The Glass Half Full


By Michelle Ghilotti Mandel

The glass half-full

The glass (half) full of a parent:
6:45am: Up and make food, coffee
8:00 Feed self and kid(s)
8:30 Drop off at school or childcare (and if you’re not the one doing the drop off today, you’re likely thinking about the drop off or if you forgot something)
8:45-5:30 Work a FULL day
5:49pm Walk in. Game ON. (fun but tiring, right?)
6:30 Dinner
7:30 Bath
7:50 Book
8:00pm Lights out

The days of filling space; of “Oh, maybe I’ll catch a flick” because I had nothing else to do. I know I had these times in my twenties but they seem a distant memory.

And it’s no wonder… if the above schedule wasn’t enough for most of us, in between there’s stuff like pay the bills, try to get a workout in, call your Mom back, figure out if social calendar for both kids and adults is what you want it to be, hit the dentist, oops, you need diapers or boo, one of the kids is sick and you’re thinking about him. (heart aches)

Yes, our lives are packed as parents. However, we have the chance to be parents.  Sometimes I think about it as that lottery for the Nike Women’s Marathon. SO excited you’re in but in your head a bit about all the heartfull and hard work you’ll have to put in to accomplish the task. A wow.

If you think about it not everyone has the opportunity to learn about themselves in such a deep way. As parents I believe we’ve been gifted with new lives to show us what’s truly important in the everyday (and inside of us). Maybe how simple it can be to be… happy. I know we’ve all seen our kids at one point play with a box, a pan or a little car as if it was the coolest thing in their lives. Or how important that little lego piece that has been lost is to this amazing thing they’re building.

In the US and in most European countries we have the most basic things we need to live. Think about all the families in Mexico, Central and South America not to mention Africa who are not able to enjoy themselves as much maybe for fear of not having enough ~ enough food, enough clean water, enough to wear during winter, and the list goes on.  Though we know via our travels these cultures are also abundantly happy with the simple many times, we, yes, you and me, are privileged.

No, toddler poop on bedroom walls (my glam, true story) is never fun to clean up (not privileged), and no, it wasn’t on the above schedule either but when you think about life as a whole with your offspring, it has brought you moments of happiness you could not have anywhere else or with anyone else, right? And if life is about these unique (or simple) moments of bliss, we can only be thankful for our kids and our roles these days. Glass half full, thank you. If not way more.

Today I challenge us to choose battles. Better yet, what’s there to really to go to “battle” for anyway?

I implore us to ask…What’s there to loooove? (8, 23, 41, 82 lbs of daughter or son maybe?)

Your August Momtra (practice, practice): Love is the common denominator. Forget busy; Be happy. (3x, repeat earnestly)

You’ll be surprised how this thought and the repeating of it quietly to yourself brings a perspective and boost of energy we need.

We are HAPPY at Happiness Series to bring you what we believe to be simple thoughts that can truly change the way you look at your day if you want them to…

Enjoy that glass half full (and those divine kiddos).

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About the Author: Michelle Ghilotti Mandel is a writer, certified yoga teacher and graphic designer running her own heartful design and branding studio, ghilotti ink, for over 10 years. Michelle is writing the how to be a walking Momtra book (blog: and is a guest blogger for Happiness Series, the Elephant Journal, and the When she’s not grooving with any of the above, she is running (usually to yoga), sleeping on the Great Wall of China, becoming an expert in expat living and, surprisingly, not making many other plans. She keeps a 5 x 4 foot canvas entitled “The Things that Make Me Happy,” which she is happy to announce will never be finished. She lives in Los Angeles with her five year old son and husband. Michelle’s blogging for Happiness Series about Happiness, Motherhood, finding a balance in life, and having fun!