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#1 of 39 Old 07-02-2014, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What makes your day feel successful?

I've been a SAHM for 2.5 years, but done 2 major moves, a new baby with 9 week NICU stay and 6 month stint as home daycare provider in that time. I don't feel like I have really gotten into a routine because of all the disruptions. I am in a rough spot right now, questioning my decisions to stay home, homeschool my almost 4 year old, etc.

So my question is, what things do you do to feel successful in your day? How do you gauge a "good day" ? What makes it seem a little easier?
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#2 of 39 Old 07-02-2014, 09:30 AM
 
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Being in a state of peace so that my child can anchor to me in order to experience life on her own terms.
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#3 of 39 Old 07-02-2014, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, pumabearclan, what do you do to achieve that state of peace?
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#4 of 39 Old 07-02-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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Pray, to the Divine Mother in whatever form one can identify, asking for compassion and love to give to my child and to myself. This guides my decisions.

Being the best personification of Mother that I can be, with divine grace, in that day, makes it the best day possible, as I realize that I can only be the most unencumbered realization of Love in my current situation at that time. Whether it's to let go of something, insist on something, rephrase something, wait on something, understand something - this is what I look for in mothering. It's not a "pray now, go on with life" experience, it's a moment-by-moment experience where I feel that I am responsible to the divine Mother for my word and deeds. Every child (and adult) needs their Mother - have I represented her accurately to my child? Have I honored her Love and Wisdom through my actions as her child? Will my child know Her in the example and representation I have displayed?

This is what I do and what guides me. Helps me, day by day. Gives me hope and forgiveness and strength to make the best possible life in my family.
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#5 of 39 Old 07-12-2014, 10:49 AM
 
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I try to make a list of things to do each day. Keep it small though. Nothing too major but a small list of tasks that I want to complete for the day and I feel successful if I get them done. When the kids were little it could be as simple as having the dishes washed when I went to bed It really helps me to feel like I'm more successful though when I take the bar down and stop expecting too much of myself. Having young children and homeschooling can be busy and stressful. Don't expect to be Mother Teresa, Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart and Mary Poppins all in one. It's not gonna happen. I can easily get overwhelmed and feel down from it so I try to find ways to simplify life. Decluttering and organizing things into a system that's easier for me to manage. Freezer cooking has helped with the meal time hassles. For homeschooling if you're only working with a 4 year old assess what your homeschool expectations are because you could likely get away with a lot less. At that age they don't need much. Some reading time and maybe a little math. Anything else if fun stuff. For preschool age these tasks can be accomplished in lots of ways. Busy bag games are fun and educational. There are lots of free online games/websites for children that are educational as well if you're okay with that. My children loved Starfall at that age. It helped them learn letters, phonics and early reading. Honestly when mine were that little that was the basis of our homeschool. I set aside Starfall time each day, we read books (even if it was just a bedtime story), and we would do simple tasks/games to help with math skills.

I'm not sure what else to say. If you have specific issues that are bothering you then maybe we can help find more ideas to help. You can be a SAHM and homeschool if you want to but it's important to go easy on yourself and "care for the caregiver."

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
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#6 of 39 Old 07-12-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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^ Compassion to self is a great place to be
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#7 of 39 Old 07-13-2014, 04:24 PM
 
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I agree with crazyms that not very much is necessary to homeschool a four-year-old. Your four-year-old is different from my four-year-old, so he or she may be a little more advanced or mature. Mine doesn't sit still during Sunday Mass but sits quietly when I read books to him. I am going to wait at least another year before I start reading lessons with him (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, what I used for his two older siblings); until then we're going to continue reading every day, increasing reading time as his attention span increases. When it's not thundering outside (it's rainy season in this part of the US) he can go out and ride his bike with his siblings and practice pedaling. When he was with his grandma today, he made something with tiny beads that she ironed and I found out that he may be left handed. I will watch him next time he colors to see which hand he uses.

