Diary of an everlasting moodswing


I am reading a book for the first time in three years.

Three years.

I spent the better part of 4 years of my life during college reading, reading, and reading a little more. For so long, my life was wholly tied up in literature, and I have a degree in English to show for it.

While the book I’m reading now isn’t significant enough to mention (maybe even an embarrassing choice), it is the ritual of grabbing twenty minutes of darkened silence and allowing myself to be caught-up in a swirling snow globe of delicious fiction that is really monumental in my world right now.

I am acutely aware that these moments I am stealing to read are so basic, yet so vital to me. Vital to the girl inside me who used to blaze with creativity — but now huddles quietly in some atrophied corner of my psyche.

What happened to her? What happened to me?

The past three years have been a flurry of deadlines, appointments, diapers, crying, incredible smiles and hours spent on the floor scooting Hot Wheels.

I’ve been happy, and busy, and my life is without question filled with love and joy, but until I lost myself in a book for the first time in three years this week, I didn’t realize that there are bits and pieces of me that have gone dormant.

I didn’t realize how badly I was missing some of my former pleasures. Simple things like reading, writing (I mean really writing), taking long drives alone with amazing music booming in the car — listening to amazing music, period.

How could I have forgotten how wonderful it feels to read? Am I really so caught up in living and momming that I have completely lost touch with my former passions?

I know the answer — and honestly — it’s strange that I have thought so little about this over the past few years.

Time just begins slipping by so quickly after you have your first child. Before you know it, you’re looking at a photo of yourself (like the one at the top of this post, which is 7 years old) and you know you’re aging because on some level, it’s like looking into the eyes of a child.

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  1. It’s just amazing how many parts of ourselves we let slip away when our role changes to mother first and self second. This is a great reminder to take some time to just be ourselves… even if it’s just a few moments here and there.

  2. Me too. It’s like my brain has followed the same path so many times it forgot all its other paths. It thinks about what the kids need so much and I love that. I love being their mom. But it forgot what I like to do and be and so I’m so grateful for creativity because when I find time for it, the buried things get uncovered.

    Thank you for joining in with Just Write, Crissy.

  3. I’ve been the same way. Growing up, I couldn’t go for a 5 minute car ride without making sure I had a book with me for the trip. Then I had my daughter, and I just stopped reading. Life got in the way. In the last 6 months, I’ve made an intentional effort to begin reading again, and it’s been wonderful. My husband bought me a Nook for Christmas, and it’s been so handy to check out library books electronically and download them. I’ve read some good books, some not so good books, but I’m just so happy to be making time to read again!

  4. I totally get this! Mothering young children is so all-consuming. It’s hard not to put part of yourself on the back-burner. My kids are 3 and 7, and just in the last few months have I started “finding myself” again. There’s a season for everything, and the good news is all those passions and interests are still there waiting for you when you’re ready.

  5. I could relate to this! Sometimes I have no idea what drives me, apart from the children.

  6. I totally know where you’re coming from. Its as if you look up one day and go, “Oh. HEY. I’m like…still a WOMAN. Who has her own thoughts and stuff.” I’m not sure how old your kids are, but mine are 5 & 7…I’m finding more and more these days that I have time for the parts of life that *I* enjoy as a human being…and that sometimes those parts don’t have anything to do with being a Mom! Love the phrase “caught-up in a swirling snow globe of delicious fiction.” :)

  7. It’s easy to get lost in the role of Mommy….but it’s a great place to be lost in! Hope you enjoy the book!

  8. Beautiful post, Crissy. I can relate, although I don’t have kids, but personal health struggles. I’m feeling my way forward and trying out former pleasures on this older, kinder version of myself. Even picking up some new pleasures (dancing, yay!). Thanks for this.

  9. You took the words right out of my mouth. I’m desperately trying to find some “me” time. Things like working out, reading books – things that used to identify me are no longer a part of who I am. I’m lucky to be in a Mommy & Me group, and a few of us get together without kids for dinner once a month. Those days are nice… and more than anything, make me feel how I used to feel before kids. I can’t say it’s better, just different.

  10. I went through a time period like that, but now I’m an avid reader. I think that break, unintentional or not, makes you appreciate it more when you go back. Enjoy!

  11. Ditto to everything. Somehow as Mothers we lose ourselves and then like magic when you feel everything is settling in we remember the things that used to make us happy. It slowly comes back.

  12. I know exactly what you’re talking about. Our first year of marriage, my husband always bought me stacks of books for Christmas, birthday, whatever event. Then I had our first baby, and I would still read a little, but not as much, and soon I wasn’t reading at all. 2 years later, I picked up a book for fun again, and couldn’t believe it had been so long. Now I make sure to always have something to read. It’s my passion, and it’s a big part of who I am and something I want my kids to be passionate about. I mean how can they enjoy something that I love without seeing me doing it?
    I’m curious what book you’re reading now.

  13. Even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes a day…getting in some “me time” is so important! I’m glad you have discovered this while you are still young. Enjoy your children but remember how important you are too!

  14. I’ve been neglecting reading also. There is just no time for it lately. I should definitely make time though.

  15. I know what you mean I have a 5,4 and almost 2 yr. old and I use to love reading! During my first pregnancy I can easily say I read about 20 books. I didnt read a book from start to finish until a few months ago it took me a whole two days to read and hubby took over my duties ;) while I read. Hubby’s pointed it out before that the person he first met has lost some of the things she loves to do. I agree with him Eventhough I do love my life I wish I could squeeze in a good book every once in a while.

  16. I can totally relate. I have a 3 yr. old and only recently started back to my love of reading. Children take so much time and attention, but it is worth it. I am so glad to be able to escape into realm where all my fiction stories end happily ever after. Real life doesn’t always end that way so my reading choices always do. :-)

  17. Glad you are doing this for yourself again. And on the music note. I totally love when I get to go run an errand by myself. I’ll take my husbands car so I can open the sunroof & blare the music. I get lost in the moment & it’s literally one of my favorite things to do. Too bad summer is upon us to try to ruin the sunroof open portion but at least I still have my music…MY MUSIC no lullabies or childrens songs. Most of the time I turn on trashy music I’d never let Emily hear. I sing at the top of my lungs and feel so good.

  18. I really enjoyed this post!! One of my faves of yours- so raw and emotional in a good way! Can’t wait to read more!

  19. It’s as if you are in my head! I know the exact feeling. Sometimes I wonder where the person I used to be has gone.

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