May Goals and April Wins

This year, inspired by Gretchen Rubin's book, I've been doing a Happiness Project, focusing on one important aspect of my life every month. Last month my goals centered around parenting, while May's focus is home. The idea is that the months should build on one another and the habits formed in one month should continue into the next and so on. Each month I share my wins from the previous month, as well as goals that fit the theme of the current month.

Photo by Irene van der Poel on Unsplash


{april wins}


My intention for April was focusing on how to be a better parent. I love my kids' ages right now: Jona is 4, Violet is 18 months, but each age has its challenges. Jona likes the perks of being a "big kid" but at times I think he resents not being the baby anymore and goes through periods of neediness. Violet is getting more mobile and is learning to communicate, but struggles when there's something she can't (or I won't let her) do and she isn't yet able to clearly express her feelings in words. (Instead she expresses them with toys flying across the room...) Here are a few parenting wins for the month.

- Handled emotional outbursts better by acknowledging feelings. One thing I've learned again and again from trusted parenting books and podcasts, is the importance of acknowledging kids' feelings. It can be hard to do in the moment but amazingly it works so well to help calm them down and keep a tantrum from escalating. I try to really show that I get what they're feeling, by empathizing rather than just sympathizing. I'm far from perfect at this, but when I remember to do it, it helps a TON.

- Organized Jona and Violet's paperwork and keepsakes. I bought two plastic file tubs and some hanging folders and made a file for each age-grouping or school year. (I have folders labeled "baby," "toddler," "preschool," and so on.) That not only keeps things organized, but it also forces me to get rid of some things--maybe I'll keep one stick figure family picture rather than 5.

- Took the kids outside to play as much as the weather allowed. I had hoped to do more "outings" to specific locations or events, but we were just too busy last month for organized fun. Instead, the kids had a blast just enjoying the outdoors once it was finally warm enough to go outside without needing hats, coats, and gloves.

- Made a conscious effort to put down my phone and spend quality evening time with my kids. I am certainly guilty of scrolling Instagram or working on blog stuff while my kids play in the evenings after dinner, but this month I tried to save that for after bedtime. Especially on days I'm at the office, the amount of time I have with them each day is so short! I made an effort to say "yes" more when Jona asks me to play legos with him (which means help him find pieces...) and sit down and read when Violet brings me a book. I never regret choosing them over a screen.

- Read Siblings Without Rivalry. I already mentioned this book in my April Favorites post, and will talk about it as well in my reading round-up on Monday, so I won't say much else. Just know that I definitely think it's worth a read! I am also almost done with How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen and have found it to be quite helpful and practical as well.

{non-parenting wins}


- Read 8 books. Again! I doubt I'll read as much in May; I recently started 11/22/63 by Stephen King and I'm pretty sure it weighs as much as Violet. It may take me a bit to get through.

- Got a pedicure. I took the day off on my birthday and that was one of the things I did that day. It was fantastic.

- Had our two-person book club meeting over brunch to discuss The Four Tendencies. The food was delicious and the discussion was excellent. I think that was a great book club read!

- Had a girls day out at the Royals game. Life gets so busy so I love that we've been making a point to schedule regular get-togethers.

- Was accepted (back) into a Master of Library Science program.  I'm enrolled in a class that starts this month.

{may goals: home}


- Spend at least 10 minutes every day decluttering. On days I have more time I hope to do more than that, but May is the month that the clutter has got to go!

- Gather up things to donate and take our donate bin to Goodwill. I keep a basket in our coat closet and it is overflowing with items.

- Create a cleaning routine that I will actually stick to. This is big, guys. I am really, really good at finding and starting cleaning routines. I am terrible at actually sticking with them. Cleaning is the worst.

- Take small, affordable steps to beautify our home and don't get overwhelmed by the big picture. Remember, my house is not on the set of Fixer Upper... perfection is not the goal.

- Read Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. I realize I have a Gretchen Rubin addiction.

What are your goals for May? 

Linking with Coffee Until Cocktails and Feel Good Dress Better

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