Rachel Naud is the co-founder and editor of inBetween, an online magazine for parents of teens and young adults. I was thrilled when she reached out to me last year to tell me about this venture, because parenting a teen can feel lonely.
But this post isn’t about raising teens. In fact, Rachel doesn’t even have a teenager yet.
This post is about a woman who works at home, building a business while parenting a son and nurturing a marriage. This is what happiness looks like for Rachel.
What makes you happy?
Having conversations with my seven-year-old son, Tristan. When you look at him, he’s just this cute little boy with missing front teeth, big blue eyes and a mop of wavy hair. But when you sit and talk to him, some of the things he comes up are so profound, it amazes me. He’s insightful beyond his years and can hold his own in a conversation with a roomful of adults. He’s sweet, thoughtful and really funny. He has a heart of gold and I am so proud to be his mom.
I also love spending time with my family and friends. My husband, Chris, still makes me laugh (most days) after 12 years of marriage and my sister, Rebecca, is my best friend. We see each other every day. I also love going to movies, shopping and trying new restaurants.
Spending time with my fur babies – my two old english sheepdogs – also makes me happy. It’s so easy to please a dog. All they want is love, some exercise and a bowl full of food. It’s so simple. We could all learn a lesson from our four-legged friends.
Speaking of food, surprisingly, I find happiness in cooking. I’m not sure how this happened because I’m not a great chef or anything. But when you make a meal for someone, I really do think it’s one of the greatest ways to show someone that you love them. And when they enjoy it and thank you for your efforts, it’s nice to receive that acknowledgment and appreciation. I just have one rule: If I cook, I don’t do the dishes. That also makes me happy.
How do you find time to do what makes you happy?
I’m a work-at-home mom, so I’m lucky enough to be able to walk Tristan to and from school and that’s when we have some of our best conversations. Other than that, I just make family time part of the daily routine. Every night we eat dinner together and talk about our days. And after dinner, I take the dogs for their nightly jaunt and watch them run, play and smile.
I try to go out for girls’ nights with my friends every once in a while. And when the timing works – and we can find a sitter – the hubs and I will catch a movie or dinner.
Before I had Tristan, I was very focused on my career. I was hell bent on climbing the corporate ladder. The plan was to keep working until I landed my dream job or dream salary. In fact, when I got pregnant, I was only going to take 10 months of maternity leave and return to work early (we get a year in Canada).
And then I met my baby boy, fell in love and quit my job.
And although I probably should have stayed in the corporate rat race (because lord knows I’d be making more money than I am now!), it was the easiest decision I have ever made. And the best. I’ve never regretted it. Not once. Thanks to that decision, I’ve been able to freelance, travel and now, even start my very own online magazine.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about happiness?
There’s nothing more important than happiness. So chase it, seize it and never let it go.