This week we went for our yearly wellness screening for our insurance. My weight was exactly the same a year ago at roughly 16 weeks pregnant. For some reason this felt really cool. I reached the goal I had in my head first for thanksgiving and then for Christmas. I haven’t changed anything really but I’m trusting my body is ready to let it go. It feels fantastic. My numbers were good last year but they were even better this year. Maybe this whole motherhood thing is good for me after all. Jk
I walked into Maurice’s, which I’ve never been to before and they dressed me up which I desperately needed and ended up with a Christmas outfit I would have never in a million years pulled off the rack let alone tried on.
My little meatloaf is already 6months old 20 pounds and 27 inches. Now that he’s mastered sitting all he wants to do is stand and he can’t be bothered to roll over. It’s hard to believe this time last year we didn’t know him and now can’t imagine life without him.
My wish is if you are reading this you are finding some light (and magic!) in this darkest time of year.
I know what professional burn out looks like for me and what to do to alleviate it and even prevent it. Its been much murkier as a full time parent. Should there even be such a term might have been a question I would have asked myself. I mean I love my kids and basically with a little cleaning and cooking mixed in I get to do fun things all day.
I recently went to an acupuncture conference of sorts and at the keynote speech everyone stood up and said who they were and what clinic they worked at. I was at a loss for words when it was my turn as I stood up nursing my 3 month old at the time and simply said, “I’m Sarah and I’m a mom.” I almost felt embarrassed and have had a slight identity crisis ever since. While I still treat people on a regular basis I do it to fit the needs of my family first and don’t really consider it “work.” Acupuncture and/or healing work is something that I need to do, like breathing, if I don’t my hands start to burn, literally burn. I always have needles with me because there is suffering every where and that is the beauty and simplicity of this medicine and why its still relevant. But do I consider it my job? No. I suppose its never been my job per say because I always loved working. The same could be true of motherhood. Both things are just parts of me but they aren’t the whole me.
This past week has been perhaps the most challenging weeks of my adult life. I won’t go into all the sordid details but in the end I’m thankful for it. I learned a lesson I’ve needed to embrace for quite some time now: you can do everything right and yet not prevent everything bad from happening, sometimes it just does. So if you are like me and have been walking around thinking you actually have that much power to prevent every hurt and inconvenience etc etc especially for your children take a deep breath with me right now, pat yourself on the back for loving so hard and remember that you can do everything right and stuff can still go awry and that’s ok, its not anyone’s fault. I also learned that I need to be taking way better care of myself so I can be the person that I am and want to be. That’s completely on me, its not on my husband or my kids or any other excuse I might have for why I haven’t been taking care of myself. It is essential. I’ve had this idea in my head that maybe I wasn’t even all the way conscious of that because I wasn’t waking up every morning going to a j.o.b. that what I do for our family doesn’t matter or is somehow less. But its not. It’s just not. This work is so important for so many reasons. And I saw through all these lessons this week and remembered that I didn’t give anything up to be home with my kids. It was a decision I labored over for months, if not years with my husband. This is what I wanted for my kids, for my family. This is what I want. No one is forcing me to be here, there is no need to be a martyr. Is it hard sometimes? Is it monotonous? Of course! Isn’t anything? When I look at my husband longingly as he gets dressed for work and walks out the door its not as exciting as it seems its just a different kind of hard. My husband is so awesome, he is so patient, and kind and forgiving. He has always been the first one to tell me I could do whatever it was that I wanted to do no matter how crazy the idea has been and especially when I didn’t think I could. I don’t think I tell him enough how glad I am that I know him and get to share this life with him and watch these kids grow together. He’s been the scapegoat to my unhappiness recently and that is all on me. I see it now, I haven’t been seeing anything lately but I do now.
And… after weeks of gaining and losing the same few pounds this week the scale went down to 168. Oh happy dance of joy.
Take care of yourself today, this week, always. Don’t wait until you melt down or get sick. Do something that makes you happy, that makes you feel like you, you’re worth it and your whole world will be better because you did.
We’ve reached the stage of milky smiles. Do you know the one when your nursling looks up at you and smiles the playful smile of love and gratitude and milk dribbles out the sides of his mouth before he latches back on back to business and I think to myself I don’t want this to ever end, this little creature so happy and safe in my arms. There were also moments of children whining in stereo not even in harmony and I think when will this end so I guess there is balance. 😉
I took a beautiful yoga class this morning. Usually I leave my mat feeling so in love with my body except lately it just makes me aware of how much my body is not what I want it to be. Today in downward facing dog I looked down and was slightly horrified at the goo of belly I saw. I internally cringed and then I had this thought, of course it’s goo. It’s a hollow goo cave where a whole person grew out of stardust and hope and it’s still goo because organs still need some space to find their way back to where they normally hang out. Did you know that process takes 18 months? And that relaxin stays in your joints for 6 months after the last time you nurse? So I spent the rest of class loving on my goo. Just as my body knew how to grow this person and birth him I will keep trusting that I will return to normal too even if it’s not on my time schedule.
I have to first say what a joy and relief it was this week to be with my husband and kids for a whole week with no agenda. (And to sleep!) It was like a vacation just being able to co parent together and laugh, we laughed so much. I even went to a yoga class all on my own with one of my favorite teachers, it was such a treat.
It seems I sway bi polarly in intense extremes between loving my body and being so frustrated at not being at a different point along this journey physically. The scale just won’t dip past 170 despite my avoidance of the lattes. Then I look a little deeper and it’s never really about that.
Lia has been asking tough questions lately about death and what happens. Those big questions that no one has answers for. My little turkey boy would have been one around this time. It’s an ache buried and embedded in so much joy. I looked at my son on thanksgiving and squeezed him tight. I feel so lucky to know my children and yet I think of my son that I knew if only briefly. How do you get over the pain of knowing someone only from the inside, knowing but never meeting? I think of those long heavy steps we took from the ER doors to our car and the hollow empty feeling that came with it. I was a mother again but didn’t know where my child was. I wonder would it have been better to see him? To take him with us? I know we did what in the moment felt best, and right. It was all so surreal. I wonder is he with my dad? Is my dad still old and overweight, is my child still a baby on that other side? Are they children together playing and laughing? Grief comes at such odd times. I know there is nothing I could have done and yet I feel responsible. So the work this week has been sitting with all that and mostly not so gracefully. And then tonight I taught a very serendipitous yoga class and for the first time in a long time felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be and it made my bruised heart smile.