Four Ways To Find Happiness In The Trenches

the-happiness-project.jpgI met Gretchen Rubin last year at Mom 2.0; I loved hearing her speak, reading The Happiness Project (which I highly recommend everyone read), and becoming friends with Gretchen over the course of the year. Gretchen is a gifted writer, deep thinker, and lovely friend, and given that I reflect on gratitude in life's big and small moments regularly, I particularly love that Gretchen's mission involves finding happiness in all corners and in tangible ways. For today's four favorites guest post, I asked Gretchen to share four ways to find happiness while in the trenches of parenting a newborn.

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From Gretchen:

Here are four things to do each day to find happiness when you've just had a baby:

1. Get enough sleep. Do everything within your power to get as much sleep as you can. It will make a huge difference to your mood, your health, and your patience.

2. Ask for help. Ask your mother-in-law to load the dishwasher. Ask your brother to run to the drugstore. Ask your friend to take over the job of sending out the book-group reminder emails. Basically, don't be shy or too proud -- ask for help!

3. Sing. Babies love lullabies, and singing makes you feel calm, loving, and cheerful. Also, I discovered that my younger daughter magically stopped crying whenever I sang "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins. Crazy, but true!

4. Get professional photographs taken of your gorgeous newborn. This tip you only do once but the newborn phase passes so quickly. Before long, babies lose that newborn look -- and a professional photograph is so much better than even the best snapshot. My professional photos of my two-week-old daughters are among my most prized possessions now.

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If you haven't yet read The Happiness Project, you should (and it's now available in paperback -- perfect for commuting or the diaper bag!). You can also follow The Happiness Project Blog and keep up with Gretchen on Twitter at @gretchenrubin.