Never Set Out to Raise Happy Children

Photo by Iiona Virgin (Unsplash)

How we are going to raise our kids is the second major decision we make as parents after we grapple over our hopes and dreams on which gender we’ve wanted since we were born. Actually, some parents are paying big bucks to choose the gender of their baby.

For those who choose to have children, encompass so many aspirations for them—happiness, near the top. Unlike my spin on the saying, If the wife is happy, the household is happy. 

It’s actually the happiness of the kids which makes my world go ‘round. If you’re anything like me, you might be or will end up living vicariously through their joy.

The pleasure is all mine, as a single mom, to see my children happy, content, and comfortable in their own skin. They have the stability and support that they receive from me, teachers, and extended family.

A long road has been the past couple of years transitioning to a new city after losing my job, having to uproot them from what they knew.

It can be a stressor trying to adjust personally, emotionally, and financially daily while rendering my children’s well-being to those who say they will care for and educate them. Having to do this has been overwhelming, heart-wrenching, and enlightening all at once.

Each day and every time that my children call me “Mommy,” I am more stunned.

I have always held that name in such pristine. Not that they shouldn’t call me “that” (because they should), but the questions that come to mind are, Do I deserve that title?

Why do they still trust me? I do quick self-evaluations as a mother to test if I am worthy. Depending on the day, if I’m lucky, I may be. Then I make an additional plan to be a better keeper. Have you ever felt not deserving?

There is a level of care that we all want to give to our children; however, those gifts are far from reality in some lives. But there is the unconditional love we can always give, memories we can begin, and traditions we can share in building and continuing our family connection even in the direst situations.

As a mom (single), it is imperative to remember that they depend totally on you and that I have to be first all and end-all, a keeper.

So each day I wake, I love and nurture them. Their mentoring, guidance, and the lay of new groundwork for their success was in my hands. I correct when needed and praise often.

Their behaviors were modeled by mine because they are always watching; I lecture and cry when their days aren’t best.

Photo by Alyssa Stevenson (Unsplash)


Looking ahead, praying for their love for humankind, their thirst for learning, and valuing what each person in our family brings. Hoping they want to remember and enjoy recalling those special times I tried to create once they’re adults.

I appreciate that their experiences are a warm reminder and an intro to any questions they have for me. Our home is full of love, with some sacrifice, full-circle changes for the better, positive values, looking back on times we disagreed with the times we did, and fun for no reason.

If they can encompass, at best, even a fraction of those things…all else will fall in line.

How do you know your children are happy?

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Tiffany Jasper
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