It’s a big question.
What makes you happy?
It’s a lot to think about it and not as easy of a question to answer as it might seem.
My gut reaction, as a mom, was to answer that my kids make me happy.
Because I love being their mom. They are the best thing I’ve done in this life.
But then I pondered the idea of happiness a little deeper.
And that’s when I realized that my kids don’t make me happy.
No, not because they sometimes do things that make me want to scream, like fight each other or act like they’re completely helpless and need me to DO ALL OF THE THINGS AROUND HERE, or lie about something they know would get them in trouble, or “forget” to do their homework, or just generally be cranky teens and tweens.
But because I can’t say that it’s my kids who MAKE me happy.
I can’t put the responsibility for my happiness on their shoulders. That’s way too big of a burden for them to bear. For anyone to bear, really.
Their actions can affect my mood sometimes, surely. In a good way at times and in a not-so-good way at other times.
But I’m either happy or I’m not.
That isn’t tied to them.
Or to anyone else.
No one has that kind of power over my life.
Nor should I ever assign that kind of power to another person.
The people in our lives, whether it’s our kids or spouse or other family members or friends or coworkers, can certainly impact how we feel at a given moment. That’s normal.
But that’s just a passing mood. A really good afternoon or a really bad morning.
It shouldn’t change if we’re happy.
That comes from a deeper place.
So while my kids can give me moments of joy, they aren’t what makes me happy.