Family & Baby, Simple & Minimal

slowing down for the season | bring back the calm

I just kind of felt like writing tonight. Just one of those nights where there is a heavy load weighing on my mind and I cannot seem to shake it. Lately things have felt a little off. Mostly inside my soul. I don’t know whether to blame the weather, or some type of imbalance of chemicals going on in my brain, but a change is in order. That is a must.

The other day, as I was hustling around trying to do dishes, trying to take out the trash, after being exhausted from trying to make a productive “at home” day for Owen (the 3 days a week he isn’t at daycare), after trying to sneak in a study session while Owen sat upstairs crying for a while because he didn’t want to take a nap though i desperately needed him to because I was so behind on laundry and I needed that study session, but that turned into: me not getting anything done, and after more and more stress piled on, I felt the weight of it hit me and you could easily see through my facial expressions that I was tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. My two year old could see it. A phrase I never knew he knew. A phrase I have never heard him say. I’ll never forget it though.

We were walking up the stairs, more like a drag, “come on Owen, it’s bedtime and I have asked you about a handful of times now, so please, get upstairs”. And usually he will fuss and moan but he will do it. Generally. I mean he is two. He needs patience and direction from me. Ah, life truly is a balancing act.

But this time, he stopped halfway on the stairs and looked down at me as I fumbled to bring up a stack of laundry, dropping teeny tiny socks on my way up, and he looked me dead in the face as I was half way through a grunt.

“Mommy..are you okay?”

What. What?

I had no idea how to respond. I changed my facial expression and I said “honey, mommy is OK. She is a little stressed, babe. Sometimes that happens to people. They get stressed. It’s like another emotion. Just like being sad, or being angry.” (because we are learning about emotions lately).

But I wanted to tell him more. I wanted to tell him that quote that I could barely remember by the man/women I couldn’t remember who said it, “it’s not the load we carry, it’s the way we carry it”.

Yes. Am I stressed? Of course. Nursing school is stressful. Taking night courses is stressful. Adding in an extra class on top of that workload is stressful. Trying to keep a clean house is stressful. Trying not to nag is stressful. Trying not stress about the things I know I need/have to stress about is stressful. Trying to spend our “at home” days with Owen and filling it with education, exercise, productivity, and positivity is challenging.

It is challenging being a parent. I have a few tips that I truly hold dear that you can find here. And a few thoughts on when you want to be super mom that you can find here. I would be lying if I said otherwise. And maybe some people don’t feel that way, or they have more support, or more money, or whatever it is that could make the job a tad bit easier.

But at the end of the day, it feels as though I have me. And some days I really question if that is enough, but most days I know that’s enough. I love him and I care so much about him. I’m doing the best that I can, and that’s all that I can do.

So tonight, when Owen started crying more than usual at bedtime, and I mean crying off and on for a period of two hours, he finally said “I lay with me” which is code for “can you lay with me mommy?” He then proceeded to ask if he could come in my bed. Most days I say no, to be honest, I have school work to do. I have a routine of diffusing essential oils, setting up my books on my bed and getting to business. But tonight I carried him into my bed and snuggled him so tight because I remembered what he had asked me, “mommy…are you OK?”

I wasn’t going to let all the stress of all the things that I needed to do or all the things I didn’t do yet, or even the stress of the stress I have yet to stress about, get in the way of this moment here and now.

So here I am, snuggled closely in bed with my beautiful son peacefully sleeping and snoozing, cuddled in my arms with his Mr. Fox and baby fox he will never sleep without.

And I just wanted to share that story because I just wanted you to know how OK it is sometimes to not be OK. How easy it is to put on a brave face and pretend everything is fine, except when you find a funny meme of someone tumbling down the stairs, or smacking into a tree and you read the title “current footage of me making it through life right now” and you’re like, “Yeah. That’s me some days. Some days I’m that person”

There will probably come another day where he will ask me if I am OK, and I may or may not be that day, but I know in the end the little moments matter the most. It is all a balancing act, but you must be kind to yourself and you must take a step back, breath and ask yourself, what is truly important?

With the warmness and coziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I’m excited to really dive into the little details. Pay attention to those! The look in his eyes as he places his first Christmas ornament on the tree because he actually understands it this year. Amazing. Or the way he listens (mostly) as I read The Polar Express or How The Grinch Stole Christmas that my lovely friend Katie sent us, and her beautiful note that came with it of how her father use to read those under the Christmas tree, surrounded by love and warmth. That was something she remembered. That little detail.

I saw something on Facebook a few weeks ago that really caught my attention. It showed a story of a mother going about her day. It looked so stressful. Kids were running around everywhere. Trying to grocery shop was turning into a nightmare, hustling and bustling to get things done. She saw a ton of stress, or at least that’s what the viewer saw. But the father came home and he asked the kids, “so how was your day with mommy?” And the child’s face lit up. “Today mommy took me grocery shopping and we pushed the carts and that was so much fun! And we read books and we played!” He saw a beautiful mother fiercely loving her babies.

