A friend posted this picture on Facebook. Funny but true for the vast majority of families. Sometimes we have to choose between letting the kids jump in the puddles and run through the mud, do crafts, or simply play like kids … and having a clean house. There are definitely days I have to make choices to keep my sanity as a mom (those are usually days that Dean gets a “help me keep my sanity” call) Over all, however, I would much rather CHOOSE HAPPINESS. For me, sanity is a goal that is much too low.
I think of it as the difference between being in “survival mode”, and being in “thrival mode.” Let’s face it, we all go through days where just getting through it all in one piece is an accomplishment. And I’m no different. Whether we’re swamped with responsibilities, dealing with other stresses, or quite simply have a to-do list that is miles long, some days are about surviving.
Thriving is a whole other ball game. It doesn’t mean you never get stressed, or that life floats by without challenges, but thriving is where the real juice of life takes place. These are those moments when you step outside of your desire to yell with frustration when your kids “paint themselves” with mud (my kids have always loved mud, as you’ll see below – but then again, what kid doesn’t?!) Instead of lamenting how to get them in the house without making another mess, and doing yet another load of laundry – take a minute to get present to the moment. Take in the joy in their little faces as they stand giggling on the front step growling that they are “Mud Monsters”. The fact of the matter is that there is always going to be a mess to clean up. GET OVER IT. If you let your thoughts take you in that direction you will be robbing yourself of creating a memory that can fill you up for years to come.
My advice is this: Choose your battles, and accept there will be days that you just want to get through as a parent. But remember to PAUSE, TAKE A BREATH, and get present to the moment in front of you. There just might be a memory in the making. Life is so much more fun when you realize that you can CHOOSE HAPPINESS.