How to Be a Happy Parent

How to be a happy parent. Is there some secret?

My dad used to say that if you sit still too long you’ll get stagnant. Just because something is easy doesn’t mean it’s right. Comfortable isn’t the same as happy or fulfilled. This is especially hard for parents. Everybody is always saying that they’d do anything for their kids. Yes, of course, but as parents, we matter too. Happy parents means happier kids. On an airplane they tell you in an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. You need to be taken care of or else you won’t be any help to anyone. If something isn’t making you happy, work hard to find something that will. Your kids are so important, but you matter too! I don’t have a guide on parenthood. I’m not an expert. I do believe that how to be a happy parent has something to do with remembering to think of yourself.

How to be a happy parent - my dad and me
My dad and me

How we worked our asses off for happiness.

My husband and I moved from Illinois to a state we didn’t like so he could work at a job that fell in his lap. It was a good job. It was there, the people were great, and it paid decent money. We had our first kid in that state. Then, while I was pregnant with our second, my dad very unexpectedly passed away. Nothing prepares you for losing a parent. I thought I had a long time before I had to even think about it. That smack in the face makes you realize how short life really is.

How to be a happy parent? It starts with a little selfishness.

Carlos made the brave decision to start from scratch and switch careers. His career wasn’t right for him, and life is too short to be just content. Admittedly, we are a bit impulsive and could’ve planned better, but we jumped with both feet, all in. Staying at his job would’ve provided us with enough money to live on, but there’s so much more to being happy than having money.

We moved across the country a couple times, he worked crap jobs while taking free online courses and getting his portfolio ready. Times were tough for a long time. If it weren’t for family we could’ve ended up homeless. But we worked our asses off to make ourselves happy. Now, he’s a web developer making an okay paycheck. We still struggle but we’re able to pay our rent. He’s on his way up in a career with endless possibilities. Nothing worth doing ever comes easy. Our kids will know it’s okay to take a leap of faith. I hope this will teach them to be brave and to never settle. 

What’s next?

This is just step one on our path to where we want to be. Our next step will be a big one. No staying still for us. Now that he’s in the career he wants, remote work is his plan. Remote work he can do anywhere. We’re still not completely happy where we are so as soon as we can take our next leap, we’ll be on our way to France. So, we’re getting where we want to be. 

My personal advice on how to be a happy parent.

If you’re not happy, work at it. If you don’t like how things are, change them. If you want to see the world, save and plan and do it! Not happy where you are? Move. It’s scary as hell, especially moving across the world, but damn what an adventure it will be! I can’t wait to make it! We worked our asses off to make ourselves happy, and our kids will benefit so much. That makes us happy.

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