{reallife} life and the pursuit of happy

I've had a lot on my mind lately.

So of course, I either get really quiet, or I write a really long annoying blog post. Maybe there's a third option. I guess we'll see.

I am constantly analyzing life. Watching what works and what doesn't work, setting goals, changing strategies, looking for new ways of doing something, working towards better things. Truth told, it's a bit exhausting.

I should probably just tell myself to lighten up.

There are many who would say, stop thinking about happiness and just go be happy.

The Ever-Elusive Balance of Raising Little Ones {why is this so hard?!} 
You can't just say "go be happy". It's not that easy. I have little ones who want me to make them happy and who sometimes get in the way of my happy. It's a constant balancing act  --- them, me, them, me. And always the question -- how much them? how much me?

This morning my husband so easily solved the problem {he's real good at that!} -- he said, "Split the day in half and spend the first half focused on the kids, teaching and playing and stuff. The second half can be their time for independent play and then split the second half in half and that's your time." So I get 1/4. And they're gonna be perfectly OK with that and not come hunting me down or need a referee during that time?

{Que Ezra coming to find me with the words "I don't want you to be on the computer!"}  So timely.

Currently, this is my hardest struggle -- wanting to go about my own pursuits without the begging and pleading and demanding, "Mommy, you have to remote my airplane NOW!"...and dealing with the guilt of saying no and throwing him into fit-land.

Things I Know: 
kids need to learn how to play independently and amuse themselves
moms need to have time to pursue their own interests
pretend play is fun for him but not fun for me
he has significant needs for my attention and love
I should model healthy boundaries

Things I Don't Know: 
how to meet his needs and mine
how to teach him positive habits without hurting his heart

A few weeks ago, I was having a pretty good mommy day and thinking to myself, "wow, I should totally write a blog post about how to survive motherhood...I'm getting it figured out!" Hah! And then life continued. And my survival tips didn't always work. Here's what I jotted down, just for a laugh:

8 ways to survive motherhood
    1} "mom" music
    2} remembering my vitamins
    3} doing my hair and getting dressed, but not being afraid to dress down to go have fun
    4} morning jobs for the kids
    5} menu planning, but kept real simple
    6} to do list only works if it is doable
    7} keep the house clutter free and don't let the dishes pile up
    8} don't rush or treat things like emergencies

This wintry weather has inspired much of the "mommy, please remote me" and has been entirely different than our summer of hours upon hours of happy digging in the dirt with rarely a "mommy-need". Since our return from CA, I've been struggling to adjust our days to fit the weather. When all I'd like to do is curl up with a good book {or how 'bout write a good book!}, I realize the natives are restless and need things to do. With early darkness and cold temps, it takes creativity to conjure up some fun. To be intentional about choosing activities, I decided to make a list of family values/things we care about.

When I have a list like this, it's easier to think of activities that match up with what we want for our family. Music jams around the piano, family swim at the indoor pool, sledding and snowshoeing trips, road trips, baking cookies for our friends.

what kind of family we are
      -- we like music
      -- we like outdoor play
      -- we like serving others
      -- we like adventure

Seriously. He has a remote in his hand all. the. time.

The end. Did you make it? :)

Have you entered in the giveaway yet? Free book, y'all. And very good to read. If you're already a follower on Facebook, you get an easy-peasy entry -- just go click "I'm a Fan" on the rafflecopter thingy and your name will be entered! You're welcome!