Finding Joy

As soon as I came home from the hospital after giving birth to my baby girl, all of my priorities shifted. While recovering I couldn’t physically keep up with the chores I’d had before (which was practically everything), and it didn’t get much better when I was all healed up.

I suddenly had to spend hours breastfeeding and playing with my new baby and making sure that my husband was getting enough attention from me as well. That’s not even counting my friends and family! I was spiraling into depression with all of the stress and anxiety of trying to please everyone at the same time. I put myself on the backburner and it made me so sad and stressed out that I ended up doing a horrible job of fulfilling the needs of everyone in my life.

*Disclaimer: I feel really fulfilled when I take care of the people I live with and make sure their needs are met, but this doesn’t mean every woman or mom feels this way or that they “should” be taking care of the people around them. It’s just something I really enjoy doing.*

Something needed to change, and fast. I realized that in all of the new-baby chaos, I forgot about making myself happy. I thought I’d love my baby so much that she could fill that hole for me, and I wouldn’t need the things I used to love. And I do really love her, but taking care of myself is important too. 

With that realization in mind, I made it a priority to do things that bring me joy. I made time for myself everyday, and it ended up making me a lot better at keeping the people I love happy as well! 

One thing I absolutely love, and actually started while I was pregnant, is renovating. I love the refreshing glow that fills my house whenever I change things up a bit., and nothing changes a house up more than paint! Both Lowe's and Home Depot are great places to buy indoor and outdoor paint, and each have paint-buying guides to make it easy for you to pick out what you need.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your new life and need a little nudging to get some quality you-time, here are a few things that helped me out of my funk.

  1. Exercise

This may be an obvious one, but I think we underestimate how amazing exercise is for us. Not only do you actually get more energy by exercising, you get alone time to think about yourself and take care of your body and soul. 

Getting into exercise when you haven’t really done it before is hard. Sure, you can Google a workout routine, or follow what someone else does on YouTube, but everyone’s bodies are different, and what works for them might not work for you. If it does and that’s all you feel that you need, that’s wonderful because you’re doing your body so much good by working it out. 

But, if you’re like the majority of people and can’t get motivated that easily, or need consistent, personal attention, check out Marylynn Burrow's different programs to see what fits for you.

   2. Girls' Night Out

If you’ve got close friends, make plans to go somewhere together, even if for a short time, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom. If you’re like me, you’ve been letting your husband have his personal time with his friends, giving him a chance to get out of the house and away from the crying for a little bit. But he’s not the only one who needs to get out, everyone needs a break sometimes.

If you don’t have any friends close by, give the app Peanut a try. It’s an app made for moms to connect and get together. There are women of every age and with children at every stage on there, so you can find people in very similar situations to you who know what you’re going through. Try meeting up at a mall or somewhere fun with a few women like you, you might meet a lifelong friend!

   3. Get a Babysitter

Whether you’re going out to get a manicure, going on a date, staying in to sleep, etc., get a babysitter or drop your little one off at grandma’s for a few hours so you can have a little bit of peace.

It’s surprising just how revitalizing a few hours of freedom is.

And if you feel guilty about leaving your baby with someone else (trust me, I struggled so much with this in the beginning), just think: you’ll be able to love your baby to the fullest with a clear, calm mind rather than if you stay bottled up and frustrated from the lack of sleep and other issues in your life.


Whatever you like to do, find some time to do it. It’s so important to your mental health, and I’ve been able to take much better care of my baby since I started remembering that I have needs too.

Madison Wilker
Blogger, Mommy, Wife
Searching for Balance
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