I was chatting online with my brother a few weeks ago and he asked me, “So, how have you been lately?
I answered, “Really good, actually!”
“Great! I’m glad you’re doing well right now!”
Just from his simple question, I knew that the last time we had talked, I hadn’t been doing well. And I was probably having a Bad Day the time before that too.
Do your Bad Days look like mine? Long hours, irritating messes, kids fighting, too much yelling, not enough quiet time to settle my mind…yeah, Bad Days.
I realized that I wanted to change that.
I wanted to have more Good Days.
But how would I get there?
What does the recipe for a Good Day look like for me?
Like cooking, I’ve realized that a Good Day is more of an Art than a Science. After all, my primary role each day is to care for little people, and little people are notoriously unpredictable.
But, as I started thinking about the things that make me happy, the things that I want (and don’t want) in my life, my vision for a Good Day started to clarify.
Here are 5 elements that I try to incorporate into my life to ensure Good Days on a regular basis:
1. Get out of the house
My two youngest boys are two years apart (3 and 1). Like my twins, I hoped that Silas and Eli would be best buds growing up.
But my younger sons bicker and scream and hit each other like it is their job (I’ve realized that my twins are the anomaly for brotherly relationships).
Unless the TV is on all morning (which makes me feel like a Bad Mom), I end up refereeing their spats every 3 minutes, which leaves me exhausted and short tempered.
If we want to have a Good Day, we have to get out of the house. So each morning, I pick a destination: We go to the park, Children’s Museum, the Library, go on walks, or ride bikes. My two littles love being active when they aren’t stuck at home. PLUS getting 40-60 minutes of hard exercise is essential if I want Silas, my 3 year old, to take a nap after lunch.
Because let’s face it, if the kids don’t nap, that is automatically a Bad Day.
2. Spending time with friends
If I can combine “Get out of the House” with “Spend time with friends,” my Good Day gets even better. As an extrovert, I thrive on spending time with peers and having good adult conversation.
When I chatted with my brother the other day, I realized that I had spent time with three different friends that week and I was feeling great.
I don’t get this kind of social interaction every day, which is fine, but because spending time with people is a strong need in my life, I have tried to be proactive about setting up time with friends on a regular basis.
3. Reading to my boys
For me, part of having a Good Day is feeling like I’m being a Good Mom and reading to my kids always makes me feel like I am living up to my motherly ideals. I’ve started being more proactive about reading to all four kids on a daily basis.
For my toddler, I always say yes when he brings be a board book (but usually say “no” to reading it 7 times in a row).
For my 3 year old, we read together every day after the baby goes down for his nap. I love the one-on-one time I get with Silas. The 15-20 minutes of reading time together fills us both up.
For my twins, I’ve been reading a chapter of Harry Potter to them most nights before bed. This reading time is a bit trickier because I am tired in the evenings and everyone is a little nuts (including me) but making time to share stories together makes me happy, helps me feel like a Good Mom, and definitely contributes to an overall Good Day.
I write a new blog post every Monday and Thursday and, emotionally, these are probably my best days out of the week. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing, and it can be mentally taxing, but I always feel accomplished and happy when I publish a post. Sharing it with the world is the best part. I love the happiness boost I get from blogging and even though keeping my commitment to write twice a week is hard sometimes, writing on a regular basis definitely gives me more Good Days in my life.
5. Adjusting my expectations
Today we stayed home because I am not feeling 100%. I had a ton of dishes to wash and laundry to fold. We watched Netflix for about 3 hours today.
All of these things usually add up to a Bad Day for me.
But today, they didn’t.
When I woke up feeling under the weather, I made the decision that we would have a Home Day. I needed to rest.
We did take a 30 minute walk/bike ride (the 3 year old NEEDS TO NAP this afternoon!!) but otherwise, we spent a lot of quality time with Little Einsteins and Chuggington.
And that was perfectly fine. Lots of TV and catching up on housework was what needed to happen today. It’s not my ideal, but because I adjusted my expectations based on on the reality of how I was feeling, we were able to have a good day.
Ultimately, my attitude plays an essential role in whether or not my day turns out to be Bad or Good. Imagine that?
What does a Good Day look like for you?
Please share your Good Day essentials below or on Facebook!