Debra was 27 years old and six months pregnant when she attended one of my happiness courses. When it was Debra's turn to tell the class why she was taking the course, she said, "I believe the best contribution I can make to my baby's well-being is for me to learn how to be truly happy." I remember seeing a room full of people nodding and smiling at having heard a profound truth.
You are your child's first teacher. They will learn essential lessons from you on how to be happy and how not to be happy. Your primary teaching device is your example. Children learn best of all by example; far better than any wise words you might say. Remind yourself, therefore, as often as possible, "My happiness is a gift to others." When you are happy in your own skin, it helps you to relax, to connect, to be intimate and to give yourself unconditionally. Your happiness makes you fun to be around. It brings out the best in you.
Enjoying Being a Parent
When people ask me what it's like being a parent, I tell them that every day is an epic, there are no days off, it takes everything you've got and it's the most enjoyable thing I've ever done. Parenting is full of challenges, and one of the biggest challenges is to not lose sight of the joy of being a parent. When you make a conscious intention to enjoy being a parent, it helps you to be present, to engage fully, to be truly grateful, to see the humor of it all and to be resilient in the tough times.
"Enjoy your baby. They grow up so fast." I've heard this advice a thousand times at least, and I thought I understood what everyone was telling me, but I had no idea just how fast the time goes. It's true that some days can feel like a week, but all of the days quickly turn into weeks, months and years. Asking yourself a question like, "How can I enjoy being a parent today?" can help you make parenting more creative, rewarding and fun along the way and not just in retrospect. The intention to enjoy yourself has magical powers. In old English, the word "enjoy" means "to bring joy."
What you can learn from your children