How my toddler shows me that happiness is a state of mind

The mind of a toddler is fascinating (and confusing at times), we go on a family holiday and drive 700 km’s to get there, only to find out that she was happier at home. Frustrating right? Well this is only one of the many interesting things about my toddler that I dont understand. The total amazement she shows when pushing anything around (chairs, boxes, magazines, you name it), her relentless interest in my phone, the remotes and with going outside (sertiously, it is like she has a sixth sense and just knows when a door opens somehwere) and her latest favoroute; our bedside table drawers (yes condoms and underwear have ended up on our lawn). It is such a busy time, and we are both learning how to adjust to all the new changes, and I would not change it for the world.

She can honestly be happy when I give her a spoon and a bowl to play with, she will entertain herself for an hour on the kitchen floor, and only she knows what goes on in that pretty little head of hers, and that made me think, if only I can be so content with something so simple (I am a classic overthinker and busybody, I need constant distraction to stay sane lol), Dont get me wrong, she is still a toddler and just like the smallest thing can make her happy, the smallest thing can also mean the end of the world the very next minute. But for the sake of this post, we will focus on the “happy part” haha.

Giving my full attention to a situation has always been a struggle, it feels like my mind is always in a million different places at the same time, quieting my mind has always been a challenge, and something that I still struggle with somedays, the only thing that has seemed to keep my attention has been motherhood. My little girl really does take all my attention, not just because she is so busy and I am in constant fear of her getting hurt, I am mesmerized by her, by how she approaches life and lives on the edge so to speak, no fear whatsoever and just explores and enjoys every single new thing. While we as adults mostly avoid new things because it means stepping out of our comfort zones (and why would you do that if you are not in your early 20’s anymore right?), living on the edge is no longer possible because you have responsibilities and people who rely on you. Growing up is for sure a trap haha, when you are little it looks so amazing to be able to do what you want and when you want to; meanwhile we dont see the writing on the wall when we are little; Being an adult is tedious at best.

My little girl for one wakes up with a smile on her face, while I take about half an hour and two cups of coffee before I can have a conversation, she runs up and down the house non stop, while I am out of breath running after her ONCE, she claps hands whenever she gets excited, while I smile and then focus on the next thing wihtout enjoying the moment for what it is. Growing up has somehow made me forget how to appreciate the little things, and how to find happiness in the small stuff, the everyday little victories that we take for granted. Being thankful and joyful is something that not everyone is luky enough to experince, so I say; If you are happy and you know it clap your hands !!

 

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To the mom who craves control

This post is very personal to me,and something about myself that I never knew.

The Control Freak

I somehow, NEED control , in every situation in my life, in any way that I can. Without realizing it, it has taken all the fun out of everything, I somehow think that if I can anticipate everything and be prepared for it, that I would be able to handle it better, even as I am typing this, I realize how silly that sounds, but still very real.

I feel that I cant go on “unplanned” excursions because my baby is in a routine (and so am I for that matter) and it was not on my to do list, so I cant go. Before Paige was born I was quite spontaneous, loved the unexpected and thrived under pressure. Motherhood has somehow changed all of this, I have turned into someone who cant go out at night because I don’t want to risk a screaming session in a restaurant – for the fear of someone thinking I am not a good mother.

Red Flags

Now, with my psychology background I can tell you that everythingI just wrote raises sooo many red flags.

  • Firstly, isolating yourself from social events and friends is so unhealthy, and it sets an example for your children as they grow up. My baby girl is so happy when we are out and about, she takes so much in and just enjoys looking around and staring and smiling at the people.
  • Secondly; setting this “paranoid” vibe for my baby just creates so many issues later on in life for her, I basically will be teaching her to be careful, with everything, to not be bold, brave and adventurous – like I used to be.

Learning to “Breathe”

At the end of the day, you simply can not control every situation life throws at you, sometimes you just have to let go a little bit and trust that everything will work out the way it was supposed to.

Babies are much more resilient than we give them credit for; the moment I stopped and started living a little again, she adapted so nicely, no screaming, and even though she struggles a little bit if she is out of routine, she so enjoys doing something different every now and then. ( I still believe in routine don’t get me wrong, and my baby girl is a bit older now).

We need to realize that our babies will cry, they will eventually throw that supermarket tantrum we have been fearing all our lives, they will get sick, people will judge your parenting, your baby will be unhappy sometimes and that does not mean that you failed, it simply means that life does not always go our way, and thats okay. (Yes that rhymed)

The moment we learn to breathe and take things in stride, life automatically becomes easier, we look at life differently and see opportunities we never would have. It just opens up a whole new world, one I am excited to explore !

Just keep at it, changing the way you live life takes time, constant reminding and a whole lot of patience with yourself.