I've really been enjoying our interview series here this month, and I hope you've appreciated the glimpses into how other mothers make life work in their homes.
1. What is one important, practical step you take that helps you maintain a steady rhythm in your home and how does it make a difference to your days?
I go to bed as soon as I’m sleepy. I’ve really become a sleep nut.
And I wake up at 6:00 am, so I have an hour to get myself organized for the day before my family wakes up.
That way, I don’t have to race around to take care of myself, but can focus on getting everyone out the door.
2. What is a personality weakness that motherhood has made more obvious to you and how have you tried to overcome that weakness for the sake of your children?
My short temper. I get frustrated, irritated, and impatient very easily.
Both my daughters get very upset when I “talk to them in a mean voice” so that has really pushed me to learn ways to conquer that weakness.
3. We all have those days--where all our good plans and intentions crumble around us, the children are miserable, and we are exhausted. On a really rough day, what techniques do you use to try and turn the mood around and redeem the day in your home?
I try cleaning up. Outer order contributes to inner calm, for me. I suggest that I read a story out loud – it’s peaceful, it’s distracting, we all enjoy it.
But first, I make sure that no one is hungry! Everyone in my family falls apart when hungry, but somehow, that can be hard to recognize. We eat a lot of emergency almonds.
4. What do your two daughters think of your happiness project and how has doing the project influenced your relationship with them? What has their reaction been to your book's amazing success?
The project has had an enormous influence on my relationship with my daughters and also my husband.
One of the main goals of my project was to have a household that was calmer, more tender, more light-hearted, more organized, and more silly. And I’m really astonished by how much I was able to cultivate those characteristics, without doing anything too unusual or too taxing.
Again – getting enough sleep turned out to be a very important first step!
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Jamie is founder of this spot called Steady Mom, editor of the blog Simple Homeschool, mama to three cute kids born on three different continents, and author of Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood.