if mama ain't happy

If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy

Or is it If Mama is happy, everybody’s happy?

Why does everyone want mama to be so happy? If I were really happy, I’d probably be on an all expenses paid trip in Australia, which is to say, half way across the world surrounded by exotic people with cool accents and beautiful scenery. Australia is the happiest place on earth, I’ve learned. I’ve been before, and I believe it. Just the thought of Australia makes me happy. Quick! Let’s send all the cranky mamas to Australia! If mama ain’t happy, send her to Australia!

I can still do happy here on the home front in my own city of St. Louis, but I’m just making the argument that to say everyone’s happiness feeds off of mine is, well, bonkers. Stop pressuring me! I have enough to worry about without piling on “be responsible for the happiness of those around you.” It would actually be a pretty neat trick to ensure everyone in the family was happy if I could maintain my own happiness. That would be an awesome super power. Truth be told, I don’t want the world to revolve around me. As it stands presently, I can occasionally manage “pleasant”, and routinely pull off “non-heinous”. Sometimes I can be downright “manageably nice”. But happy? Really? Happy is a pretty tall order some days.

if mama ain't happy

Also, there are plenty of times when I’m perfectly content, happy even, when everyone else in my family is decidedly not. They are more like old George Carlin than happy. You know, when he became not funny and just bitter. I’m happy when my house is really clean. That doesn’t seem to elicit the same happy feelings in my children than it does in me. I’m even happy sleeping when I’m sleeping in a clean house on clean sheets. Everyone else in my family could care less, and by definition, that’s not exactly happy.

How happy could I possibly be with the end of school looming large this week?

I can only be “so happy” when I’m girding my loins for everyone to be hanging around the condo. Every day. For weeks on end. Did I mention we downsized? That’s gonna be a lot of togetherness in a relatively small place. I enjoy some quality togetherness. That is until I need to not have togetherness. Then togetherness makes me surly, which is to say, the opposite of happy.

if mama ain't happy

I’m counting how long it takes for the first child to proclaim boredom at the start of summer. I’m betting on three days in. I’m taking bets, so weigh in!

Sometimes when I’m in a really good mood I find silly putty smeared all over the bed linens. If mama is happy, she’s probably not futilely spraying Shout onto the comforter and cursing softly under her breath. So stop telling me I’m supposed to be happy. I’m not shooting for all the way to happy most days. Most days I’m shooting for adequate and not on fire.

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