Nov 5 2014
It has been one of those days.
The kind where I wake up in the middle of the night to find that my 5-year-old daughter has crawled into my bed again and now her feet are wedged under my head and I can’t fall asleep for hours, and when I finally do I am woken up by a steady clunk of big boy feet and arms and bodies. They’re happy and excited to start the day. They want me to make them breakfast, check their homework, hug them, kiss them, find their jackets, mediate their arguments, solve their problems.
That’s when I hear the words in my head. They’re small at first, tiny whispers that could be soothed with just a few moments of peace. But, the bus is coming and they NEEEEEEEEED me and there is no peace. So those words swell into an enormous bubble that is going to erupt any minute. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 10 2013
There are two things I know to be absolutely true since becoming a parent: 1. There are LOTS of activities one can do with only one hand that I otherwise would have never thought possible (the other occupied by a baby, of course) and 2. Self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary.
As a student in social work school I learned about childhood development. I learned how everyone’s “lens” is unique and valid. I also learned that as a social worker, you will be asked to give and give and if you do not set boundaries and take care of yourself, you will burn out. Yet, as I enter into my 11th month as a parent, what I’m finding is that the characteristics I once thought associated only with social work is, in fact, one of the defining characteristics of parenthood. That of giving, giving, giving, and then . . . burning out. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 19 2013
Self-care is, theoretically, an important part of parenting. I say theoretically because even though the blogs and parenting books all attest to the importance of taking time for ourselves, it never really seems as though they mean it.
My favorite example is “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Great idea. I’ll just go right ahead and instantly shut my brain and body off for 20-40 minutes every three hours, and that will absolutely replenish my exhausted soul. If the authors were serious about self-care, they would say, “Give the baby to someone else, with strict instructions that they aren’t to bother you for at least three hours unless the child has a fever over 102 or is bleeding out of both ears.” Yet they never do. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 15 2013
I was so excited for my trip that I am surprised I was even able to sleep the night before my departure.
Far more excited that I had expected, given it wasn’t a vacation to some tropical destination for some well-deserved R&R. Nor was it a trip to visit beloved family or dear friends.
No–it was a 48-hour (52 hours, counting the round-trip bus ride) journey back to me. A recalibration of sorts. Read the rest of this entry →