There was this blissful postpartum grace period after having Emeric when he was still sleeping a whole lot and I was feeling soooo good as compared to being pregnant and on house arrest due to preterm labor woes and I felt like I could conquer ALL THE THINGS.
|Like taking my 3 children 3 and under out to Panera's 3 days postpartum.|
And apparently I had to document this momentous occasion.
Say "broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl!!"
|I think it was right about...here.|
Just kidding, it was way before this.
And I thought that maybe this wasn't a good time in my life to blog.
It sounded very logical. Everything in my life seemed to need more, more, more of me. Blogging time, internet time, me time, seemed to be taking away from people and things that needed my attention.
So I took some time to focus on "getting it all together", but instead of things coming together, everything just seemed to get crazier. I felt like a rabbit on a treadmill trying to catch a dangling carrot. If I just run a little faster, I'll get there...
I read Hallie's excellent post about planning the Edel gathering, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I feel like I had a mini aha moment - perhaps I was running myself too ragged? - but deep down, I think I still just didn't believe it. HOW could I take time for such relatively unimportant ventures like blogging and social media and - yes, even real life friends!! - when I couldn't even keep up on basic tasks like getting dressed, cooking dinner, and calling or emailing my family members?!
|And let's not even mention the laundry...|
At least nobody's going to accuse me of pushing gender stereotypes on my kids, right?
I wrote a little recap of our crazy summer, and while almost everything that happened was really, really good...it was also really, really hard. I am always crazy sick in my first trimester, but this was hands down my sickest pregnancy. Add to all this the fact that I was prepping for my first year of homeschooling and basically - I feel like I hit rock bottom emotionally. I think that was what started turning the tide. Taking some time for me started feeling less like a luxury and more like a matter of survival.
|I'm pretty sure this is what rock bottom looks like. Secret robe candy at 9am.|
And besides all that, I was pretty sure I couldn't do a worse job than I was already doing. I figured that if I started taking some time for myself, at least maybe I'd feel a little better despite the house and our diet and everything else I felt like I was failing at.
So I got a hair cut, and for the first time since I was a teenager, got some color done.
|And much like a teenager, took a weird selfie while doing it...|
I started getting out of the house on Saturday mornings by myself. At first I tried to squeeze in a lot of errands and kill 17 birds with one stone and get home as fast as possibly. Then I started slowing down a bit. I tried just grabbing a coffee and taking my time to window shop for things I didn't need. I tried getting lunch at Panera's and savoring my food without any interruptions while leisurely reading a Kindle book.
|Say "broccoli cheddar soup in a" ... wait, nevermind.|
I even tried to paint my fingernails! And then vowed never to do such things again. My fine motor skills are definitely not up to snuff.
I wouldn't call myself a new woman now, but on a recent Friday afternoon when I was thiiiis close to losing it with the insane end of the week chaos and triple meltdown that was occurring, I stopped, took a breath, and remembered that in the morning I could go and take some deep breaths, eat a quiet meal, read a little, let my brain wander and unwind - all without stopping to break up a fight or wipe #2 off anyone's bottom. I then calmly dealt with the crazy and the chaos and the meltdowns and by the time Stephen got home, I even had dinner on the table. And I realized - hey, maybe this idea really works.
|Remember Jamie, by this time tomorrow you'll be |
leisurely browsing Instagram on the back of a goose.
Maybe love - including loving yourself - really does multiply.
When I write this all out, I realize how ridiculous it sounds. I honestly don't think the internet needs another "Hey mom! You have to take care of yourself!" post. Yeah, yeah we KNOW we are supposed to take care of ourselves. We KNOW it's not selfish to take care of ourselves.
If you're reading this right now and feel like everybody and everything in your life needs more of you than you have to give...please, remember that you can't give anything to your family, to the world, unless you've got something left to give. Put on that oxygen mask and breathe. Go do something completely frivolous with your time. And if it makes you feel happy and energized, do it again.
And that's why I'm blogging.