If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy

At craft fairs, invariably someone is selling a sign that says, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” We all look at it and smile or laugh or nod our heads enthusiastically, or utter a hearty, “Oh yeah!” in response. Although that phrase gives us a chuckle, it has very serious implications.

The phrase is funny because it’s generally true. In a traditional family of a mother, a father, and some children, everyone generally looks to momma to keep the family organized and functioning as it should. Mom finds her husband some clean socks to wear to work, reminds him to sign the insurance papers before he leaves, and sends him on his way with a loving peck on the cheek. Meanwhile, she finds her own clean socks so she can take two of her children to school, one of which needs a permission slip signed, the other of which needs a poster about China. She totes the third child with her to the grocery store and has packed an arsenal of toys and snacks to keep him happy and satisfied while she runs the family’s errands and finishes up just in time to collect the two children from school, come home, and prepare a nice meal for everyone. After supper, dad plays with the kids, helps with homework and leaves mom to have some time to herself to relax and get ready to do it all again the next day.

However, how many families are traditional these days? Not many. In many households, mom is running around doing all of the above with no additional help from dad who has either never been involved or is no longer involved – either of his own choice or because mom has run him completely out of their lives. In other households, perhaps there are two moms or no moms or a mom and a grandma or a dad and an uncle. In any event, there are very few traditional households left. When a mom is trying to do all the chores of a mom and a dad, she is generally not very happy. And, when momma’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy.

What’s the solution? Momma has to make her own happiness a number one priority. She has to make sure she’s okay or she isn’t going to be able to provide what her family needs. She has to ask for, and accept, help when she needs it. She needs to limit her activities when she’s got too many to do well. She’s got to take advantage of things that will make her life easier, and she’s got to take time for herself. Momma, your family needs for you to be happy and you’re the only one that can make that happen.

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