"When we started unschooling, my mom kept saying that she was worried I would "lose myself" in it—that I wouldn't have time for myself. She was very very wrong. I found myself and very very deep meaning to life and a much more clear sense of what's important."
—Pam Sorooshian
February 2014


Being a Happy Mom

"If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

I have that under Phrases to Hear and Avoid, because, as Pam Sorooshian wrote:

I think it is usually used as a threat - "You'd better do what I (Mama) want or I won't be happy and if I'm not happy then you're not going to be happy, either. I'll make sure of that."

Someone in an exchange in 2007 had written:
I don't think anybody in the family needs to bend over backwards to make anybody else happy. Not possible, not fair even if it were.
I responded:
I think the mom needs to bend over backwards.
Whose job is it to make a good nest if not the mom's?
Who needed to reproduce more than the mom?
Who should want to keep her family together and her children happy more than the mom?

A friend got married recently and I wrote down some advice for them that I hadn't ever thought before:
Don't aim for 50/50.
If 50% is right, then 49% is wrong, and 65% would be something get angry about.

If you both aim for more than half, you'll meet around the middle, around half the time. If you want the other person to stick around, "around" is the goal.

If the mom learns and then demonstrates that giving can make a person feel happy, *then* she might have children who are also generous and kind. If the mom acts pouty and whiney and martyrly, she will have children who are confused and needy and resentful.


LauraB added this:
I have tried this past year to really quit acting so grumpy about everyday things such as laundry and emptying the dishwasher. To look at it as something I want to do to help my family function smoother and help myself feel better about things. For the past two mornings my 4 year old got up and made me breakfast on his own. Yesterday he heard me talking to my mother on the phone and I mentioned that my foot was really hurting and I was having a hard time just getting the dishwasher empty. Next thing I knew he was in there doing it for me. I offered to help him finish but he said "No, I got it." At four as you can imagine he had to climb up on the counter to put it all away.


Meredith, on facebook, December 2012:

Expecting human relationships—of any kind—to be fair and equitable is a set-up for cynicism and disappointment in the human race. Human beings are marvelously varied in their needs and capabilities. It helps a whole lot to think in terms of needs and capabilities rather than rights or fairness or equality. What more can you do to support the people you love—including yourself? Kindness, grace, and generosity go a lot further toward creating warm relationships and a joyfully harmonious home than measuring out equality.

Vicky, who wrote "It's pretty rare to find a picture of me with all three, so I'd say I'm a very happy mom."

Nothing has ever made me feel better about me than the feeling that I was being a good mom.
—Sandra Dodd
"Big Noisy Peace"