When it is Hard to be Happy

by Nicole on January 29, 2014

Being a Mom is a big job.

Being a working mom is a big job.

Being a wife can be a big job. Seriously, 10 years, and those socks still end up on the floor, next to the hamper? Baffles the mind…

But, I digress.

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So you can imagine that it would be easy to slip into a place of negativity. And, admittedly, I have done that at times. But, over the course of my lifetime, it has not been my mantra. Focusing on the negative is not how I do life on the regular.

I’ve been through a good bit, some might say my fair share. But, who hasn’t. So, through the ebbs and flows in life, I try to focus on the joy.

What does that mean exactly?

Taking moments like this…

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and absorbing each and every inch of them into your memory so they remain there forever. The dimples, the ringlets (that later will not exist because of ‘big girl’ hair cuts) and lovely, uninhibited joy.

Being a Happy Mama for me, means ensuring I pause and take it all in. Even the crazy.

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Like when I’m in the middle of a military move, alone, with twins. That’s what you see there, my Maddie refusing to be content during our pack-out in 2010. Little did I know what a predictor that early stubborn nature would be.

But, I digress.

Finding the joy and happiness in the everyday, is, quite honestly…a conscious choice. Granted, there are days that can be seamless, but most days, with young children, you’re breaking up a fight one minute, snuggling the next, and managing an epic tantrum that sucks the life out of you shortly after. And this is all before 9am. I say this because it happened today.

I say this because I choose to find joy in the simple things, the simple moments because ultimately, it is my sanity on those tough days riddled with back-to-back chaos.

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If I didn’t choose joy, I would not make it through the hard days. I wouldn’t make it through 9 month long deployments, 12 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or a life raised without my parents.

{More:  Three Peas in a Pod }

I have to make a choice each and everyday to focus on the good, the joy in life. Some days are so easy and natural, others are a bit of a tough one to make happen. When I have those days that just don’t come through, I allow myself that time, because tomorrow is always a new day. And, a smile like this one – always makes life a bit easier.

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And, if tomorrow doesn’t bring renewed hope, and you find yourself struggling, focus on something small that brings you joy. For me, sometimes it’s a simply cup of coffee and quiet before the kids rise for the day.

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Do your best to choose joy. It makes all the difference. And, if you don’t succeed today, vow to give it a go tomorrow. I have found that to be a successful strategy for happiness.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

tracy@sellabitmum January 29, 2014 at 7:44 am

You are so right – it’s up to us to choose joy. Hugs to you my friend. xo
tracy@sellabitmum recently posted..I Did This – I’m With The #HappyMamas

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
January 29, 2014 at 8:41 am

It can be hard, and sometimes I fail at that goal, but I always wake up with that intention. It makes for brighter days for sure.

And, hugs right back atcha’ . Hope to see you this year!

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Dude Mom January 29, 2014 at 8:28 am

That’s the hard thing about joy: the choice of it. So proud of you for making that choice when not doing so would be easier, even understandable! Hope you get to make some snow covered happy today!
Dude Mom recently posted..Happy Mama Movement. Mission Be Happy.

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:16 am

Thank you Amanda. It has been hard in the last week to CHOOSE joy. And, quite honestly, I have allowed myself my “moments” but then I look at my kids building Olaf from Disney’s Frozen and see their pure joy in creating him…it’s those simple things that got me through as well as unending hope that all would work out as it should. Thanks for letting me join your crew – who knew how timely it would be?

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Trish January 29, 2014 at 10:54 am

Beautifully written. I’m trying to choose joy more and more these days. It makes it so much easier to enjoy my day and my kids when I focus on what is great about them instead of what is driving me bats.
Trish recently posted..Muddy Wisdom

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:17 am

So true. Sometimes we get so caught up in the chaos of the day, we miss the lovely little moments and beauty that is our kids.

