This may sound shocking, but I don’t believe it’s my job to make my kids happy. You probably think I’m a terrible parent, but before you turn me in to CPS, hear me out…
It’s not my job to make sure they’re happy. It’s my job to make sure they’re loved. It’s also my job to make sure that I’m preparing them to be an adult as best I can. Sometimes that goes along with them being happy, but sometimes it doesn’t.
Parenting is hard. Figuring out how to get that kiddo to listen and obey is even harder. Once you feel like you’ve found something that works, everything totally changes and throws you for a loop.
I get it. Going out in public with tiny humans with absolutely no self-control feels a lot like being dragged thru a parking lot by a dog on a leash. And if its nap time, I’d rather staple my face to the wall. But Moms, I promise you, I’d rather hear your kid be upset about being told “no” now, than watch you give in and let him win just because he cried and screamed.
Does it make them happy at that moment that you said no? Obviously not. You’re teaching your children at an early age that they can’t just do whatever they want to get whatever they want. You’re teaching them that you’re in charge, and they’re learning essential life skills. You’re teaching them that one day, even when you’re not in charge anymore, their Creator still will be. Can they find happiness in that? You’re also teaching things like having self-control, and how not to be entitled 4-year-olds, so they don’t turn into entitled 24-year-olds. I mean, am I right?
I’ve been there, and I feel you. Dealing with a fit throwing toddler or the incessant arguing preschooler in the grocery line while you’re also trying to hold the heavy car seat on your hip and the diaper bag that weighs 85 pounds on your back is overwhelming and will make you want to cry. Everything inside of you will make you believe that the people around you are staring and judging and so you will give that kid anything they want to shut them up. You know what? Maybe they are staring at you. Once in a blue moon, though, a momma will see you make the right choice, and she will tell you you’re doing a good job, and it will make your day.
So finally, in a world where entitlement is rampant and authentic joy is almost nonexistent, can we all agree that it starts in the home when they’re little? Can we do better in teaching our kids to be happy and find joy even when we’re told the word “no?” Let’s smile at the moms we see standing strong and encourage them. Tell them they’re doing a good job. I think it will do our future a favor!