If not now, when?Posted: July 30, 2010
Like so many others lately, I’ve started reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project.” As I’m reading, I alternate between feeling totally inspired and totally overwhelmed; I can absolutely see why she decided to make her changes over the course of a year, rather than tackling them all at once. I’m only reading about her changes and I’m exhausted.
She does make a lot of points that really speak to me, though. Most pertinent to my current situation in terms of parenting is her approach to her temper and her patience. Before I had kids, I wouldn’t have called myself a yeller. If you met me today, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t think that I’m a yeller. (As an aside, I mean a yeller to be “one who yells” not “one who is yellow.” Just thought I would clear that up.) One of my biggest pet peeves is that my children don’t listen. OF COURSE they don’t listen… they’re four and one! What do I expect? Well, I think I sometimes expect them to meet me halfway. And why would they? They haven’t learned to do that yet! The word “compromise” isn’t in their collective vocabulary. And yet I, a thirty-one year old, expect my children to act as I, frankly, am not. I don’t want them to have bad tempers, but how can I expect anything more of them than I do of myself? This is all a very round-about way of saying that parenting is a freaking black hole of paradoxes and I am ILL EQUIPPED at times. Thank goodness for people like Gretchen Rubin and every other mama-writer on the internet who make me feel like we’re all ill equipped together.
However, I DO want to make positive changes, and what better time to start than now? As Rubin says, what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile. So I need to work on my everyday behavior and interactions with my children, starting now. It’s always said that all people want for their children is for them to be happy, right? So I want to teach my kids how to learn to make themselves happy. It’s the least I can do while I’m learning it myself.