Lately every time I open a magazine there is an article on happiness. Whether it's how to get it or why it's an illusion, I seem to be in a mode where I need to understand it. In the past there were studies concluding that people with children were happier than people without children. But more recent studies have shown the opposite. So as an infertile who loaded all of her ammunition towards equating happiness with children, I see now that motherhood is more complicated than this.
Day to day crankiness can accumulate. I have noticed this about myself. The little things that go wrong drive me nuts and make life much harder with a toddler who is now defying everything you try to do in her daily routine. She fights the bath, she fights the nap, she fights getting into the stroller, etc. In your exasperated state, it's hard to even contemplate happiness. I finished my day and I can't wait to roll into bed and close my eyes.
There are so many things right now to be happy about. Our baby boy is thriving and A. is doing fabulous. Our daughter is walking and talking and developing more and more personality. But I was still letting little things piss me off all day. I was also getting isolated. I am not really spending time with other mothers because I don't want to have to explain how it is possible that I am not pregnant but will soon have a newborn in my arms.
I battled the idea of positive thinking all through infertility, but I still seem to be challenged in this department. So one of the articles I read talked about an exercise for "positive emotion," which is one of the pillars of a happy life. Every night you are suppose to write down or say three things that day that went your way. It can be pure luck or it can be something your sought to do and got it done. It's a way to counter the feeling that the universe is against you. So my husband and I have been doing this every night before going to bed and I think it is really working. I don't complain as much, I am putting more effort to meeting other moms, I am enjoying my daughter more.
So I highly recommend this if you are feeling flustered and tired in the juggling of motherhood or you are so burned out from the insanity of infertility treatments. It can't hurt to try.