Just over three months ago, Joe and I embarked on the journey of parenthood together. To say it has been an adventure would be an understatement. These last three months have had some not so fun moments, but the happiness, joy and excitement little Bensen brings to our home definitely overshadow those low points. In my short time as a mother, I've learned that our baby's happiness can depend on the atmosphere of the house, which is determined by the happiness of mom and dad. The good marriage is the foundation of every happy family. Through our experience as parents, we've learned a few secret ingredients to the formula that brings the most happiness to our home.
Have Fun and Spend Time Together as a Family
Joe and I love to spend time alone, just the two of us, but we also have a lot of fun hanging out with Bensen and Howie are there as well. Howie loves it when the four of us take the baby on walks together, play in the backyard, or play fetch with his favorite toy of the day. Bensen boy loves to lay on our bed and yell joyfully at the ceiling fan, play patty cake, and morning snuggles. As our family grows and gets older, I'm sure that our activities will become more sophisticated and exciting, but for now, I love how simple our family fun is and how much happiness it brings to our home.
Be Patient with Each Other and the Baby
In those first couple of months as a new family of four, we realized just how important it had been to build a strong relationship as a couple before we had a baby because middle of the night feedings, early mornings and late nights were trying on both of us. When you're in an exhausted state pretty much constantly, it's easy to snap at your family. Whenever I feel myself getting impatient with the baby, I remember that he's just a little boy who depends on me and that he cries when he's tired, uncomfortable or hungry and taking care of those needs will make him happy and playful again. I'm not as great about being patient with Joe, but I try to think about his side of the story and realize that I'm not going through this alone and making him my enemy is going to do more harm than good.
Do What Works for You
Everyone loves to give unsolicited advice to new or expecting parents, and while it can be helpful, the truth is, not all of it is going to work for you. I shared my breastfeeding journey a few weeks back and while I really wish it had gone differently, I knew that I needed to do what would make my little family the happiest. What works for you might not work for someone else, and what works for one baby might not work for the next. You know what's best for your little family and you know what will ultimately lead to a the most happiness and love in your home.
Love More Than You've Ever Loved Before
Your husband, your baby, your other kids and even your pets, all deserve the greatest amount of love that you have to offer them. Our love for Howie hasn't changed since Bensen joined our family, but we've had to give that love to him on a grander scale because he feels like he is missing out on all of the attention that used to be his and his alone. I know that if I didn't make an conscious effort to show Joe how much I love him every day, the other things that we have going in life could potentially overshadow that love and he might start to feel neglected. Those feelings of love for your little family are there, make sure you share them.
New babies bring a lot of joy into a home but like everything else, they come with their own set of challenges that can destroy that happiness if you let it. Give your family every chance for happiness that you can! Nothing makes us happier than our Bensen boy and his happiness. We gave him the best start possible to keep him happy and healthy for his entire life. Use #formulaforhappiness to tag pictures of your tips for baby’s happiness in the first few months of life! And really, how can you not be happy when this sweet, smiley face is looking back at you?
What is the secret to happiness in your family?