The Guilt of Happy

I have been thinking about writing this post for some time. But I am always afraid to hit publish. But after reading my friend Erin’s recent post, I am following her lead. I had a half-glass of wine (I’m a SUPER lightweight these days) and decided to write.

So here we go: Internet, I am happy. AND this motherhood thing is coming naturally to me.

There. I said it. *runs to hide*

So why do I feel so guilty about it? There are a lot of times during the day that I censor my updates because they are way too Pollyanna and syrupy. I feel bad for feeling good. I don’t want people who are having a hard time to become irritated with me or think there is something wrong with them if they are not on cloud nine. I don’t want to be kicked out of the new mommy club.

I fully expected the early days with my baby to be much more difficult than they are turning out to be. Everything isn’t easy, but it certainly isn’t a rough time around here.

Since I can remember, I have never been very good at knowing what to say when someone is having a hard time, suffered a loss, or experienced tragedy. It isn’t that I am insensitive, I just always feel at a loss for words. I don’t want to come across sounding fake, but sometimes the stuff I come up with to comfort someone just sounds lame. I envy those people who always know what to say. How do you learn such a thing? Can you learn such a thing?

I feel like I would be a better friend if I figured out how to articulate my empathy. I need to learn how to give better hugs, to be more of a feeler and less of a thinker, and to tell people how I feel about them. Especially the ones I love. I can write about these things just fine, but if you met me in person, it might be tough to know what exactly was going on. I don’t communicate my emotions very well in real life. This has to change.

So if we do meet, go in for a hug, because I need practice. And if you are having a bad day and I am having a good one, it doesn’t mean we can’t get along, right? I want to tell you that I am having a fabulous time, but I hate to sound like I ‘m bragging, so I might not say anything.

I am sure that there will be times when I am feeling like total crap, and need some love when you are feeling good. I promise not to hate your for being happy.

Please don’t hate me.

Smile guilt


23 responses to “The Guilt of Happy

  1. Great post! I totally empathize! Sometimes, when things are going well, I’m afraid to tell people how happy I am. I think you just have to have faith in the people that you love, that they will be happy for you in your jubilation the same way that you would be happy for them. There will always be a coup0le jerks with issues, but they’re in the minority. The people that truly love you will want to see you succeed in your new role and new joys…and they will want you to trust them enough for you to share with them.

  2. I love this post!! and even though things have been really rough around here lately (mostly with my older kid), I don’t hate you for being happy. I am super happy for you!

  3. i know we have already talked about this some, but i was just like that as a new mom. it wasn’t until clark was about two and a half that i finally started to have the kind of days where i hid in the bathroom and cried. 😉 say it out loud, mama. it’s a wonderful thing.

  4. i can totally relate to this feeling. but the world needs happy! especially when it comes to this subject. joyful parenting needs to be shared. it’s a given that parenting will be hard – but i think it’s important to talk about how easy and natural and fun it can be, too. otherwise everyone would just be scared to ever have babies! those types of blog posts are my favorite.

    i’m so happy that you are so happy!!!! keep sharing 🙂

  5. Man, I feel like I could have written this post. Every last word.

    Honestly, my daughters early days were some of the easiest days I’ve had with her. I was even alone for her first 3 weeks of her life, as my husband finishing up a deployment. Now that she’s older, we have more rough days. But it’s more because she is wanting to do more then she can (ie: move around, crawl, ect) or because mommah has forgotten to take her thyroid meds all week and am exhausted – And therefore low in patients. And you know what? I blogged about it. I ‘bragged’ until my heart was happy. I don’t see it was bragging, though. It’s just being honest.

    As far as everything else – I am the exact same. I never know what to say to someone who is going through a hard time. I never know when to go in for a hug, ect. . . In real life, I suck at all that. But online, it’s much easier.

    I’m glad that you’re happy. Enjoy it. Enjoy having things go smooth right now. You never know what tomorrow will bring. Brag about it. Yell from the roof tops. Share it with the world. It’s good. Being happy is good. And you never know – You ‘bragging’ about your happiness just may bring someone else happiness. If even for just a few minutes.

  6. You are so nonhatable, and yes, I just made up that word. Becoming a parent is bliss, so celebrate!

  7. yep, i had an easy baby too. and i felt guilty and i was always waiting for the other shoe to drop one day… and it hasn’t. life is just GOOD.

    it’s all the rage these days to complain about the trials and tribulations of motherhood, and how challenging it is and how tired you are, etc. break the mold. it’s also ok for us to be happy. like, really really happy.

  8. Never, ever feel badly for being happy! It took us 3 years and 3 miscarriages to have DS. Then DD was an “whoops” baby 2 years later. I loved each moment of my pregnancy & their infancy! I was shocked no one told me how much fun parenting was- even if I wasn’t getting enough sleep. So I say relish in the happiness! Be kind to those that are struggling, but don’t let it take away from your joy.

