Happiness Project Update

It’s two months since I did my Happiness Project post.

I really couldn’t believe the feedback that I got from the post and the number of tweets and comments about it, it really seemed to hit a chord with readers too, just like it had with me.

So, in light of the big changes about to take place in our house I thought it would be timely to review how we’ve been getting on and to see how you have been too.

Here are the main bits that I have been working on, together with my updates, and in some cases excuse notes.

Go to Sleep earlier



Cathal sleeping

Gratuitous photo of sleeping child with his bum in the air, wearing his stripy “Cat in the Hat” pjs. I should go to bed at the same time as him.

I stated in my previous blogpost that “This is a no brainer”, yet, I find it so difficult. I have given this goal my own twist now that I’m heavily pregnant as I’ve been taking naps on the days that the boys go to their minder, so while I’m not in bed early, I do think I’m getting a good amount of sleep and with the prospect of a newborn joining us I would want to be working on the sleep deficit!

Toss, restore, organise
This was always going to be easy for me- I’m heavily pregnant so nesting is coming very naturally to me these days. Also, I’ve been to Ikea:) I know, Ikea isn’t the answer to everything but it does help with magical storage solutions that are pocket friendly. (And they didn’t pay me to say that).

The boys got bunk beds (from thebedsite.ie) and moved in to share a room together. This obviously called for storage boxes so we just had to go:) We had a job and a half getting the smaller fellow settled in the bed from a cot (if anyone wants the hows and whens of this process let me know I will do a post).

Their room got a makeover and their clothes got sorted into labelled (!) boxes in the chest of drawers and wardrobe.

We also picked up (and P put up) some shelves for “up high” in the utility room and the hotpress. I moved a lot of the boys’ boardgames to the “up high” in the hotpress as they’ll take 4 out at a time, and bits will go missing or get walked on and out of sight out of mind. Also, now when I take them down it’s such a treat that they are thrilled and distracted by them for longer.

I bought cheap plastic sticky backed hooks in the euro shop and hung the keys of frequently locked doors up high out of the boys’ reach so I can lock the smaller (still in nappies) one out of the downstairs loo and prevent flooding incidents. This has improved my quality of life more than I could have imagined!

Wardrobe sorting
I said goodbye to three trouser suits that haven’t been worn since 2010 and realistically I will never wear again as by the time they fit they will be even more outdated than they are now. My home GAA Club does clothes recycling so they were black bagged for this. I also did the usual “sorting out of what fits which boy and what’s seasonal” and gave their drawers a good seeing to.
This meant less fishing every morning (or night before when I tend to lay out their clothes) for trousers that won’t end up around the two year old’s ankles before he’s finished his cereal.

I had a big shopping bag with handbags in it and it was up too high for me to reach and the bottom of the hanging part of my wardrobe was a wasteland so I combined the two, bought two big plastic boxes for €3.50 each in Tesco and filled them with handbags. I now can find the bags. Although when I’ll next need a handbag instead of a nappybag is debatable.

“One Minute Rule”
I think I’m doing pretty well on this. We’ve put a shoerack in the hall and once the hotpress gets cleared out it will go in there, but I’ve been returning shoes that are strewn around the downstairs rooms to it and have trained the boys to do the same. We have eliminated many, many “where are my shoes?” moments, and not just for me.

Don’t expect praise
I’m trying. Or joking about it with my other half and I don’t get (that) mad when he doesn’t notice things ( like my sorting out the baking press).

Six second hug
So easy and win win. Especially since the younger one has decided “no me like kisses anymore, me ‘ust like ‘ugs” because he gives great ‘ugs. As does his big brother. I love ‘ugs.

Passwords to reflect goals
I haven’t done this. I must. But then I’d forget them. And I’d have to have goals and right now we are entering a period where “survival mode” will be the way of life in this house. So this one is on pause.

Money might buy some happiness
See reference to ikea above. Again.

Kids- some parenting points
I have Gretchen’s “Seven tips for being a more light hearted parent” laminate stuck to the fridge door, for the benefit of all who might see it.

At least once a day make each child helpless with laughter

It only takes a second to turn into “Mammy Monster” and chase them up the stairs or say silly things that get me a “mammmm” and a disparaging look:)

Tickles are also a very easy option.

Say “No” only when it really matters
I’m trying this a lot and succeeding sometimes – and fair play to their Dad he’s doing this one too.

The days are long but the years are short
Oh so long sometimes but when I look at the size of our older boy and bring him along to his “big school” open day, I feel like only yesterday he was rolling around the floor learning how to crawl, or that my other half was using the “magic hold” to ease his colic. So long but so short.

Other stuff
The post is meant to end with extra tips from the book but it’s missing from its shelf and I’ve an impending deadline so I’ll talk about this again.

In the meantime I’d love to hear if you’ve used and of the techniques in the post or if you’re one of the readers who tracked down a copy of the book.


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