Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Birthday Reflection: It's time to shed "I Can't"


I turned 35 a couple of weeks ago. Gulp. It kind of feels like a big deal. Not 30 or 40 big, but still a milestone. I can remember when my mom turned 35, and that seems significant. On my birthday, I felt like I had aged. Sure, the tiredness was more likely due to the fact that we have an infant in the house or that we were all recovering from the virus from hell (and subsequently nursing the visiting company we passed it on to, sigh.), but still. I did not feel like partying.

And that works for me. Birthdays are more a time of reflection; a time when I can take stock of where I've come from, where I'm going, and - most importantly - what I've outgrown. It's been a hard lesson for me to learn (and I'm still working on it!) but I'm appreciating, more and more, the importance of letting go of those things that bog me down and keep me from growing.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Making Self-Care Happen

Two weeks ago, Jason traveled for work, leaving me with both girls for more than 24-hours for the first time since Laurel's birth. My mom came up from Virginia to help out, and Jason was away for only two and a half days, but I feel like I'm just now recovering. Laurel is going through a phase where she wants to be held, specifically by me, pretty much 24-7. It makes it hard for Cadence, who would also like a good bit of attention and who continues to try new and interesting ways to have those needs met. I'm definitely feeling the mommy-drain.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Maintain Emotional Boundaries with this Gift

This, right here, is my 50th Honest and Gentle post. I'm feeling pretty excited about that. :) To celebrate, I'd like to offer you a gift, a small token of my appreciation for the time that you take to read these posts; something that I feel is particularly useful for folks who care about feelings and empathy (folks like you!). Here's the back story:

A few years ago, I developed a workshop for an organization who's employees were experiencing low morale. Their jobs involved supporting others through difficult times in life and, to put it mildly, it was emotionally draining. They were sometimes treated disrespectfully by the people they were serving. They were told how useless they were, when many of them felt this work was their calling. Even when they weren't taking on direct criticism, they felt bogged down by the emotional struggles of the folks they were serving and they were frustrated by the limitations of what they could do to help.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Respond to Your Pregnant Partner's Emotions

I've shared this before, but it's worth repeating that my pregnancies have been emotional roller coasters, fraught with emotional outbursts. They were rough experiences for me as well as those around me, and especially those closest to me. So, especially difficult on my partner, Jason. During one outburst last year, when he was trying to be helpful, I actually yelled at him, "You're not being helpful at all!"

When he asked what he could do to be helpful, it just frustrated me further. I was so upset that I couldn't think straight and I certainly couldn't feed him the right lines. I eventually calmed down enough to express that thought and to tell him that he was going to have to be resourceful and figure it out on his own. I encouraged him to talk to his friends or google some resources.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Saved by the Poop

The other day I was talking to my mom on the phone and our conversation became heated. We were arguing over the message of a particular news story and, suffice to say, we had two completely different perspectives. It may be helpful to explain that, while my mom and I have a LOT in common, political views are not one of the commonalities.

I was becoming so frustrated that I was close to saying something that would just be hurtful or to hanging up the phone. Exactly one moment before it came to that, Laurel had a big, loud poop. I was sure that it was a blow-out, and I was saved!

Monday, March 24, 2014

He Said, She Said, and Google Glass Recorded

When Jason and I argue, we tend to get caught up in disagreement over the "facts" of our conflict. We remember the order of events differently or we don't remember something we supposedly promised. I feel infuriated when Jason denies saying or doing something that I can remember with perfect clarity and I am equally infuriated when I'm accused of something I can't remember doing or saying. And I don't even notice how hilariously hypocritical that is when I'm in the moment!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cry It Out

I learned a lot about coping with emotional stress during my last pregnancy. I can't say that it was the most stressful period of life I had experienced, but it was up there with the rest of them. And it was certainly the most stressful period when I also had to mother a toddler. I think I was more concerned, during this period than in the past, with working on coping so that I could remain present and protect my sweet daughter from my inner crazies. In any case, I often found myself working through all of my coping tools and eagerly seeking the counsel of anyone who would add to my tool box.