When I was setting up my happiness project, I waffled a bit about including a month devoted to my relationship with my kids. I mean, I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who measures her nursing time for each child in years rather than in months. My life pretty much revolves around my kids.
But just because I’m with them practically all of the time doesn’t mean we’re all experiencing as much joy in our relationships as we could be. Most days, unfortunately, are just about getting to bedtime so I can have some peace. While I know this isn’t an uncommon sentiment among parents, I really want more. My kids are young for such a relatively short period of time, and I want to savor their littleness and their daily achievements.
With this in mind, here are my resolutions for March:
March 2011 – Motherhood
Focus: Find and foster joy in my relationship with my children.
–Act goofy at least once every day. I tend to get too serious. I want to just get silly from time to time and have fun with my kids. Extra points if I can act silly as a way to defuse a situation in which I might otherwise raise my voice.
–Take at least one photo of the kids each day. It’s what every parent I know says: I took dozens of photos every day of my first child, but we go weeks without photos of the second kid. I want to keep a better record of my son’s toddler years and my daughter as she grows taller and taller by the minute. You’ll have to take my word for it that I’m actually taking these photos because I’m not keen on posting current identifiable photos of my kids on the internet. But when I take ones that aren’t identifiable as my children, I may just post them here.
–Keep a kid journal. I keep a journal, but it’s fairly sporadic. I’ve tried a gratitude journal and it’s not really my thing. Next best, I think, is to jot down a few notes every evening about our day, what we’ve done, cute things the kids have said and done.
–Sit on the floor with the kids at least once every day. Like with the photos, I spent a lot of time just hanging out on the floor with my daughter when she was younger. But then, she demanded this. She wanted interaction constantly. My son is better able to play independently. He always has been, ever since he was first born. But that doesn’t mean we both wouldn’t benefit from some unstructured, mommy-playing-on-the-floor time.
In addition, I’ll still try to keep all of the resolutions that have come before, with a special emphasis on the Marriage Month resolutions. During February, I noticed that I not only enjoyed the time I shared with my husband more, but I had a lot more fun with my kids, too. I think this is because I can’t just focus on being nice and gentle with my husband without also being nice and gentle with my kids. I’m going to keep up the touch, the eye contact, the loving tone of voice, and especially the awareness of my emotions. It’s good stuff, and I can’t help but think that more practice will make the payoff even bigger.