A Love Letter

A Love Letter

Dear Me,

(Oh yes, dear me) I know you are sitting here, right now, trying to figure out what and how to write to yourself, but it’s something you need to do. You need to put into words some of the thoughts that run through your head on a continual basis, to make them concrete and visible so that you can start to assess their value. (Like an exercise in KonMari-ing, you gotta get rid of the things that do not spark joy.)

I know that every day you wake up a little bit tired. Today you woke up having not slept through the middle section of the night, not because your kids woke you, but because your husband needed you- he had something in his eye that he needed you to look at. And you love him for seeking your help, gosh knows your connection these days is so thin what with the kids and their needs, it felt good to be needed, it felt good to nurture him. But then of course, when the aid was given, you could no longer sleep, and in fact lost sleep worrying that he was in pain and/or that he would need to go to the hospital in the morning… rendering your one work day alone without kids unworkable. But that was a selfish thought, so you put that right out of your head, read a book until sleep took you at 5 am. And thankfully, in the morning, to his surprise your castor oil eye remedy had worked and he was off to work taking the kids to Nana’s. You sighed a huge sigh of relief.

Now you sit here trying to accomplish all the things on the to-do list, but there really isn’t enough time. You’re panicking. Stop and breathe.

And you’re pissed because you received yet another piece of camera equipment (you so looked forward to it’s arrival- again) that failed to be the right thing and so you spent too long working on the returning and the re-purchasing with additional research time. All of that was not in the plans. You are thinking you wasted an entire hour. Put that out of your mind. It needed to be taken care of, and you did. I said, put it out of your mind.

And there is a stack of laundry you need to do, the hubs is down to his emergency underwear, and you haven’t laid hands on one of those full-to-the-brim hampers yet. You’ll get to it, let it go.

But first, there’s the website work you need to do, the updates to social media, your business accounting (yay, you had business to account for!!), this is what you LOVE, this is what this day is for, DO IT.

I know that at the same time you are aware that you have no plans for dinner and they need to be made…maybe a trip to the store is in order. Or maybe left overs will suffice!

But you still can’t stop thinking, because on the way to helping a friend by watching her kid for an hour or so ( you are overjoyed to be able to help her, by the way, another mama who had the courage to ask for the help she needs. YES!), you need to quickly stop by UPS to return that dang item you mis-ordered. It’s a simple thing, it will be done, LET IT GO.

You’ve already forgotten what was on your list of things to buy if you go to the grocery store….but you don’t have the energy to try to retrieve it from the recesses of your brain, so you are going to hope it comes back to you when you walk through those Safeway doors (though you know, in all reality, it won’t, and instead you will wander aimlessly through the aisles. You know you should make a list, but you won’t. THAT’S OK.).

I want to say to you, Me, that you are not alone. That’s number one, and I know you know it. Many mamas at this very moment are dealing with the same mental burden, are feeling just as insane and garbled and tired. It doesn’t change your reality to know you are not alone, but it feels really good to be part of a tribe. You know the value of other mamas’ work, therefore, your work has value too, AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT.

Number two, is that your life is blessed. Despite the frustrations and the exhaustion, you’ve got this, and you’ve got the most amazing little people who, even in your worst state, delight you. On a daily basis you stare at them in wonder and want to gobble them up/laugh with joy/squeeze them/ tease them/listen to them/ reprimand them/teach them. You do not want a life without them. Accept it and embrace it. This is an incredible chapter in your life- LIVE EVERY MOMENT! ( but don’t beat yourself up when you can’t).

Number three, STOP STRESSING OUT ABOUT EVERYTHING! You cannot feed your family perfect, pure foods all the time. You cannot come up with the best most stimulating activities every day. You will make wrong decisions about life things, and everyone will still be okay. You may lose your sh*& now and then, but that will not scar them for life (or even for half an hour). You cannot fully engage with them 24/7. You are HUMAN.

