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The Two Most Powerful Words Your Kids Need to Learn

"Abby said I have a red face," my 5-year-old told me.

I looked at his face. It was, in fact, very red. His soft skin was no match for the brutal winter we were experiencing in the Northeast, and his cheeks were badly chapped. The color of cherries.

"Your face is red," I said. "So what?"

"I didn't like her saying that," he explained.

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I told my son that the following day, when his friend told him that his face was red, he should just say, "So what?" After all, he couldn't change the redness on his cheeks any more than he could change the color of his hair or the color of his eyes. Soon, it would be spring, his face would heal, and it wouldn't be red anymore. But right now, it was.

So what?

The next day, he did just that, and the conversation was dropped. I told my husband about the incident, and he was worried: Was our son being bullied? Should I tell the teacher?

But it's made me think about the power of "so what?"

But I wasn't afraid he was being bullied. I knew that the little girl was one of his friends—maybe she was gently teasing him about the color of his cheeks, but it wasn't something to be concerned about.

And I was right. There's been no mention of the red face since—three weeks later—and now it's a moot point as the temperatures heat up and the snow begins to melt.

But it's made me think about the power of "so what?"

We're so hard on ourselves these days. So incredibly hard. We think our houses should look like the spreads we see on Houzz, and we want our dinners to be Pinterest-worthy. But really, if the house is a little messy, so what? If we order in a pizza every once in a while instead of cooking a healthy meal, so what?

On the days that the house is in disarray and dinner is takeout, my kids are just as happy as the days when I've straightened up and cooked them a special dinner. But there's one key difference on those nights: I'm not utterly exhausted. I'm happy.

A happy mommy is a good mommy. So remember that mantra, when you're pushing yourself to do things just because you feel like you "have" to.

Let's let go of a little bit of the stress, let go of the guilt and try to get a little more enjoyment out of each day.

Mother-in-law said something that irked you? So what?

Kids acting like maniacs in front of company? So what?

Potty training making your house a stinky mess? So what?

Let's let go of a little bit of the stress, let go of the guilt and try to get a little more enjoyment out of each day. Before you freak out about finding dried-up grilled cheese under the kitchen table, ask yourself: Is this worth getting worked up over? Will I be happier if I just get out the Clorox wipes, clean it and move along? And before you get angry at someone who's in the express line at the supermarket when they shouldn't be, ask yourself if the world will end over the 8 minutes you've just lost.

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Wouldn't you be better off to just let it go, and move on with your day?

Say it with me now: SO WHAT?

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