I am so grateful for a lazy Sunday morning. Bradley took the kids on a hike and so I actually have five minutes to myself, to breathe, and to reflect.
It’s been a very busy, productive, and action-packed month so far (previous post: October so far . . .). That’s all well and good – I love being busy and having lots going on – but there comes a time when I need to stop and reflect on everything as well.
Since returning from my work trip to Germany (only last weekend, thought it seems like a month ago already), the kids have been especially demanding. Emory Scout, particularly, missed me while I was gone, and now every time I leave the room, she is panicked that I’m not coming back. I really feel for her and am trying to be as supportive as possible, but honestly it’s just exhausting.
Since she won’t leave my side, I can’t get her to sleep in her own bed. She’s a terrible sleeper, tosses and turns and kicks all night long, so I have not gotten any rest at night since returning home. Yesterday, after a week of no sleep, I finally cracked.
I felt broken by exhaustion, and all my frustrations came pouring out, mostly in the direction of the kids. Their constant messes, perpetual whining, and endless neediness. They’re 3 and 4 and those things just go with the territory, but I’d just had enough.
I’m still reeling from all the emotion. And I’m spending some time thinking about what I can to avoid finding myself in that spot again. I don’t want to be a bitter, resentful parent. It’s not fun for me and it’s not fair for the kids. But I have to also recognize that I have limitations, and yesterday I bumped up against them. Bumped up against my own jagged edges. It’s not a fun place to be.
So this morning while Bradley and the kids are out walking in the brisk October air, I have my favorite chill Spotify playlist on the stereo and am trying to do some self-care, which for me involves a bit of self-reflection. I’ve also scheduled a hot yoga session with a friend later this afternoon, and I know that the physical exertion will go a long way in helping to shake off this negativity and sense of overwhelm. But since I sadly cannot do hot yoga every day, I need to find other ways of topping off my own tank.
One of the best ways I’ve found to recharge myself is just to get outside, to be in nature: fortunately, we live somewhere that makes that quite easy. If I can push away from the computer, ignore the dishes in the sink, walk past the piles of laundry waiting to be put away, and just walk a little ways into our backyard, I am transported to a different world, one where stress, bills, and daily responsibilities recede into the background and all that exists in the world is the wind rustling through the trees and the sound of my own breath.
This is my happy place. And once I’ve immersed myself in the beauty and sanity of a solitary nature bath, I can return to the demanding life of a full-time working parent of two small children.
Because they’re also pretty awesome.
I’m so lucky, and am fortunate this morning to have a little break where I can pause to remember that.