I sometimes find myself in a plateau. Does happiness come naturally, or do we have to search to find it?
The days I put emotion and thought behind my actions are the days I find the most happiness. Just like being a present parent, we need to be living and thinking in the present as well. Old memories of friends, food, excitement, can be fog in our minds when reality needs us to be focusing on priorities. Waking up with the intent to discover something new, pick up an old hobby, play with our babies, love and serve our husbands – these are how our memories are made. Finding our identity after having a child/children can be difficult. We spend 110% of our time taking care of and understanding our children, that we lose track of ourselves.
Finding happiness in a busy, exhausting, and challenging life can be a challenge itself!! Here are five ways that I find happiness when I have forgotten what it feels like:
Accept the good in life. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. There are lots of times when we want change. We crave it. But if it isn’t causing harm, then why stir the waters? Make a list of all the good things in your life. Then, when things get hard, and they will – look at your list as a reminder. Just because it isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean your life isn’t worth living.
Be around those that help lift you up and SMILE. My husband always cracks funny jokes or stares at me with a silly face when I am in a sad/bad/angry/hungry/tired/impatient mood. He is always trying to cheer me up. Do I accept it? I wish I did more. Sometimes he will do it until I laugh! Spend time with the people that love you and care about you. REMEMBER, your baby loves you unconditionally. They also need you constantly. Why doesn’t this always help us, but hinder us? Try to find the good in all the small moments.
Find purpose – be open to change! There are many things we have to sacrifice or give up when a new baby is born. Whether it is our job, hobbies, activities, pleasures, food, or time with our husbands. Find things that you can do to make you happy and be open to new possibilities! I never imagined I could paint while holding a baby.. He wouldn’t let me put him down for more than 3 minutes, so I had to improvise.
I would sit on the living room carpet. Garbage bags lined the floor where my canvases and paints were placed. I spent hours painting and learning new techniques – all with a baby in my arms or on my lap! This allowed me to find a new hobby that I enjoyed, and still be able to fulfill my baby’s needs.
Choose HAPPINESS. A little effort can go a long way when we decide to bring happiness into our lives. A way that I choose everyday to be happy is to serve my husband and have gratitude. Doing the laundry, dishes, clean house, make food, all willingly and with a smile on my face! I try not to complain when I get overwhelmed.
Another thing that helps is to have a morning hug or cuddle and kiss. Kissing makes us happier! So why not do it more often?
Listen to your heart. Or your husband. We like to think we know what is best for us. And often we do! When we are at wits end and can barely function, listen to those around you. Ask for advice and help. Our husbands know us better than anyone else. They are here for us when we feel like a failure.
There was a time when I felt like there was nothing I had to offer my husband or to our baby. The house was constantly messy, dishes were never done, and everyone was telling me to put your baby down as often as you can. Don’t hold that baby! Don’t sleep with that baby! Cloth diapers – are you crazy? I felt like a waste of space. He told me, “Selena. All you need to do is keep that baby alive and love him unconditionally. The house can be cleaned later. The dishes can be done tomorrow. Just love that baby and don’t care what other people say.”
“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them”. Steve Maraboli
I’ve always had a passion to create. Painting, drawing, sewing, crafting, crocheting. You name it. Being able to discover a new skill or ability was a challenge! I love being able to make something up. Creating something entirely new and unique out of recycled material, art supplies, yarn, you name it. Organizing our house, cleaning and folding laundry, routine – there are a lot of things that relax me.
We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
When you have to introduce yourself to a crowd, and they ask what your name is and one of your hobbies, what do you say? If they ask you what your favorite ice cream is, do you respond right away? Or does it take you a moment to recall memories that make you happy, that remind you how fun long boarding is or chocolate ice cream. My answer is almost always the same. ‘I like to do crafts.’ Well how boring does that sound?! I would love to say the specifics of what makes me happy. The emotion, success and failure, passion, challenge and love of doing something.
My family is the main source of my happiness!
Time is the one big equalizer of all people on the earth. We are all given the same amount of minutes and hours per day. However, we are not all given the same amount of years. This life is full of challenges, blessings, happiness, sadness, and most of all JOY – if we let it into our lives. Intentional living has a funny way of changing our outlook on life. Waking up every morning with the intent to have the most productive day full of gratitude and happiness. I believe that as we take care of our body, mind, and spirit, we will be able to create purpose and happiness.