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” – Iain Thomas

with so much love and warmness,

mamjbirdy

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Simple & Minimal

a playlist for a long ride

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I wanted to make a playlist that meant something. A long kind of ride playlist. The kind where the road is the only thing ahead of you. Where thoughts fill your mind and music makes you wander. I wanted something that hit the soul and gives you all the feels.

I especially love it for fall. Leaves falling. People falling in love.

“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go”

You can listen here!

x

mamajbirdy

Simple & Minimal

facebook detox | healing mentally for 30 days


I decided to start the new year off with something I have been dying to do now for quite some time: I gave up Facebook for the month of January. And here’s what happened:

  • I realized and remembered that quality of relationships is so much more important than quantity | we’re only human. We seriously cannot keep up with as many people as we think we can. And when we try to, we get a sliver instead of the whole. This is exactly why Facebook doesn’t even let you see everyone’s posts, it manages it so you see people you interact with the most. But I have waayy too many Facebook friends, and yes, I did actually have some interaction with almost all of these people, I don’t generally add people I don’t know, but do I keep up with even half of them whatsoever? Not a chance. So why do I need these people on Facebook? What exactly is the reason I haven’t deleted more people? The fear of hurting someone’s feelings because I’m not investing in their life? The fear they will do the same? We each have our owns lives though, and it’s hard to focus on it when we try to focus on a million other people’s lives. 
  • I got closer to my son | this wasn’t just the physical act of being on Facebook, I never really was constantly on there, but I would scroll through often and I’d be in a fog from trying to keep up with what everyone was doing. I’m still friends with people I haven’t talked to in years, and I’m still friends with that girl I met from so and so’s party. It’s exhausting. It’s been amazing connecting with all different types people, people whom I met in the past and people I’m still very close with today, but it really drenched my soul and took away time and energy I could have used to bond with my son. Now I understand that Facebook does waayyy more than just take away our time – from the physical act of scrolling and commenting and liking – It’s something that you carry throughout the day. It’s a constant balancing act of trying to be happy and confident while sometimes feeling insecure scrolling through other people’s highlight reels. That isn’t real life. 
  • I spent more time picking up books and hobbies | instead of scrolling through Facebook and catching it up with people at night, I spent a lot more time under a warm blanket reading books on herbs, gardening, health & wellness. I spent time writing in my gratitude journal and printing baby pictures for a scrapbook. I even, oddly, spent more time petting my cat 🐱 
  • I felt a mental clarity I hadn’t felt in a very long time | I feel really weird saying that Facebook had a hold on me, but I just can’t simply explain why. But it did. And I think you could learn a lot about the power of Facebook if you decide to do a 30 day detox from it. I just felt fresh and focused on myself and making my life happier. My son’s life happier. I didn’t know what everyone else was doing and so I was able to focus on what I was doing
  • I felt things “really didn’t happen” because I couldn’t share to Facebook that it did | i would have times something funny would happen to me, and I’d want everyone to hear about it, or I had a great day sledding down hills with my boys, and so I had a twinge of sadness because my Facebook “world” didn’t know it happened. And then I felt another twinge of sadness that I would feel saddness from something this silly. But it was true. I felt a sense of emptiness at those times when I was doing stuff and not everyone knew about it. But then I grew to love it, and had a great day for the sake of having a great day, and not because I wanted everyone to know that I had a great day. Sadness turned to gratitude and than happiness. And now I don’t care if everyone knows what I am up to. It feels good to be private about some things, and it feels good to recognize that a tree still makes a sound when it falls in the forest even when no one is around to hear it.
  • I felt less depressed because I wasn’t feeling FOMO (I’m pretty sure I can’t use that like I did, but I just really wanted to use this word in general). It means “fear of missing out”. And when I was on Facebook a lot, I felt it often. It was hard constantly seeing everyone doing something amazing and somehow it made me feel sad because I wasn’t apart of it. Weird. I know. But I focused a lot on my own negativity when I saw other people doing all these fun things that I somehow thought I was missing out on. Even things that typically I probably wouldn’t even have cared to do. 
  • Highschool had some challenging moments for me, so when I see old highschool friends and just plain old aquintances, they bring a little bit of pain back | Facebook got popular when I was in highschool, so naturally I am friends with a lot of old classmates. Here’s the thing though, some of them just simply bring up bad energy and stale memories of the past. and yet I still keep them around. Why? Life is way too short to always be carrying around the past. It’s heavy. Let it go.

    My 30 day detox from Facebook had such a positive impact on my life that I will make a point to spend as much time away from it as I can. Actually, I still forget sometimes I’m able to use it. It’s like those 30 days reset my brain. I think my detox from Facebook had such a positive impact on me, I plan on doing it more. 

    Have you ever detoxed from Facebook? What was your experience like?

    xx,

    mamajbirdy