Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Figuring out how to be happy

We went to an Attachment Parenting Picnic in Central Park this weekend. It was a gorgeous day, and we had a fantastic time. (Tim put up pictures on his blog, too.)

Lucy had a great time, too. It was her first time in Central Park.

Of course, we spent most of our time breastfeeding. It is her favorite hobby, after all.

For me, the best part was meeting other parents who parent like we do. I'm desperate for more parent-friends! Going to the picnic was part of my plan to figure out how to be happy here. I really hate living in New York. I feel trapped. I'm only here because Tim insists on staying here. So basically, if I want to stay married, I'm stuck in New York. Going to St. Louis was a wonderful break from hating the city, but while I was there I realized I need to make the best of an unideal situation. Here's my plan...

1. I'm going to find more parent friends. My best mama friend is moving away next month. I'm so so happy for her and her family, and at the same time jealous that they're moving back home. So especially in light of her leaving, I need to reach out and find more mamas. I really liked the people I met at the picnic. I'm hoping some of them live near us, so we can see each other outside of their events. I also joined some local moms groups. Hopefully I'll find some like-minded mamas there.

2. I'm going to try to be healthier. Before I got pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I didn't realize how much that was a part of my identity. Now, 10 weeks after having Lucy, I still have 35 pounds of baby weight, flappy stomach skin, and stretch marks. I don't like how I look or feel. I miss the endorphins I got from working out, and the alone time. I started working out again in St. Louis, and it feels SO GOOD. And Tim's been great about watching Lucy at night so I can go to the gym. But last time I went, I came home to Lucy screaming alone on the couch. It made me feel awful. Really really awful. I know next time I go to the gym I'll be picturing her screaming, and it will make it tough to enjoy myself.

3. I'm going to find a hobby, take a class, or get a part time job. I'm not sure which one yet. I'm trying to decide between learning Spanish, taking trapeze lessons, going back to school for accounting, or the job thing. I just need something to occupy my mind besides parenting. I am a multifacteted person! It's so hard to remember that during my day to day life. It's hard not to let motherhood overshadow personhood. I need to work on that. Hopefully learning or doing something new will help.

4. I'm going to work on my marriage. A new baby is tough on a new marriage, no doubt about that. It's hard not to kill each other. And when things in our relationship feel bad, I feel even worse about living in New York. Like, I'm stuck here for THIS? So I'm going to read some self-help books (ugh, I'm a soccer mom!) about relationships for some ideas. And just try to be nicer to Tim. Now that the baby's getting a little older, I have a tiny bit more time and energy to put towards our relationship. That makes him happier, which makes all of us happier. Happy wife, happy life, right? We've been spending more time interacting in the evenings--taking walks, playing games, just talking. It already feels like it's helping.

I feel like that's a good start. I really hope it works. I don't want to be miserable here!


  1. drat! we missed the api picnic because we had pre-existing plans. it would have been nice to meet you!

    it's so funny, because i feel almost the opposite: i'm never leaving new york, but it's a bummer because everybody else does! heh.

    i'll be your mom friend. seriously! i only have a handful of friends who are parents, let alone parents will similar parenting styles, and you seem nice. :)

    and i have lots of thoughts about the marriage thing too. it is HARD adjusting to being parents together when your attention was solely focused on the other for however many years (in our case, 7 when wren was born). it's good to be proactive about it. i've read a couple of interesting books lately if you want suggestions.

  2. also! i had the same issue with working out/wren when she was about lucy's age. there is a very steep learning curve with that one so do not fret! the first few times i would always arrive home in trepidation of what i would find (and it was often a crying baby desperately ready for milkies) but it gets better really, really quickly. and that kind of time is really important to papas and babies do. working out is such a sanity-saver, keep at it!

    ok, i'll stop with my comments now! ;)