It’s an important question, isn’t it. How do I feel happier on maternity leave?
I know all of you are out there working hard to have a beautiful, fulfilling and happy maternity leave. It’s a journey that’s for sure. There are amazing days, and not-so amazing days. It’s kind of shit sometimes. Even if you have all of the happiness tools in your tool kit, it can be tough to come by because of the hormone ride and massive life adjustment we are on.
One thing I noticed is that many women have fond memories of maternity leave, and the power of hindsight is something really worth talking about. Author Gretchen Rubin talks about this phenomenon, which she called the fog of happiness.
Where moment to moment, we may be feeling like we are about to go crazy, and it sucks. Yet with time, all of those moments create a thick peaceful fog – a feeling of fulfillment and overall happiness. We remember the crappy moments, but they also seem to be shrouded in a gentle fog of happiness.
I can only write about it now in July 2016, because I sit here two maternity leaves later, having experienced this fog not once, but twice.
“Fog is elusive. Fog surrounds you and transforms the atmosphere, but when you try to examine it, it vanishes. Fog happiness is the kind of happiness you get from activities that, closely examined, don’t really seem to bring much happiness at all–yet somehow they do.” – Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project.
This concept changed my life and how I get through the moments of my little guy popping his first molar and wailing in my ear at 2am. Because honestly, “this too shall pass” sometimes doesn’t cut it. The deeper knowledge of the overall fog of happiness, which will cloak those tougher moments, is what gets me through.
My biggest goal is to take a scary, intimidating time of intense learning and challenges, and help you turn it into one of the most deeply fulfilling years of your life, where you have great experiences and adventures, but also retain your identity and a sense of who you are.
Today, I ask if you can answer a couple of questions about what made you happy on maternity leave. It’s a fun one, you get to think about happy memories, and it’s less than five questions.
Your participation will help others mamas, too.
Thank you so much.