To answer your question about what makes my day feel successful...before I go to bed I wash most of the dishes (I often let one or more soak overnight) and I'm starting a habit of clearing and washing the kitchen table. Sweeping (and sometimes mopping) the kitchen floor daily makes my husband happy. My children have chore charts and I am happy when at least one of them completes all of their schoolwork and I can check all of that off. I enjoy reading daily and I often write in my journal. The day wouldn't be complete without a rosary (ideally prayed as a family) and it's even better when I can go to Mass. It also feels successful when there haven't been any major injuries - or if there were, they've been taken care of and we're all home - and we've all gotten along fairly well.
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#8 of 39 Old 07-17-2014, 09:42 AM
 
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My day feels successful when I'm in a peaceful, present state of mind and I have had my coffee. heh. Then it doesn't matter what has actually been accomplished within the day because what's done is done and I can't go back and change it so I let it go. I'm pretty laid back, though. Some days I spend hours doing my part time menial job online. Some days I spend all day taking the kids on a big outing. Some days I bake with my daughter, help my other daughter with a workbook and listen to something my son created.. and then I spend way too much time on the internet frittering away time. I spent some time most days with friends I know (some with kids, some without). Some days I do housework. All days are successful to me. And I accomplished good things in all of them. Sometimes I do look back on a day and analyze what I've accomplished and how I feel about it. I do like to think of the highlights of my day; the things I really enjoyed about that day.

I also homeschool my son. When we're homeschooling "officially" (we're off for the summer), our days aren't measured by a yardstick of success, then, either. If we have explored a subject- whether or not it interested him- we've been successful. Sometimes that success is that he learned that he didn't care for a subject. I joke that we are structured unschoolers.

Oh.. and I've been a SAHM for 13 years now (worked full time before that). We've done two cross country moves in that time and moved locally many many times. Did 6 months of full time work about two years ago and it was awful. Have done some part time out of the house work that was okay. Am a very part time college student. I think maybe I have just become good at entertaining myself.

Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
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#9 of 39 Old 07-17-2014, 12:13 PM
 
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Feeling successful...

I feel successful if I can manage to make the kids 3 meals a day and keep them engaged. I feel accomplished if I can stick to a schedule 50% of the time.
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#10 of 39 Old 07-26-2014, 11:00 AM
 
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interesting question and answers....Meowmix, i LOVED your post! I am pretty much like that too, but I am far from being peaceful and moment-present right now. ...I'll definitely try starting tomorrow!

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#11 of 39 Old 07-27-2014, 06:42 AM
 
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interesting question and answers....Meowmix, i LOVED your post! I am pretty much like that too, but I am far from being peaceful and moment-present right now. ...I'll definitely try starting tomorrow!
Thanks!! Glad I could be helpful to someone. I guess that makes my day feel accomplished, too!
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Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
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#12 of 39 Old 08-17-2014, 11:00 PM
 
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Heh heh, if no emergency services were involved, it was a good day.
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#13 of 39 Old 08-19-2014, 09:14 PM
 
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A successful day for me is a day in which I did something special to take care of myself (longer shower, yoga, whatever it is that would recharge my batteries beyond my basic needs), had fun with my boys (I felt like I was playing, too) at some point, we got outside, saw other people, and I noticed that I was patient. If I finish a project or make something look nice in a day, that's a bonus. Sometimes I get ambitious and think I should make a better routine or make meal plans or something but that's just not all that important.

From your post I wonder if you are lonely sometimes - maybe you would feel less concerned about being successful at this or wouldn't question as much whether it's the right decision if you can get together with other adults and kids regularly. I can imagine with moving and all the disruptions you might not have a ready support group. You're not going to fail if you don't want to homeschool - some people (including moms and their kids) need a break from each other.
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#14 of 39 Old 08-28-2014, 08:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Catholic Mama View Post
I agree with crazyms that not very much is necessary to homeschool a four-year-old. Your four-year-old is different from my four-year-old, so he or she may be a little more advanced or mature. Mine doesn't sit still during Sunday Mass but sits quietly when I read books to him. I am going to wait at least another year before I start reading lessons with him (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, what I used for his two older siblings); until then we're going to continue reading every day, increasing reading time as his attention span increases. When it's not thundering outside (it's rainy season in this part of the US) he can go out and ride his bike with his siblings and practice pedaling. When he was with his grandma today, he made something with tiny beads that she ironed and I found out that he may be left handed. I will watch him next time he colors to see which hand he uses.

To answer your question about what makes my day feel successful...before I go to bed I wash most of the dishes (I often let one or more soak overnight) and I'm starting a habit of clearing and washing the kitchen table. Sweeping (and sometimes mopping) the kitchen floor daily makes my husband happy. My children have chore charts and I am happy when at least one of them completes all of their schoolwork and I can check all of that off. I enjoy reading daily and I often write in my journal. The day wouldn't be complete without a rosary (ideally prayed as a family) and it's even better when I can go to Mass. It also feels successful when there haven't been any major injuries - or if there were, they've been taken care of and we're all home - and we've all gotten along fairly well.
Hi Catholic Mama,
Glad to know a catholic mama on the forum. I am myself a catholic mum and a grand mother who attends church regularly. Very impressed with your post. I also babysit my grand daughters regularly. As to what makes my day feel successful is when I start the day with prayer, keep the house tidy, and reach out to my family with love and help when they need me. May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you safe and well.
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#15 of 39 Old 08-29-2014, 07:31 AM
 
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Thank you, Ramanie, it's nice to "meet" you!
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May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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#16 of 39 Old 09-04-2014, 06:16 PM
 
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I am a sahm and just started homeschooling my 10 year old. I feel successful if I can make a good breakfast and lunch for my boys (dad usually takes care of supper), if I can finish teaching before 2:00 p.m. and if my boys want hugs and kisses from me. I want to be one of those super moms that does it all, but it just isn't physically possible for me. If the boys are alive and clean and not hungry come bedtime, I'm good. I try not to put too much pressure on myself.
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#17 of 39 Old 09-05-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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I feel successful if I can go to bed and the house is tidy! I love getting projects done also, organizing, cleaning something that really needed it, crocheting something my kids need, making gifts for people...

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Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

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#18 of 39 Old 09-05-2014, 11:51 AM
 
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It can't be about what you DO that matters, because So Much of what SAHMs do isn't quantifiable or able to be included on a list. Simply being present for your children is a huge gift. My mother stayed home when I was little, then went to work. I felt the loss of her presence keenly and remember it to this day. I stayed home full-time when my kids were little, and now I have worked full-time for a few years, and I KNOW that my kids benefited greatly from me being home all those years, even when I didn't Do anything particular on a given day. And I know they would have benefited from more time from me being home, but that wasn't how things worked out for us.

Looking back, some of the best days were when the things we did were not things I'd planned. All of their most memorable lessons were messy projects, not worksheets. We continue to read books aloud together to this day (You should see 2 adults and 2 teens piled on the couch together, taking turns reading, or a teen having to take over for dad because he gets choked up easily on sad parts and can't read anymore). What a memory for my kids! But "Piled on the couch and read a chapter of Harry Potter together" is hardly the sort of thing a SAHM of teens would put on their daily list of accomplishments, no?

