File under: Things I stubbornly insist on doing myself

Obviously, driving to the grocery would make more sense...but...

Obviously, driving to the grocery would make more sense...but...

4 things that might be better left to a professional that I do myself anyway:

1) Birthday-cake baking. And decorating. And over-promising to my children about the results.
2) Plucking my own eyebrows (or, not plucking them often enough).
3) Taking the kids' holiday card photo (typically just after the winter sun has gone down and just before the deadline after which said cards will become New Year's greetings...or maybe Valentines).
4) Redesigning my own website.

I could go on. And on. But instead, I will write this quick blog entry (my first in months thanks to the whirlwind of book launch and publicity), and put the finishing touches on my imperfect new website, and admit: I do these things because they are a pleasure. They are also a pain (see: my poor boys dressed in collared shirts perched atop a NYC mailbox in 25-degree weather). But I've come around to the idea that sometimes we choose the hard way because we get something out of it.

When I surveyed all of those hundreds of new moms for my book, I made sure to ask them: Which of the baby tasks do you actually enjoy? Turns out, one of the secrets of surviving The Fifth Trimester is gaming your day to allow you to do the bits of the mom job you like...and offloading the less desirable stuff to whatever degree you can. Love the bath but get home too late? Switch it to morning, and know that you've made this bit of work for yourself because you wanted to. Because you love the scent of the water and the ridiculous little shampoo mohawk you can make on your baby's head, and the warmth of his body that seeps through the baby towel as you say: I did this for you because I chose to. Hold onto that through your whole day. It helps.