Thoughts on self-care & why I eat standing up

Thoughts on self-care & why I eat standing up

Thoughts on self-care & why I eat standing up

Some days it feels like the needs of my children are incessant. From the moment my eyelids open into the 5am darkness to the moment their little bodies succumb to sleep, they NEED.

They need love, snuggles, attention, comfort, and reassurance. They also need pancakes cut up just so, a cup of juice -no, I SAID WATER!, poopy bottoms wiped and then balanced on the “big” potty. They need latex gloves put on both hands and fire truck ladders extended. They need me to listen and offer feedback. They need me to basically bear witness and be available to assist them every second we’re together.

Which, in some ways is totally fine. That’s parenting, and meeting their needs is my job.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times where I hide in the bathroom pretending to poop for 10 minutes so I can take an Instagram break. Or that I don’t join them at the table because the second my ass hits the chair someone needs me to get something or wants out of their chair.

Occasionally, on the really tough days, I sit them at the table facing the tv while they eat.

I eat standing up in the kitchen, in plain view but far enough away to not trigger the Need button. I hunch over the plate scooping forkfuls of leftovers into my mouth while scrolling through Facebook, eager to accept my Mother of the Year award.  But I am okay with it, because on some days, this is one of the only peaceful moments I get. Some days, this is what self-care looks like for me.

Motherhood is made up of these messy moments, times where we’re doing the best we can. And as much as my kids need of me, I need me too.

What does self-care even mean, anyway?!

To me, self-care means practicing self-love. It means connecting with my self in a space that is free of outside distractions, and treating myself super well.

When I say self-care, I’m not talking about a full on day at the spa (although that would be amazing!).  I’m talking about finding small pockets of time to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. Time to focus on the habits that bring you a feeling of calm, healthfulness, and strength.  Sometimes that looks like eating standing up while your kids watch tv so you can catch your breath.

I can hear some of you thinking:

“That’s all well and good, but isn’t that a little selfish?”

“Self-care is totally indulgent.”

“Easy for you to say!”

“I don’t deserve it.”

Whew.  I hear you. In fact, I’ve said all of those things to myself!  But I would never ever say them to a friend. So, why are we so judgmental with ourselves?  Why don’t we deserve to treat ourselves well?

Listen to me when I say this: You cannot afford not to practice self-care.

Still not sure?  What if you replaced the word “self” with “health”?

Health-care isn’t selfish or indulgent or unnecessary.

This subtle shift in perspective really opened my mind to possibilities. Because healthcare isn’t selfish, it’s necessary!  I have to take care of myself to be around for my family and my business.

If you thought of self-care as a form of health care, what would it look like for you?


Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing a bit of my journey back to me. I’ll be exploring heath, self-care, parenting and making changes in my business.

I hope you’ll join me and share some of your thoughts along the way. Thank you for being here.

Change

When life seems to be feeling a bit stagnant, I crave change.  Small changes or large, shaking things up a bit can have an invigorating effect.  Usually this manifests itself in a spontaneous rearranging of furniture, or joining a new knit-along.  Too much change at once though, and I risk getting lost in a swirl of to-do lists, packed calendars, and feeling uncertain of everything.

We’re walking a fine line these days.   The changes are coming swiftly now, and so we are doing our best as a family to be thoughtful, pragmatic, and proactive in our actions.  Opening a yarn shop has created waves farther out than I initially imagined, affecting people and activities in ways I hadn’t anticipated.  I have a certain level of guilt and grief about taking on my own big project outside the home and changing our lives so profoundly.

Becerra Photography

These days, our rhythms as a family are taking on an entirely new tone.  Where once I was a stay at home mama and felt no sense of rush at the beginning of a new day, now I am a working mom and wife with a lot going on outside the home for the first time in years.  While I am thrilled to be creating my own dream job, it’s also painful to let go of another dream job.  For that is just what staying home has been for me, challenges and all.  I have loved staying home with PB, witnessing every moment of her young life in a very intimate way.  And next week, PB goes from stay at home little to an enrollee at a Montessori morning program for toddlers.  More change.

When I’m at work, I worry about what I’m missing in PB’s day, and when I’m home, I struggle to stop thinking about the shop.  Being present in the moment is taking a little more effort on my part than usual. The good news is, I have a very family friendly boss who understands all of this and is willing to make certain sacrifices to spend as much time at home as possible.

Becerra Photography

Along with not being a being a stay at home mom anymore, I will no longer be a stay at home wife.  This means the structure of our domestic life is changing, too; job sharing, meal prep, laundry and errands will all be divvied up in a new way.  I’m sure that this will take some time to iron out as we both get used to letting go of old expectations and adjusting to our new normal.

Folks, this is a lot of change.  It keeps me up at night sometimes, worrying about what I’ve done by deciding to start my own business.  In my heart, I know it is right, that to pursue this dream is something I couldn’t not do.  I have watched my own mother pursue her dreams independently of being a mother, and I admire her for it.  And yet, in the pit of my stomach (especially late at night) I worry that this is all a huge mistake that could irrevocably damage our little family.

Becerra Photography

Change is swirling around me, and as I reach for an anchor to hold onto, I have to remember to be patient and gentle with myself.  To find time to add rhythm and fun to all the schedule changes.  It takes time to adjust to new routines and expectations, but it will happen.

Working parents, how do you do it?  What are some coping strategies or rhythms you’ve found to be helpful in times of great change?

*Photos are from a recent shoot we did with Chris of Becerra Photography.  It was a wonderful experience!  If you’re in Oregon, check him out!

Family Rhythms

They say that life with a small child means constant change.  That once you get comfortable with the way things are, they go and stop taking a morning nap, forgoe eating a favorite food, or just start talking up a storm.  Some changes are delightful, others are a little bit less so.

These days, our rhytyms as a family are taking on an entirely new tone.  Where once I was a stay at home mama an felt no sense of rush at the beginning of a new day, now I am a working mom and wife with a lot going on outside the home for the first time in years.  Sweetie is returning to work full time this week after having a few good stretches of time off over the summer.  And next week, PB goes from stay at home toddler to an enrolee at a Montessori morning program for toddlers.

Folks, this is a lot of change.  It keeps me up at night, worrying about what I’ve done to all of us by decided to open my own business.  In my heart, I know it is right, that to pursue one’s dream is a brave and life-affirming thing.

In the pit of my stomach, especially late at night, I worry that this is all one huge mistake that could irrevocably damage our little family.  When I’m at work, I worry about what I’m missing in PB’s day, and when I’m home, I can’t stop thinking about the shop.  Being present in the moment is taking a little bit more effort on my part. I have got to get that into check.

Working parents, how do you do it?  Knitting does help, that’s for sure!