Thursday, September 13, 2012

Then I Got It

"ONLY a happy parent can raise a happy baby"

I can't tell you how many times I've heard this. Even before I was a parent I would hear this and think "well duh". Then during my marriage when I would vent to my mom she would repeat this. "You guys need to work it out so you can be happy" and of course I would roll my eyes like "duh I don't need you to tell me I need to be happy. Obviously I want to be happy. Nobody wants to be unhappy." And I would actually get angry when she said "if yall are this unhappy, particularly you, there is no way you can be raising a happy baby". Angry! How dare she! I refused to fight with him in front of the baby, I tried to just keep quiet and bite my tongue until 8 when I put her to sleep. If I had to say something, I tried to keep my tone down as not to upset her. She didn't even know I was unhappy, he was unhappy, we were exhausted, and I was constantly fighting to hold myself, and my family, together. She didn't know! When she was around, we were playing and hugging and I was telling her all the time how much I loved her and how lucky she was. I hated that my mom assumed, from 5 hours away, that I couldn't have a happy baby. I was venting to her. I didn't  vent to a 1 year old, she didn't know the things my mom knew.

I thought.

I was wrong.

I wasn't raising a happy baby.

I didn't realize it until this week. We were with family for a funeral. She was running around being silly with her cousins. I was sitting talking with an aunt. And then it happened. My daughter started uncontrollably laughing. Giggling. CRACKING UP. And my heart nearly exploded. I said to my aunt "oh, listen to her laugh!" I turned and got my mom's attention and mouthed to her "do you hear that laughter?!" I wanted everyone to stop and listen to this laugh. My aunt smiled and said "no matter how many times you hear it, there is nothing like a child's laughter". And I realized, I was so excited because I HAVEN'T heard it so many times. If we tickled her, she would laugh.. but she tried to fight it and it was nothing like this giggle.
I would watch videos of babies giggling uncontrollably and always thought "A doesn't giggle like that" but just assumed it was because she was so serious, or because she doesn't have an older sibling that giggles that way for her to mimic.
Yall, she wasn't giggling because she wasn't happy. She wasn't happy because she wasn't living in a happy home. I didn't have to tell her. I didn't have to yell at her daddy in front of her. She is part of me. She can sense what I'm feeling. When I hurt, she hurts; just like I hurt when she hurts. Since the separation, she is happier. Why? Because I'm happier. What a slap in the face, a punch in the gut, a really hard pill to swallow. Reality is hard.
I can remember a few times when he and I are fighting and I say "gosh, why does it seem like they are ganging up on me? About the time I get a text/email/phone call from him that upsets me, she seems to suddenly act like she has lost her mind. She takes my bad day and adds the cherry on top. Now, I am realizing perhaps my frustrations with him are transparent to her and she is only reacting to the vibes I'm putting off. She is reacting to me. So no more. She is nearly 2 and I have some serious making up to do. I am going to be a happy mama from now on. I am going to avoid things that stress me out. I am going to stay away from people that bring me down. I am going to put my child first. My child's happiness. And the only way I can ensure my child's happiness is to make her mama's happiness a priority.

real life, yall.

If I'm not happy, she can't be happy either.


  1. So true! It's crazy the little things they pick up on! They are way smarter than we give them credit for. Does she she G at all anymore?

  2. Love y'all! Love this! Its almost like we're walking the same path. We have to make plans asap...real life. Lil.


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