Posts Tagged ‘self-care’

.: Right Now :.

Inspired by Amanda Blake Soule (SouleMama), I love the idea of stopping periodically to take in the present moments and reflect on life as it is. So, I will follow her tradition.

Right now, I am

~lost in reflection on how it can be that my first-born completed Kindergarten on this day.

~revelling a little bit at having a clean(ish) kitchen for 2 days in a row.

~thinking about how soon I will be able to get to the umpteen sewing projects I have swimming in my head.

~reminding myself that they are only little once and not to worry about aforementioned sewing projects quite so much.

~wondering how many times I will say that this is the year I will can/ferment/pickle/otherwise preserve the bounty of my garden and the gardens of my local farms until it is true.

~planning a summer virtually free of camps and other busy programming.

~including lots of exploring and creative thinking in my plans for our wander-full summer yet to come.

~trying hard not to wish the summer away, as I always do, because Nature makes it just that uncomfortable to be outside.

~writing down all the local free summer concerts in my calendar to better “seize the summer.”

~smiling in my mind about how lucky I am to be a mama and partner in this priceless family, nurturing community and beautifully complex world.

What are you up to, right now?


Read Full Post »


Perhaps a photo can speak for itself. but, here, there’s a little explanation.

It’s not lost on me that I’m not one to stick around for long-term benefits. I can’t stand the promise of something to come. I’d much rather have the instant gratification. I know this. It doesn’t apply to family or other such major themes in life, but for the more trivial things. Which is why, when the chance arrives that I’m actually around for something to come to fruition, it’s a moment for pause.

I planted this clematis years ago. With a lick and a promise, I stuck it in the ground, unceremoniously, and thought I’d see towering beautiful flowers later that year. And the years went by. I thought the thing was dead, but every year, it would come back to life and push out the most beautiful, delicate foliage a girl could admire. But no blooms. 3 years later, it’s loaded with buds and the first one is about to burst.

I wouldn’t have been crushed not to witness the flowering of this slowpoke, but I’m stopping and thanking the Earth for her gift on this day: Promise.  Because, as I’m learning, the payoff of waiting for something so powerful to unfold, is priceless.

Read Full Post »

I want to take this time to honor everyone in my life, both real and virtual, who help me, inspire me, and give me cause for reflection…

For my favorite bloggers: You are an inspiration for me everyday.  I check in on you before my coffee, take in the beautiful, serene moments you have captured and file your tips in the back of my mind as I start the day.  It is the picture of how life can be which you paint every day that inspires my creative adventures and pulls me out of my funks, which all help the days go smoother, no matter what the journey looks like, nor the outcome.

For my family: You teach me more about patience, love, frustration and craziness I ever thought possible.  It is for you that I strive to be a better wife, mama, and person overall.  You foster and create space for all the wonderful things that come out of me every day.

For my friends: Most of you have fallen away into Facebook friends, texting friends or those whom I catch up with every few years.  For sticking around, even when my life gets so hectic and unpredictable that I don’t return phone calls, texts, private messages, emails or telepathic waves, I honor you, for you have no idea how much my life is boosted by your mere presence in the world.


I am filled with love today thanks to all of my sisters and brothers in the world, even though you are not nearly all mentioned above.  I am enjoying the open windows, gentle breeze, forgiving sunshine, blooming flowers, fruiting plants, peaceful laundry on the line, being a mama, being a part of this whole web called life.

Read Full Post »

Hope and Promise

While the world around me is getting crazier (oil spills, war, etc…), I’ve found that a walk around our humble urban homestead provides wonderful whispers of hope.  We are debating on whether to take the house off the market, and I will admit the promise of being able to plant more veggies in the garden appeals to me.  I’ve spent most of my time this spring planting containers on the porch.  I got carried away with the peas (as they were pretty much the only thing I was anticipating being here for the harvest.  The strawberries took off and the raspberries are taking off!  I look around and see hope and promise of a re-birth and coming of age.

I’ve been feeling a bit trapped and directionless recently, and it turns out that my despair really mingled with the universe to deliver me a few options!  I’m considering applying for a part-time job that at least has something to do with my advanced degree, and I’m seriously considering taking on births as a doula (and maybe some post-partum work too) this summer.  It’s because of this promise of perhaps a little extra cash coming our way that we can even consider staying where we are for a spell, or at least until we decide we can either take less for the house or the perfect buyer comes along.  Regardless, I feel the pressure lifting and my spirits blooming with the vegetables and flowers around my little abode.

