Reconnecting through photography
“Mommy are you happy?”
She knows it.
I’m at the end of my rope and there is nothing to mask the frustration, exhaustion, and anger that comes from wishing she had better behavior already. But I know deep down that it’s just a phase and this too shall pass.
This one question, “Are you happy?” brings up guilt and worry that after all the tantrums, talking back, and screaming my baby is feeling the weight of responsibility for my level of happiness. And she knows that today she’s missing the mark.
I want her to realize that she is never responsible for my happiness, she ALWAYS makes me happy even when her behavior does not, and there is always time for a reset back to ‘happy’ when we go off course.
Here’s a little ‘Return To Happy’ photo exercise that will have you and your kids connecting and smiling again, even on the hardest parenting days.
Instructions – The Return to HAPPY Photo Project:
Affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Start by making a ‘happy list’ with your child. You write down 5 things that make you happy, and have them do the same. Here’s what my daughter Brielle and I came up with:
-Brielle’s contagious belly laugh
-Morning cups of coffee
-Freshly washed laundry
-Playing Games like Jenga
-Coloring with Mommy
Grab a camera and photograph you interpretation of the lists. Allow your child to be in charge of the camera, help compose, or simply play! I thought Brielle would want to be the photographer, but once she started up with one of her happy list items she didn’t want to stop so I snapped the photos of her instead.
Sit down together after you’re done to review and connect over the photos. You may not be able to photograph every item in one sitting and that’s ok. Resolve to come back to your lists the next day to find and photography some more!
Once you complete a set of photos print them out (on your home printer paper is totally fine!) and find a fun way to display them. Create a photo collage with construction paper and glue , make your own popsicle stick photo frames, or use peel and stick magnets to hang them on the fridge.
It’s so important that we show our kids that happiness is a choice, that we are in full control of our emotions, and with a little bit of photographic evidence we can always return to ‘happy’ even on our most difficult days.
Beryl is also hosting a free photography “One Ingredient Fix” mini class. You can find out more details and register for that here: Momtographie Mini Class