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Why Parents Aren’t Happy

We say [‘I’m SO BUSY’] to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, our ability to withstand stress a real mark of character. The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves and, we imagine, to others.”–Wayne Muller

This video is the 3rd in a series about being happier as a parent from the Raising Happiness Homestudy. Watch the rest of the videos here.

Video Notes:

We can’t do our best raising our children without being happy, and we can’t be happy if we are too busy to enjoy life. So this week our practice is to focus on cutting back and saying no.

(1) First, take notice:

  • What types of activities routinely make you feel “crazybusy”?
  • What types of things are you doing out of obligation or routine, that you feel you should do, but that don’t bring you (or your kids) joy?
  • What do you do because you are afraid of missing out?
  • What “extras” do you have in your life that you wouldn’t miss if you took them out?

(2) Get out your axe. Start systematically pulling things off your calendar.

(3) Plan for the future.

  • Make rules for yourself so you don’t end up back where you started, e.g., no email after 9:00 pm.
  • Get support from your friends, your own parents, or your spouse.
  • Script and practice saying no.
  • Clear roadblocks. Is there someone in your life whose expectations might make your life more difficult? Who is imposing “should dos”? Talk with them directly about your happiness and the happiness of your children. Then listen to yourself, not them.

audio_icon-100x100If you would like to download the audio version of this video to listen to in your car or on the go, click the link below.

This post is taken from “The Raising Happiness Homestudy,” an online course I created as a companion to my book Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. I’m sharing one “class” from this online course per week here, on my blog. Want to see previous posts? Just click this Raising Happiness Homestudy tag. Enjoy!