I have a feeling I might just be tired for years… although I probably should take it just one day at a time, eh? I was out this morning with a friend and both kids, and she just looked kind of stunned. I don’t know, it wasn’t really bad, but Vera’s been less cooperative lately and Asa doesn’t really like the car… so I guess it was just a little noisy/whiny/overstimulating at times. But over the course of two hours together she said "I’m not ready to do this…" (meaning have kids*) and "You’re doing an awesome job." and "This is hard work! You’re doing great!" Sweet validation! *I’m over taking offense when people say things like "I’m not ready for x thing that you’re doing", because they don’t mean it negatively, and I feel good about my choices, so whatever. But anyway, I was able to articulate something to her on the ride home from brunch, during a moment of peace on the road. I realized that I’m frequently struggling to find the balance between self-pity and self-neglect. Like, if I succumb to self-pity, then I’m worse off- alienating myself from others and actual relief, and then also feeding a beast of negative emotions that cannot be fixed by feeling overwhelmed and sorry for myself. BUT, if I completely ignore it and bust through it all, then I find myself worn down- so much so that I am likely to burst into tears. This motherhood thing can really strip you bare sometimes, and I’m trying to find a way to maintain a level of grace in it, no pun intended. This is just kind of a struggle I have. Ever since I was a kid, I had a reputation for being really self-sacrificing – so much so that I was often taken advantage of and I would eventually blow up and realize that I’d been harboring resentment all along. It’s something I’m always working on, and is thankfully not nearly the problem it was.
With that in consideration, I’m working on banishing all self-pity from my life, but also learning to ask for what I need and be more honest and less self-sacrificing (because it just puts me in self-pity land eventually…). So, like, I need Jeff to pick up after himself better. I’ve been looking around at this and that and thinking "why does he just leave this here?" and feeling really burdened, what with the crying baby AND dirty dishes I didn’t make, etc. So, I’m going to ask for it. No bitterness, no nagging, no frustration behind it. Just… put the food away, put your dishes in the dishwasher, and put your dirty clothes in the basket. Just like that. I also need some personal time every day- whether that’s with baby or not, I don’t care. It will likely come in the form of a walk with baby and dog, but I’m perfectly content with that. But I need help to make it happen. So I’m going to ask for it. Lovely people have offered me help left and right, and I’m going to be better about cashing in on that.
I also want to feel my blessings. I think I may have to actually write down a gratitude list daily. I’m all about the gratitude list, but I’m not great at actually writing it out… but I think I should. Like, there’s this couple I know who’s little almost one-year-old has a failing liver and is in the hospital waiting for a transplant. I couldn’t imagine. I am so so grateful for healthy, whiny, uncooperative beautiful kids. Anyway. Writing it out helps to actualize it, and put things back into perspective, I think. Anyway, my dear friend visited me this summer and brought with her a book just for that purpose. I think I’ll start filling it out at the beginning of each day.
And then, he’s just getting so cute I can hardly stand it.
We’ve been liking to go to the children’s garden at our local botanical gardens. It’s so magical there, I wish my pictures did it justice. They’ve set it up so that it’s basically kid proof. There’s veggies that you can pick and eat, shallow water that the kids can splash in, sand to play in, slate boards that are secured and can be written on with chalk, all sorts of interactive gardens, flowers everywhere… it’s like a wonderland. I know if I was still a kid I’d want to move in there… Anyway, hopefully I’ll get better pictures soon.
Tuula and Vera are getting to be adorable friends. Love.
Yes, that’s a giant nest for kids to play in. So awesome!
And little Max is almost one!!! I can’t believe how big he’s gotten. He’s got a special place in my heart, sweet boy. He’s so funny and babbly and beautiful. You can tell he’s got a sweetness and thoughtfulness about him. I just love this kid. Anyway, here he is munching on a green bean at the garden.
Anyway, I’m off to do some good, physical work. Get out of this head of mine and burn some energy. I love that I can write here, though. This really helps sometimes.
"Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world." (Helen Keller)
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I identified with SO much of what you wrote here. So much. Particularly, this:
I hope you find balance soon.
I love, love, love the pictures of Asa snuggled up in his little hat and waffle bodysuit! 🙂 So cute.