I found my missing puzzle piece.
Well, it wasn’t missing, per se, just maybe, um, slipped under the box, or dropped between the cushions on the couch. Hiding. In plain sight. As things you’re searching for often tend to do.
For months I’ve been struggling with happiness.
Finding it. Creating it. Relishing in it as its meant to be.
Only, I’ve been going about it all wrong.
Selfishly it seems.
Because the moment I decided to turn outward and spread joy to others, there it was, exploding all over me, all hey girl hey where you been all my life.
When I came up with this whole spread joy to feel joyful thing I wanted to do something amazing. Like donate thousands of dollars to hungry families, or send a bunch of deserving moms on a cruise, or order every single mom I know fuzzy slipper socks. Because, ooooh, so soft.
But, that’s just not how broke folks roll (seriously, do you even know how much 128 pairs of slipper socks would cost me?).
So instead, I launched the Happy Mama Photo Sessions and I offered as many mamas as I could reasonably fit into two Sundays photo sessions for themselves and their kids to encourage them to get in front of the camera with their children (we all know we don’t do that enough) and be really, super happy around me.
Hooray that so many agreed (some of them even brought along the happy dads in their lives)…
It’s funny how doing that for someone else can have such a powerful effect on you.
Two straight days I spent being smiled at; experiencing the joy of happy mothers, capturing their special moments with the humans they love the most…
(There are way more. You can see them if you want: Then Again Photography.)
Experiencing their joy until my cheeks hurt from smiling. I may have even gone to sleep smiling. Not because I was still so happy, but because my face like cramped up and stayed that way from all of the smiling. It was actually kind of creepy and painful, but whatever, totally worth it.
So, thank you to all of the happy mamas who got in front of my camera and shared their beautiful families and tangible joy and humungosaur smiles with me.
Thank you for reminding me that sunny day minor league baseball games with the whole family in tow…
and the warm days swinging at the park we haven’t been to in years…
and the fearless little boys who don catcher’s suits and catch balls pitched really, freaking fast out of a machine without hesitation (even though this is his first season ever playing baseball and his first time ever behind the mound) earning them the game ball…
those are the moments where joy is hiding, waiting to be found like that last little puzzle piece.
This month’s lesson: give a little joy, get a lot of joy in return!
Have a happy parenting post to share with us? Link up a joyful post about motherhood (or fatherhood, we’re col with dads being happy too) so Team Happy Mama’s can share your joy with you!