The Fog

Ingrid and Louie

 

Over the holidays, my one of my girlfriends took me and the kids out to lunch. I was attempting to eat while holding Louie and had not perfected the “Mom juggle.” Moms who can effortlessly balance their forks, cocktail and children are like narwhals to me – unreal but they somehow still exist. She offered to take him off of my hands and pay for lunch. I politely declined. She insisted, took Louie and made an off-hand comment that I was “still in the fog.”

That comment stuck with me and provided me with perspective. Much-needed perspective. I have this unrealistic expectation I should be back to my normal weight, the house should be a certain way, my meals should be a certain way, my marriage should be a certain way. Self-induced pressures and anxiety, for no real reason.

As a new mom of two, the message from family, friends and society is clear: do not worry about the house, the laundry, meals or your weight. So-and-so and this-and-that will come naturally. Take it easy, let yourself get back to normal.

Lovely idea in theory but we need clothes, meals and a functioning home. That, and, societies expectations don’t align with the messaging.

Returning to work, by definition, gets you out of that new baby mode. There are positives, it’s good for getting out of yoga pants, routines are established. Things that would have fallen into place organically. Probably when my son started sleeping through the night, which happened a few short weeks ago.

So, what’s the fog? A compounding cycle of lack of sleep, long hours at work, quick meals, repeat. It’s tough.

To say it’s tough, is tough.

We’re forced back to work while we’re still in the fog. And that, not sleepless nights, is the real challenge.

We as a nation need to have kindness for new families. Everyone in the family needs to have kindness with each other, as a new baby is stressful for all. You need time as a family to become a new unit.

Think about how you welcome a new houseguest. Make sure they have fresh sheets, pick up their favorite cereal, they visit, pack up and head home. As a new parent you’re making room in the house and having hundreds of boring, necessary conversations. Conversations about where to store the bottles and “Do we have enough bouncers?” I still don’t know. All of that stuff becomes a conversation and everyone needs time to learn how to welcome this new house guest, permanently.

When Louie was born, he needed space we didn’t immediately have. We were a unit of three and enjoyed a flexible routine. We needed time to welcome this wonderful new being into our home wholeheartedly. This process takes time. It takes time to bond, takes time to understand his quirks, and until the ripe old age of twelve weeks, he’s a unpredictable, beautiful, needy mess. Right around the time the fog lifts, moms are forced back to work – awkward black pump bag in hand – and it’s downright laughable.

The fog needs to be recognized, realized, appreciated and valued. It does not magically drift away at six weeks, eight weeks or twelve weeks. It takes effort, time, and patience. A lot of patience and kindness.

Welcome!

Jamie and Lindsay

Jamie and Lindsay (from left to right)

First and foremost, thank you for stopping by our new venture. This is the first time either of us has done something like this, and to be quite honest, it’s a little scary.

The three pillars – motherhood, career and health

There are so many talented people who inspire us every day, and we love to read their stories and celebrate their successes. However, the stories that we felt were missing, are our very own.

Sure, there are mommy bloggers that blog about motherhood, and fitness fanatics that blog about fitness, and career mavens that fill up our LinkedIn feeds with practical advice. But we’ve yet to find a voice and a perspective that tackles all three.

Since we’re both passionate about motherhood, career and health, this is where we want to start. Sure we have lots of other passions and hobbies and Netflix obsessions, but these are really at the core of our happiness.

Happy by Design

And so, we came up with Happy by Design – a community for mothers who follow their passions. We believe that the lives we live are truly happy by design…not by accident. In an age where everything is go, go, go, it can become common place to tune out the things that you really love. We want to provide a space for mothers (and parents of all kinds) to really think about the things that bring them happiness.

Meet Jamie

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m a thirty-something living in Milwaukee with my husband and son. I think the half marathon is the perfect length for a race. I get really nerdy when it comes to content strategy. I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels (and even more-so the word, “post apocalyptic”). I think Beyonce can do no wrong. I’m afraid that tigers might be extinct soon.

Meet Lindsay

I never like to keep things short and sweet. I’m a thirty-something living in Milwaukee with my husband, daughter and dog. I get jazzed about B-2-B marketing communications – educating the channel and the end-user is a great thing! I think a 10K is the perfect length for a race. I find happiness on my yoga mat and in the kitchen. I love exploring our great city to find the best brunch spot or iced coffee. I believe in to-do lists, and that camping isn’t complete without an air mattress. Like Jamie, I’m a fan of Beyonce but I love this mug even more because it’s true, “You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.” 

 

Feel free to learn more about us, dive right into our current posts or find out the REAL reason we’re here. Thanks again for stopping by. Your support means a lot to us!

Happy Reading!

Jamie and Lindsay

Why are we here?

Lindsay (left) and Jamie (right) after their first half-marathon

Lindsay (left) and Jamie (right) after our first half-marathon

 

Jamie and I have been friends for over a decade. It’s hard to believe because we look like we’re in our early twenties. Seriously though, we’ve grown up since our college party days and now have kids, marriages, careers and mortgage payments.

Before my daughter was born, I started a personal blog. Blogging was liberating and helped me through those first years of parenting. I wrote about our first house, Ingrid’s first steps and about that time our dog was sprayed in the face by a skunk. I was happy with my small readership and didn’t feel the need to promote this personal journal. In 2013, I was invited to audition for the Milwaukee Listen to Your Mother show. During the writing, audition and practice process, I found that telling my story was energizing. I felt like I had scratched my writing itch once and for all. I didn’t feel the desire to blog about motherhood, my dog or my family. I felt like a failure for giving up on my blog but as Ingrid grew up – the writing was less about me and more about her and it didn’t seem fair.

On Jamie’s birthday, we met up to run and later grabbed coffee. The conversation turned to writing. We both missed it and wanted an outlet to express our views as working mothers who had other interests. A few more coffee meet-ups later and this little space was born.

Why are we here: because we follow our passions and our passions include motherhood, careers and being good to ourselves. We don’t wake up and stumble upon happiness. We set our alarms a few minutes earlier so we can enjoy coffee before the rest of our household wakes up. We run during naptime. We want to be rockstars in the office. We work hard in order to enjoy a glass of wine (or three) at the end of the day. Like you, we strive to be happy and we design our lives to make it happen. Thanks for reading!

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