Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do What Makes You Happy

Please note that the title is not "Follow your heart", which is, in my opinion, one of the worst pieces of advice of all time.  If I had followed my heart, I'd be married to my 7th grade crush (who turned out to be not a very nice guy), I'd be a kindergarten teacher, I'd be eating cheesecake for breakfast each & every day... in short, I'd be making a lot of not-so-smart decisions.

Putting my little Helga in her Viking hat?
That makes me happy.
Shamelessly putting unrelated pictures of my uber-cute daughter on my posts?
Makes me happy as well.

When I asked my darling husband what I was even supposed to be doing with my days (You hear me, mommas?  You asked this question too, didn't you?) he gave me some practical ideas, like housework and dissertation work and going for walks.  Then he added that I need to make time to do something that makes me happy, too.

It took me a minute to figure out what that even would be.  I've been spending my days totally wrapped up in feeding and clothing and rocking and swaddling, with some napping and chores thrown into the in-betweens. I've been fortunate enough to be able to shower pretty much every day, but that's about the extent of what I do "for me".  And I'm pretty sure that's normal.  

But I know that it can't go on.  At the risk of sounding self-important and ego-centric, and at the risk of over-using hyphens, I must say that I like myself too much to lose myself in mothering.  I want to be an awesome mother, I want to mother with all that I have to give, and then some.  But I do not want to lose myself.  I've spent a good  many years figuring out who I am, and, well, I like me.

It appears that the day before yesterday was the day the hormones decided that I was no fun and they were going to take their ball and go home.  Goodbye, overwhelming and terrifying hormones.  I'll miss you none.  I haven't felt like crying for 3 days now.  Things are improving.  Better still, I feel like me again.  And to encourage that feeling, my husband decided that we needed to do a project.

So we built a ramp to our shed.  WE BUILT.  Which means that I got to do something that makes me happy - I ran the miter saw.  Joy.  I made sawdust.  I measured and cut and constructed.  As handsome put it, we did the project so that I "could remember that I'm more than just a mom.  So that [I] could be [me] again."  Bless him.  No seriously, bless him.  When I asked him what would I ever do without him, he replied "Sit inside, breastfeed, and cry."  He knows me so well.

So now, at 2 days shy of 1 month, I've done something that makes me happy.  I remembered something of the pre-mama me, that I like to make things and I like to work with my hands.  To top that off, Riley-girl, Duke & I walked for nearly 2 miles.  This South Carolina weather was a gift from heaven today.  I might not have had as much sleep as I desperately desired wanted, and I may not get that sleep tonight, either.  But for today, I was me again.  Tomorrow, I'm going to try and find something else to do that makes me happy.

I'm going to keep a list.  A couple actually.

Things That Make Me Happy (While Riley Sleeps edition)

  • reading
  • construction projects
  • gardening
  • downton abbey
  • baking
Things That Make Me Happy (While Riley is Awake ed.)
  • going for walks
  • grocery shopping

What do you do that makes you happy?
<3 M.


  1. Way to go! Also, way to kick those hormones to the curb. Seeyawouldn'twannabeya.

    :) I'm loving the Riley pics.

  2. You're doing really well. I don't think I was doing as well at one month. And that Viking hat, Love.

    1. The viking hat is pretty awesome. Good days & bad days, ya know? :)

  3. Love that picture! Her expression goes really well with the hat :)

    1. She was game for pictures for about 3.2 minutes, total :)

  4. Good idea making those lists. I too, while I'm excited to be a mom, don't want to lose myself in the process.

    Also that hat? Good lord so freaking cute!

    1. It can be consuming, so give yourself a couple of weeks, then start actively finding yourself again! You'll be great.

  5. Oh, the hat. If I ever have another baby I will pay you whatever you want for one of those. Of course, with dark brown hair. You've seen my babies.

    I can't believe you like grocery shopping. At the top of my list of dislikes. Can we still be friends?

    Glad to know you are feeling better and doing things you love.

    1. I think our like/dislike of grocery shopping suits us even better as friends. I can shop for you! And yes, your adorable babies should have hats like that. say the word, and I'll procure one for you!

  6. So glad to hear your bad hormones have gone. And that your husband is awesome. I guess we already knew that, but it's still nice to hear stories.

    At the top of my likes is: crocheting! Steve took Kara while I went to the first Fiber Fun after Kara was born. She was... 3 weeks old. God bless our men... what WOULD we do without them?

    I also like reading and being housewifely.

    Basically, I'm 90.

    1. You say that like its a bad thing :) These husbands of ours, I agree. Top notch.

  7. You are ahead of the curve. I like you too and so glad you are finding balance! (The Helga hat is pretty amazing. As is your ridiculously cute offspring) .

    1. Thanks, Sarah. Feels more like someone is taking the curve and hitting me over the head with it, but I appreciate the encouragement!

  8. I knew this would be you. I knew that you would be a rock star mom, but "like yourself too much to lose yourself in mothering".

    Once in the deep, deep pit of dealing with our oldest's health issues and practically being locked in the house for months because of the health problems, I came to the conclusion that I no idea what my favorite color was.

    This of course led to days of crying and me stepping it up and realizing that I, too, liked myself too much to ditch eveything imporatant to me.

    Thinking of you, girly.

    Keep "shamelessly" posting photos, you know we are eating them up!

    1. Thanks Amy! I'm so very glad you didn't ditch everything important to you, as I like too much! I'll get on putting up more pictures, promise!


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