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Elaine A.
Twitter: elainea
January 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Just looking at your girls’ faces makes me joyful. But it can be hard to carve out the moments during the chaos. I get that! Glad us Happy Mamas are focusing on doing so!! :D

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:17 am

I’m so glad that I get to join all of you too. It couldn’t come at a better time for me! And, thank you for your sweet comment. I do have some cute babies. :-)

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Mindi January 29, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I totally agree sometimes you have to choose to focus on the joy, especially during the hard times. I find joy in relaxing with a cup of tea at night and catching up on social media after the boys go to bed.

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

Yes, love seeing what everyone else has been up to. And, the good thing about social media is you can find comfort and support through your connections there – we military wives know what a difference social media has made when we have felt alone. :)

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Michelle January 29, 2014 at 10:34 pm

I love this. Choosing joy is deliberate. That is the beauty of life…we can choose to be happy. There are definitely days it’s hard to focus on it, but if you fall down, you can always start fresh tomorrow. :)
Michelle recently posted..5 Tips for Indoor Photos of Your Kids {Guest Post}

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

Exactly right. We all have our days, but I always go to sleep with the intent to start anew the next day.

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Maureen@Scoops of Joy January 30, 2014 at 1:30 am

I absolutely love this post. Choosing joy is the way to go. Those pictures are so precious.
Maureen@Scoops of Joy recently posted..The Happy Mama Movement – Cousins

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

Thank you! It has been my mantra for a long time. There are days that it doesn’t come through, but I always try again. :-)

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Arnebya
Twitter: whatnowandwhy
January 30, 2014 at 9:19 pm

The choice is what gets me. It is so easy to be negative, to wallow in the ungood, that when the goodness is shining on us it still looks murky. Remembering that there is good, that we are good, our kids are filled with beauty and life and love, remembering that constantly or reminding ourselves often enough is work. I hate that it’s work, but it is. But. We have new chances each day in how we think, feel, act. I’m glad you’re joining us in finding them.
Arnebya recently posted..Clap Along

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:40 am

So, so true. Especially when several things hit you at once. I love that you point out that “remembering that there is good, that we are good, our kids are filled with beauty, life and love” – this is what helps me too. And when it’s tough, it can be so much harder to make the happy happen, but it’s so worth that effort. I’m glad I’m joining you too! It couldn’t have come at a better time for me AND I get to interact with some old friends that I haven’t “seen” for while.

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Kimberly February 1, 2014 at 9:06 am

I think if we all could choose to be happy over being negative then life would be peachy but it never happens that way. It’s not an effortless change of feeling.
I have bipolar disorder and spend a lot of time on the other end of happy. Choosing to be happy is ridiculously hard and if I could just say “I’m going to be happy” then I’d be cured and my insurance company would rejoice.
But…but…choosing to find those moments that lift your heart out of the chaos is so critical for everyone. You’ll find happy there. Like in your cup of coffee. It’s those small things that make a difference that create the feelings and I know for myself, I cling to those with my teeth :)
We need to hunt those moments. Those smiles…mostly. They truly pick us up don’t they (except when they pee on the toilet seat. Kim ain’t got time for that.)
I love that this link has started. It has really lifted my spirits :)
Kimberly recently posted..Hanging With Jesus In Our Funeral Pants

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 1, 2014 at 9:41 am

So agree that we need to hunt those moments. And sometimes, choosing joy means choosing to take care of ourselves and our well being – like when you are coping with additional circumstances that put roadblocks in your way. It sounds like you are arming yourself with the tools needed to make joy happen in your life.

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Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious?
Twitter: Seriouskrystyn
February 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I love this. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember to find the joy…before 7am, but when we do look for it and find it, the day is that much better and more rewarding.

And if I mess up, and don’t find the joy, I know that tomorrow is a new day, or the next hour is a new hour and I can find joy again.
Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? recently posted..How we survived SnowJam | Mommy and Me Monday | The 207th ed

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Shell February 17, 2014 at 9:42 am

I love this post. I’m really trying to focus on the positive lately. There is always negative in something but if I choose not to let that be the defining factor of my life, then my whole family is happier.
Shell recently posted..ISO a Mom Friend Who…

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Nicole
Twitter: MTDLBlog
February 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I SO agree. Sometimes, it takes a genuine effort, but in the long run – it’s worth it.

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