What should kids see? 2


Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

A while ago, I read a post called “Be so good at your job that your kids think you are playing.” And I thought it was nice, and that kids should feel stable and happy, not noticing all the work we do every day to feed, dress, and educate them (not to mention chores like cleaning the house and shopping!).

Right?

Except…what happens when they grow up? This part bothered me for a few days after I read the article. If kids think everything is sunshine and happiness, and that nothing is dreary or “work,” what happens when they are adults?

What if they think they’re doing it wrong? Or don’t want to work because they should be having fun all the time, like their Mom? What if they can never live up to what their memory of their Mom? How many people can never live up to how they remembered their mother or grandmother (or their spouse’s)?

Then again, I wouldn’t want the kids to think that being a mother is chores and drudgery either.

It seems to be a fine balance. Life is sunshine and happiness, but it’s also hard work and not getting your way. It’s sometimes putting other people’s needs before yours, and sometimes taking care of yourself first. It’s a mixed bag, happy and sad, and kids should see both, I’d think. Of course, it should be more happy than sad, and have a good deal of fun thrown in with the laundry and chores, too.

What do you think?


About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.


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2 thoughts on “What should kids see?

  • Shuli

    What an interesting question. My 2 cents: I know personally I will probably never be on the madreiga that I always appear care-free and joyful, it’s not my nature and it’s something I have to work very hard on. So if you’re like me… do like Rambam suggests when trying to work on a middah and try to overcompensate towards the good, then maybe a happy medium will be achieved. I know that if I would strive for balance in this area I would fall towards the negative side. I think thus that it’s better to err way of trying to be overly joyous, because I know it won’t happen all the time anyway. I wouldn’t try to purposely show stress in the interest of being realistic. I think if it’s there it will sometimes come out anyway, and that’s ok. For someone who has worked on herself to the degree to never feel stress, I admire her immeasurably but have nothing to contribute 🙂 Also , I don’t think simchas ha chaim means never showing stress; one can be under stress but deal with it calmly and in an organized way, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a pressurizing situation, and kids will always see that.

    • Amital Post author

      I’m thinking more in daily life instead of times of stress. If everything normal looks easy, but in reality a LOT of work goes into it, then what? And should we have to put up a facade? I’m not talking about raging around or yelling, but more working determinedly and sometimes acknowledging things like, “I’d love to do that, but first I have to…”

      But I agree that it’s better to aim a little higher.