The topic: Happiness...how to find it, what it is once you've become a mom and how it's different from before.
We started, as always, by going around the table and sharing something about ourselves from before we became moms--something that defined us before we became known as "Taylor's Mom" and "Ollie's Mom" etc...
Some memorable quotes:
Czarina: "I used to stay up all night reading books. Just enjoying them until I was done."
Angela: "I used to have time to be alone--and I enjoyed it!"
Audrey: "I used to have time to spend on my career."
Julie: "I used to do all those things--and I miss them!"
Then our discussion turned to how we create happiness in our daily lives. People talked a lot about getting reality checks from a parent who might have had it harder than we do (think: "When I was your age, I had to walk uphill to school both ways in the snow! You have no idea how great you've got it!"), or always having something big on tap (an upcoming trip, even just a night out) to look forward to. But one member said something particularly interesting.
"I always feel like I need to be happier," said Julie (she of the meta observations), "and it sounds like others feel that way too." And that led us to asking ourselves if there's pressure to be happy and if one can choose one's state of mind.
Our conclusions: Yes and no.
YES. There is a pressure to be happy, to enjoy every moment of motherhood because, as everyone likes to say, it all flies by. Which might be true, and perhaps when our group has come far enough to develop hindsight, we might even agree. But at the moment, most members have kids under the age of 4, and everyone pretty much seemed to agree that times can be tough right now. Period.
As for being able to choose one's state of mind, people generally felt that no, that's not really possible and that people who achieve that are freaks.
Maybe Kerry summed it up best when she said "I like hearing other people complain because it makes me feel better because I'm not alone."
Holla back, yo.