In mothering, we can be overwhelmed by many things – the weight of responsibility, uncertainties, our perceived failures, the ‘aloneness’, and frustrations. We may be angered by the way our kids speak to us; and we may regret how we speak to our kids. We can easily lose our happy selves. And if it’s not the kids, it can be something else, like Covid! So thus year I have decided to have a HAPPY New year.
I’m probably not alone when I say that the whole Covid plague scenario has not had the best impact on my mood. For everyone it’s different but, for me, I was becoming a new kind of grumpy. Especially if I’ve just been to the shops. People don’t wear masks. People don’t respect my space. People don’t sign-in. People don’t…, people don’t…, people don’t. People! I didn’t like grumpy me and decided it was time for a change.
Word for the year
I wonder how many other mums choose a ‘word’ for each year? I discovered ‘word of the year’ about six years ago. I love its benefits for personal reflection and growth. Your chosen word can be for comfort, encouragement, aspiration, inspiration or personal development. My words have included: unconditional, overlook, watched, friends and respect.
Once I have my ‘word’, I give it some intentional mind space. I write down my reasons for this word, and my hopes for it. I Google quotes to see what others say about it. I set goals in relation to it. I go find Bible verses about the word for quiet personal reflection.
Each December, I start to consider what my new word will be. Sometimes, it takes a fair bit of thinking to come up with a word that feels right. Sometimes it jumps out at me. For this year, it jumped! I wanted to be the opposite of grumpy! So I chose the word HAPPY.
My first reflection was that ‘happy’ can be a remedy for other moods as well, like frustration, complaining, resentment, being a martyr-victim, etc. I saw that happiness is not the same as gratitude. Looking for something to be grateful for every day is a good thing but not the same. With happy, I’m aiming to be happy in myself.
These are my ‘happy’ goals:
- Focus on wearing a happy face.
- Smile first, and then answer.
- Smile before initiating hard conversations.
- Ask myself in grumpy moments “What if I was a happy person right now…?”
- Remind myself often.
I find even thinking about being happy lightens the moment. It prompts an involuntary smile, and the mole-hills stay mole-hills. It allows me to leave the issue behind and move on.
Life may still overwhelm us at times, but that’s how life is. However, I believe we’ll be stronger and calmer to cope with life’s challenges if we are happy on the inside. My aim this year is to find my ‘happy self’.
I wonder if you will join me?
Lexia Smallwood MOPS Office Coordinator