Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When Mama ain't happy...

Yesterday, in the immortal words of Alexander, I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I even kinda, sorta wanted to move to Australia. all. by. myself.

I ranted, I raved, I eerily resembled a shrieking banshee, I'm sure. At least in the eyes of my children, anyway. My four year old even had the balls to inform me that I was "being a mean, mean mommy." The brave child and I then decided we were going to start over. I was going to try to be nice and he was going to attempt to be slightly more cooperative. I told him that I was going to do the dishes and he could pick up his room like I had previously been begging him to do and then we could see if we couldn't have a fun afternoon.

He retorted that I was, "still being a mean, mean mommy." I told him even nice mommies make their kids clean their rooms.

Ya know what, though? After about 20 more minutes of bellyaching, he actually picked up his room. A bit after that my 3 year old told me I was wonderful. Then the 21 month old went down for a nap and the older two actually helped me pick up a bit and then watched a movie quietly. If I hadn't seen the change for myself I would've thought that a Stepford Wives-like switch had happened. Instead, in reality, my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day somehow managed to turn into quite a pleasant one.

Now, I know this was more of an anomaly versus everyday life. I know that nine times out of ten I can be the nicest or not so nicest mom ever and my kids will continue on in their previously established moods. However, just this once, I was reminded that the saying, "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," goes both ways. That sometimes, when I'm not happy, my children aren't happy...and when I am happy, my children might actually decide to be happy too.

So, while this insight most likely won't cause any huge tidal waves of change in my little corner of the world, I'm hopin' that maybe, just possibly, it might cause a bit of a ripple effect. Maybe the next time I'm having an Alexander-worthy bad day, I can just decide to stop.

stop the yelling.
stop the crying.
stop the threats.

and see if I can't just start the day over.


  1. Perfect post. I wish like you said it was always that simple. and it is true nine times out of ten it ends up the way it is going no matter how you react. But those days that your attitude makes all the difference makes you feel like maybe you actually know what you are doing as a parent. Glad your day got better and it is good to be reminded that just because it doesn't always work doesn't mean I shouldn't try!

  2. I notice my kids feed off my attitude too and even my hubby's. In fact, I recently received a compliment because my kids are so laid back it must mean that their parents are laid back. Well... one of us is...
    Anyway, there are days when they are just ornery, but I hope if I keep a positive attitude they will be happier, at the very least I get through the day easier. You know, try to laugh instead of cry.

  3. I like this may not always turn out this way, but as my husband likes to say, "sometimes you just have to fake it to make it". I think I need to "fake" the happy and smilies until they are there. It just might help the smiles to appear on my beasties' faces, too.

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  5. Awww, great post. I'm glad that a little bit of sunshine shone into your home. After all, you so deserve it. Thanks for the reminder that my attitude really does count--even when I think that my kids set the mood in the home...I probably have a lot more to do with it then I realize.