You recently started a challenge to turn down media in favor of engagement with real life. You are in the second week of failing miserably at it. Good for you. Let me repeat: you are HUMAN. You are tired, and sometimes depressed, and tired…did I say that already? Sometimes you need to give in to temptation/zoning out, and that is okay. The time will come when motivation again kicks you into high gear.

Good on you for playing your ukulele, getting out there to see friends and chat with strangers. You are wonderful. Now shut the F up monkey mind and let you, Me, do whatever the heck you want to do today, sans stress.

Amen.

Sincerely,

S

PS. Ask for help when you need it. Knowing when you need help is half the battle: You need help, trust me.

 

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Shades of Depression?

It’s honestly ridiculous what runs through my head as soon as my husband drives away with the kids to drop them off at Nana’s for the day. I instantly become slammed with so many thoughts of what to do, that I shut down. Complete system failure.

Here’s a sampling of today’s thoughts: Okay, they’re gone, yay, time to work…but breakfast first…ack, better get that load of laundry done-oh god the house is a frickin’ mess but NO, this is my work day I need to work on the business, but what will Nat think when he gets home and it’s still a mess…forget him, I feel stressed by this mess…oh shit, okay I’ll tidy while I listen to a few songs I want to learn on ukulele that’ll be doubly productive oh and man does that garbage stink I’ll just take that out and on the way organize the shoes…man why is everyone’s clothes on the floor? I’ll just put those in the hamper that is RIGHT BESIDE this floor pile standing empty GRRRRRRRRRR oh that was quick no sweat off my back looks good already oh man, now that the toys are cleared I can see all the crumbs they left I’ll just get out the vaccuum , oops I haven’t had breakfast better get some toast going and oh yeah I need to send out that contract to my new client and….

So yeah, I sometimes just shut down. It’s hard to deal with the onslaught, the “mental load” as it’s been termed.

What did I do to reboot? Last week I crawled back into bed and slept for another hour or two (probably the best thing I could have done). Today: Coffee and some ukulele playing.

So, no, I didn’t quite coffee this week. I went as far as looking in Whole Foods for this mushroom coffee I hear tell of…super good for you, tastes like coffee but with none of the bad side effects like jitteriness. I have serious doubts, but was willing to try…only WF did not have it, and so there the attempt ended. Maybe I’ll try again next week. I don’t seem to be very motivated.

One day for myself is not enough. It’s kind of a tease…a very helpful day that I am very grateful for but that I need more of. It’s hard to switch from work/inspiration mode back to mom and I am seriously dragging these days, lacking energy and enthusiasm. Some days I’m downright crabby and quick to snap. I feel like a toddler myself sometimes. When I’m in this state of feeling cross and defeated, I don’t have much will power. I think I took my cell to bed with me twice this week. I just did not want to use my will power. I ended up watching this documentary on Netflix called “When the Bough Breaks” about post partum depression. I never had post partum depression, but I still could entirely relate; I think all mom’s experience shades of it from time to time: the feeling that you can’t go on, that you want to curl up into a ball and not leave your bed. I’ve had many a day when I woke up, got out of bed and looked at the trash heap that is my house after one day of not tidying, and I wanted to just run screaming from the room, that or just lie prone on the floor. I’ve had thoughts like, ‘I have to feed these kids…every day…multiple times a day….how am I going to do this? I don’t want to do this. I want to quit.’ But then, of course, I don’t quit, I power through. It’s not the case for true post partum. I was in tears watching this flick at 2am. Yeah, 2 am. Not good.

So, yeah, not killing it at this challenge so far. I just get so worn out that I say ‘Fikit, I am not going to try right now’. And it’s a great relief….temporarily.

BUT IT IS SUCH A WASTE OF TIME!

Sleep would be a better use of my time. I must renew my efforts to resist the temptation to use media while in my bed at night. GAH!

My thoughts are not coherent enough to continue writing. I’ll check in again soon.

S