The Importance of Ritual

I have my first ever couples massage tomorrow! All I have for you today is some heart to heart words of encouragement.

Life can be exhausting–trust me, I know. Sometimes I wake up not sure how I’m going to get through the day. Sometimes I see the dishes in the sink and the toys on the floor and give an exasperated sigh.

It’s okay to get tired and burnt out, it’s just the way it goes–we’re human, we can only handle so much. Sometimes the shrill, high-pitched scream of my younger daughter grates on my nerves one too many times or my tired toddler’s whining just gets to me. What’s important is how you handle it. I generally have a three tiered system for hard days:

1. Stop and take a deep breath. If your kids are frustrating you, try your best go empathize. Maybe they don’t know how to express that they’re tired, hungry, or just need you. And that’s okay, they’re kids. I find that I can often talk my toddler through figuring out what she needs.

2. Fall back on the basic routine. Don’t stress over housework, chores, or anything extra, just the bare bones necessities. So for me diapers, food, nursing, naps–the dishes and toys will be there to pick up later.

3. If this isn’t working, We get up and change the scenery. We go to the library, park, sit at a favorite haunt, or even just go walk somewhere for a while. Changing the scenery really helps me and the kids when we’re all in sour moods and brightens the day.

And last of all, it’s important to have time to yourself, for your sake as well as theirs. Make sure that you make time for your significant other and for keeping in touch with who you are and your own interests. Make it a regular part of your routine, even if it’s only five minutes in the shower alone. You’ll be thankful for the break. Though I know it’s easy to do, don’t get lost in being a parent.


Happy Mother’s day!

Man, I am feeling burnt out lately. It’s just this stage with Madi that’s rough, I think. I don’t know if it’s common, but Karissa went through this too–around 5 months it’s like they’re stuck in their bodies, bored, immobile, and just sick and tired of it. Madi is super pleasant and happy until she’s not, and then suddenly it’s like a black cloud of inconsolable cries rolls in. I remember the few months with Karissa before she learned how to crawl being long and hard, and here I am again, only this time Karissa is going through it too. Boy, she is not a fan, haha. I tell her that we will be through it soon but I’m not sure that she believes me.

Anyway, I’m here feeling like my whole body just wants to melt into jello at the end of every day and then I’m up and at it again in the morning. We’re walking a bunch of times a day out of boredom (and because mommy has a heck of a lot of weight to lose) and I just really understand the meaning of tired. Almost anywhere we go someone says something like, “Oh, that must be hard,” “You’ve got your hands full,” or “Wow, you must be busy.” I don’t really feel like my job is hard or busy because I love my kids and I’m usually having a lot of fun, plus I am extremely lucky that I get to take care of my kids, but I do have to admit that it is exhausting.

So, Mother’s day is upon us, and I’m suddenly so very grateful for a day dedicated to moms. I don’t rightly know how I do it, I don’t know how other moms do it, and I don’t know how my mom did it, but kudos to every mom ever. We are a bold, hard, and probably underappreciated workforce. We’re the glue holding all the household crazy together–we’re crazy glue!

Well I sure am missing my mom these days as I am learning just how much motherhood is about getting to know yourself. I’m a year and a half in and I’m discovering parts of myself that I had no idea were there. I’m finding patience–like woah, I have never been patient but evidently having babies planted some magical patience seeds in me that are beginning to sprout, which is great because I really need them. I’m discovering a vast reservoir of understanding and empathy that I was unaware of until recently, so that’s been a great resource that I hope holds out. The most important thing that I’m learning in all of this is self-appreciation.

Our children will learn from the example that we set, so we should demonstrate that while we love them and they are important, sometimes we need to step back and love ourselves first. We need to show them that this is how healthy, functional people behave and how quality relationships are built. Even if it’s as simple as 5 minutes alone in the shower (which is my nightly ritual at the moment), it’s important to keep in touch with yourself.┬áThis sounds cheesy, but for Mother’s day I’m considering buying myself some cheap flowers and writing myself a love note. I feel like that would be a great therapeutic exercise for me, and would you even believe that I made it up myself? Sounds like some genuine Dr. Phil type stuff.

I remember back when I thought that being a mom would be all sunshine and roses (which it is, but with little interjections of poop and screaming throughout the day) and chuckle. So today I would just like to remind you to give yourself a little loving pat on the back for keeping the kids alive through another day–heck, they might have even gotten fed and bathed. Try to hold on to those great, indescribable moments, like the look of joy when they taste solid food for the first time, the first little giggles and smiles, and the look in your kid’s eyes before they give you a hug. Sure, it’s not easy when they’re laying on the floor screaming because you asked them if they wanted you to take their socks off and you aren’t sure what to do, but at the end of the day when I look at my angels I really feel like love conquers all.