Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Today I wrote a peppy, “can-do” status on Facebook about how I’m going to write more, encouraging people to check out my blog, following my passion, etc. I agonized over wording, wrote and rewrote so it didn’t seem as though I was shamelessly plugging my blog, tried as hard as I could to sound humble, not like I was being prideful. I finally got the two-paragraph status to a place that I was happy with, and posted it. But after I did that, I realized how quiet the house was. Anyone who has ever been around preschoolers knows, that’s a bad sign. Sure enough, I went into the bedroom, and the 3-year-old had “watered” some toys and the carpet. As I write now, our new puppy is tearing around the dining room with a rawhide bone in his mouth, begging to play. Again. And again, I think to myself, motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Or stomach. Then I clean up the puppy piddle on the floor.

Seriously, does anyone else want to pee on the floor, today?

Mornings like this I wonder to myself, what right do I have to take time to myself? Obviously my children and our newest, four-legged addition need my time and attention. The laundry is sitting on the couch waiting to be folded, there are dishes in the sink, and the floors need to be vacuumed. Again. Then I have to stop and remind myself, my kids and my husband and my hyper boxer puppy and my live-in college-student sister-in-law all deserve a whole person. They don’t deserve to have me storming around the house, bored, frustrated, and creatively stifled. More than that, I deserve to be happy. I absolutely cringe to type that. In fact, I deleted it once, then re-typed it. But it’s true, when I have discharged my other responsibilities, I have the right to pursue what makes me happy. Unfortunately, I think we, as a society, have bought into Hollywood’s extremes on parenting: all or nothing. Either you work all day and play all night while the kids are with a sitter (or spouse), or you tie yourself to them and never leave their side for 18 years. Neither is healthy, but I think buying into the latter can make us both frustrated, because it’s nearly impossible and terribly exhausting, and self-righteous, because we spend more time with our children than our friends do with theirs. 

How dare she go to an excercise class? Her baby needs her at home! How irresponsible!

How dare he go out for a drink with the guys? His wife is at home with their kids! What a chauvinist.

They are going on a trip without their kids? Wow, how selfish. 

I have to admit, almost all of these judgements have crossed my mind. But recently my attitude has had a major adjustment. I began to notice how cranky I’ve gotten. I was a nice person, once. I’m a nice person still, occasionally. But sometimes I’m just plain miserable to be around. As an introvert, and a mother, I don’t get very much time to myself. I love it when my husband asks me to mow the lawn because it means hours of alone time with my thoughts, and I come inside refreshed and content. 
Honestly, who doesn’t want a mom who is happy with herself? Who doesn’t want a spouse who is content and at ease? And who in her right mind would deprive her children of a calm and rested mother? Who, exactly, is that fair to? 
So, armed with my new, “take time for relaxation” attitude, I’m setting off on a new journey. I want to write, and not just blog. If sparkly vampires can sell millions of books, I should be able to finish a draft and find a publisher, right? Right after I mop the floor, again. 


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 20:04:29

    You can do it, Alissa! Writing a book is on my life to-do list also! In the mean time-keep blogging, I love reading your Babyblurbs, I wish I was focused enough to start my own, not just the one I do for work. Keep it up!


  2. Shirley Hayton
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 20:28:28

    We are so proud of you sweetheart!!!!


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