Wednesday, May 20, 2015


My daughter has a tenancy to be a martyr. We go have a super fun day, the best day of a child's short life, and yet all she can remember is when she was thirsty for 30 seconds. We have slowly in a hopefully non nagging way been learning to focus on the good.

Six months ago I could have come up with countless specific examples of her focusing on the negative. But like I said we've made so much progress, I honestly can't think of any.

Without telling her so much, I keep thinking of this book I read before she was born: (I know it has such a cheesy name.)
What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the BetterWhat Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better by Dan Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is a fascinating book, I would recommend it to anyone struggling, and would recommend this book, to anyone with mild depression. Its really helped me put my life in perspective, I highlighted something on almost every page that I thought was insightful, which means its hard to sum. Also it was helpful at identifying paralyzing thoughts that make it hard to do anything else in life. Dr. Baker says play up your strengthens, stop thinking about your weaknesses, most likely they are still going to be your weaknesses when you die, its just a fact of life. The other part of the book that really struck home was telling healthy stories not horror stories. I would totally recommend the book to anyone who is struggling with their inadequacies in life. It makes you realize that the inadequacies don't matter, and its all a matter of perspective. Not to mention, money is not that important. I am never going to have enough money, the richest people in the world don't have enough money.

I want my daughter to tell healthy stories not horror stories. I want her to focus on what is positive in her experiences and her relationships not forgetting a year of good or the one time she was embarrassed for wearing a rain jacket when it ended up not being rainy. (I keep saying my daughter, because my son barely tells stories, let alone horror stories, we all have our own things we need help with.)
Speaking of healthy/horror stories, we practice sometimes when we as family members can only remember the bad part of the day. And we ALL practice this, even the boys.

  • For example saying this afternoon was terrible, I was hungry, and my little brother screamed at me.
  • We could say, I ate so much lunch, a bagel, an apple, mini pepperoni, I was just so hungry this afternoon. Then I played so good with my little brother and we were having so much fun, that my mom let him stay up late from his nap. We play pretend with both my Barbies and his cars, we giggled so much, until he just got too sleepy and started crying when his car fell on the ground.

Those are totally the exact same story, just with two different spins.

I'll be honest, I'm not perfect, but I keep trying to remember this. Especially when it comes to my relationships with my kids.
I absolutely adore two years olds, I think they are hysterical in their attempt to be in control of their life and be adults, even though they are in stretched out baby bodies.

  • So my two year old, I could say, which I often do: drives me crazy, he throws multiple tantrums a day. He can't make any choices and ends up with partially eaten food all over the table.
  • Or what I try to remember is, my two year old is a riot. He is nonstop go go go, until he crashes once he finds his blanket. He has such a zest for life (my husband's words) he wants to learn everything, experience everything, anytime anyone eats, he wants some, because he wants to experience everything. He has so much emotion running through him all the time.
Like I said I don't always to this, but I try to. But once again, I am describing the exact same thing.  Other moms keep telling me they love how real I am. I don't sugar coat things, they love listening to me describe life. I say, I hope that's a good thing. But honestly, it has to be. I do, I am real, I'm terrible at sugar coating. But if I was a miserable mom who only complained about my kids I don't think people would love hearing that, I think I try putting a positive spin on the crazies of parenting small child.
Smile when you're bleeding.
There is nothing wrong with bleeding, and I would never ever tell someone they can't experience what they are feeling, but life is much more pleasant when I can find joy the daily chaos of my life. I can tell a healthy story of bleeding or a horror story of the blood, its all up to my perspective. Oh and trust me I can tell a HORROR story, some of the shocked looks on faces when I've told horror stories, I've tried to rewrite those, because honestly I don't like that look facing me.

P.S. I'm still trying to write the healthy story of my postpartum depression from last year. A new line gets written every week, but it is slow going.
For example did I write yet? my newest paragraph to that story...
That even though that was probably the hardest year of my life, good news is, now my husband doesn't take for granted when I can pleasantly interact with my children. It is quite nice to glance up when I'm with my kids and notice that he is smiling at us. Even-though I can't speak for him, I honestly, I would rather him have always taken that for granted, then know the difference.

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