As you know this year I am working on this book “Happier at Home” by Gretchen Rubin. I have been doing a chapter/month and November’s Chapter 3 is on “Parenthood”! Being a Mom of two this was a great chapter for me to read. Obviously I want minshouse.ca/y children to be happy and grow up in a happy home. Who doesn’t want that? When my kids are happy I am happy and vice versa.
My kids are happiest when they are playing outside. This is true for the both of them so our family spends a lot of time outdoors. When I feel like I am losing my patience inside the house and Miss Charlie and Mr Simon are just not getting along, I often say “get your coats” and tell them we are going out to the “blow the stink off”. Almost always a change of scenery, some fresh air, and after being active we are able to come back in and we are all okay. Knowing your children well and what makes them happy and you happy makes things a lot easier. Thankfully we are all outdoors people in this house so there is never any grumbling about going outside just enthusiasm.
In the book, one of the things that Gretchen talks about is “entering into the interests of others”. Now as she explains in the book she does not want us to unauthentic to ourselves but more so be open to the interests of your children. For me this means I gradually made myself more comfortable with horses. Am I riding them everyday? No, of course not, but I now lead them, pet them, and feed them without any fear. Miss Charlie loves horses and has since she was quite small and I love that I can support her in that interest. In the meantime I have also grown quite fond of them and I really enjoy the times we have spent with each other and them. It truly makes me happy. With Mr Simon, I will sit and build tracks for his trains. Not something I would choose to do with my time but I show interest for him. I now find myself building the track in a different way each time and enjoying myself fully while playing with him. So although these are not my own interests, I genuinely enjoy doing these things with my kids.
Gretchen talks about spending “individual time” in the book. I love this but it can be a struggle. Each of the kids get a daily dose of individual time at bedtime. Right now they head to bed at different times so even when Jordan is not home and I am on my own with them I make time to do prayers and story time alone with each of them at night. With Miss Charlie now in school I am able to get time with Mr Simon to play or go out just us two. When he naps in the afternoon Miss Charlie and I get some time together. Jordan also takes them out on little outings. It is a balancing act but so far so good. I would guess this would be a big challenge with more children but I think it is super important. Remember “The days are long but the years are short”.
Lastly she talks about “warm greetings and farewells”. I have to say this is something the comes natural for our family. The kids enthusiastically wave at the door each time Jordan or I pull out of the driveway. We ALWAYS kiss one another goodbye. Mr Simon waits for Miss Charlie at school and plants a big hug on her when he sees her. Most mornings that arrive home from working all night is met with jumping, happy faces at the door. We have nailed this with little thought but now while I am thinking on it I have noticed it instantly makes me happier.
This chapter taught me to slow down, enjoy some one on one time with my kids, spend time as a family, and take an interest in what others love. It was chalk full of great information that I needed to be reminded of. Hope you have a great week ahead and that we can ALL be wonderful parents!