Things I’ve Learned
Greetings Memoirs readers. I’m Dana and I blog over at five30three. I know, I’m jealous too that Megan is off having a grand ol’ time celebrating fun occasions with her family, but glad that her leave of absence has given me an opportunity to say hello and meet y’all. (Ok, I have no idea why I just said y’all. I was born and raised in Chicago. I’m a city girl all the way. Though I do love country music!)
My blog started last December as a way to fill my sleepless nights during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I had grand ideas that once I had my baby, my blog would be all about crafting, fashion and home organization, with a few recipes to boot.
#RookieMomMistake. Clearly I had no idea how time-consuming taking care of a little one would be. So instead my blog contains tidbits of things I like, funny things that happen to me, wishlists of items I’m lusting after (in case my hubby ever reads my blog…) and lots and lots of photos.
I had my beautiful baby boy Jacob in December 2011 and today I thought I’d share with you some key takeaways I’ve picked up these past 6 months.
And you don’t have to be a mom, mom-to-be or fur-mama to appreciate these. I think we can all benefit from a little perspective every now and again, no?
Smile and (half) the world smiles back.
Sure, everyone loves a baby. Strangers approach me to ooh and ahh and Jacob and always leave with a big smile on their face. I’ve learned to be more approachable and have amplified my ability strike up conversations with random people. Even when I’m not with the babe, I find myself smiling at people that I used to walk briskly past.
Sure about 50% of my smile recipients look at me like I’m a freak who’s about to ask for a charitable donation, but the other half seem to enjoy a little day-brightening smile from a stranger.
Don’t sweat the small things.
I live in Chicago. The Windy City. And seriously, the wind is ridiculous. The other day I was walking down the street after a very successful shopping day (which never happens to me!), a small shopping bag from Anthropologie flew out from under my stroller and into the middle of the street. Bye bye bracelet. RIP. I was actually horrified, however, at the fact that the same gust of wind almost knocked over my stroller. With my sleeping child in it.
At first I was p.o.-ed at Anthro for having bags that could so easy get swept away in the wind and even cried that a brand new item escaped me before ever making it home. Then I said to myself…”What the heck, Dana? Your child is ok. He did not go flying like Mary Poppins. Or Peter Pan. Or any other flying cartoon character. A silly bracelet can be replaced. Your first-born, not so much. You’re a grown woman, stop crying. Now.”
So, if your material possessions get swept up like Dorothy’s home in Kansas, please don’t sweat it and know that things could have been worse.
Ask for help when you need it.
I used to think I was superwoman. I was always on my A-game and was the person people came to for answers. But becoming a mom has affirmed that I pretty much know nothing. Seriously, like nothing. So I’m grateful for my friends, family and my online friends like Megan, who can offer me support and share their successes and failures with me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. No one will think you’re stooopid.
(Speaking of Megan…Her sweet Vivien is only a few months older than my Jacob, so I consider any baby-related posts that Megan writes as a warning statement specifically to me. Her titles should probably just read “DANA: FILE THIS AWAY AND READ AGAIN IN 4 MONTHS.”)
Always make time for the nouns that you love.
By nouns, of course I mean the people, places and things that make you happy. Life is too short not to find joy in something each and every day. My baby brings me constant joy. But being a stay at home mom has also helped me dig deeper to find my identity. I never pictured myself as anything but a career woman, so being unemployed for now has pushed me to identify my hobbies (blogging), enabled me to spend more time with my family, and afforded me the opportunity to explore my city and find new things to do all the time.
If you’re employed full-time, part-time, are in between jobs, or stay at home, don’t let your work consume you. Take time to be true to yourself and be happy. Again, life’s too short not to.
That’s what I’ve figured out so far. But I’m still learning. And I blog about what I learn, so if you’re so inclined I hope you join me as I figure it all out.
Thank you, dear Megan, for having me. Catch ya on the flip side, pretty people.