Two months ago I read a post by Modern Mrs. Darcy about the things that are currently saving her life. At that point I was deep in the newborn trenches, barely getting two hours of sleep in a row, and having a hard time focusing on anything saving my life. But the idea stuck with me.
Two months later there are many sunny days, but the days are long. Sometimes the evenings are even longer. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the ways that I’m sinking a bit–preschooler tantrums, toddlers not wanting to go to bed, and a baby who only likes to sleep in 30 minute stretches.
If I let it, things could get really dark. Instead I’m trying to focus on the light spots in my life. While I specifically chose things for this list that are outside of my family, I have to mention the sweet baby smiles and coos that I get from Cara. I love when I’m holding her and she strikes up a conversation with me. We coo back and forth as I see how long I can stretch out these moments. I love when Evie asks me for cuddles and gives me a big huge hug and kiss without my asking for them. I love her goofy sense of humor and her silly little antics. And Elle. I love when she offers to help me with this and that. I love when I put a smile on my own face and watch her entire face light up. I love her tender heart.
But I’ve always been a big proponent of finding happiness in many places, not just my family–of discovering the things that bring me joy and bringing those joyous things into my life. With three small children, it’s sometimes easy to get lost in the mothering. But as I’ve lost myself before and have a history with postpartum depression, I have to focus on myself as an individual as well as myself as a mother/wife.
I’m hesitate to use the title “things that are saving my life right now” because I don’t want to imply that my life needs saving. But we can all use a little pick-me-up now and then. Sometimes more now than then. The below are the things that are currently on my happy list.
Things Filling My Happy List
Yoga with Adriene
I discovered Yoga With Adriene during A Day in the Life Event and I’m in love. She has many many many yoga videos on YouTube and I’ve found that I look forward to spending 30 minutes with her every day. Turns out her videos are the perfect length for Cara’s catnaps and by the time I’m done with the workout and Cara is up, I’m re-energized. Adriene is positive and encouraging and I love her style. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought to use YouTube for workouts until now.
Lemon Zinger Herbal Tea
Because of nursing, I’m trying to limit my caffeine intake during the day. I could drink coffee all day long, but it’s mostly the comfort of a hot drink that I’m after. It screams “relaxation” to me. During Cara’s short afternoon catnaps, I love heating up a cup of herbal tea. I’m a big fan of Lemon Zinger with a touch of honey. Do you have a favorite herbal tea you’d recommend?
Couch to 5K
One of my biggest struggles right now is coming to terms with my post-baby body. I’m barely squeezing into my jeans and have few clothes that I feel satisfied wearing. I’d really like to be able to get into shorts this summer, but my lack of muscle tone is getting me down. Yes, I know that in some respects I need to come to accept my post-baby body. BUT, exercise makes me feel good both physically and mentally, so I’m trying to make time for it. I love to run (or at least the idea of it), so Couch to 5K is my go-to exercise jump start plan. I can usually only get in two runs a week, but I look forward to that time alone.
My newest obsession! If you’ve been hanging around here for long, you know that journaling always lands on my yearly “Things” and every year I fail at this task. At the beginning of February, though, I feel down the Bullet Journal rabbithole and haven’t looked back. I love love love working in my bullet journal and it’s the longest I’ve been able to keep up with any type of planner/journal. Above is how I’ve been tracking what I’ve read so far this year.
Silk Almond Creamer
In addition to curbing my caffeine, I’ve cut most dairy out of my diet while I’m nursing. It seems to really upset Cara when I eat a lot of dairy, and since I take milk in my coffee (like half milk, half coffee), I was afraid my coffee would never be the same again. Someone recommended Almond creamer (I don’t like soy), and I love it! Plus I don’t need to add artificial sweetener to my cup as the creamer is enough. Coffee is one of my greatest pleasures, so almond creamer is a heavensend.
Fresh Grocery Store Bouquet
Everyone raves about Trader Joe’s flowers, but the store is too far out of my way to enjoy their blooms each week. Instead, every time my local grocery store has roses on sale, I splurge on some stems. They last over a week and open up gorgeously. I’ve never received a floral shop bouquet that looks quiet as nice! Even when the roses aren’t on sale, I’ll frequently buy a $5 bouquet, especially if Elle is with me because she loves having the flowers as much as I do. It makes handwashing dishes so much pleasurable.
Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Scott and I will be married 10 years next month and for over 10 years we’ve had the TV on when we go to bed. I don’t mind the TV and can usually fall asleep with it on, but it does mean that I can’t read in bed because I’m so distracted by whatever Scott is watching. When Cara was sleeping in our bedroom, we didn’t have the TV on before bed and it was blissful to be able to fall asleep reading. When Cara moved to her bedroom, Scott was so excited to have his TV back, so I suggested bluetooth headphones. Turns out he loves them as much as I do. Now he can enjoy his TV and I can enjoy my book. How did we survive 10 years of marriage before this discovery?! (and if you’re curious, the framed picture is of me and my two little sisters when we were just babes)
It’s the little things. The way that things are greening up around here. The way that the girls snuggle and love on one another. An especially tasty dinner that seemed to magically come together (ha!). In these early days of motherhood, it can be hard to focus on anything other than a needy baby. I’m trying to be kind to myself and remember to bring the things that make me happy into my days.
I’d love to hear the little things that are making your days happy.