Have a blessed, flowery day!

Read Full Post »






Melancholy.  That’s what I feel right now.  I’ve been in such a rut, I couldn’t even bring myself to write a blog.  Sometimes I feel like there isn’t enough time in a day.  (However, I think it might be more like there isn’t enough sleep in a day.)

Not even enough time for me to remember to meditate, let alone do it for 5 minutes…

I am in a personal rut.  The combination of the eldest’s smart brains and sluggish social/emotional skills are making for a challenging day-to-day; the youngest has hit an independence streak that is catching me cranky–especially in this newfound heat.  It’s making me want to bail this stay-at-home-mama ship and go get a job.  I’d even settle for one with a supervisor, which I swore I wouldn’t return to after my last experience.  I’m feeling

personally direction-less,

totally un-creative and

resentful of the fact that I spend everyday from morning to night taking care of someone or something else that has little spiritual or nurture value for ME.  (I re-read this sentence later, and though to myself, “raising children should have spiritual AND nurture value, which just emphasizes how truly lost I really am…)

Truthfully, life is pretty good.  The gardens are blooming, and the result of a couple of years of hard work is paying off in the flowers on the strawberry plants and raspberry bush.  The lilac cutting grew to more than twice its size from last year and the chamomile and chives are in bloom.  The perennial wildflowers took off early and are showing off beautiful little purple and orange blossoms.  Bills are getting paid, chores are being handled, and my partner has been helping out nicely with the kids and the house…so what’s up?

My frustrations with my eldest’s challenges are starting to take over the rest of my life.  My temper is short, my patience is waning rapidly, and I’m starting to notice things I’d rather be doing than arguing or cajoling Em into doing.  It’s truly draining, and there’s nothing else in place to replenish that drain.

There are things I like to do, but finding time is the hardest part.  I like to sew and craft, I used to be great at making music, but now I settle for listening to great music, I used to be able to catch up with friends at lunch or on the phone, I like being active in my local community through birth activism, I used to get showers every day.  And, perhaps most of all, I used to think about what I wanted to be when I grow up.  Now, I feel stuck. There it is.  STUCK.

So, in an effort not to wallow, and to build myself an action plan (because all of this wallowing won’t do).


Find ME time.  Even if I have to get out of bed extra-extra early to get it.  Night time doesn’t work.

Find US time.  My partner and I had a date a while back in July of 2008…I’d like that to happen again soon.  I miss her.

Do something.  Anything.  By hand.  And not repairing more clothes.

Be conscious with money.  Our ship here is tight.  We are in the middle of a lot of big financial things right now, and though it doesn’t feel do-able to pay for a yoga class or massage, or something else rewarding and expensive, it would probably be easier if we didn’t nickel-and-dime our money away on things that don’t matter, or matter much less after they’ve been purchased.  This includes incorporating a bit of ingenuity when it comes to playing, toys and acquiring new things for the sake of convenience.  We need to go for quality here.

Let. It. Go.  I need to stop obsessing about all the things we don’t have, are planning to do, would love to do if we had the time/money/space/energy.  I know that this is a waste of time, but it seems to be hard-wired in me.

Do affirmations.  I’ve always had a hard time with this, because it feels so silly.  But, I might need to start with the basics this time around.  I need to start being gentler with myself, kinder to my family and understanding of us all that we are all doing our best in this time and space.

Ask for help.  I’m stellar at helping out folks if they ask, but always feel terrible if I need to ask someone for something.  I don’t feel bad if someone asks me for something, and I realize that the community only thrives when we all pitch in, so I need to start asking for some help.  This is going to be a toughie.

Start thinking about a vocation, but pressure-free.  There are so many things I want to do and be in life.  And I have this teeny paranoia that I’m missing my train.  But, away with the paranoia and focus on right here, right now.  I’m raising babies, doing work to help ensure that there is a world and community for them to inherit.  Jumping into a career or high-pressure education right now is probably not the best timing.  I need to be okay with that.  I’ll work on that.

So, tell me, What do you do to take care of yourself?

