We’ve all heard the song “Happy” Pharrell sang. It’s been out for a while and it’s pretty catchy. However, most people who have heard the song may not place where it’s from.

“Happy” by Pharrell was used in Despicable Me 2, after Gru had his date with Lucy. He was, well, happy. A few minutes later into the movie, he’s depressed and goes back to his despicable self. I bring this up because it often takes struggle, hardships, pain, and suffering to understand real happiness. Let’s face it, Gru had a tough life.

My wife and I just celebrated our 10th year wedding anniversary. The plan was that after a few years of marriage, when we had bought a house, we would try to start a family. However, starting a family wasn’t at the time we planned for or thought it would be. We’re talking years.

It is unfortunate- one of the happiest times in my friends’ life ended up being one of my saddest. When I found out a friend was pregnant over a year of trying and being unsuccessful (this wasn’t just my first friend who got pregnant during this time) and shared this with my wife, we both broke down and cried. Don’t get me wrong, I was overjoyed for my friends, but the pain at the same time… was horrible. Something we wanted so badly, so desperately, we began to wonder why not us? What was wrong? Long story short (and this portion is a VERY long story for another day), less than a year later my wife and I learned that we were pregnant.

It’s exciting to hear, but the happiness that I experienced I believe was multiplied a hundred-fold for having had the struggle, hurt, and doubt.

This built up to when we heard the heartbeat. That little whoowh-whoowh-whoowh sound…and then the sensor was moved and we heard the second whoowh-whoowh-whoowh sound. Twins. My head and heart exploded. This happened more than four years ago and when I close my eyes, I can see the doctor’s room where this was and hear that sound reverberating through by body.

Yes, I was happy the day we said our vows. Yes, I was happy when my kids were born. Yes, I was happy for so many reasons, but that feeling of happiness- wonderment, I don’t think anything can replace that. Just that sound…whoowh-whoowh-whoowh. And again… whoowh-whoowh-whoowh.

In my last post, I spoke about being generous. How a stranger was generous to my son and I and completely made his day / week / and possibly year. He brought happiness to us. I live my life trying to make others happy. To bring joy to their lives. You never know what act you can perform that will mean the world to someone. And often, that act is a happy one.

Life is short. I do believe that a big key in the whole meaning of life is to be happy. Happiness is like an infection and spreads. Don’t believe me? When you start laughing at something, it’s not so easy to stop. Especially with others. Same thing for when you’re happy. Something amazing happens, you become elated, and often it’s hard to bring you down from that cloud.

Kids (we are talking about kids and dad stuff after all) can be draining. No, they ARE draining. Doesn’t matter if they’re the most well-behaved kids on the planet, it takes a lot to be a dad (or mom) and even more to be a good dad (or mom). Be happy with them. They’ll emulate you. When your kids see you happy, it’s harder for them to be miserable. Toddlers through teens. Do happy things. Have happy experiences. Your kids will love you all the more for it, and you’ll feel good yourself. You’ll feel…happy. Like a room without a roof…whatever that means.

About the Author:

Nick (Fat Dad Slim Dad) lives in NJ with his wife and 3.5-year-old twins. Since becoming a father, he has become very active in the child development community, including attending seminars, taken courses, and mentoring other dads focusing on cooperative/empowering strategies for their kids. In an effort to expand his knowledge to anyone who is interested in learning more empowering parenting strategies, he created an online persona called Fat Dad Slim Dad. Fat Dad Slim Dad is a social persona, inviting others who are interested in empowering parenting strategies to come and learn, try something new, and interact with other parents. Videos review techniques for parents, some focusing on dissecting a child’s behavior, some focusing on parents themselves, but all are applicable for parents of any age.

Blending his own style of humor with real-world examples of strategies in action using his kids, his main goal is to spread the love to all parents out there while continuing to learn and at the end of the day, have all of us be the best parents we can be.

What is GetConnectDAD?

@GetConnectDAD is an international project focused on One goal:  More ConnectDAD families.   We are 150 writers from around the world, focused on 52 Traits we want in our children.

The GetConnectDAD team would like to challenge every parent to:

  • Devote 1 Extra Hour of Time each week to your kids (uninterrupted)
  • Read 1 story or have 1 story read to you by your child this week 
  • Take 1 Walk outside with your partner and kids
  • Take 1 moment to say “I love you” to your kids
  • Hug your kid(s) 1 time this week