By Erika Oliver
I didn’t plan to be a mom. I planned to be a career woman that took a city by storm. Well how hard could that be? I have a couple of college degrees and even though I didn’t have parent role models to pattern after, I’m smart and can figure things out.
Yeah right. Where was the warning label? “Parenting is the most strenuous, scary and unappreciated job on the planet. Prepare to give your soul, sanity and wallet.” It’s true that parenting also offers unimaginable rewards and fun but it’s the moments of utter shock and being pressed to your limits that I wasn’t prepared to navigate.
If you didn’t expect to be a parent (especially a single parent), thought parenting would be easier, or are breaking negative family patterns here are my words of survival – and in many cases triumph – to keep yourself intact and raise a wonderful, loving, and gloriously positive family. Draw your happy line. Going into unchartered family waters without a happiness plan is just plain asking for a trouble. You must know what makes you happy at each period in your life. The good news is happiness is usually from small things, events, and words. Make a list of your basic happiness needs. Then, make sure it happens (threatening is commendable in this case) and that no one crosses your happy line! Need an example? My children are now teenagers with big bodies and minds that have regressed to elementary age. I must have 2 yoga classes a week, quiet time in the morning, and low fat flavored yogurt in the refrigerator at all times. There is more but this is my basic happiness survival formula for this period in our family.