Has It Really Come To This? Ten Things That Make Me Ridiculously Happy These Days.

I started dating my husband right after college when I was twenty-three. I had my first child a few months before I turned thirty. This means my husband and I had almost 7 blissful, sleep-filled years together before knowingly becoming sleep-deprived, Raffi-listening, bodily fluid covered, zombies. We would lay in bed on Sundays until 10 and then go to brunch. We would wake up during the work week and only need to dress and feed ourselves! Every night was a date night! Honestly, I barely remember those times. It’s probably better that way. However, If you had told me, on our snowy wedding day in November 2005, that in just a few years these things listed below would be the things that made me happy, I’m pretty sure I would’ve run for the hills.

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(I could never have imagined the joy of seeing my daughter try on my wedding dress either.)

My kids have made my life richer and happier in innumerable ways, but life is definitely different now. The parties, date nights and lazy Sundays are few and far between, but I still have plenty to look forward to, right? Right? Well, anyway, here are the things that get me excited these days.

1. My kids slept past 6:30 AM. My kids are generally up by 6 am, so “sleeping in” until 7 is amazing! Sadly, it actually does feel as good as sleeping until noon used to, and this way I don’t waste any of our weekend.

2. My daughter poops on the potty. No more diapers!? This is an exciting prospect. So when Baby N makes it to the potty, I jump up and down like a fool in those Publisher’s Clearing House commercials.

3. All three of my kids eat the dinner I cooked without my resorting to bribery. (Yes, I bribe my kids to eat their dinner.) Every once in a while, the stars align, and my kids all like the same dinner. Then I make it again the next week and no one will touch it. #momlife

4. The kids slept in their own beds all night-That’s right, I get excited about something as simple as sleeping in my bed without getting an elbow to the stomach or a kick to the face.

5. I went to the bathroom and no one walked in, or worse, sat on my lap. Nothing screams, “I need alone time.” like your 2 year old climbing on your lap while you’re trying to poop.

6. The big kids are back at school and I get to spend my day with a 2 year old. Yes, I’m excited to spend the entire day living in the world’s smallest dictatorship, population: 2. As I type, she is sitting on my lap naked, because she removed all her clothes, pulling my hands off the computer because she wants me to put them around her tummy. #blessed

7. The weekend! I still get up at 6:00 am and take care of three kids all day, but I don't have to do it alone, and, if I'm lucky, I can leave for an hour or two and have time to myself. This time to myself usually involves running household errands, see #8.

8. I got to go to the grocery store, visit the post office, pick up dry cleaning or complete any other random errand by myself. These were things I thought of as mundane chores ten years ago, but now, I relish them all, because I am not listening to any whining or crying while doing them, and no one is asking me to buy them something every other minute.

9. Conquering the laundry pile. When I was in my twenties, I openly mocked commercials where moms seemed so in love with their new washing machines. Do we all suddenly become mindless, appliance-loving drones once we have children? However, now I kind of get it, and the joy I feel when three loads of laundry have been washed, folded and put away is unparalleled.

10. Being in my house, ALL ALONE!! This is, by far, my favorite, favorite thing these days! As nice as a night out is, sometimes it feels good to sit on your own couch with no one on your lap, take a bubble bath without your kids climbing in or listen to gangster rap at top volume while running up and down the stairs naked. You know, normal things.


(Honorable mention goes to coffee, making all the things possible.)

While life, and our joy within it, has changed for all of us when we became parents, that can be a good thing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough time to be narcissistic or to strive for perfection anymore. I feel more gratitude now for those peaceful, quiet times alone. I have more understanding for my own parents, and I feel more joy in the simple things in my life.

Motherhood is a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. Kids are good for that. So the next time your kid poops in the bathtub, wakes you up at 5:30 am, or spills orange juice all over your new rug(you know you can’t have new things anymore!), just repeat to yourself, I am learning, I am growing, I am learning, I am growing, ad infinitum. We can and we will!

:) Erin

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