Read Full Post »

Rage in Aisle Four

Our eldest is now five years old.  She has always been very smart for her age, speaking late but wanting to learn letters and to read by age 3.  She can now read most simple words and can breeze through first reading books.  She is also  a physical rockstar, and has been for years.  Learning to sit at 4 months, walk at 9 months and ride a 2-wheel bike at 4 years shows the sheer determination and physical mastery this child has.  Unfortunately, despite her advanced language abilities, physical adeptness and ability to get along with children and adults of all ages, her emotional coping skills are off a cliff.

She can keep it together most of the time, but when she loses it, it’s like she’s trying to win a marathon.  There is nothing less than all-out for this child.  We know that the tantrums and rages come at times of transition in her life or when she’s hungry or tired.  So, it’s most surprising after a day of beautiful behavior at a science center, crowded pizza shop, and some good outside running-around time that these rages show up.

I used to get caught alone with these when it was just me and the two girls.  Once my littlest started walking, my eldest’s rages got worse–very physical and uncontrollable.  I used to have to leave a crying and scared toddler to restrain my eldest or someone would get hurt.  Now, though they can still be quite physical, it’s the screaming at the top of her lungs that gets me the most.  Well, that and maybe the public sphere in which she chooses to meltdown.

Today, her venue of choice was a large, fairly busy fabric shop.  My only salvation was that it wasn’t my hometown fabric shop.  After saying “no” to a cheap book, she lost it.  She knew she wasn’t going to win the battle, so she dropped like a sack of potatoes.  And screamed so loudly that I had to step back and cover my ears.  For a split second I wondered what the scene around us looked like since she chose to do this in an isle where she couldn’t be seen well by those standing. 

But, what stuck with me wasn’t the scene around me, of probable looks of scorn and judging.  It was of the fact that this was both a learning and teaching moment for me.  Too often I see children mistreated or treated rudely in public spaces, and my heart aches for them having to grow up with such little respect or honor.  I try to do it differently–even through rages, for me and for those around me.  So, having to restrain her and listen to her scream at the top of her lungs, I calmly told her that she needed to get up and that her behaviour was unacceptable.  I repeated this gently and often, but in a low tone and with no emotion.  I tried to pick her up to bring her to the car to finish her outburst, but 45 pounds of rage trying to hurt me was too difficult, so I managed to get her toward the door for the tradeoff with my partner and the baby.  I’m not sure how, but we managed to get her into the car and calmed down in a matter of minutes.  After a good cry and some gentle back-rubbing, she was in a good mood and ready to go home.  Just like that.

No doubt, people around me wished I would slap her or spank her or otherwise assert my will upon her.  I did have to hold her hands down to keep her from hurting me, but unless I let her have “her moment,” I would only have made things worse.  And, I don’t want my children to fear me for any reason in their lives.  I am her mama, and though these can be the most trying times we have, I want her to know that even in her most difficult times, I will be there for her and not violate her trust in me to keep her safe.

I feel like these episodes are a relief valve, not a planned effort of manipulation.  It was the book that set her off, but it could and would have been anything.  After she calms down, she often expresses deep sorrow at her behavior and seems to be disappointed in herself and lack of control.  I do not perpetuate that shame.  We all need a stress relief.  We should all be lucky enough to have someone to be there with us through it and offer hugs and lovin’ when it’s all over and we need to settle down.

I hope that one person in that fabric store was grateful for the way I handled my child and the situation, but I don’t need anyone to approve of my parenting techniques.  I learn lessons about my own strength and hers with these rages, and though it would be easier to not have them, I can’t wish that kind of repression on my child.  I can only offer her alternative coping skills to better manage these emotional times.  And, I get better and better at handling them each time they show up, getting closer everyday to the kind of mama I want to be.

Read Full Post »


Spring is obviously a time of rebirth for our earth and all her creatures. 

It’s a time when I like to sit back and watch the bulbs sprout and flower, open up the windows and take deep breaths.

It’s a time for me to take stock of all the things I’ve accomplished, whether recently or over a lifetime and make plans for the new season.

It’s a time to save the past as a piece of history, but remember that what’s done is done, and now it’s time to look forward.

Life is new.  Plans are new.  Attitude is new. 

And, as Grandfather Sun wraps a tighter and tighter hug around my part of Mother Earth, I take a deep breath, make new intentions and take one step forward.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »