Little Joy Map



graphic reading "Little Joy Map"

Some people think children are the ultimate blessing. Other people choose not to have them at all. No matter where you fall on the continuum, pretty much everyone agrees that children are a lot of work. There are butts to be wiped (my least favorite chore), meals made, medicines dispensed, supplies bought, and on and on until an entire day can be taken up with just the duties of taking care of children.

So even if you really, really love your kids, that doesn’t mean that you love all the work that’s involved in being their parents. You love their personalities, but maybe not the endless grilled cheese making. You love their tiny faces as they sleep, but not the piles of laundry they produce.

I won’t even discuss poop in the bathtub. Promise.

So it occurred to me that there are probably some ways to do this better–some ways to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of raising children while minimizing the sting of chores, sleeplessness, and tantrums.

I’ve decided to find out exactly what I can do to enjoy parenting my kids while they’re young. I want to find the sweet spot of parenting, and stay there as much as possible. I’ve got a LOT of youngins and I think it would be easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget the magic of these little people.

Several years ago I read Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project, so I’ve decided to start my own happiness project specifically about bringing up very small children. Each month I’ll try to work on one thing that I think will make parenting easier just like Gretchen did in her book. Here’s where I think things are going–although I reserve the right to revise if needed.

  • Less Disorganized/create routine
  • Perform better with less sleep/sleep more
  • Love
  • Relish the little moments
  • Be present
  • Hate chores less
  • More patience
  • Have more fun
  • Simplicity
  • Discipline with love
  • Me time/couple time
  • Make memories

I’m calling my project Little Joy Map. Little–like my kids, Joy–that’s what I’m going for, and Map–I’m trying to figure out how to get there. I’ll be posting on Tuesdays and Thursday and each post will have that little graphic at the top, so you know what you’re getting. Other days I’ll still be doing my random blogging about my kids and whatever else comes to mind. If you’d like to join in on Little Joy Map please do and let me know how it’s going!

See you on Thursday!

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  1. Love this idea! I wonder if I shouldn’t be doing the same thing–I’m public enemy number one when it comes to getting caught up in the day-to-day, stab-myself-in-the-brain chores related to kid-raising.

  2. Come back on Thursday and see if anything speaks to you, Toni! You could blog about it too if you’d like!!

  3. Sounds like you are already on the right track, this is a great idea! I’ll be back to visit and maybe even “participate”. :)

  4. Laura Rattan says:

    What a great idea. I am going to go finish reading the happiness project so that I better understand how this works.

  5. good luck!

  6. love this idea…will try to join along but in any case will definitely be stopping by to see how you are doing 😀

  7. What a great idea!

  8. Love this! Will definitely be joining

  9. Count me in. What a great idea! :)

  10. You are a wise mom, Katy! It’s too easy to wish these early years away…and then regret that you can’t ever get them back. I love your idea of the Little Joy Map.

    May I join you, with a twist? (Hmmm…sounds like an invitation to cocktails, but that wasn’t what I was thinking). Maybe I’ll just drop the “Little” and stick with “Joy Map.” My teenage daughter’s disabilities will keep her living with us for the rest of her life–or ours, depending on what the future holds. Just as it’s easy to get swept up with overwhelm over our teensy ones, the prospect of providing long-term care and forsaking our once-upon-a-retirement dreams can feel overwhelming. There is so much JOY to be found in our lives right now that can carry forward to the future…and THAT is where I need to put my energy and my heart. Thanks for the prompt!

  11. I will echo others–I love this! Include me in the moms who want to do better, but don’t really have a plan to get there. I will look for inspiration here. Also there are bound to be stumbling blocks and I hope that you blog about them too. I am a mom of three boys and also teach preschoolers. I read all your entries, but I’m horrible at commenting. I will try to comment more and might even start writing again on my own blog. I love this idea and feel it would be worth documenting if I get started.