Posted by: Jamie Stamm | January 3, 2009

Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy

During one of those wonderful holiday conversations when you’re catching up with family in a more in-depth way than even daily phone conversations can accomplish, talk turned to how I’ve been doing since I quit my job to stay home with the kids. And my mom asked me a question I wasn’t really prepared to answer.

“Are you happy?”

I gave the dish I was working on a good stir before responding.

“No,” I said. “I’m content with my life, but I wouldn’t say that I’m happy.”

“And when was the last time you were happy?” Mom asked.

“High school?” I ventured. “I don’t know.”

I tried to steer the conversation in a different direction, but Mom and my mother-in-law were determined to find out what was causing my mild misery.

The big problem is that even I don’t know. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful, healthy children. I have loving parents and great siblings. I was unhappy in my job, but I left it. And I’m getting to stay home with my kids, which is something I’ve wanted to do since Cera was born six years ago.

That’s not to say that everything is just peachy. I sometimes feel like I’ve thrown away four years of education and more than 10 years of career experience to engage in an endless cycle of doing laundry, washing dishes and changing diapers. It’s not unusual for weeks to pass where the only places I go are the grocery store, the kids’ schools and the library, which makes me feel a bit like a prisoner in my own home. But those are recent developments, and it’s been years since I’ve been happy – if I ever truly have been.

“I guess I’m just not a happy person,” I told my holiday kitchen audience.

And as those words crossed my lips, something miraculous happened:

I actually started to feel happy. In fact, since that conversation, I’ve been happier than I’ve been in years.

Maybe all it took was acknowledging that I don’t have a happy personality. Or maybe I suddenly realized just how much I have to be thankful for.

Whatever it was, I’m just happy to be happy. And I’m going to try to keep it that way.



  1. Honestly, I’ve come to realize that I’m not made for being a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom. In the journey to that decision, I’ve met people who have varying degrees of happiness with their decision to step out of a traditional career and most of them credit their sanity to getting out of the house.

    Whether it’s to hit the gym or participate in a hobby – just getting some fresh air without children and with your peer group can be the sugar that helps the medicine go down.

    In the evenings I often have Jaycee stuff, which has been a lifesaver for me as far as feeling like a contributing member of society. But I also try to have lunch out with friends a few times a month just to keep the “me” fires burning.

    Anyway – just wanted to raise my hand in agreement. šŸ™‚

  2. Thanks, Kelly – I needed to hear that, especially since my mom was the ultimate stay-at-home mom and I sometimes feel like I’m failing miserably at trying to live up to her example.

    I think interacting with other moms would help me greatly, so I’m going to start looking for a moms’ group as soon as Cera heads back to school.

  3. Let’s make our own mom’s group! I love my kid like nobody’s business, but this stay-at-home thing can be the pits sometimes.

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