Is our family really happy?

Is our family happy? The honest answer is… no. A least we weren’t for a while there.

Over the past three weeks I was really noticing this common theme in our home of just putting in the time and going through the motions. It wasn’t just me, it was our entire family. We were satisfied-ish, but not joy-filled.

mom on sofa with kids

I knew the winter had been too long and not planning a vacation was a big mistake, not to mention our house was piling up with clutter, and Mike and I just couldn’t seem to dig ourselves out.

We just felt stuck.

I had found some tricks to keep my head above water while we waited for the warmer weather, but there wasn’t a sparkle in any of our eyes.

I was starting to lose hope just as the clouds parted this past weekend. That little warm up was enough to wake everyone up.

kids playing outside

On Saturday Mike and I finally conquered our nemesis… the basement. We dug and we dug until we could breathe again. Multiple trips to the dump and dropping off donations later, we are able to see our home again.

On Sunday we practically lived outside with our kids. Bike rides, side walk chalk and backyard play filled the hours.

As our kids rode their bicycles and tricycles around our street again and again, I beamed as I kept hearing spontaneous laughter come from our twin toddlers.

It was the best, and exactly what we all needed.

I write this as Monday is coming to a close. I am exhausted, but very, very happy. I blasted through my to-do list which somehow felt a lot easier today. toddlers reading

There has been a shift, and instead of sinking back into the gloom as the rain expected tomorrow arrives, I am going to keep this momentum going.

You can catch up on our past week and our happiness journey in our recent vlogs.

4 small changes I have made to increase my happiness while we wait for warmer weather

happiness with kidsHoly smokes this has been a long winter. Here, just outside of Toronto, it feels like we are crawling to the finish. Our family foolishly made the mistake of not planning a warm weather getaway this winter and oh boy, are we cooped up.

For me, as the typically happy-go-lucky, problem-solving wife and mother, it’s been hard as I am constantly trying to keep everyone else happy, while here I am, struggling myself.

The long, sunless days, the yo-yo in temperatures and the fact that it is either too cold, or too muddy to let our kids run free in our backyard is keeping us indoors and miserable.

These past couple weeks have been particularly hard, mostly because someone has always been sick. Although being sick isn’t fun for the actual patient, for the mom/wife it is another layer of managing misery.

So, over the last couple of days I have made some changes to help me keep my head above water so I can continue to be that happy-go-lucky, problem-solving member of our family.

1. I’ve gone back to grabbing some rests midday. This one is still not happening often enough, but I am moving towards creating protected time for this. I am realizing that stopping after lunch for up to an hour and laying down, watching T.V. or reading does so much more for my mind than I ever realized. It’s the absence of worrying, to-do lists, cleaning, working and cooking that my mind sometimes needs the most. My mind craves being put on autopilot and get a well deserved break.

2. I am changing up my day last minute. Working at my computer, whether it’s blogging, or editing a vlog (while my kids are at school and my twins are in part-time daycare) is my passion and my therapy. But every once and a while, I am realizing that switching things up and moving my work to the evening so I can go out into the world, soak up the daylight and be around people is good for my soul and my sanity. In fact, right after I hit publish on this post, I am going to head out the door and enjoy this rare sunshine outside.

3. I’ve moved my workouts back to the morning. I really find carving out time to workout changes depending on the season. All winter working out in the evening really fit. Maybe because it was dark out so early and everyone would tend to go to bed earlier. But these last couple of weeks our big kids have needed more time from me in the evenings, and instead of enjoying that special time, I was getting frustrated because I was missing my workout. So, I am switching things up and working out at 6:00 A.M. so that for the rest of the day I can chill out and stop worrying about fitting that workout it.

4. We bought a houseplant. Yup, that’s right, I finally feel like I can keep something else alive, other than our kids. It is actually amazing what bringing some greenery inside has done to my mood. In fact, I am now hooked and can tell there are many more plants in our future.

house plant

You can keep up with my journey through motherhood on our vlogs on YouTube, and don’t forget to subscribe!