I guess a successful day is one in which your children are alive and well, and are still loved, and still have their own capacity to love others intact and nourished. Everything else is gravy.
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#19 of 39 Old 09-05-2014, 03:09 PM
 
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Being present for my kids is all i need to feel successful.
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#20 of 39 Old 09-06-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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You should see 2 adults and 2 teens piled on the couch together, taking turns reading, or a teen having to take over for dad because he gets choked up easily on sad parts and can't read anymore
Awwww, so sweet! And so much to look forward to!
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#21 of 39 Old 09-06-2014, 11:40 PM
 
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obviously being present is #1 ... but I feel like an absolute wreck and failure if I don't get my basic needs met and do everything I think i *should* be doing for my daughter. This list includes:

~shower for me
~yoga/gym time for me (or outdoor exercise with my baby in the carrier) 1 hour minimum
~eat my breakfast SLOWLY
~eat a healthy lunch with lots of greens SLOWLY
~make dinner for when my husband gets home
~baby's laundry (we do cloth diapers)
~baby's meals - usually 2x a day I sit her in high chair and give her a "meal", she's only 10 months
~baby's bath- every other day
~baby's playtime- I take her on playdates almost every day, I have lots of mom friends
~lots of daytime cuddling/nursing time- it's hard to do this lately because she's so active and would rather play and eat food and explore than nurse, which has led to a reversed nursing cycle where she wants to nurse all night. AGH!
~random errands- I try to get at least one done per day, and make a weekly list of all the mundane things like post office, bank, oil change, etc. I do all the accounting for the household and upkeep so it's a lot!

whewwww that's a lot. maybe that's why i'm so tired. I need at least 2 hours of alone time with no one touching me or talking to me daily... which is why I end up staying up til midnight!!
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#22 of 39 Old 09-07-2014, 09:46 PM
 
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That's about the age when dd was so constantly opposing and challenging me, I decided to send her to preschool just to see if someone else could do any better. Turned out that was exactly what she needed, not because I wasn't a good mom, but because she needed more independence from me.

What makes a day feel successful to me? Let me remember the last time I felt successful . . . Couldn't tell you about keeping the house tidy, it's never happened. When I do housework, it rarely makes enough of a dent to be noticed. I blog and write but people don't really read them. Getting the kids to school on time is good. It seems like the days I feel like I really hit the ball home are the days when I have a dozen errands to run and I get them all done. It impresses no one but myself.

But most days, if I think about what I accomplished, it's all invisible. Like feeding a kid. You put the food out, they eat it, it's gone. All you have to show for it is a pile of dirty dishes. Clean up, and it's like it never happened. There's that saying: "Housework is something you do that no one notices unless you don't do it."

So I just try not to judge myself, or my day, on success or failure. Just don't judge. Just get through it, do the best I can, go on to the next day.
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#23 of 39 Old 09-08-2014, 07:10 AM
 
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What makes my day successful is to do the household chores like cleaning the house, watering the plants, laundry, baking and cooking for my dear husband and children. But what makes the most of it is to still find me time despite business and occupied with all those daily tasks. I make sure that I have time for myself everyday in taking care of my personal needs like my skin care and hair care. Reading my favorite books, listening to good music that soothe and calm my whole busy day. I ensure that I find relaxation thru meditation and exercise to be able to regain my strength and energy and to prevent from burn out and over fatigue.
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#24 of 39 Old 09-09-2014, 01:16 PM
 
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So true, richella! I couldn't have said it better.

I found myself thinking of this question last night. Not so simple to answer!

Then I looked at my two children sleeping so peacefully. I could have just watched them for hours like that. It's an every day (or night) occurrence for me, but it leaves me feeling like my day has been a success.

But there are many moments throughout the day when I don't feel successful at all. Usually it's because I'm not getting done what I've set out to do. I think that's just a matter of expectations. It's hard to keep your expectations in line with the reality of your situation, especially when your children are very young.
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#25 of 39 Old 09-10-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LeelasMama View Post
obviously being present is #1 ... but I feel like an absolute wreck and failure if I don't get my basic needs met and do everything I think i *should* be doing for my daughter. This list includes:

