Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 7: One Great Week

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I'm swamped. In over my head. In the weeds. Whatever you want to call it, there's more that needs to be done in a day than time available to do it. And unless my children miraculously and simultaneously sleep for 24 consecutive hours, there's no possibility I'll catch up anytime soon.

Some days I let it become overwhelming. When I really let it get to me, I want to quit trying, because rather than providing a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, the small dent I make in the long list just leaves me hopeless about how long the rest will take.

Not today. Today I'm going to pat myself on the back for my ability to juggle all my roles and tasks. I'm co-leading a Holistic Moms Network chapter that's growing like crazy. I'm contributing to a La Leche League group that is literally changing lives with mothering and breastfeeding support. I'm editor and contributor for my husband's food and wine website. I just started writing for a local magazine. And that's all on top of my full-time job of managing our household: cooking, cleaning, laundry, finances, shopping, car maintenance, home maintenance, health maintenance, pet care, family and friend relations...Oh yeah, and then there are the two kids who top the list and whose needs I attend to at all times while working on the rest of the list.

I'm not going to be overwhelmed today, and I'm not going to feel discouraged. I'm going to feel proud and satisfied. And every time the negative feelings start to creep back in, I'm going to read this list and congratulate myself for taking excellent care of my family, contributing to my community, and choosing things that matter over a vacuumed rug or organized filing cabinet.

I will choose acceptance over resistance.
Jackson has been nursing a lot lately. This relatively new, and I know it's linked to his eczema, the remedy we last used, and the of the holidays. It will pass and he will return to his nap-and-bed-time-only routine. But in the meantime, I've been struggling with a lot of resistance.

I've said no, tried to distract, limited the length of time, and even felt slightly resentful after saying yes sometimes. I explained that Mommy gets to decide when she shares her milk, just like he gets to decide when he shares his toys (as if there's a comparison between an object and a loving relationship!). As he picked up on the resistance, he became more insistent, probably because what he really needed was for me to openly and lovingly accept where he was at. So I'm doing that now. I nurse him every time he presents the need as soon as I'm able. And all of a sudden, he's fine with waiting when I can't stop what I'm doing. He's more than happy to stop when I need to get up. He's not resisting my needs because I'm not resisting his. Boy does this feel better than trying to make it about "respect" or "boundaries."

I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
The frequent nursing has definitely driven me nuts at times. From the outside looking in, most people would label him clingy or needy right now, but I know better. I see him unabashedly asking to have his needs met, a skill most adults lack. I see him staying in touch with his secure home base as he goes through incredible social, emotional, and language development spurts. I see him feeling overwhelmed, insecure, angry, sad, frustrated, or lonely, and asking for support in a healthy way rather than acting out. I love that he's in tune with his needs and willing to let me to help him.

I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.
We've had a spectacular week. I feel free. Jackson feels free. My husband even noticed and commented on the difference after day 2, before I had even had a chance to talk to him about my new pet project. This in itself is motivation to keep going, to say nothing of the humbling responses from some very wonderful fellow mommies. 

But I'm finding that the format of the blog is requiring too much of my time to possibly keep up with indefinitely. So instead of writing what is essentially four posts in one for every day of the week, I will give myself some grace and list the mantras, affirmations, declarations, or whatever else you want to call them at the top and do a single post. I will forgive myself for being a slow and deliberate writer who is probably too much of a perfectionist to be satisfied with a quick post, and provide myself with conditions that allow for success in all areas of my life.


  1. Oh, you are so right to change the format of the blog. I was just thinking how time consumming it was to write such a long long post divided in 4 paragraphs every day ! Just on post on one of the four topic will be plenty !

  2. Thanks, Murielle! Hearing some approval about the change keeps me from feeling a little twinge of defeat. ;)