What in the world is a mantra?
According to Google who I’m pretty sure knows everything I might ever want to know, a mantra is a sacred utterance, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power.
I like to keep a handful of helpful mantras in my back pocket. Not literally. What if I’m wearing a skirt? I mean I have them memorized and I call on them when necessary. When hard times head my way I use them to keep a clear head rather than go to fear and avoidance.
When hard times hit and I have a clear head I do things like exercise, pray, communicate, journal and take useful action as relevant to the problem.
When hard times hit and I DON’T keep a clear head I feel fear which makes me avoid the situation by doing things like complaining, staying in bed, eating an entire box of licorice and spending money on things I don’t need at Target.
Some of these actions are things that I enjoy doing from a place of celebration or reward. However, when I do them from a place of hiding from a problem they aren’t even as fun and they certainly don’t help with my problem.
SO, mantras are good. Target and licorice are good. But creating my dream life means I need some good mantras. This one is my favorite so I’m sharing it with you today and for some of you it won’t help at all but for some it will change your whole school year. And it’s so simple!
I’m not supposed to make my kids happy.
A good friend of mine told me this in a church class once and I liked the sound of it, the logic behind it made sense and it is a thought that has made me a happier person AND a better mom.
See, our kiddos have their own little minds and spirits and THEY get to choose how they’re going to feel. They don’t always WANT to feel happy. Do you? As mom’s we WANT them to be happy so we try to talk them out of feeling bad. This is exhausting for them and for us. Not to mention fairly ineffective.
Instead I try to teach my kids that they can choose to be happy … or not and I’ll love them the same either way. I’ll teach them tools so that if they WANT to be happy they’ll know how. But in the end they get to choose.
What’s so freeing about this is that my happiness no longer depends on THEIR happiness. Sometimes they are SUPPOSED to feel sad or mad or afraid or hurt or discouraged. This is part of the human experience and they are learning and growing from it.
When my 11-month old is losing his little-baby mind because I had to set him down on the carpet while I put my shoes on, I remind myself I’m not supposed to make him happy. He needs to cry…scratch that… he needs to SCREAM really loudly right now. And I need to let him.
When my 8-year-old son tells me he hates school I tell him he is allowed to hate school. He still has to go and if he wants to know some ways he could like it better let me know and I will help him find them, but he doesn’t have to. He can hate it if he wants and I still love him just as much.
When my 6-year-old daughter tells me she hates me because I won’t buy her that thing-a-ma-jig she saw advertised on TV, I tell her she is allowed to hate me and I love her just as much. I let her know that I can even relate to the feeling because I like getting new things too and that when she’s ready to feel better to let me know ‘cause I have some great tricks I use on myself when I can’t buy what I want.
But if she doesn’t want to feel better I totally get that and while there are guidelines around how we talk to and treat people in our home I expect her to follow, she is totally allowed to hate me in her head and do whatever she wants within those guidelines. And I totally love her to pieces just the same.
I’m not supposed to make them happy. I’m supposed to make me happy and teach them valuable tools and then love them no matter what they choose to feel.
Ah! What a relief! If you think so too please share this on Facebook or wherever you like to share things! Thanks friend.
Love your guts…