~shower for me
~yoga/gym time for me (or outdoor exercise with my baby in the carrier) 1 hour minimum
~eat my breakfast SLOWLY
~eat a healthy lunch with lots of greens SLOWLY
~make dinner for when my husband gets home
~baby's laundry (we do cloth diapers)
~baby's meals - usually 2x a day I sit her in high chair and give her a "meal", she's only 10 months
~baby's bath- every other day
~baby's playtime- I take her on playdates almost every day, I have lots of mom friends
~lots of daytime cuddling/nursing time- it's hard to do this lately because she's so active and would rather play and eat food and explore than nurse, which has led to a reversed nursing cycle where she wants to nurse all night. AGH!
~random errands- I try to get at least one done per day, and make a weekly list of all the mundane things like post office, bank, oil change, etc. I do all the accounting for the household and upkeep so it's a lot!

whewwww that's a lot. maybe that's why i'm so tired. I need at least 2 hours of alone time with no one touching me or talking to me daily... which is why I end up staying up til midnight!!
Wow, LeelasMama, are you really able to fit all this into your day? If so, could you share how you do it? Even before my second child was born, I had trouble squeezing in a shower every other day. I won't tell you what it's like now, with just two children. Sadly, I AM an absolute wreck most days.
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#26 of 39 Old 09-10-2014, 11:33 AM
 
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(first, im typing 1 handed while holding twins, so please excuse any shorthand or typos)
I have a 5 year old girl, 2 year old boy, and 8 mo old twins (both boys), and its hard to find what makes my day feel successful. I hear about all these other moms who have great activities planned for their kids, they cook awesome meals, keep everything clean, and I just feel like I come up short. I realized that I cant compare my situation to anyone elses. First off, I live in Tel Aviv (Israel), so nothing is easy here. I dont have a dishwasher, a car, or a dryer, so those things make life a bit more difficult. The dust and dirt here is crazy, so I have to remind myself that I cant get every piece, its just not going to happen. When the day is done, if I have fed everyone, gotten the dirty laundry/diapers washed and on the line, made my kids laugh or have fun (even if its just a silly popsicle) put all the toys back in place, got everyone to sleep before 9:30, and managed to feed myself, then its a successful day. My dishes are never washed, my bed is never made, i hardly get a shower, and there is always a mess somewhere, just as long as i dont step in it or on it in the middle of the night when the boys want a bottle. I want my days to be better, or feel like they are more fufilling,,, i would like to bake something or cook a good meal, i would like to do some projects (im an artist, but not since my 5 year old was born), but I only do what is necessary, because even just that takes all my energy. Oh, and my kids are homeschooled, even tho there really isnt such thing here, I have had to fight the gvnmt about that one. They arent too happy but they cant argue that my kids are smarter than their average 2 and 5 year olds. my son just peed in my lap so i need to go.....
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#27 of 39 Old 09-10-2014, 10:22 PM
 
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A Successful Day

Basically my day starts at 5:30 am or 6 am where i have my breakfast and then get my 7 year old up and ready for 7 to leave for school. A successful day for me is if i can get my lunch and dinner prepared before my 7 month and 2 1/2 year old get up around 8 :30 am . Once they are up it takes hours to finish one task. Another successful part of the day is being able to get laundry done and not having my son throw a tantrum. Keeping him entertained in between my other sons feed is difficult on most days.
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#28 of 39 Old 09-11-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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I feel successful at the end of the day when...
My house is clean and laundry done
DD (8) is homeschooled -- her stuff is finished
DS (4) has had alone time w/me and done some of his "homework"
We had a family dinner w/DH (sometimes he works late)
BIGGEST success is when DD and DS didn't argue all day and they were nice to each other...I'm constantly the referee
We always finish the day with bedtime reading, so that doesn't feel like it counts...
AND another big success is if DH and I get some alone time before he falls asleep, because he gets up so early.
We also have park/library days and play-dates...but that's not everyday.

"Success is in the eye of the beholder"
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#29 of 39 Old 09-14-2014, 07:19 PM
 
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My day is successful when my hubby is home early)))
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#30 of 39 Old 09-18-2014, 02:00 AM
 
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Maybe that will sound too simple but I try to approach everything with humor and this makes me feel better. When I step back and make fun of what just happened I smile and feel a bit happier.
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