I live in a circus of messes, fights, tantrums, and time outs.  It can be overwhelming and even unsavory at times.  But I would not change it for the world!

Especially when I manage the days when the formula for success melds together and produces an entirely happy family for minutes days on end!

And if I am really lucky, the happiness last a lot longer!

I have learned, through trial and error – many, many errors, that there is one thing I can do to make my family as happy as possible most of the time!

Spend time with them.

Yes.  It is that simple.

Unfortunately, in this environment of iPhones, computers, texting, and major amounts of television, we sometimes forget to actually spend time with each other.  Sitting on the couch flipping through apps while your children play around you can not really be constituted as spending time with them.

In fact, our children are smarter than we give them credit for and recognize when they are not getting our full attention.

Case in point.

We love to do puzzles in this family.  So we have a ton.  And it is always a popular request at dinner when we ask what the girls would like to do.

We gather on the floor and find all of the pieces to whatever puzzles we are doing – that takes some time – and then get to work.

The other night, in the middle of a puzzle, Katie looked up at me and said, “Your not watching me Mommy!”

I was a tad baffled.  I was finding pieces, handing them to her, complimenting her when she found the right spot, and encouraging her to continue!

And sort of, kind of, trying to watch a TV show at the same time.

She picked up on it and busted me.  Knowing she was not getting 100% was hurting her feelings.

I turned off the TV, gave all of my attention to my kids and ended up having a much better evening with my kids and having an easier time getting them to do what I needed when the time came.

And so with my lesson learned tucked into my pocket for me to reach for as a reminder, I try to give my kids as much undivided attention as possible.  With no phones, no computers, no distractions.  And in return, I am finding it easier to handle them and any discipline issues, and still find time to work and get what I need to do done!

Making every family member happy all of the time is hard.

But it can be made easier with a little time spent just being together.


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Farm Rich blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”