As most of you know, I have been reporting on my findings with The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. For the month of April it was all about being a parent. I am fortunate not to have to work to help support the family so I get to stay home with Charlotte. Being a stay-at-home mom is a job I take very seriously. Teaching and shaping a child to be a gracious, well-behaved, respectful, driven, and godly person starts from day one. It is, of course, hard work but work well worth it! So when I started reading the challenges for parenthood I was very excited.
SING IN THE MORNING
The first thing Gretchen Rubin talks about is singing in the morning. She goes into detail about how it helps keep the mood light during a typically stressful point in the day. Now this one was easy for me. My mom would always have a song ready for any situation throughout the day. Her ability to recall songs at the drop of a hat was amazing, she still does it. So without me realizing it I had become my mother and had been singing to Charlotte on a daily basis. If this is not something that you typically do, give it a try! It really does help calm down the child as well as yourself.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY OF PEOPLE’S FEELINGS
This is a really great one for children older than two. Charlotte is 20 months and is starting to pick up on some basic emotions like sad and happy. I have noticed within the past three weeks she gets frustrated when something will not do what she wants it to do. After reading this chapter I started saying to Charlotte, “I know you are frustrated because it is tough, but let’s stop and try again”. I was not expecting for that statement to make much of a difference but after a while it began to have a calming effect on her. Charlotte does not understand what it means to be frustrated but the fact that I am speaking to her in a calm manner and gently saying let’s try again, which she understands, helps her manage her temper.
For a child that can understand an array of emotions this is a really good one. As humans, we want our feelings to be validated and that is true for children. The simple task of acknowledging someone’s feelings holds great power.
BE A TREASURE HOUSE OF HAPPY MEMORIES
I really love recalling fun memories so this challenge is right up my alley. With cell phones, Facebook, and Instagram it is very easy to reminisce. However, one thing I want to be better about is photo albums we can all enjoy. I love looking at photo albums at my grandmother’s house. It transports me to another time. Another way I keep record of memories is through a journal during my pregnancies. My best friend sent me a mama-to-be box when I got pregnant with Charlotte and in it was a journal. I’m so glad she sent it because I never would have done it otherwise. I have a record of all the good and sometimes bad memories during my pregnancy with Charlotte and my pregnancy with Spark. My pregnancy with Spark was cut short, you can read about it here, but I felt that the time I did have and the healing I am going through afterward should be recorded.
TAKE TIME FOR PROJECTS
I love, love, love projects! Getting creative with loved ones is so important to me. Usually around the holidays, there are a lot of projects. I have a 25 days of Christmas calendar that involves many projects. I know when Charlotte gets older she will be able to do more but for now our projects mostly involve coloring a picture for Dada. Any activities that we do I try to make those fun and enjoyable.
BONUS: GET SILLY
A talented, seasoned mother will tell you do not be afraid to get silly! It always makes things better. When I get silly it always leads to laughter which then causes Charlotte to laugh which is one of the most precious sounds in the world!
So there you have it, my experience with the month of April from The Happiness Project. If you have not read it, buy it! Use this link. Also, do not forget to subscribe so you do not miss out on any future postings!