  9. I think a lot of us feel this way- misery loves company, NOT other people that have it easier and make you feel like you’re silently judged. (Which we all know is not even true, but we feel it anyway.) I had awesome pregnancies (4 of them!) and births, excellent moments breastfeeding, and often an overall sense of happy about it all. Not that I didn’t have my moments, but the moments were few (and still are) and fleeting.

    I think there’s a way to shine this happy light without burning the eyes of others less happy so that we can all coexist and learn from and love on each other.


  10. I feel the exact same way Megan! Although I tend to not want to ‘brag’ about how happy I am because I don’t want to jinx everything and end up with a baby that doesn’t sleep or eat green beans anymore. ha! (I follow you on twitter-seashellster.) Keep smiling momma!

  11. Oh, great post! Thanks for sharing your happiness and saying it out loud! Sometimes I feel like we live in a world where it is almost frowned upon to be happy, and I have these same frustrations in the non-mommy world. I feel like everyone is trying to outdo each other with “I’m so busy”, “I work so hard”, “my life is so stressful”, and it is easy to get caught up in that and feel like you are almost a slacker if you aren’t feeling stressed too, or it is a competition for who is the most miserable. I know that there are people who are having hard times, and I want to empathize with them, but sometimes I’m just all out of empathy, especially for people who are just constantly in this negative state. I feel like we are all busy, we all work hard, we are all stressed – why focus on that though, instead of focusing on enjoying life and being happy with what you have? Yes, I feel guilty even writing that or like I am being unsympathetic, but I’m going to share and be honest since you did. So thanks! I will focus on my happy today.

  12. Meeeeee too! I was surprised to discover that this “parenting” thing came easier to me than I had expected and I felt bad saying so, since I know so many people struggle with it. No hate from me, just understanding! (And when we have hard times later, we can commiserate about it then. For now, on with the happiness.)

  13. I have to second what Erin said! Totally loved the new mom gig and was so happy, not a touch of PPD to be seen. It wasn’t until Luke turned 2.5 and his baby brother, Fussy McCrankypants, crash landed in our life that I was like, GAH THIS PARENTING THIS IS HARD GIVE ME WINE LOTS OF WINE.

  14. I stumbled across your site a little while ago. (And I live in Indianapolis, so hi from a few hours away!) I haven’t commented before, but wanted to on this post because I loved it so much. People always talk about the big scary PPD and how motherhood is so scary and stressful and, though they love their babies, they’re struggling with it all. I am a little over 12 weeks pregnant with our first baby and your post totally put me at ease. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid of being shunned for having such an easy time or something, but it’s not often that people stand up and say ‘you know what? this motherhood thing? it rocks and I love it and it’s not as hard as I thought it might be.’ It’s just so refreshing to hear about the good stuff and to know that it CAN be easy and natural and happy. This post totally made my day. Props to you for sharing. 🙂

  15. Loved this post. LOVED. (I’m new here, by the way. Hi. I’m Kelly.) I felt the same way. I was … blindsided by how much I loved motherhood. In fact, I think I’m going to have to do a post on it (maybe fore 5 Minutes for Parenting tomorrow?). I”ll link back when I’m done.

    But for now? THANK YOU!

  16. Don’t feel guilty, Mama! Love it!

    I long for your experience. Mine was much different.

  17. so wonderful that you’re feeling it come naturally. that’s how it was for me, too. There were things that took learning or that were a little uncomfortable to navigate in the early days, but overall, I really felt it was a smooth, natural transition. I love hearing that is for you, too.

    soak it up.

  18. I always go in for the hug with you, even when I know you’re not comfortable 🙂 Happy happy you’re so happy, Megan. And that you’re making others feel good, too, by all that you’re sharing with the world. Smile. Hug. Feel. Share. Be happy. And love it all.

  19. I could’ve written a lot of what you said. If people would just embrace their happiness I think it would be contagious and that would be a great thing.

  20. I love this post!

    Olivia was definitely easy at first and I wondered what all the fuss was about. I mean, I adjusted quickly to the night feedings, I recovered quickly, I even lost (most of) my pregnancy weight quickly. And I, too, felt bad for being so pleased and happy with my angel baby.

    Things have been a bit rougher lately because she’s going into a growth spurt and she wants to be mobile when she can’t be yet because she hasn’t figured it out. But she’ll get there and then things will be happy again.


  21. coming from the opposite end of the physical and verbal empathy- it’s pretty cool that we became such great friends. Your empathy comes across in your loyalty to our friendship. The fact that I know I can pick up the phone and you are always there and when we make plans you seldom break them. You have been a great support to me and have never judged me when I have done things that are not-so-great. That is a true and most important friend to have 🙂 You are who you are and that is what makes you such a dear friend.

  22. Being a Mom suits you very well. Honestly, you made everything look so easy when I saw you. And for someone who has no desire to be on that side of things, I’m quite impressed by you Megan! 🙂 Please don’t hide your happiness, not for one second.

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