When my first child was born, I read parenting books galore! One after the other, I inhaled them like oxygen. There’s one piece of advice that I remember from everything I read and I’ve put it at the top of my list of mom goals. It truly helps me to refocus, especially when I feel exhausted and overwhelmed by motherhood.
I had to dig that advice out one day recently when I felt more like Drill Sergeant than Mom. I was mentally checking off my daily tasks, and as I barked orders, it popped into my head—this one thing that I never want to forget, no matter how full or chaotic our day is.
No matter what, never stop trying to make your child smile.
Well that’s too simple, right? Of course we should do this. And of all the mom goals, like keeping our kids safe and teaching them how to love others, is this really that big of a deal? I say that if you stopped right in the middle of your busy to-do list and just tried to make your child smile—even one little smile or a tiny smirk—it could change the whole feeling of the day. Here’s why:
Just that one little smile shifts your focus.
Even though it may be temporary, it’s good to stop thinking about solving “problems” for a little bit. Many moms feel like we have endless problems to solve, and we can never quite get to the end of them. We might as well take a break now and then!
Just that one little smile releases tension.
We march forward through our days, one foot in front of the other. But we don’t realize that tension builds if we have no outlet, no release. Smiling (and even better, laughter) releases pent-up tension and gives everyone the ability to relax.
Just that one little smile says, “I like you.”
It reminds me and my children that I like them. They know I love them, even in the daily grind. But do they know that I like them, on a daily basis? That I enjoy being with them?
Just that one little smile can lead to more smiles.
Smiles are contagious. Someone tells a joke, and then another person has to follow it up with his or her own joke. One person gets tickled, and he or she has to tickle back. It’s a great cycle to put into motion! Click here for lots of great smile-starters.
Just that one little smile could be the highlight of your child’s day.
At dinner one night, sharing our “high” and “low” of the day, my son said his high was the corny riddles I read in the morning carpool. I was pretty shocked because all I got out of him at the time was a groan and an eye-roll!
And that reminds me of something important: Never stop trying to make your child smile. Even if you seem to fail because they aren’t smiling on the outside, they might be smiling on the inside. So keep trying, even with the stubborn teenager or the grumpy toddler. It’s one of a few mom goals that are worth pursuing.
Let’s share some ideas! How do you make your children smile?