Do it. Just do it. Lay down your right to be mad. We (as the parents we are) have every right to be eternally mad about something. How many messes do we clean up a day? How many times do we repeat ourselves, often (it feels) futilely? How hard do we try to keep things running smoothly? How desperately are we grasping at anything to make us feel like we have any bit of control left over our lives and our space and our emotions? Regardless, we must lay it all down. Because if we do not, we are setting ourselves up for needless extra hardship throughout the rest of our lives. We do not need to carry around all the reasons why we deserve to be mad and unhappy. It’s way better (and enjoyable) to just put down the weight and the toxic thoughts and the self-sabotaging behavior and just be happy. In the midst of it all. Simply be the peace that you’ve been trying to fabricate through external means. Just be what you want to be. But first we’ve got to lay down our right to be mad. And then we will have the capacity to hold our happiness. (And, yes, it’s possible to be happy and mad at the same time, but when it comes to actually choosing how we are going to be, we will need to make the choice—and we can’t really keep hanging on to things that detract from the happy that we are trying to cultivate. Why happy? Because that’s the way we want things to be. Our children will catch on. They do not need us to be loud and aggressive about anything in order for them to do what we want them to do (it’s counter-productive anyway). Let us have the confidence to say things once, calmly (maybe twice), and then follow through in a matter-of-fact and non-threatening/non-harmful way about the things that we deem important to their upbringing and to our home environment.