which could literally be never), I am going to go back and read them. I have also had other blogs...three to be exact. I never really invited anyone to them because, while I have always had the need to put it out there, I just couldn't be that vulnerable and brave. I put it out there and then invited like three people to read it. Naked Random Thoughts has been different. It was born out of the idea that I needed to stop hiding and pretending to be something that I wasn't. I needed to stop caring that you might not like me or my writing.

I wrote this particular piece in 2010 when my children were 3 and 5. I was still married then and did not have a lot of spare time. What is most interesting to me now is that I had the same voice. Which belies my belief that I was someone else back then. So my idea that when I was married I was less me is not accurate. I was still in there...just less able to express myself and own who I was.


I had so many things to write about this morning! And now I am at a loss – such profundity at 5:30 am but my day has ground me down and now my mind is blank and searching. So why am I writing at all? Not sure but I made a commitment to do this daily so I am honoring my commitment to myself? That is novel. I keep thinking about accountability but that wasn't it – a worthy topic but not tonight. Choosing Happiness – that was it! Yeah, I love it when I get back to where I was all by myself!

Moving on quickly so that I don't forget again - I am more aware lately of all the little ways that I lie to myself and others. The tiny cuts to my wholeness that bleed me enough that it hurts and I notice but not so much pain that I actually stop what I am doing, really see what I am doing and maybe do something different. Before recovery, I had no ability to change yet I was constantly changing. I changed my hair color, my likes and dislikes to conform to my audience – whoever that might be. I was completely convinced that external things like hair color or whether I liked hockey or baseball mattered. In some ways, life was easier then. I knew how to change…but I wasn't real. I just morphed into whatever form I thought someone wanted from me and there was no me anywhere to be found.

I wonder if people really liked me back them or if I was just an audience member in their morphing phenomena. Then I go further and wonder if the audience necessitated my shifting? And if that was the case, why did I suddenly get these great ideas when I was completely alone to change who I was? I was my only audience member at that moment and I wasn't even interested in my own show…so where does that leave me?

I know that my children have caused me to grow tremendously in this area. They want the same Mommy all the time. They are not interested in having the PMSing mommy, the Ihaveworktodo mommy, or the yellingmommy. They want and in fact demand that I am my higher, more evolved self on a minute to minute basis. My daughter is so in tune with me that the minute she sees a scowl come over my face she looks at me with those big blue grey eyes and says "Happy, Mommy?" At first I just felt guilty and destroyed that, no, I was actually NOT happy that she or her brother had just pooped their pants or spilled cereal all over the floor and I would answer her with a not so nice, "No, mommy is NOT happy!"

But children have an amazing ability to push you out of your comfort zone to make you see that the impossible is really possible. And I began to realize that her question "Happy, Mommy?" could be seen as a reminder in that instant of how was I choosing to be – happy or angry? When I started to be mindful of this I realized that I choose anger more often than not and I had no idea why. So I began asking myself – "Happy, Mommy?"

I began, over a course of weeks, to change my behavior. The perceived disaster of spilled cereal or poopie pants that had previously set me over the edge was now put into an easier, more acceptable context to which I could choose to be happy instead of reacting to the external event that had already occurred and that I was absolutely powerless to change. In reflection, I realized that I was allowing events that had passed – trivial events, to rob me of being present and sane to these small beings that I was blessed with. So I instead of allowing guilt to be my go to when she asks, "Happy, mommy?" I have started smiling and saying, "I am trying, Honey. Thank you for the reminder." I love that about kids – breakfast all over the floor, a bowel movement and a spiritual lesson and it is only 7:00 am. Where else can you get that? Seems like something this Mommy could choose be happy about.

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