CSS Drop Down Menu by PureCSSMenu.com

The Happy Mommy Project

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last Wednesday I dropped both kiddos off at preschool and a strange sensation washed over me as I drove away alone. I smiled as I recognized the feeling. It was unbridled happiness brought on by emancipation. I was free to do whatever I wanted for the next 5 hours. This was a first in I can't even remember how long. The thought made me so giddy that I got an endorphin rush and promptly passed out for two hours on the coach. Seriously. Then I met up with Caroline Paul (author of Lost Cat: Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology. I give it two paws up!) for coffee and conversation. It was thrilling to talk to another adult about something other than diaper rash, daycare, or Dora.

In the blink of an eye it was time to pick up the kids. Another weird feeling crept up over me as I steered the car down the interstate. I felt level. The usual stress and exhaustion of caring for my kids all day was missing and I was relaxed. The feeling gave way to excitement see my kids because I missed them. My voice was light as I asked Marlie about her day. I noticed that I was not annoyed when she lagged behind and took forever to get in her car seat. I noticed I was not snapping at them during chaos of making dinner and getting them ready for bed. I was in a good mood!

By Serge Melki from Indianapolis, USA (YepUploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I got a satisfying taste of mommy/me balance and I want more. every day. I don't want to take drugs to be a better mom. and I don't ever want to become a mom who regrets having a family. I have been working with my shiatsu therapist on identifying and alleviating my depression triggers. For instance:

  • not getting enough sleep makes me grumpy
  • feeling overwhelmed and crowded makes me grumpy
  • being rushed makes me grumpy
  • neglecting myself makes me grumpy
  • feeling invisible and unheard makes me grumpy
  • being taken for granted makes me grumpy

I sound like a victim with no say in her life, no wonder I am in a perpetual bad mood! The good news is I do have control over my life and self-determination. The rigors of motherhood are always going to be there. I need coping techniques! So I am making "ME" the focus of my new project. The objective is to turn myself into a happy mom, one whose default setting is a good mood and whose family enjoys being around her. It begins with listing the things that make me happy and then doing them:

What makes me happy: How to make it happen:
having time for myself makes me happy carve out alone time to pursue my interests like writing and reading
taking care of myself makes me happy Exercise regularly and go to bed early
doing something nice for myself makes me happy Make 1 out of 10 things I do daily just about me
getting help when I get overwhelmed makes me happy Ask for help when there is too much on my plate and don't take no for an answer
making others happy makes me happy spend more time playing with my kids and start volunteering

Simple, right?! What makes you mom happy?


Maureensk said...

Good for you! I've never heard of an shiatsu therapist before. Do you get a massage, followed by counseling, or vice versa, or what? Ugh! I just spent about an hour reading the latest gossip after following the links you sent (the articles were fascinating BTW, the mom who wished she didn't have kids was intriguing...)! Oh well, gotta engage in reading gossip once in awhile, though I usually use People magazines at the doctor's office to fill this void in my life. :-) I wish I didn't care about that stuff. I don't know why I do, given that I don't even know who half the people are anymore.

KalleyC | bloggingwhilenursing said...

I am so happy for you! That moment alone is the best in the world, you find that you are lighter and start to feel great. Not being able to read or write makes me a not so happy mommy. Woking out helps me feel good and I have to remind myself that when my daughter wants to workout with me. The excution may be different, but the goal is the same.

Quiana said...

"I got a satisfying taste of mommy/me balance and I want more. every day." YES! this is exactly what I desire. I read that article about the regretful mom before, and I wouldn't want that to be me either. I'm conflicted now because I'm reading a book that does mention balance but leans more towards the "be a sacrificial mother" type. It just doesn't sit well with me I guess because I still have so many personal ambitions (the book would call me selfish!), and being a mother for me is not where I derive 100% of my fulfillment in life.

Anyway, I'm glad you've found solutions and the ability to recognize the triggers for depression. I'm also looking forward to preschool starting for Nia this fall (registration is next weekend, and I'm getting all my documents together now in between reading blogs!), and I know it'll help me get back on track with finding the mommy/me balance. Thank you for the inspiration!

Krissy said...

well that made me smile :)

Theodora Ofosuhima said...

even five minutes alone time is wonderful. I am so happy you are striving to find balance. I am on a similar quest. i don't feel guilty when hubby takes over when he comes back from work.

Kim said...

Awesome, awesome post! You just never understand this unless you're living it. So happy for you that you are able to pinpoint what you need. And more than that, it's really powerful that you know you deserve it! Motherhood does not equal martyrdom.

Terra Heck said...

It's great that you've realized that you need time for yourself too. Being a mom is rewarding but it's important to carve some "me" time out too in order to refresh and destress.

Lee-Ann said...

It is amazing how a break can provide you with a level head. I had the same thing today. I had more patience with the kids, even my boy during his daily meltdown. :)

Mrs. Pancakes said...

what an awesome project!!! i want to be part of this...but honestly i am happiest when spending time with the family...it's the best ever!!!

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Your say sound like a dream come true..... The day I take my youngest to school :) having time to myself at night makes me mom happy. Money makes me mom happy. LOL I can go on and on and on. So glad you're taking time for yourself.

Related Posts with Thumbnails