Happy Mama Movement. Mission Be Happy.

They say that being happy is a choice.

People, with our big brains and free will, have the ability to choose to be joyful beings.  We can decide to accept life’s twists and turns and cherish them as part of the journey or loath them and hope they don’t kill us like they are clearly trying to.

From my perspective there are basically two kinds of people in this world: Brightsiders and Doomsdayers.  Everyone is either one of these or aspiring to be.

Currently, I consider myself a positivist in training, eagerly pursuing life as a Brightsider.

I’ll be the first to admit that this hasn’t always been so as I’ve spent a fair share of my lifetime to this point in the Doomsdayer’s club.  My general outlook has consistently been that the only kind of luck I have is bad, and of that I have a surplus.  I tend to look on the dark side (although actually joining it seems a little too Darth for me), and plan for the worst.  I’ve historically had a hard time letting bad things go after they’ve happened, and Vendetta is like one of my middle names.

It seems that I’ve lived my first 35 29-ish years making joy essentially work its tail off to be with me.

That’s silly.

I love joy.  Hard core.  And, when it happens, I get all caught up in it.  Rubbing it all over myself, sharing it with my friends and family, clutching on to it so it won’t slip away while I’m sleeping.

So, I’ve decided to court it.  Make it come to me and, if it doesn’t, go after it and haul it back, cavemanwoman style.

That, in essence, is the Happy Mama Movement.

It’s me getting my butt in gear to go out and seek joy.  To be deliberate about my appreciation of it.  To shun evil and beat the crap out of it with my light saber of positivity and smiles when it tries to push up on me.

Give me a unicorn, I will ride it.

And, of course, I plan to take all of you wannabe happy mamas with me.

Because, while there is plenty to bemoan about mama life, the beauty of it is just so much bigger.


Initially, when this photo was being bombed, I was all, “Dude, move your big head outta my shot. I gotta take photos of my favorite leggings for my fashion blog post.”

But then, I let him distract me from my me-fest long enough to listen to a playground story.  About how two little girls at school came up to him and told him that some other little boys were trying to steal their Flipeez.  And how he went over to those boys and told them to stop being mean and leave his friends alone.  And how, when they didn’t listen, he told them again, in his I’m-so-serious-right-now voice, and just to be sure, he told those little girls to stick with him for the rest of the recess.  Which, of course, they did, because, duh.

He told me that happened a few weeks ago, before he was even six, and now so many kids come and ask him for help during recess.  And he always helps them because “it’s easy”.

He’s like the Godfather of the playground.  Only, without the bloody horse heads and whatnot.

It makes me happy to know that he’s that guy.  So, so happy.

Go ahead, shed a joy tear with me, and then let’s get back to keeping it real.  It’s easy to experience happiness from time to time, but making the choice to actually BE happy is a crazy harder.

It’s like choosing to lose 20 pounds.  Which means also choosing to get up at 5am to go to the gym.  And giving up whipped cream on your latte. And eating your salad without dressing. We all want to lose 20lbs, but who the heck wants to eat dry lettuce?

No one honest.

My contribution to the Happy Mama Movement will be more than smile-inducing photos.  It will also be steps to follow to help you achieve a more happy life.

Every week month (they say it takes 3 weeks for something to become habit) I’m going to explore a new technique/tip/command for finding happiness.

I don’t guarantee they will work; I’m no happy expert, clearly.  But, I will be taking this journey with you and figure we can like hold hands with each other while we go.  Maybe we can even skip a little and sing.  That sounds, happy, right?!

Happiness Challenge 1: Look forward, NOT back.

how to be happy

Toward the future, not the past.

I find that dwelling on things and people who have hurt me (or just really ticked me off) in the past makes it difficult for me to go forward joyfully.  So, no dwelling.  No grudge match.  No revenge missions.  Just accept and move on.

This month’s featured Happy Mama Team Member is Jennifer Williams who blogs at Jennifer P. Williams.  She is the proud #happymama of two children and find joy in bed time, new babies, and laughter.


Need more inspiration to find happiness?  Check out how women all over the country are finding joy in mothering.  We’d love it if you’d join us by sharing a post of your own, checking out the Happy Mama Movement Facebook page, or sharing your #HappyMamas moments on Instagram (just use the hashtag).


  1. says

    A) I love the idea of courting happiness.
    B) That story about your little man (and really, he seems to be more of a man than a lot of supposed men out there) is so insanely heartwarming.

    I’ve been having trouble being a Brightsider over the last few weeks because I’m in one of those Everything Is Coming at Me at Once and I Can’t Keep Up ruts. But I want to break out–cavewoman style if need be! I’m so in.

  2. says

    I love how your son has taken on that helping roll. So many kids are scared to do it, and he is doing it at such a young age!!! I think this is a wonderful movement…I tend to have a bit of doomsday that follows me around and I am trying to change that as well. Look forward, not back…that is absolutely perfect. No sense in dwelling on what is past!

  3. jessica t says

    Love this… Joy is my word for this year, something I’ve never done before, and I’m working hard not to let anything steal it from me. It’s tough. I also tend to be negative and its hard to readjust and work at positivity. Love the happy mama movement ;-) hope to be a part of it… My two year old is out to get me!! Lol

  4. Jessica says

    “I find that dwelling on things and people who have hurt me (or just really ticked me off) in the past makes it difficult for me to go forward joyfully. So, no dwelling. No grudge match. No revenge missions. Just accept and move on.”

    So true, and I’m down with that… my question is, how are you going about implementing this? Very easy to say, but I find the “just accept and move on” very difficult to actually do as those people will pop up in my head at the most bizarre times. I try to change my thoughts in that moment to something else that’s positive, but sometimes it just doesn’t work and I spend some time dwelling which I’m tired of doing. So would love to hear more on the “how” you’re doing this :)

    • DudeMom says

      So, here’s my thing. I tend to give a lot of voice to things that annoy me. People who cross me. Those events and interactions that move me off center. My first step in this process is to stop doing that. I don’t need to call my BFF up every single day of life and give her a list of things I hate about things. I don’t need to whine to my mom and husband about all of the annoying people who did all of the annoying things while I was at the store/school/work/wherever. And the same for long term grudges. I keep them alive by keeping score. Adding to the transgressions by listing them and reliving them and throwing them in people’s faces all the time. So, I figure if I silence some of that I will be on the right track here. Maybe? I don’t know? Fingerscrossed!

  5. says

    I am looking forward and glad to be a part of this movement. People, I think, tend to not realize how they can change their own minds, perceptions, and direction. We’re here to show them this is untrue. We CAN be happy.

  6. says

    Oh man, that NOT looking back thing. It’s tough. I’m so proud of you for making that statement. Thank you for inspiring me and for bringing me on the Happy Mama Movement ride! :D xo

  7. says

    This is my favorite: “I love joy. Hard core. And, when it happens, I get all caught up in it. Rubbing it all over myself, sharing it with my friends and family, clutching on to it so it won’t slip away while I’m sleeping.

    So, I’ve decided to court it. Make it come to me and, if it doesn’t, go after it and haul it back, cavemanwoman style.”

    You have such a knack for putting words together and making your point. I have found that in recent years, I’ve been sucked into the negative space more often than I’d like. It’s so easy to be consumed by the hard things in life. I love that through the #HappyMama movement, I’ll be consistently bringing joy to the forefront.

  8. says

    Gosh, this post reminds me of how much alike we are. I’m totally one of those hold a grudge types, and you are so right. It only brings me down. I’m definitely going to try this. I know in the past that letting go has always helped me to be able to breathe easier. So happy to be a part of this happy mama movement.