I wanted to come up with the first part or my personal happiness project, discovering what gives me joy and doing more of it. Here goes! These are moments we have as a family that I enjoy and I want to continue:
1) In the morning, after breakfast and chores my kids and I sit at the kitchen table and I put on music and we color, play with play dough and other crafty things before school. We usually have about 45 minutes of this and I love the quietness of this moment and how it makes me feel. At the beginning of the school year we stopped watching TV in the mornings before school because it caused a lot of delays and arguments. I don’t regret it.
2) On that note, I am drastically reducing the amount of TV we watch, especially on the weekdays. When they were younger and I had an 18 month old and a 3 year old at home and we were housebound and my husband deployed I found TV gave me a piece of sanity in my day. Now I don’t really need it since they both have preschool and I have more moments to myself. I don’t like the sound of the TV anymore (in the daytime) and prefer music to fill in the quiet. I also noticed how observant my daughter was to everything she saw, even if it was a commercial after the news or something she saw randomly. I want to keep that stuff out of her head as long as I can and reducing TV is working for us.
On Saturday and Sunday I let the kids watch their shows when they wake up (they eat breakfast at the coffee table while I sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in one sitting) and this has become a treat for all of us. By limiting television during the week it has turned this time into a treat for them and I like that. I’m not going to lie, we have had to slowly detox off of shows, and still watch plenty, but there are also days that go by with nothing at all but music. I like that.
On that note, am I brave enough to cut out the television in our bedroom?
3) I have started asking my kids everyday what good deeds they have done and if they have complimented someone today. I do this because I want them to know the feeling of making someone feel better and helping those in need. At this age they stick to letting someone go first in the slide line and Brady holds the door open for people at restaurants, but we will continue this as they get older, too. It is important to me that they think of others and realize that by helping someone else they will be helping themselves be better people.
4) We have a family dinner every night and I love this. We have done it since they were babies and often eat absurdly early (5 or 5:30) to accomplish this. They each say the blessing and we eat as a family, with music playing. We talk, “How was work, dad?”, “What letter are you on at school?”, “What was your good deed today?” It is important for me to have family dinner as long as I can hold on to it (college?)
5) Lastly (though honestly, I could go on!), I want to spend more one on one time with Molly and Brady. I sat this afternoon and built a Lego house for 45 minutes and listened to Brady talk and it made me happy to see how happy he was to be with me. I don’t always stop to play with my children, I need to improve that.
Tell me, have you read “The Happiness Project?” What would you add into your life to be happier?
P.S. Improving other aspects of my life (diet, impulse buying, marriage, etc.) is a post for another day, my friends:)